Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CommonGround 2010- I. CAN'T. WAIT.

Technically I'm supposed to be doing my homework right now, but I took a short break to look over the seminar offerings at this year's Common Ground conference happening next week, and I am so very excited! What is CommonGround, you ask? From the NYSAAE's website: CommonGround is the annual New York State arts-in-education conference that brings over 150 administrators, teachers, teaching artists, and community members together for three days of policy setting, planning, exchange of skills and inspirational speakers. This gathering contributes to fresh curriculum design, school reform and new models for classroom learning. I'll only be able to attend on Thursday, so I want to cram as much in to my trip to Albany as possible. Here's a sampling of the sessions on Thursday that pique my interest... HOW AM I GOING TO CHOOSE?!

Connecting Arts Organizations To Colleges And The Community
Thursday - Session I
10:30 AM - 11:45 AM / Ballroom D
Colleges are developing new and exciting ways to bring learning from the classroom into the
community. From service learning opportunities to partnerships with community organizations, the arts
are a natural bridge that addresses both learning goals and community needs in a fresh context. The
Arts in Education Institute created a program for college freshman which connected them to senior
citizens at a nearby community center. Using digital media, the students engaged the seniors in
conversation, conducted interviews and recorded family histories. Seniors provided newspaper
clippings, photos and valuable first hand accounts of their history and the history of Buffalo. Doors
were opened and relationships were formed. The learning was first hand and involved research,
community building and creative work. As a culminating event, a film festival was held and the end
products of this exciting partnership were shared at a gathering of the college and senior

Behind The Scenes! Classroom Strategies For Student-Produced Arts Events
Thursday - Session I
10:30 AM - 11:45 AM / Ten Broeck
Authentic opportunities for showcasing their work motivate students to show their best. This workshop
is designed to help you prepare students to produce their own exhibit, performance, or concert. We
offer strategies, structures, and activities for you to use to prepare students to fundraise for and
market their production. As students take on tasks required for a successful event, they learn career
possibilities of behind the scenes jobs in theater, dance, music, and visual art.

Tell Me A Story, Dance Me A Dance
Thursday - Session I
10:30 AM - 11:45 AM / Ballroom C
Children love to move and can use their kinesthetic intelligence to learn and develop literacy skills
and vice versa. Descriptive language, sequencing, keeping track and composition are all skills
needed to be a good reader, writer, dancer and choreographer. Focusing on Laban based dance
making activities, we will Hear it, Imagine it, Move it, Write it. We will reflect and evaluate how these
activities provide options defined by the UDL guidelines across grade levels 3-8.

We Are Here! Local Capacity Building
Thursday - Session I
10:30 AM - 11:45 AM / Ballroom E
In this workshop you will have a chance to meet and hear the story of Ellie Balk an Artist Teacher,
muralist and activist who built capacity for a community vision with her school partners in Brooklyn,
NY. Hawley Hussey the Local Capacity Building Coordinator from Brooklyn, NY will talk about building
partnerships from the ground up with this supportive NYSCA network. We will share ideas about
building sustainability for the arts and how to utilize NYSCA Roundtables for support and sharing Arts In
Education practice.

Backwards Design For Teaching Artists
Thursday - Session II
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM / Ten Broeck
Backwards design seamlessly incorporates curriculum design, assessment, and arts creation work.
This process can help to sharpen the focus of a residency or instructional unit, help students to aim for
and achieve success, and assist teaching artists to create more effective curriculum. This workshop
represents lessons learned during a decade of work with teaching artists and arts specialists, and
includes components from several curriculum design models in an effort to find the most arts-friendly

Beyond The Residency: Re-envisioning The Role Of The Cultural Partner
Thursday - Session II
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM / Beverwyck
In 2007, DreamYard launched the Bronx Arts Learning Community (BALC), a network of schools that
come together regularly to improve the access to and quality of arts learning in their buildings,
support school-based arts leadership and build K-12th grade arts learning pathways for their students.
Through the building of this community, we are recognizing a powerful new role that emerges for
ourselves as a cultural organization - one of an organizer of creative and passionate school-based
educators from across the Bronx. Participants in this workshop will be challenged to re-envision their
relationships with schools, re-evaluate the resources they have to offer that go beyond providing
direct arts instruction, and map out new directions for engagement in public education.

Forum: Advancing Arts In Education In New York State
Thursday - Session II
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM / Ballroom C
In light of all the new NYS Education Department initiatives to increase student achievement, along
with the research that supports the arts as instrumental in achieving these initiatives, this facilitated
forum invites panelists to address how those in the arts in education field (teachers, artists,
administrators, cultural and educational organizations, Parent-Teacher Associations, etc.) can work
together with other leaders in New York State to advance arts in education and positively impact
achievement for all students in New York State.
What can we do to improve education incorporating core arts education and arts-in-education in a
systemic and lasting way? What proven models can be effective in NYS? When and how can these
be applied?

Taking A Risk: Theatre-in-Education For Curriculum And Decision Making
Thursday - Session II
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM / Ballroom B
Participants in this workshop will explore how Theatre-in-Education (TIE) can provide opportunities to
explore Language Arts curriculum and decision making skills. Participants will experience "The Third
Child", a TIE program for 4th graders and then reflect on their experience. This workshop is designed
for both Teaching Artists and Classroom teachers interested in exploring how participatory theatre
effectively provides opportunities for learning, and how it can be adjusted and applied to their work.

Developing The Professional Identity Of The Teaching Artist
Thursday - Session III
2:30 PM - 3:45 PM / Ten Broeck
What are the strengths, needs, and professional expectations of the experienced Teaching Artist
today? How do the TA's objectives align with the mission and imperatives of the organizations that
hire them? We will tackle these questions, and others, through: an ethnographic performance piece,
dialogue, small group work, and action-oriented interactive reflection.

Give That Kid A Camera! Student Voices In Sharing Partnership Process
Thursday - Session III
2:30 PM - 3:45 PM / Van Rensselaer
How do we learn from students? How do we share partnership work and assessments in an
accessible and engaging way? In this workshop, participants will explore strategies for incorporating
student voices in documenting, assessing, and sharing the learning process in an AIE partnership.
Teachers from the BRIC Contemporary-Campos School partnership in Brooklyn will present a case
study where students utilized a variety of documenting techniques and technologies to assess
student learning and share partnership process.

In Search Of The Missing Story
Thursday - Session III
2:30 PM - 3:45 PM / Ballroom A
Workshop participants will be actively engaged in numerous learning experiences throughout the
presentation. An object exchange will be completed as a warm-up in order to guide the group to
discover whether or not they are present and available to receive a story. Discussion will occur
regarding focusing, listening attentively, respect, treating people and their stories with care and
consideration, and gratitude. Each group member will choose a WOA from the Picturing America
collection. Each participant will brainstorm and develop a story by creating a monologue based on
the WOA. Partners will share their stories with each other. There is no wrong story but the inferences
made to create the story will be based on what they see in the WOA- evidence should be sited in the
WOA in order to form basis for story. Questions will be asked in order for the presenter to fully develop
their story. The group will come together and a few volunteers will be chosen to share the story they
received from their partner. A reflection will occur regarding how it felt to observe someone telling
their story, how it changed perspective, how it impacted the story, etc.. Teachers will briefly share
how they implemented the concept of focusing a WOA as a focal point to a story in their classroom.

Research In Action Dialogue: A Radical & Accessible Approach To Creative As
Thursday - Session III
2:30 PM - 3:45 PM / Ballroom C
Inspired by NYSCA‘s ETSL protocol, Urban Arts Partnership will present the Research in Action Dialogue
(RAD), a case-study based assessment tool used in an after-school setting that examines student
artwork as data to inform and drive differentiated instruction as well as build connections in the core
academic curriculum happening during the school day. Participants will study a recently completed
RAD from PS 48 in Queens and then work in teams to plan their own action research projects.

Improving Literacy With Story Drama & Active Participation
Thursday - Creative Engagement
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM / Ballroom D
What will education look like in 20 years? How will this effect teaching artists? We are preparing
students for the 21st century in an ever shrinking world. This workshop will provide an example of how
teaching artists and classroom teachers are able to provide an engaging, 21st century learning
approach to education. Participants will be actively engaged in a story drama from the book Strega
Nona by Tomie dePaolo and introduced to the concepts and structure of story drama creation. Story
drama is a teaching pathway that involves students in important critical thinking processes. It
requires that students listen for direction and follow through with action. By interpreting narrative into
believable actions using their bodies and voices, students are making choices and taking risks. Story
drama is a pathway to social skills and brings students together as a team and community, each with
an equal voice. Participants will see how this experience can launch into the classroom through
literacy activities enhancing 21st century skills.