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Cheryl L. Poole: Co-Creation as a Process

Cheryl Poole    Leave a Comment   

Cheryl L. Poole is an educator with more than 40 years of experience in visual arts, museum administration and facilitating professional learning. She has had the honor of working with educators in the MAEIA project...

Cheryl L. Poole is an educator with more than 40 years of experience in visual arts, museum administration and facilitating professional learning. She has had the honor of working with educators in the MAEIA project over the last 5 years.

Hundreds of Educators Contributing to an Exceptional Outcome

I believe that no one of us is the ultimate expert in our field. While it makes the process slow and somewhat cumbersome, I hold firmly to the idea that the more individuals with the rights of revision that are involved in a project, the more authentic the results. The MAEIA assessments are a prime example of hundreds of educators contributing to the co-creation of a body of exceptional work.

Observing the Process

For four years (2013-2016), I was involved as support in the creation of all of the MAEIA assessments. I confess I wasn’t one of the great minds that created them but I had the privilege of observing the collaborative process from which the assessments sprung. What I observed was some of the very best work I’ve seen in nearly 40 years of working with adults.

First Steps of Co-Creation

Beginning the process required a clear sense of aspiration, a lot of inspiration, and more than a little faith.

The creation of the assessments began in the spring of 2013. Volunteers representing the disciplines of dance, music, theatre and visual arts convened to first understand the mission of MAEIA. Then work was divided among teams of 6-8 educators spanning the continuum of K-12, higher education, educational administration, and teaching artists.

Together, they:
-pondered the scope of the MAEIA project,
-learned the expectations of their roles as creators of assessments,
-received their targeted standards, and
-departed with tight timelines for finalizing assessments in each of their fields of expertise.

I recall the teams leaving that first day with more than a little apprehension about the tasks at hand. It was unclear at that point in time how many would come through with enough draft assessments needed to realize MAEIA’s mission.

Working Together Separately

Connected only through online channels, the creators of the assessments drew on the breadth of their experiences to imagine arts performances that could be measured and how that measurement could happen. They identified criteria to measure and determined what degrees would meet and surpass expectations. Every assessment was one of group effort and iterative refinement.

Through this process, practitioners became writers. Writers became reviewers. Both waded into the demands of revising, field-testing and revising again. Dozens rose to the demands of creating performance assessments where none existed previously. And as nearly always happens, leaders stepped up to drive the project forward.

Growth Through the Process of Co-creation

When I look back on the organic nature of the process of these adults learning new skills and challenging each other, I watched how most of them gradually developed new skills beyond their “day jobs”. Practitioners diving deeply into unfamiliar processes joined forces to encourage and support one another; living up to the expectations they held for themselves and one another.

The Co-creation Continues

The results of their work, 360 performance assessments in the arts, are available free.

These creations continue to be works in progress. Submitting your opinions and suggestions for improvement give them more visibility and often a greater level of relevancy. When YOU use them and revise them to fit your instructional plan, you bring your expertise to the process, and the work continues to develop.

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Tammi Browning: Multi-Ethnic Concerns

Tammi Browning    Leave a Comment   

Reading mission statements of school districts all over America, I find a universal educational purpose they seek to attain: To equip students with the skills necessary to reach their maximum potential in becoming self-sufficient, contributing...

Reading mission statements of school districts all over America, I find a universal educational purpose they seek to attain: To equip students with the skills necessary to reach their maximum potential in becoming self-sufficient, contributing members of a global society.

Depending upon the characteristics of the community in which the school district lies, the experiences provided to students to accomplish these goals can differ greatly. Such experiences must be organized effectively to match the social characteristics within the community it serves. Coupled with this, the influence of an educator’s own learning experiences can sometimes influence their view of diversity in the classroom. The advantages of such diversity can inadvertently be overlooked when creating a meaningful curriculum.

Educators must be cognizant of these factors in order to utilize the resources they have in a way that will help prepare students for a world where opportunities for success require the ability to compete and cooperate on a global scale.

To combat these challenges, educational leaders must provide an environment where teachers work as a collaborative professional learning community; where they are allowed to think outside of the box to create valuable connections with the world that enrich the lives of their students.

Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe in their book entitled, Schooling by Design, describe transfer of learning as the practice of “…learning the (self) discipline that permits prior learning to be effectively activated and used in new meaningful situations” (p.48). Heidi Hayes Jacobs (2010), in her book entitled Curriculum 21, has compiled articles written by experts in the field of education. In chapter 13, Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick describe learning processes they refer to as “Habits of Mind”. Habits of Mind are “…dispositions or attitudes that reflect the necessary skillful behaviors that students will need to practice as they become more thoughtful in their learning and in their lives” (p.212). They list 16 vital habits they have identified to be the most important to possess to be successful in school, work, and life. The majority of the vital habits involve reflection. Therefore, when students understand that prior knowledge obtained can be used to solve more complex problems and helps in the analysis of new situations encountered throughout their life; they have developed an understanding of transfer of learning and created habits of mind.

I believe that transfer of learning and key habits of mind are taught effectively through classes such as auto shop, wood shop, the arts, and home economics. Transfer of knowledge is the base of these hands-on, kinesthetic classes. As art teachers, we naturally promote transfer of learning and habits of mind through supervising student work on drama production sets, marching band props, homecoming activities, and painting murals in the building. We are conscious of cross-curricular, discipline-based art education that involves communication with other teachers and forming units consisting of projects that involve concepts being taught in their classrooms.

We provide students with real-life challenges, to which they must analyze and solve problems using mathematical reasoning and writing skills by communicating and working together in group collaboration. The arts, by nature, provide rich authentic experiences. Through creating a curriculum rich with exciting real-life experiences, we contribute to helping to solve today’s challenges.

Are you guiding reflection in your arts discipline? Search the MAEIA assessment items with key words. Or start here:

D.T406 Dance Concert

M.E103 Reflection on a Group Performance

T.E418 Performance Self-Evaluation

V.E401 Critical Reflection

This post was originally published in the MAEA spring newsletter and appears here with permission by the author.

Wiggins, Grant and McTighe, Jay (2007). Schooling by Design: Mission, Action, and Achievement. Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Hayes Jacobs, Heidi (2010). Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World. Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.


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Margaret Thiele: Having Fun with the MAEIA Assessments

Margaret Thiele    Leave a Comment   

Last year I participated in the field-testing for the MAEIA Assessments for elementary music. In that role my focus was on the assessments themselves, the length of time it took to administer them, if they...

Last year I participated in the field-testing for the MAEIA Assessments for elementary music. In that role my focus was on the assessments themselves, the length of time it took to administer them, if they were grade level appropriate, and how well they worked to assess the concepts.

This year, I used the assessments but with a different focus—how could the assessment help me teach a concept in creative ways?

Setting Out
I took the opportunity to become even more familiar with the Catalog of Assessments and looked for assessments that I felt might be appropriate for me to use later in the spring for my third and fourth grade general music classes. Of course the catalog is so easy to navigate, I could quickly narrow down my search to music assessments for grades 3 – 5. Then by going down the list of assessments by title, I could find assessments that would match up with concepts I would be teaching in the spring. I printed out both the teacher and student booklets and set them out by my planning materials so that I had them easily accessible. Then as I sketched out my plans for the school year, determining when different concepts would be taught, I could see how and when the assessments would best fit in with my time line and work them in accordingly.

Choosing the Assessment, Choosing the Songs
For third grade, I ended up selecting the Performance Event M.E202: Singing Partner Songs and an Ostinato. I chose to teach the children the songs Skip to My Lou and Bow Belinda. Knowing the challenge that singing canons and partner songs are for this age group I wanted the students to be very familiar with the songs before attempting the assessments. Therefore, I included movement activities as students sang the songs.

Song 1: Bow Belinda

For Bow Belinda students were divided into two groups, one group found personal space in the room, standing up. These students were to remain in their spots and not travel. Students in group 2 went and stood in front of a partner of their choice. We sang the song and students bowed to one another as they sang, then on the last phrase of the song students were to “find another partner.” But instead of just bowing again as we repeated the song, students explored other non-locomotor motions they could do with a partner such as jump, hop, spin, sway, and many more. They enjoyed coming up with creative ways to move and this kept them thinking and singing the song without tiring.

Song 2: Skip to My Lou

Skip to My Lou comes from the play party tradition of 19th Century Americana. For this song, I had students get with a partner and stand next to them in a circle. I gave each pair of students a small scarf to hold so they could easily identify who were partners. One person, however, was left outside the circle and they skipped around the outside of the circle looking for a partner as we sang the song.

To make this a little easier, I had one student from each pair hold their hand behind them slightly so that the child skipping around could grab it. Then, when they grabbed the hand of someone, the two skipped off together around the circle, while the student who “lost my partner” skipped after them trying to tag the one who had stolen the partner, similar to the game Duck, Duck, Goose. The students loved this game and were willing to keep singing and playing it much longer than I had anticipated. In fact, it was quite hilarious as children became so involved in watching the student skip around the circle that they were oblivious to the fact that their partner had been stolen.

Students enjoyed it so much they asked to play it again the next week.


Combining Songs
The following week we put the two songs together. Because they sang both songs so many times putting the two together was rather easy for them. All that was left was to add the Ostinato. Both songs just use a simple I –V – I chord progression, so students sang the root of the chords (Do and Sol1) using the words “Bow” and “Skip.” After having heard the accompaniment for both songs so many times, their ears were well prepared. They also learned to play the Ostinato on the xylophones. So to prepare for the assessment, I assigned 6 students to the xylophones to sing and play the Ostinato.

The remaining students were divided into two groups: one-half singing Bow Belinda, and the other half singing Skip to My Lou. The students took turns singing on all three parts. Once students all had a turn on the three parts, I put them in groups of three. Each group was a given a xylophone and they took turns each one singing one of the parts, still as a class but they were separated from one another, not standing next to other children singing the same part.

Assessment Day
On the day of the assessment I handed out the student booklets and read through the directions explaining the rubrics to students. Students were then put back into their groups of three and given 10 minutes to decide which part each would perform and practice together. When time was up, each group took turns performing for the rest of the class as I videotaped them.

By this point the excitement was tangible; the children were so excited to demonstrate what they could do and be videotaped.

Objective Observation

It just so happened that my administrator dropped-in to observe me on the day of the assessment with one of the classes. We were both impressed by the performances but for different reasons. I was excited to see the children singing their individual part, staying together and on pitch. Children who at the beginning of the year had struggled with singing rounds and canons (evident by placing their hands over their ears as they sang) now stood up, faced the person who was singing the contrasting part and sang out with confidence.

My administrator was impressed that students were given a direction sheet and rubric so that the expectations were clear. She also noted how quiet and engaged students were as each group performed. Finally, she appreciated that the students had an opportunity to complete a self-assessment (Part 3). Later that day, when I ran into my administrator in the hall, she commented on how wonderful she thought the assessment was, how impressed she was with it, and how well the children had performed.

Using this assessment was a great experience. It gave me an opportunity to be more familiar with the MAEIA assessments and appreciate them, not just as an assessment tool for the students, but also as an opportunity to create lessons that incorporated singing, movement and playing instruments, and see their value as an educator evaluation tool.

Creating the learning opportunities that led up to the assessment were fun for me, and the students were excited about a performance opportunity where they could demonstrate their skills.

Margaret Thiele teaches in Dexter Schools and is a MAEIA Leadership Fellow. 

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Cheryl Poole: Watching as They Assembled the MAEIA Tools

Cheryl Poole    Leave a Comment   

Cheryl L. Poole is an educator with more than 40 years of experience in visual arts, museum administration and facilitating professional learning. She has had the pleasure of working with educators in the MAEIA...

Cheryl L. Poole is an educator with more than 40 years of experience in visual arts, museum administration and facilitating professional learning. She has had the pleasure of working with educators in the MAEIA project over the last 5 years.

Watching as They Assembled the MAEIA Tools

Sometimes you don’t what tools you need until you start the work.

In 2012, I had recently retired from an ISD position when a friend enticed me to give just a ‘bit of time’ to a new project being directed by the Michigan Assessment Consortium. It was the very beginning of the Michigan Arts Education, Instruction, and Assessment project. Ultimately, working for MAEIA became the most satisfying experience of my 40+ year career in arts and education.

I met with the early leadership team in late fall to acquire a description of the project I was thinking about joining. Over the subsequent five years, I’ve reflected on that initial description of the project…and the evolving dialogue. Although that early leadership team was describing for me the goal of the MAEIA project, they were also clarifying and elaborating on it for themselves. What I heard that day anchored my understanding of the project and has been the context of my work with MAEIA since then.

The Why
It started with a rumor. While, personally, I was in the meaning-making stage of joining this project, I was also watching four great minds with diverse areas of expertise (three of whom I knew by reputation and admired a great deal), grappling with important ideas. They had come together over a concern about a rumor circulating among Michigan educators and legislators.

The rumor was that legislation might come to pass that would force teacher evaluation to be based on student achievement data. These leaders were passionate about arts education and they were aware of the absence of formal, quality assessments that would provide the achievement data for educators in dance, music, theatre and visual arts.

If the rumor came true and law required educators to be evaluated on student assessment data, what would that mean for educators in the arts?

The worry around the table was that arts teachers would be evaluated on reading or math test data.
They all held that that would be wholly unfair. There was clearly a need for legitimate data of student performance in the arts.

The What
As the conversation evolved that day, I observed what I interpreted as their growing realization that the project would have to be a great deal more comprehensive than appropriate assessments in the arts:

-Evaluating a student would also need to be understood in the context of the dance, music, theatre and visual arts program to which they had access.

-Arts assessments would have to be created with the assumption of a quality, articulated K-12 arts education program.

-What about the many configurations of arts programs within districts?

The questions that needed to be answered were:

-What was a quality program?

-What did it look like?

-What criteria defined a quality arts education program?

-Who decided that?

-Based on what research?

Aha! The plot thickened because then the conversation came around to how to measure quality for each a dance education program. A music education program. Theatre education program. Visual arts education program.

The research had to be compiled first for each discipline and a tool for measuring programs had to be developed. Only then could performance assessments in the arts exist within an understandable context. And an understandable context was necessary before a teacher could select appropriate assessments and subsequently be evaluated on the resulting data.

So as I sat at the table that first day, making meaning of the MAEIA project, I heard the project expanding in real time.

Starting with the environmental need and the goal, the importance of developing tools became clear. To get to quality performance assessments, MAEIA would first have to define a quality program and have an ability to quantify and measure that quality.

Yet to unfold was the realization that, as we stepped forward and backwards toward the goal, MAEIA-involved educators would also need a compilation of research, to identify specifications for creating assessments, and guidelines for administering them.

The Community
We recognized, as a group, that collectively we didn’t have that expertise to achieve the task. Hundreds of educators, artists and researchers representing all four arts disciplines would need to bring forward what they knew to assemble the tools of MAEIA. And they did.

Fast Forward
Five years later, measuring educator effectiveness with student data was realized under PA 173 of 2015, over a thousand educators have contributed to what has become the MAEIA tools and resources: a Blueprint, Assessment Specifications Document, Research and Recommendations, a Program Review Tool, and 360 Assessment Items in Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts.

With support from the MCACA, fifteen MAEIA Leadership Fellows are prepared to deliver professional learning to districts, buildings, and community partners with an invitation for additional Associates to be extended soon.

The MAEIA Project Management Team along with dedicated participants, have just wrapped a Demonstrating Educator Effectiveness pilot with plans to continue the work into a second year while we also launch a Collaborative Scoring System pilot.

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Chunk and Bundle: The Bundled Assessment Approach for Demonstrating Teacher Effectiveness by Carrie Jeruzal

Carrie Jeruzal    Leave a Comment   

Navigating the world of assessment can be daunting, especially assessment in the arts.  Arts assessments come in a variety of forms, all dependent upon a variety of factors:  resources available, specific arts discipline, grade level,...

Navigating the world of assessment can be daunting, especially assessment in the arts.  Arts assessments come in a variety of forms, all dependent upon a variety of factors:  resources available, specific arts discipline, grade level, etc.  While information and research regarding assessment in the arts begins to mount, and the importance and pressure of reporting data from assessments becomes critical for demonstrating teacher effectiveness, I would like to offer up a “take a deep breath,” “let’s get organized and take it one step at a time,” practical approach to Visual Arts Assessment in the secondary classroom.  Chunk it and Bundle it.

I teach K-12 Art in a small rural public school that serves just under 300 students in the entire district.  I teach 2 hours of High School Art, 2 hours of Junior High Art, and 2 hours of Elementary Art each day.  Just writing that makes me tired!  Providing data on all these students at all of these different grade levels is too much and would literally become a full-time job on its own.  So to keep data management realistic, I have selected a small portion of my population from which to pull my data.  Since my High School students have a summative exam already worked into their semester schedule, the practical choice for me was to start with a selection of 16-25 high school students from which to pull data.

That’s right, instead of trying to pull data from all 200+ of my students, I focus in on a manageable set.

The data that I collect from these students is a bundle of 4 chunks:

  • MAEIA High School Level 1 Visual Art Performance Assessment Data
  • Digital Portfolio Performance Data using Google Classroom
  • Pre and Post Knowledge Data using Google Forms and Flubaroo add-on
  • Pre and Post Perception Data using Google Forms and Flubaroo add-on


This style of data collection requires forethought and organization at the very beginning of the school year.  I often incorporate my assessment plans right into my curriculum maps and I store the data digitally.  I also use an Student Learning Objective (SLO) document to serve as a kind of roadmap for my bundled approach.  Although this type of document may not be necessary in every district, I do find getting organized in the very beginning very helpful.

Also I feel using a bundled approach gives my students many options and chances for demonstrating their growth as opposed to relying upon a single assessment that may not be holistic.  It’s comforting to know that my students have multiple opportunities to demonstrate their growth by using 4 different assessment methods.

MAEIA Performance Task

This year my High School year long curriculum consists of three-dimensional art and design.  The MAEIA assessment that I selected was the V.T409 3-D Wire Sculpture.  After administering the task to my students, I collected performance assessment data by way of digital photos submitted to students’ Google Classroom Accounts.  I also collected numeric data (point scores or grades), based on the rubric included in the MAEIA assessment.  This process lasted approximately 5 class hours.  

Digital Portfolio

The second chunk of data that I collect is actually collected by my students.  Students post all of their work into a digital file organized and housed in their Google Classroom accounts.  When reporting my data I often have students select, print and document their own pre-proficient work and also proficient work.  This method allows students to visually self-assess their own learning and report that learning in a visual manner.  I use the 5 C’s strategy (Content, Craftsmanship, Creativity, Communication, Composition) to guide students through this evaluation process midway through the year and then again at the end of the year.  

20 Questions Pre and Post

This set of data regards Knowledge Data.  Think of a traditional multiple choice exam.  I select 20 questions mainly focused on knowledge of key terms, concepts and image recognition.  It is given within the first two weeks of school and then again during the final exam.  I use Google Forms to administer the test and the Flubaroo add-on to grade the assessment and then chart and report the data.  This chunk of data is collected fast; It only takes the students 15-20 minutes to complete.  Technology is a huge timesaver and the forms can be reused again when I re-teach the same curriculum.   

Perception of Growth Survey

The final set of data I collect and report is Pre- and Post-Perception Data.  

This answers the questions:

  • Does the student know and realize when he or she is meeting a standard?
  • Is he or she trying to meet a standard?
  • How does the learner perceive his or her own growth?  

This is where a student offers up a short narrative of his or her perceived growth.  

There is power not only in the numbers and visuals of student growth data, but also in the student’s own story.  Confidence, knowledge, experience, goals and learning in the arts are addressed in the student’s own voice.

Bundle up all these chunks of data in a cohesive digital dossier and present them to your administrator during your final evaluation to demonstrate your effectiveness in not one, but in four different ways.  This kind of data bundling presents visual, numerical and reflective narrative that all highlight the growth and learning of your students through cohesive methods.

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Delivering Quality Feedback to Students and Educators

Heather Vaughan-Southard    Leave a Comment   

Quality feedback is key to progress for students and educators. Developing a method which inspires the recipient to get back to work can be difficult, especially in the age of standardization and fast-paced school and...

Quality feedback is key to progress for students and educators. Developing a method which inspires the recipient to get back to work can be difficult, especially in the age of standardization and fast-paced school and office dynamics.

Choreographer Liz Lerman, founder of what is now called Dance Exchange, created a process which I have found beneficial in-part and in-whole within many educational and social contexts.

Functional for all disciplines, the goal of this process is to improve the dialogue about the things we make. I have found that by placing critical conversations into objective scenarios, or by using the product of work to lead into discussions of habits of mind and patterns of behavior or artistry, we can use the tools of art-making to develop self-actualization. This isn’t new to the art educator, but perhaps a structured process for delivering feedback may be.

From Clara Martinez, a Teaching Artist working in Dance:
“As an educator I enjoy and look forward to using Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process with K-12 students in schools, in the community, and in private studios. It allows the students who may not identify purely as athletes or technicians to have a sense of involvement beyond their bodies within physical work. This process presents an opportunity for them to delve into their observational skills and sense of inquiry, and participate in an informative discussion about how to create art and express themselves in an embodied way, and not simply criticize one’s training or physical skillsets.  After experiencing this process a few times, students are more intrigued and excited to make dances that come from a place of questioning as opposed to demonstrating competence to one another. “

The Critical Response Process (CRP) by Liz Lerman is available via The Dance Exchange or Amazon.

Roles and Process
In short, the CRP includes three roles (artist, audience, facilitator) and four stages.

The process includes:

1. Statements of Meaning; 2. Artist as Questioner; 3. Neutral Questions; and 4. Opinion Time.

For the purpose of educator effectiveness, the teacher and administrator could focus on the four stages and attempt to hold each other accountable for facilitating the conversation in the order the stages work best.

The intent of the questions within the four stages reframes the participants into roles of inquiry rather than mastery with declarations of what should or should not change. The hierarchy of audience (responder/administrator) determining the value of what is made shifts to bring awareness and discussion of to the intentions of the work (teaching) and whether the process produced an effective outcome.

An Overview of CRP within Teacher Observation and Evaluation
Within the process of teacher observation, a follow-up meeting would begin with the administrator stating what they witnessed to be valuable and could be followed by the teacher’s explanation of what was happening in relation to content, management, and standards. This stage of the CRP alone highlights what the administrator sees, perhaps revealing how the teacher could further explain their discipline and provide more information thus moving toward a deeper shared understanding.

Next, teachers could inquire about evidence of specific goals they were aiming for within their lesson or practice. Having the opportunity to drive the conversation places the teacher within a more active role within this process. In my experience, this illuminates the rigor of the preparation and depth of planning within their teaching while also creating a more dynamic relationship with the administrator.

For me, this created a more professional and harmonious balance to the experience deepening the sense that the evaluation process really is for me and not being done to me.

Neutral questions posed by the administrator continue the conversation, again highlighting the values of the administrator in a way that they are at-play-with and in consideration of the values of the teacher.

Lastly, opinions are welcomed if permitted by the artist (maker/educator). Agency continues to be one of the keys which unlocks the potential for quality feedback. If we aren’t open to hearing it, we aren’t able to apply it, making the delivery and content of quality feedback important.

In our Demonstrating Educator Effectiveness pilot meeting on May 24th, we’ll be moving through this process as a means for reconstructing Administrator-Educator Dialogue and as a tool for the arts classroom.

Interested in MAEIA Assessment Items related to Response processes?

D.T413 Critical Response Process

Critical Response Process

M.T207 Music Listening Response

Music Listening Response

M.E416 Theme Response- On Musicals

Theme Response—On Musicals

Visual Arts
M.E438 What’s the Big Idea

What’s the Big Idea?

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Cynthia Clingman: “Drop Everything”

Cynthia Clingman    Leave a Comment   

The MAEIA Leadership Fellows present general and specialized professional learning presentations to educators, administrators, and community organizations who interact with K-12 schools. Below, Cynthia Clingman outlines what is was like developing her...

The MAEIA Leadership Fellows present general and specialized professional learning presentations to educators, administrators, and community organizations who interact with K-12 schools.

Below, Cynthia Clingman outlines what is was like developing her first virtual presentation as a MAEIA Leadership Fellow with colleague, Liz Andrews.

How are you dropping everything, taking risks, and promoting the arts? Share with us in the comments.

As I remember from years ago, I read Beverly Cleary books to my 3 daughters and son.

Beverly Cleary wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8. We even have a copy of this book signed by Beverly in 1976. Since then, “Drop Everything and Read” programs have been held nationwide on April 12th in honor of Mrs. Cleary’s birthday.

As we approached the Drop Everything and Read day, I couldn’t help but apply the “Drop Everything” philosophy to our first MAEIA webinar!

The proposition for each of us planning a webinar as MAEIA fellows, is really to “drop everything” and think about how to support the Arts through professional development. Our first challenge was to plan and deliver an overview webinar for interested Arts Educators.

My presentation partner, Liz Andrews, and I discovered this was no easy task! We did have to drop any previous notions that we had about webinars, and really start from scratch.

Here are all the challenges we faced as well as successes we experienced;

Finding a host site

I met with the Professional Development Consultant, Mary Nell Baldwin, at Kent Intermediate. She helped me set a date, reserve a room, and assisted in creating the flyer. She also posted them on the ISD online registration catalog.
How to publicize?

She and I also met with the Assistant Superintendent to request time on the agenda of the upcoming area-wide monthly administrator meeting.I met with 40 administrators on March 2 to provide a MAEIA “pep talk,” encouraging them to share the webinar invitation with teachers.
Tackling technology

I then scheduled a meeting with the technologist, Mark Raffler, to ask for suggestions for setting up the webinar. He suggested using Adobe Connect or Google Hangout. We decided to go with Hangout and scheduled a practice date with Liz. A practice session is critical! What support will the technologist give? Did we have the correct dial-in link? Are we visible, can we be heard? Will we know who has dialed in? Who will advance the slides? It took awhile to sort all of this out.

Develop the Collaborative Responsibilities

In the meantime, Liz and I worked on the presentation PPT slides, created notes for each slide and assigned speaking roles. We printed the slides with notes. We were ready to “drop everything” and go live on March 22nd!

Managing Setbacks 

Of course, there were a few setbacks – the link that we sent to registrants the morning of the webinar, was no longer active in the afternoon! So we put a second technologist to work to help contact the registrants with a new link. Those that dialed in late, though, were unable to connect and had to watch the recording of the webinar the next day. (We sent out the webinar recording, the PPT presentation and evaluation survey the next day).

Do your homework and promotion work!

Secure a location that will give you some technical support, and help with registration. This was so helpful to us.

“Drop everything,” keep a smile on your face, and hope for the best!

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Liz Andrews: “Jump in- take a chance- try something new.”

Elizabeth Andrews    Leave a Comment   

The MAEIA Leadership Fellows work individually and collaboratively to create and present professional learning on the use of MAEIA resources in face-to-face and webinar formats. For some presenters, virtual sessions are new formats which lead...

The MAEIA Leadership Fellows work individually and collaboratively to create and present professional learning on the use of MAEIA resources in face-to-face and webinar formats. For some presenters, virtual sessions are new formats which lead to new understandings of how to create dynamic engagement.

We have invited the Leadership Fellows to write about their experiences as they engage the creative process in developing this work. Liz Andrews and Cynthia Clingman recently collaborated to present a virtual session. Here, Liz shares her thoughts on the process and the product of making her first MAEIA Leadership Fellows virtual presentation.

“Jump in – take a chance – try something new.”

These are encouraging words we give to our students and last month we got a chance to model this behavior. In creating and presenting our first webinar, my colleague Cindy Clingman and I did just that: jumped in, took a chance and tried something quite new. The result? Great experience for us and groundwork laid for future presentations.

Thanks to Cindy’s outstanding preparations, the technical aspects of the presentation including set-up and delivery were spot-on and easy for us to facilitate.

What I learned from the general lack of participant interaction is that we as presenters can improve our methods of instruction to adjust to the technical, online format. Basically, webinar participants can hit the mute button, walk away from the screen and tune out all together without the presenters ever knowing they left the room. Is this a high-quality arts professional development presentation? Without any engagement is any learning happening?

We need to adjust our planning leading to a webinar that brings the MAEIA project to life.

The challenge is how to make webinars: Engaging, RelevantInteractive in ways that lead the participant to pursue the MAEIA resources further and want more .

After doing a bit of google research, here are some tips I’ve gleaned to pursue a more collaborative, inspiring webinar:

1. Make it personal.

Make some time at the very beginning of the webinar to find out some interesting facts about each attendee.
Begin with some type of question that requires an investigative answer. This can be anything from how much they currently know and/or use the MAEIA resources to other types of arts assessments they are familiar with.

2. Involve them with the content.

This can be like a guessing game – instead of presenting information on a slide and then moving on, show a photograph of a student in action and ask them to guess or make a prediction about the outcome relevant to the content.

3. Check in.

At several points within the webinar, stop and ask for specific feedback to check for comprehension. Present a thoughtful question that requires more than a “yes” or “no” answer.

I am looking forward to putting these ideas into action, making my next MAEIA webinar an engaging, inspiring presentation that arts educators will want to share!

Do you remember what it is like to try new things? Tell us about it!

Interested in becoming a MAEIA Leadership Fellow? We’ll soon be inviting applications to the program. Think it over! We are particularly interested in Administrators, Teaching Artists, Community Artists, and K-12 Educators.  

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Introducing the MAEIA Leadership Fellows

Heather Vaughan-Southard    Leave a Comment   

The MAEIA project, with generous support from the Michigan Council on Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Michigan Department of Education, assists school districts, buildings, educators,...

The MAEIA project, with generous support from the Michigan Council on Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Michigan Department of Education, assists school districts, buildings, educators, and the public in implementing a high quality arts education program in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts for all K-12 students.

We would like to introduce the MAEIA Leadership Fellows, a cadre of arts educators prepared with general and specialized professional development presentations and personalized coaching strategies to elevate the arts education programs offered in Michigan schools and beyond using the MAEIA resources.

The MAEIA Leadership Fellows work collaboratively and individually to offer presentations in virtual, face-to-face, general and specialized formats.

We proudly present the following educators with a sampling of their presentation and consulting topics:

Elizabeth Andrews: MAEIA Overview for Dance and Theatre, Moving to Learn: Kinesthetic Intelligence in the Classroom, Engaging with Community Organizations and Teaching Artists, Artful Thinking in All Classrooms, Philanthropy In and Through the Arts

Rebecca Arndt:  MAEIA Overview for Music, Using PBIS in a Music Setting, Music Curriculum

Hedy Blatt: Public Relations for Arts Educators, Organizational and Classroom Management Strategies for Arts Educators, Arts Events Planning, Arts Advocacy Strategies

Tammi Browning: MAEIA Overview for Visual Arts, Demonstrating Educator Effectiveness with MAEIA Resources, How MAEIA Tools can be used by Community Partners and Teaching Artists

Cynthia Clingman: MAEIA Overview, Literacy, Demonstrating Educator Effectiveness

Cathy DePentu: MAEIA Overview for Music, Educator Effectiveness using MAEIA Resources

Cecilia Gollan: MAEIA Overview for Visual Arts, Using SLOs, MAEIA Resrouces, Student Portfolio and Electronic Data Systems to Demonstrate Educator Effectiveness

Debra Henning: MAEIA Overview for Interdisciplinary Studies, STEAM, Collaborating with Community Partners

Carrie Jeruzal: Demonstrating Educator Effectiveness with SLO writing and Bundled Assessments, Feminist Art-Based Visual Arts Curriculum, East Asian Art-Based Visual Arts Curriculum, Empty Bowls Community Outreach Programming, Fiber Arts Education for Middle School Students

James Mobley: Demonstrating Growth of Students and Educators in Music, Getting the Most Jazz Out of your Rock Drummer, Maximizing Technology in your Music Classroom Using One Device

Holly Olszewski: MAEIA Overview for Music, Music Curriculum

Beth Post: MAEIA Overview in Dance, K-12 Dance Education, K-12 Arts Integration, Collaborating with Community Partners and Teaching Artists

Cindy Swan-Eagan: Music Education, MAEIA Resources

Margaret Theile: MAEIA Program Review Tool and Resources, Music Development and Cognition, Rhythm Instruction for Assisting Elementary At-Risk Readers, Demonstrating Educator Effectiveness using the MAEIA Resources, Public Policy and Music Education

Soon, you’ll be able to read more about each of the Fellows as well as their direct contact information on a dedicated Fellows page on the MAEIA website. For now, please contact us to schedule professional development presentations and more at the Contact Us link at the top of the page.

Thanks, again, to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs for providing the support needed to develop the MAEIA Leadership Fellows program.


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For Your Listening Pleasure: Arts/Education Podcasts

Heather Vaughan-Southard    Leave a Comment   

Podcasts are taking the world by storm and since spring break is here or near, try out the following podcasts to keep your creative embers burning.

Podcasts are taking the world by storm and since spring break is here or near, try out the following podcasts to keep your creative embers burning.

Artfully Speaking: Lectures and Workshops on the Arts and Education by ARTSEDGE: The Kennedy Center’s Arts Education Network on itunes.

ArtEd Radio by the Art of Ed

Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

The Edupreneur Podcast

Hyperallergic’s list of Art and Culture podcast episodes

Movers and Shapers by the Moving Architects

Playbill’s list of Theatre podcasts to be listening to

Tim Topham’s list of Music education podcasts creating modern musicians

What are YOU listening to? Share your favorite podcasts in the comments.

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Professional Learning Resources and Blogs

Have a favorite blog that we have missed? Contact us to share the title!