Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Decorating Holiday Ornaments at the Andrew Heiskell Library

On a cold December day, a few people gathered at the Andrew Heiskell Library to decorate holiday ornaments. Using adhesive jewels, glitters, textured paper, ribbons or else, participants created some wonderful designs. See for yourself.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Decorating and Singing at the Lavelle School!

This week, Ms. Marie and Ms. Shawna decorated, sang, and improvised with the students at the Lavelle School.
We discussed teamwork while creating garland, which became our friendship garland! Each link that the students made contributed to a larger concept - and they were all linked together, through the garland and through each other, all the while getting ready for the holiday season!
The students also acted out the words "taking turns" and "participation", learning how teamwork is associated with all of these concepts!
Even through conflict, music can bring everyone together - which is exactly what happened with some students this week. The music Juan, Teresa, Gress, and Mustafa were able to create added a sense of unity and camaraderie - they sure collaborated to make a really great rap!
These students are consistently learning how to communicate with each other through music, and they are also quite a talented group of kids. Let's see what's in store for next week!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Songs in progress at the Lavelle School for the Blind

In the span of a few weeks, Ms. Shawna and Ms. Marie have seen some significant progress with their students. All have shown tremendous enthusiasm and quickly understood that an effective team requires everyone's participation. Through collaborative song writing, the students proved they can work together and value each others’ contributions. We have seen great leadership skills, especially with Juan in group 20, who made sure all of his classmates had a chance to share their opinion.

Portraits - Seeing yourself (and others) in art by Angelica

This past Monday, combined classes from the Van Cleeve program at NYISED visited the Studio Museum in Harlem to learn about various types of portraits including self, imaginary, and environmental. Students were invited to observe and discuss these different types of portraits with Museum and AEB staff. They were able to practice using their objective and subjective observation skills and reflected back in conversation, with us and their peers, the nature of "the message" of each piece in order to comprehend what an artist might be trying to "say" with their piece.

This trip supports the social skill building aspects of our curriculum by creating a concrete experience of "understanding communication." All of us learn, and continue to be reminded that "what we say" can also be interpreted by how we say it (or don't), our body expression, tone and volume. Even a two-dimensional piece of art "speaks," although it says different things to different people. It’s these different opinions and learning to listen to them and appreciate them - even if we don't agree with them - that are the building blocks for the foundation of our current curriculum in team building and cooperation. Our hope is that all of us, students and teachers, continue to understand ourselves and each other with a "new pair of eyes" each time we see each other by looking at everything around us as if we are seeing it for the first time - just like during our museum visit - with curiosity and wonder of who "they are" and what "they are trying to say."

We are looking forward to "seeing" what portraits these students create in class together next week!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kudos to Ms. Rawson's class

Ms.Rawson's class practiced buckling their belts so that their slacks don't fall down! We also had time to practice tying. Tayjah, you learned so fast! You can now buckle your belt , and you are a few weeks away from tying your shoes. Joanthan, great job showing Delano how to tie his shoelace. Ms. Marie is so proud of the many efforts you all put into the activities. It is such a pleasure working with you.