Bulb Archived: A/R Partners 2017-2018: DeJohns, Sera, Shultz, Robbins & Torres

1. How did you and your teaching partner decide to do this project? (Please describe the context of your project, this can include influence from previous projects, context of your school, community, etc.): 

After working with the Collab project for the previous two years, Gina Lee Robbins approached Michele Sera and Frank DeJohns about the A/R Partners project.  We decided we would like to continue our partnership with Gina and CAPE. As the school year was beginning, we included a new 4t grade teacher to our plan, Penny Shultz.  We creatively split one classroom in half so that two sections could work with each artist. We were partnered up with performance artist Marcela Torres who brought ideas about movement into our plans for a legacy related project. Our students come primarily from Hispanic families, but represent a wide range of ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. They are also forming their adolescent personalities and relationships, so an anthropological project that dealt with their cultural roots as well as how they project themselves to others was appropriate for realizing their individual identities.


2. Big Idea: 

Legacy: What We Leave Behind

3. Inquiry: 

What will you leave behind? The interactions we have, the decisions we make, the paths we choose, all leave changes in their wake. How will those you meet create memories of you? Each student in our project brings a unique persona to our work. Personalities, character traits, hobbies, and tendencies shape each person and leave an imprint on the people and places we come in contact with.


4. Grade Level: 


5. Academic Subject(s):

Cross-curricular with a focus on Social Science 

6. Artistic Discipline(s): 

Ceramics, Dance/Movement

7. How many years have you worked together as partners?: 

Michele and Frank have been teaching partners in 4th grade for 4 years, Penny joined the fourth grade team this school year. All three have known each other and worked with each other for over 14 years. Gina has worked with Michele and Frank for 3 years now. Marcela joined us this year.

8. Please describe what you did and what you made for this project: 

We developed individual symbols and icons and used these to craft stamps and cylinder seals in terra cotta. The students used the fired stamps to create impressions on circular earthenware tiles which they glazed in colors chosen to represent each of the three class groups. The tiles were assembled into an array or panel “quilt.” The stamps were also used to print onto paper and fabric, symbolizing the fact that our unique attributes interact and intersect to form community.

Our students represented themselves as a tapestry of individuals that form a community,

9. What were you hoping the students would learn during this project?: 

We hoped that the students would learn more about the impact each makes on the community around them. As they interact with others, they imprint something on those they come in contact with. In turn, they receive an imprint from those they meet.  Our impression on others and the resulting impressions of others on us cumulatively form and reform our legacies.  We are remembered by interactions that may or may not be influenced by mood, social standing, economic standing, etc. We asked the students what they would like people who meet them to remember them for.

Leaving our impressions in the clay.

10. What surprised you during this project?: 

We are always surprised by how willing students are to dive into a project. They probably didn’t realize the scope of what we were trying to convey through the works we created, but the students were eager to share their hobbies, likes and dislikes, struggles and accomplishments, etc. These are the ingredients of each person. As they look at this project and the entire exhibition, I think they will be surprised at how much of themselves has been revealed and how beautiful their impressions can make, and have made, the world around them.

11. What worked in this project and why? What didn’t work and why?:

Time is usually the issue for projects like these. We can plan more, but until a teacher, artist, and students come together, you cannot possibly anticipate what will or will not work best. Gina and the teachers have had a long history together so there is a comfort level there.  Marcela was new to our partnership so there were some growing pains when it came to how best to work with large groups of students.  We were able to work through those issues and create connectivity through the various forms of art.

Students choreographed a series of movements and gestures to convey their personality traits and feelings.

12. How did you assess student learning?: (ex. Was it formative or summative? Was it a written, verbal or performative based assessment? Were students provided with teacher or peer feedback? Did you use a rubric or portfolio system? Etc.) 

Feedback and assessment came mostly through verbal and communal feedback.  Our exhibit speaks for itself and leaves behind a historical catalog of what was accomplished.  We saw our display of artwork as a timeline documentation of each step in our process. 

This portion of our exhibit ties the beginnings of our project to the textile portion created with Marcela Torres.

13. How did you share your student’s learning process with others? Who did you share it with?:

Having two sessions back to back was integral to building on our successes, and tweaking areas that were not as successful.  We also alternated the groups so that each class could benefit from this sort of live, class to class evaluation.  The students did most of the teaching as they were directing others to actively participate in their created carvings, sculpture of movements, so their learning styles were on full display as they created, shared, and taught choreographed movements to each other and their adult teaching partners.

Our final video compilation …enjoy!

14. Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation Science, National Core Arts):

National Core Arts Standards: 

CR: Creating: Conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work.

     Anchor Standard #1. Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

     Anchor Standard #2. Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

     Anchor Standard #3. Refine and complete artistic work.

PR: Producing: Media Arts: Realizing and presenting artistic ideas and works.

PR: Presenting: Interpreting and sharing new artistic work.

     Anchor Standard #4. Select, analyze and interpret artistic work for presentation.

     Anchor Standard #5. Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.

     Anchor Standard #6. Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

CN: Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context.

     Anchor Standard #10. Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

     Anchor Standard #11. Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical

     context to deepen understanding.

Common Core State Standards:

Writing Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.7 Research to Build and Present Knowledge: 

     Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different

      aspects of a topic.

Speaking and Listening Anchor Standards:

     •Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of collaborations with diverse partners, 

     building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

     •Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including 


     quantitatively, and orally.

     •Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.