Bulb Archived: Fort Dearborn Collaboration Laboratory 2017-2018: German & Brooks

2017-2018 Collaboration Laboratory

Yvonne German and Shenequa Brooks

1) Describe the context of your school, neighborhood, or classroom. 

The school is located on the south side of Chicago, in a predominantly African American community.  Students at the school receive 99% free lunch.  

2) Big Idea: 

Transcending a growing mindset.

3) Inquiry: 

How can students transcend their thinking?

4) Academic Content(s): 

English Language Arts

5) Artistic Discipline(s): 

Textiles/Designs

6) Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation) 

RL.8.1 – Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

RL.8.2 – Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text. 

RL.8.3 – Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.

7) Please describe what you did and what you made for this project

I decided to have my students read the novel Monster.  I have a small diverse classroom of students with social and emotional issues.  Twenty-five percent of the classroom are Diverse Learners.  We read the novel as readers theater.  Students took on roles, we had classroom discussions, quick writes, assessments, character analysis and Bell work daily.  The idea was to get the students to identify with themselves on a deeper level.  Ms. Brooks had students make Self-Portrait Silhouettes, Deconstruct and Reconstruct projects, Inspiration Boards, Emojis Quotes, and Textiles.  We purchased scrapbooks for them to place them in.  I wanted to extend the project and have them create self portraits and even paint a portrait of themselves. 

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Novel Monster by Walter Dean Myers. 
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8.) What did you learn about yourself, your partner(s), and the students? How might what you learned impact your teaching practice? I learned that my partner is very talented and always brought creative ideas and ways to engage students by integrating art which focused around our big idea of transcending a growing mindset.   I learned that a lot of my students have short attention spans, but actually enjoy working with their hands.  Now when I’m teaching literacy within my classroom, I’m always going to try to find some way to intertwine art within the task. 

9.) How did the collaboration challenge your understanding of teaching, learning, and art-making?  I didn’t know that their were so many ways of expressing one selves utilizing art.  I love art and their are so many different forms of it.  Opening up my mind to the different forms of expression was new for me.  It’s very therapeutic for my students to work on the fun art projects.  

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Transcending A Growing Mindset Part 1

Inspiration Board

A visual board that will be filled with images and/or texts of where each student aspire and inspire to be in five years. The students were given magazines, construction paper, scrapbook paper, yarn, etc… to sort through and collage together a board that best represented their aspirations and goals in life that they wanted to accomplish five years from now.  This project was the first project the students worked on because it was a great ice-breaker and a way to ease them into thinking about their future or the next phase, high school.  Ms.German and I worked on this project with them for two class periods.

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Shenequa Brooks (artist) on the first day of class, introductions.   Photo Credit: Mark Diaz
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Inspiration Board — A visual board that will be filled with images and/or texts of where each student aspire and inspire to be in five  years.   Photo Credit: Mark Diaz 
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Students working on Inspiration Boards.   Photo Credit: Mark Diaz.
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Shenequa Brooks (artist) assisting students with ideas to put together for their Inspiration Boards.   Photo Credit: Mark Diaz. 
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Students working together to get their Inspiration Boards complete.   Photo Credit: Mark Diaz.
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A student idea for her Inspiration Board.   Photo Credit: Mark Diaz. 

Students Presenting Inspiration Boards

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Lakayal Miller presenting her Inspiration Board. She wanted to be a Beautician and someday own a hair salon. 
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Xavier Morgan presenting his Inspiration Board.  He wanted to go into real estate. 
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Timarrie Mason presenting her Inspiration Board.  She wanted to take care of the dead.
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Devon Smith presenting his Inspiration Board.  He wants to be a basketball player and go to UCLA.
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Kelis Bailey presenting her Inspiration Board. She doesn’t know as yet what she wants to do, but she knows she wants to be accomplished and well off in life.  

Deconstruct/Reconstruct Project

The students had to bring in an object of their liking and it had to mean something to them… whether it’s something they aspire to do as a career or of sentimental value, but it had to have a connection to them. If it’s 3D they will have to deconstruct the object into 2D and if it’s 2D they will have to reconstruct the object into something 3D.

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Shenequa Brooks (artist) example of deconstructing her object from 3D to 2D. 

Shenequa’s object is from Ghana, West Africa, and this object gives her hope that she will return back to the motherland soon. It is an object of a mother pregnant balancing her goods on her head. This is a beautiful object that reminds her how womanhood is important to her art practice and her everyday life. 

Transcending A Growing Mindset Part 2

Self-Portrait Silhouette Project

A self-portrait of each student and within the portrait we will have the students write a letter, poem, phrases, and/or free-writing to their future self 5 years from now. For the Self-Portrait Silhouettes Project, we allowed the students to reflect for 15-20 min. Then they were able to take notes and come up with a form of writing that they felt comfortable telling to the class of themselves 3-5 years from now. Then they spent 30 min writing whether it was in a format of a poem, free writing, a narrative, etc…. They presented their portrait to on another for 30 minutes.  

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Dear, future Daja (me) By now you should be in college studying medical training so you can be a pediatrician. I hope you will enjoy working with babies. Just be yourself and have a good time being you. Love Daja (younger you). 
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Dear Tre, I hope you make it see 18 and make it to the rap career or to the football career you always wanted if not then I’m writing this for nothing, but if you do look back to your past and say look how far I have come give yourself a thumbs up and keep looking out for your family. 
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Ms. German embraced with love from her students not wanting her to leave the school. 

Emoji Quote 

The students were given a list of inspirational and motivational quotes. They chose at least two quotes to translate in strictly emojis. The reason Ms. German & Shenequa Brooks had the students do so is because their generation is tech-savvy and they rarely communicate text so emjoi’s is the next best thing. So it was another way for them to communicate their thoughts to someone else in a positive way. 

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Shenequa Brooks (Artist) example of Emoji Quote. 

Custom Textile

Shenequa explained a quick lesson to the students about what patterns and color mean in various cultures such as Africa, South America, & India just to name a few. Each student will then have the opportunity to design their own textile which will be filled with colors and patterns that have a message or meaning to them to reflect on at any time of their choosing. 

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Shenequa Brooks (artist) custom textile using construction paper and scrapbook paper.  

This textile is a floral pattern overlapped on a brown (neutral) background. Shenequa loves flowers and earth tone colors. The flowers represent the love she has for her family and close friends. 

Last Day at FortDeaborn Elementary School

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Shenequa Brooks (artist) & Ms. German (teacher) at Fort Deaborn Elementary School. 
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Shenequa Brooks (artist) & Ms. German’s 8th grade class at Fort Deaborn  Elementary School.