Bulb Archived: George Washington SCALE 2016-2017: Rossi & Zwierzynski

Due January 27th:

Teacher: Mary Rossi

Artist: Mirtes Zwiercynski

School: George Washington High School

Big Idea: Creating an intentionally welcoming public space

Inquiry Question: How can we initiate INCLUSION/WELCOME in this public space?

Fall/Winter

Art Content: Mosaic designs created for school’s main entrance columns, learning how to work with mosaic tools, mosaic tiles and cut mirror

Non-Art Content: Collaboration, Communication

Describe how the project unfolded. (What were the class learning goals, what were your teaching or artistic explorations, what were your students’ explorations, student reactions, any changes in plans, what worked well and what didn’t work well, unexpected outcomes, how your future project planning was impacted, etc.)

The project unfolded as a result of the understanding of the importance of human capital as a fundamental strength for the school and ultimately for the students.  This could be achieved by creating a welcoming environment and where more directly than the site specific main entrance of George Washington High School.  Mirtes Zwiercynski’s highly respected reputation as an award winning mosaic artist served as the ideal source for creating a most certain, highly beautiful and inclusive artwork on the columns at the school’s main entrance.

Students have been fluid and loyal to the Cape program having worked with me throughout the years, and have had the opportunity to be involved with a variety of artists and art making experiences yet all have always been grounded in the idea of building community through the arts.  Students were supportive and enthusiastic to gain knowledge in yet another medium again with the goal of building community through the artwork. 

Do you think that students made progress toward the learning goals that were set for this semester? Please estimate the percentage of students who made progress toward the learning goals. Please explain the basis of your assessment.

All students (30 ) absolutely made progress toward the learning goals set for the semester, through the process of creating they have learned both technical skills and more importantly collaboration, communication and listening skills as well as reinforcement of the importance of their specific role within the entire process.

Please upload photos and/or videos of student work or classroom artifacts that demonstrate student learning and/or provide evidence that learning goals were or were not achieved. Describe how the artifacts, images or videos illustrate students achieving, partially achieving, or not achieving the learning goals.

See Documentation Below

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Mirtes showing students other mosaic pieces 
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Luis teaching Brandon how to cut mirror
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Monse, Jocelyn and Viviana being inspired by Mirtes
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Leslie and Neve laying out and cutting mosaic venetian glass tiles

How did your teacher/artist collaboration work this semester?Describe how you and your partner planned together. How did you compromise when there were conflicts or differences of approaches or ideas? Can you cite a specific example?

Our collaboration was so fluid that I was not even aware of conflicts…this has been a most supportive and collaborative working relationship….largely in part due to the fact that I believe we share common goals both for students and for the vision of the art.

Mirtes and I planned each Monday as well as before we began our project, at Cape PD’s (when given time) and over winter break we met and worked on the mosaic design for several hours. As for compromise with regard to conflicts and differences, we have been incredibly fortunate that there is mutual respect and flexibility and shared goals as for students’ roles and outcomes… any conflicts have not been internal, but rather attributed to the fact that I must share this classroom space so our hope to include parents on the work of the mosaic has now been limited to times I do not have to share the instructor space which is 2 periods (110 minutes a day).

Describe how you teach together in the classroom. Who does what? How do you understand each other’s roles? Can you cite a specific example?

As for teaching, concepts have been collaboratively taught to students, while technique has been more often guided/taught by Mirtes as she definitively has expertise in this area.  I support her in this and defer to her, so there is transparency and clarity for students. Communication is so frequent and so collaborative between us that our roles are and have been established from the start.  

An example can be my role as organizer, attendance taker, communicator with students and Mirtes role as assigning specific areas of the mosaic to specific students so they know that is their section…this is often based on their level of ability….and when they have trouble Mirtes alerts me so that we both know and can help guide the student to success…..I am always aware of what and where the students are working with regard to the mosaic although I take care of housekeeping at the start of our club….attendance, snacks, business, etc….

Due May 31st:

Winter/Spring

Art Content: Continuing and completion of mosaic designs created for school’s main entrance columns, learning how to work with mosaic tools, mosaic tiles and cut mirror

Non-Art Content: Collaboration, communication, problem solving, aesthetic analysis of composition

Describe how the project unfolded.(What were the class learning goals, what were your teaching or artistic explorations, what were your students’ explorations, student reactions, any changes in plans, what worked well and what didn’t work well, unexpected outcomes, how your future project planning was impacted, etc.)

Learning goals were to continue to engage and to persist in the completion of our school community mosaic project which will be installed on September 20, 2017.  Students were challenged by the intense mosaic work and improved in technical skill with cutting venetian glass and mirror, as well as learned immense knowledge from master mosaic artitst, Mirtes, who often would change up a finished area with the surprising and innovative decision (always with student or my consultation) to introduce another color tile.  This often proved highly successful, surprisingly so as we thought the area was finished, but Mirtes continued to explore color options or tile patterns to keep art fluid, interesting  and engaging to the viewer.

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Isabella and Vanessa finishing a leaf and a butterfly

Do you think that students made progress toward the learning goals that were set for this semester? Please estimate the percentage of students who made progress toward the learning goals. Please explain the basis of your assessment.

Students most definitely made progress toward the learning goals that were set for this semester.  Many students actually the majority, 80% or more, developed from possessing no skills or knowledge about mosaic work to initial mastery of mosaics.  Many students have signed up to continue to develop skills with mosaic and work throughout the summer with Mirtes and then have committed to returning to our club for the next year and the next column to mosaic.

The basis of my assessment is the visual improvement documented by the mosaic completion, and the consistent engagement throughout the course of the winter and spring sessions.

Please upload photos and/or videos of student work or classroom artifacts that demonstrate student learning and/or provide evidence that learning goals were or were not achieved. Describe how the artifacts, images or videos illustrate students achieving, partially achieving, or not achieving the learning goals.

I have uploaded photos of students engaged in mosaic work and completion of the mosaic which is now ready for installation in the coming fall 2017.  Overall the images illustrate/document student achievement in learning how to work successfully with mosaics which is challenging but highly worthwhile.Much knowledge was gained from this art experience.

How did your teacher/artist collaboration work this semester? Describe how you and your partner planned together. How did you compromise when there were conflicts or differences of approaches or ideas? Can you cite a specific example?

Throughout the entire school year, Mondays were my day with Mirtes in addition to my teaching duties.Mirtes and I planned each Monday as well as before we began our project, at Cape PD’s (when given time) and over winter break we met and worked on the mosaic design for several hours. As for compromise with regard to conflicts and differences, we have been incredibly fortunate that there is mutual respect and flexibility and shared goals as for students’ roles and outcomes… any conflicts have not been internal, but rather attributed to the fact that I must share this classroom space so our hope to include parents on the work of the mosaic has now been limited to times I do not have to share the instructor space which is 2 periods (110 minutes a day).

Describe how you teach together in the classroom. Who does what? How do you understand each other’s roles? Can you cite a specific example?

Mirtes instructs as to all specific mosaic content, cutting tiles, laying out tiles….I support her and troubleshoot with students who may have difficulty….I work belong side them…I do housekeeping with regards to attendance, communication (Remind messages) and any other business that may come up…Mirtes handles most supplies that are needed whether tracing paper, tape or tile cutter purchases…presently she is working on preparing an installer’s bid for our completed mosaic.

We spend all my available time on Mondays between each class discussing and planning next steps and what students can and will do that day as well as think ahead.