Bulb Archived: Hibbard 2018-2019 : Carlstrom and Malmed (2018-2019 A/R Partners)


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.):

Our project evolved over the course of the school year. Last year we work with Kindergarten, Second and Sixth Grade and it was more of a collaboration. This year it was just my kindergarten classroom. As we started the project the same way we had started previous projects we realized that we had to change it to meet the needs of this specific class of kindergarten kids. We were excited to connect literacy and music to make our song. 

2. Big Idea: Language is sound. Language is image. Language is social. 


3. Inquiry: How can we expand the alphabet? How can we communicate without language? How can we use language outside of communication? What sounds do we have hidden? How does a kindergartener conduct? 


4. Grade Level: Kindergarten

5. Academic Subject(s): Literacy 

6. Artistic Discipline(s): Performance, Sound, Drawing


7. How many years have you worked together as partners?: 3

8. Please describe what you did and what you made for this project: Over the course the semester, we worked to produce 26 books and the first ever release by The Huskies Floorchestra, a body/mouth/room ensemble working at expanding, exploding and experiencing the alphabet. 

The books —  each devoted to one of the letters — were produced collaboratively, with a series of different activities and games (drawing what is heard, one person moving the paper while the other keeps the instrument still, call-and-response face-building, telepathic mirroring, etc.) so that each student spent time with each book, passing them quickly and not getting too precious with authorship. 

The recordings took place in a range of group sizes and took a student-first approach to experimental conduction, improvisation and performance. Among the strategies they created and made use of were: moving alphabet flashcards in different flurries and using the space in front of them to induce changes in timbre, volume, frequency, etc.; leading each other in room and body percussion through sound walks; sound-forward choreography (like running in an O while making O sounds); writing and erasing on whiteboards as sonic exploration. 

Throughout, we discussed the various ways the alphabet functions outside of our most typical considerations. In thinking and acting through an embodied approach to language in which letters and syllables become visual and sonic material (in addition to but not limited to their communicative potential), we hoped to open up how our mouths and bodies interact with the world. 

The project can be heard here: https://huskiesfloorchestra.bandcamp.com

9. How did you share your student’s learning process with your school faculty or community?

Teaching Artist Assessment:

How did you assess student arts learning?: My assessments were all made throughout the class, as we were working I gave feedback and and encouraged an open, exploratory, fearless and compassionate approach to their collaborative efforts.

What were the results of the assessment? What did students learn in your class/project? I believe that the students learned new strategies for collaboration (how to listen, how to communicate, how to remove or reduce ego toward the benefit of the work, how to allow for exploration and failure) alongside a joyous and open approach to art-making.

What did you learn from analyzing the student assessments that informs your Arts teaching practice?

Illinois Arts Learning Standards Addressed:

Teacher Assessment:

How did you assess student academic content 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.)  Weekly I assessed the students knowledge of their letters and letter sounds. As soon as they named all their letters and sounds they moved on to blending their sounds to start reading sight words. 

What were the results of the assessment? What did students learn in your class/project? All 22 students left room 101 knowing almost all their letters and sounds.  They learned from this project that sounds of letters make up most sounds in their world. It was amazing to see them take a sound and turn it into a song. 

Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation Science, SEL, Etc.): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2

Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).


1A — Identify and manage one’s emotions and behavior