Bulb Archived: Orozco ATLAS 2015-2018: Jarecki (Year 2, 2016-2017)

School Name:  Orozco AcademyTeacher Name: Nikki Jarecki

Section I: Arts Integration – Documentation.

Please upload documentation from your project. Please include a variety of media forms for your documentation.

1. Documentation should not only provide a narrative, or story, of your project, but should also provide evidence of students’ engagement in the unit inquiry.

2. Through your documentation, please provide student artifacts that depict the range of work completed. For example, what were the various ways in which students responded to various aspects of the project?

Summary:

Through our partnership with Changing Worlds we will develop and implement an arts integrated curriculum titled, “Community of Peace” which will expand the depth and instructional time in arts education for our 7th and 8th graders in a cross-curricular approach which includes social science and literary arts. This program will introduce new ways of thinking and creating that are not currently offered at our school including, spoken word poetry, performance, art/local history, and civic engagement. Our partnership will provide professional development for the current arts team and serve as a pilot for ongoing, annual units on expanding the theme of peace so that every child in the school will contribute to a series of text and image installations in and around the school and around Pilsen to be replicated in the coming years.

This ambitious program will deepen instruction in visual and language arts by taking it to a conceptual level that we have never before had the confidence to explore with our elementary and middle school students. As they get to know local, teaching artists, they will examine their lives through investigative and reflective writings and be motivated to connect with people in our immediate community to learn more about themselves and our neighbors. They will learn to express themselves in positive and constructive ways and to discuss the work of their peers through the peer critique process with both their written and visual work. Together, these lessons will shine light on relevant, urgent, social issues which will support the social/emotional vocabulary of our young people and deepen the way we approach teaching and the way they perceive artmaking. Additionally, it will provide more instructional time in the arts as the students work with their language arts teachers on spoken word compositions and performances. We do not offer either spoken word poetry units or performance classes at our school so, these two elements will serve to fill that need.

This arts and civic engagement unit will be field tested in eight middle school classrooms. The Changing Worlds artists will mentor our fine arts team and help us to create/expand connections to the concept of community. As a result of this unit, sixth and seventh graders will engage in a deep investigation of the individuals and organizations that are working towards peace and nonviolence efforts in their community. Under the direction of the Changing Worlds artists, students will produce text and visual artworks that will culminate in collaborative mural projects which will be exhibited around Orozco and in the Pilsen community.

We are committed to activating the entire of the school in the theme of “Community of Peace”. Creative Schools funds will cover our middle school and our K-5 students will have access to the Ten Thousand Ripples Buddha head as a point of departure for their artwork. Our school will borrow one of Indira Johnson’s sculptures.

We asked Changing Worlds to bring us into planning sessions with Diana Solis, a visual artist with a strong commitment to issue of justice and fairness that span the Dreamers, the youth, and the families of Pilsen. Changing Worlds also brought on Quraysh Ali Lansana, the former Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center at Chicago State University and accomplished poet and published writer who also coaches the Slam Poetry team “Rebirth” and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Both artists have long histories of exhibiting and presenting their work in Chicago and nationally. They both have over twenty years of experience working on community projects in Chicago Public Schools. Their participation will ensure that the fine arts team is gaining new skills and techniques to engage students in this conceptual work.

The activities for this project will include: Quraysh will have the students create and compile a series of personal reflections and original writings on the people that most influence positive change in their lives and immediate community. Looking at examples of character sketches created by Chicago authors, students will be asked to create their own oral histories of their nominees for Pilsen Peacemakers. The students will use their collected writing to create poems, rap lyrics, spoken word essays, to use excerpts of text in their visual compositions and the final mural. Diana Solis will work in the 6th and 7th grade classrooms to offer the students context for public art as they begin to generate and compose their final imagery. She will guide students as they produce their small, multidisciplinary constructions designed for site specific locations at Orozco and around Pilsen.

Changing Worlds will offer professional development for the fine arts team and for interested administration and teachers. It is our goal to make this a school-wide project that continues as an annual, new year tradition at Orozco. We will encourage teachers to attend at least one professional development workshop to build their confidence and become active participants using this unit in their own classrooms.

3. Describe what students will learn through participation in this program. (100 words) *

Students will: Create visual art and poetry. Develop expressive vocabulary that will be used for site specific exhibitions. Learn to express themselves in positive and constructive ways. Discuss the work of their peers through the peer critique process. Look at the history of art makers and poets who created works in response to political or community issues, and examine the impact their efforts had for community/public. Get to know local, professional teaching artists who are also community activists. Learn to be reflective and set goals for positive change within the culture of our school and the community.

4. Describe how learning in the arts will be assessed (pre- & post-assessment, critique, exhibition or performance, etc.). (100 words) *

Conducted by Changing Worlds’ Manager of Program Evaluation and Documentation, we will be provided with a multi-faceted, quantitative, and qualitative assessment process. The evaluation process includes pre- and post-assessments, focus groups, interviews with teachers and administrators, surveys, and writing prompts. Finally, students will learn to assess themselves and each other through peer critiques, which help students to develop a critical eye and deliver positive feedback to each other. Overall, these methods help Changing Worlds and our school team to better understand student learning in an holistic way and be able to share results/observations with the school as part of the project’s completion.

—By encouraging “Community Of Peace” at our school, we think that we can begin to change the tide of student apathy about the violence that occurs in their neighborhood and encourage more positive activism on their part. Changing Worlds’ unique programming approach integrates cultural, family and community histories with writing and the arts to help participants explore their own backgrounds, promote peace and learn about others while strengthening their academic and arts learning skills. The Arts, Cultural, and Literacy Connections (ACL) in-school program engages students in grades K-12 in visual arts, dance, and drama residencies which incorporate explorations of self and group identity, cultivate students’ social and emotional skills, and develop students’ engagement in writing through a series of planned interactive experiences with the Lit. Specialists and the selected artists. In 2013, Changing Worlds co-sponsored and managed the project “Ten Thousand Ripples” in collaboration with Indira Johnson and the Loyola University Museum of Art, placed 100 Buddha heads in all sectors of Chicago in collaboration with over 50 community, education and arts organizations. Inspired by this symbolic and proactive reach to all people, many organizations used their installation of the sculpture as a way to initiate a dialogue of peace and nonviolence through workshops, community meetings and events. The Orozco teachers feel that this immersive experience would be extremely beneficial and wants to explore this proactive approach to their own school culture.

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Section I: Arts Integration – Inquiry

3. What is your Inquiry Question for your ATLAS curriculum unit? What big ideas does this inquiry question address, and why do you think the question successfully addresses these?

How can we foster a Community of Peace at Orozco? 

This arts and civic engagement unit will be field tested in eight middle school classrooms. The Changing Worlds artists will mentor our fine arts team and help us to create/expand connections to the concept of community. As a result of this unit, sixth and seventh graders will engage in a deep investigation of the individuals and organizations that are working towards peace and nonviolence efforts in their community. Under the direction of the Changing Worlds artists, students will produce text and visual artworks that will culminate in collaborative mural projects which will be exhibited around Orozco and in the Pilsen community.

We are committed to activating the entire of the school in the theme of “Community of Peace”. Creative Schools funds will cover our middle school and our K-5 students will have access to the Ten Thousand Ripples Buddha head as a point of departure for their artwork. Our school will borrow one of Indira Johnson’s sculptures.

We asked Changing Worlds to bring us into planning sessions with Diana Solis, a visual artist with a strong commitment to issue of justice and fairness that span the Dreamers, the youth, and the families of Pilsen. Changing Worlds also brought on Quraysh Ali Lansana, the former Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center at Chicago State University and accomplished poet and published writer who also coaches the Slam Poetry team “Rebirth” and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Both artists have long histories of exhibiting and presenting their work in Chicago and nationally. They both have over twenty years of experience working on community projects in Chicago Public Schools. Their participation will ensure that the fine arts team is gaining new skills and techniques to engage students in this conceptual work.

The activities for this project will include: Quraysh will have the students create and compile a series of personal reflections and original writings on the people that most influence positive change in their lives and immediate community. Looking at examples of character sketches created by Chicago authors, students will be asked to create their own oral histories of their nominees for Pilsen Peacemakers. The students will use their collected writing to create poems, rap lyrics, spoken word essays, to use excerpts of text in their visual compositions and the final mural. Diana Solis will work in the 6th and 7th-grade classrooms to offer the students context for public art as they begin to generate and compose their final imagery. She will guide students as they produce their small, multidisciplinary constructions designed for site-specific locations at Orozco and around Pilsen.

Changing Worlds will offer professional development for the fine arts team and for interested administration and teachers. It is our goal to make this a school-wide project that continues as an annual, new year tradition at Orozco. We will encourage teachers to attend at least one professional development workshop to build their confidence and become active participants using this unit in their own classrooms.

4. How did student research help them to engage more deeply with the unit inquiry question? Explain how your students conducted research for their ATLAS project, and how that research opened up avenues for further inquiry.

Students researched their neighborhood and how art can be applied as a tool for social justice by giving everyone a voice.  

5. Describe how the unit inquiry opens up avenues for interdisciplinary connections between the arts and academic content. How did arts processes and/or research practices facilitate students’ understanding of the academic topics addressed in the inquiry question?

By creating visual art and poetry the students develop an expressive vocabulary that will be used for site-specific exhibitions. Learn to express themselves in positive and constructive ways. Discuss the work of their peers through the peer critique process. Look at the history of art makers and poets who created works in response to political or community issues, and examine the impact their efforts had, for community/public. Get to know local, professional teaching artists who are also community activists. Learn to be reflective and set goals for positive change within the culture of our school and the community.

Section I: Arts Integration – Create Works

7. How did students self-direct while creating their artwork during the ATLAS project? Please provide any examples of the ways in which students made their own aesthetic choices and direction for creating their artwork. Examples might include but are not limited to: how did students make choices about the use of materials, how did they decide what they wanted to communicate, how did they make decisions about how to present work?

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Mural 
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Backward Paintings 
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Stencils 

Students will: Create visual art and poetry. Develop expressive vocabulary that will be used for site-specific exhibitions. Learn to express themselves in positive and constructive ways. Discuss the work of their peers through the peer critique process. Look at the history of art makers and poets who created works in response to political or community issues, and examine the impact their efforts had on community/public. Get to know local, professional teaching artists who are also community activists. Learn to be reflective and set goals for positive change within the culture of our school and the community.

By encouraging “Community Of Peace” at our school, we think that we can begin to change the tide of student apathy about the violence that occurs in their neighborhood and encourage more positive activism on their part. Changing Worlds’ unique programming approach integrates cultural, family and community histories with writing and the arts to help participants explore their own backgrounds, promote peace and learn about others while strengthening their academic and arts learning skills. The Arts, Cultural, and Literacy Connections (ACL) in-school program engages students in grades K-12 in visual arts, dance, and drama residencies which incorporate explorations of self and group identity, cultivate students’ social and emotional skills, and develop students’ engagement in writing through a series of planned interactive experiences with the Lit. Specialists and the selected artists. In 2013, Changing Worlds co-sponsored and managed the project “Ten Thousand Ripples” in collaboration with Indira Johnson and the Loyola University Museum of Art, placed 100 Buddha heads in all sectors of Chicago in collaboration with over 50 community, education and arts organizations. Inspired by this symbolic and proactive reach to all people, many organizations used their installation of the sculpture as a way to initiate a dialogue of peace and nonviolence through workshops, community meetings, and events. The Orozco teachers feel that this immersive experience would be extremely beneficial and wants to explore this proactive approach to their own school culture.

8. Please explain what opportunities the students had to reflect on their experiences and react to the work of their peers.

Conducted by Changing Worlds’ Manager of Program Evaluation and Documentation, we will be provided with a multi-faceted, quantitative, and qualitative assessment process. The evaluation process includes pre- and post-assessments, focus groups, interviews with teachers and administrators, surveys, and writing prompts. Finally, students will learn to assess themselves and each other through peer critiques, which help students to develop a critical eye and deliver positive feedback to each other. Overall, these methods help Changing Worlds and our school team to better understand student learning in a holistic way and be able to share results/observations with the school as part of the project’s completion.

Students worked on reflective writings in their artists’ statements for backward self-portraits.  

9. How did the students’ artifacts from various stages of the ATLAS Unit impact your teaching practice? Please provide artifacts that exemplify your points. What did you learn about your teaching practice from looking at these artifacts?

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Students using technology to research imagery and assist them as reference imagery in the mural-making process.  

10. Describe how the students’ work was shared in the school or publicly. Why was this an important part of this unit?

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Culminating exhibition to share the projects around this unit.  Paintings and stencils line the walls and the mural is on the opposite wall. 

We had a culminating exhibition with explanations of every project and spoken word poetry performances.  The mural is on display on the opposite wall.  

Section I: Arts Integration – Collaboration

11. How did students collaborate at different stages of the project? Examples might include but are not limited to: did the students research together, did they create together, did they critique together, did they present together?

They collaborated by constantly providing feedback for each other during the process of achieving a likeness in their stencils.  Also, the writing process was a continuous flow of learning how to be active and engaged performers while crafting effective prose/poetry.  

12. In what ways did you collaborate with the students for this unit. How did the students impact the way in which the curriculum was implemented? For example, how did students help you plan, develop, and/or implement the curriculum?

We watched the documentary, Art As A Weapon as an anticipatory set to inspire and motivate the process.  

13. How did you collaborate with other teachers in your school to plan and/or implement the unit?

Working with Andre Le Moine (Language Arts Teacher) who taught the students poetry with teaching artist, Quraysh Ali Lansa.  Mrs. Kim (music teacher) implemented the lessons in her class as well.  

Section II: Technology Integration

14. What was your process for selecting this form of digital media technology? Why did you think this form of digital media technology would be ideal for student learning?

Students used iPads so they could research metaphors for our community.  They used iPads to take self-portraits used in stencils and backward paintings.  They also used iPads for image reference while painting the mural as illustrated in attached photo.  The use of iPads is extremely versatile and helpful in the art classroom and it can be used in many ways to direct learning, inspire, and support the art making process.  

15. How did students use digital media technology to direct their own learning? Provide artifacts to show evidence of how students used the technology to direct their own learning. Examples might include but are not limited to: making choices about technologies to use, using technology to facilitate experimentation, using technology as a research tool, to express themselves artistically, and/or to make meaning of their experiences.

The students used iPads to direct their own learning during the research of images and while selecting flowers as a metaphor for the variety of cultures that are represented in our Orozco community in the mural.  They also used the iPads for self-portraits that were used in backward paintings and stencils to achieve a likeness.  

16. How did you use technology to enhance the learning environment for both you as a teacher and for the students?

The iPads helped enhance the learning environment by allowing students to create realistic artwork with confidence.  For me, as a teacher, they allowed us to quickly express the concepts and achieve excellent results with limited time.  It reduced the stress and workload and made the project more environmentally friendly.  

17. In what ways do your chosen technology resources align with your goals and outcomes for student learning? Looking back at the unit, how did the technology meet, not meet or exceed your expectations for facilitating student outcomes.

This complicated project worked out incredibly well because of the technology.  Students were deeply engaged in the process, excited to work with technology as it is more familiar than traditional media.  It assisted the design process exceptionally well and students were able to feel confident of their work when we shifted to painting.  

18. How did the use of technology contribute to students’ application of higher order thinking skills? Examples of student higher order thinking skills include metacognition, self-reflection, analysis, and application of knowledge or skills.

The technology wasn’t a part of this process.  The students conducted critiques verbally in small groups, and on self-reflection worksheets.  

19. How did the use of technology drive student creative artistic expression? Please provide student artifacts that exemplify how technology supported their artistic expression.

It allowed them to make a self-portrait and express themselves however they wanted through taking a selfie making an expression.  Students took this in all kinds of creative directions! 

20. How did the integration of digital media technology impact your teaching practice?

It made it easier, clearer, and more fun.