Curriculum Documents

Links to Current/ Draft Curriculum Documents

MUSIC

VISUAL ARTS


Links to Common Assessment/ DDM resources

 

Curriculum Work Accomplished SY 2012-2013

Summary of the work

During the 2012-2013 school year, four committees from the NBPS Fine Arts Department participated in regular meetings designed to revise and create various aspects of a sequential and rigorous arts curriculum for grades 6-12. Almost all of the participants had very little to no experience in writing curriculum but collectively there was a great deal of classroom teaching experience. Subsequently, at the onset of each committee’s initial meetings, time needed to be devoted to professional development about curriculum writing, establishing norms, brainstorming, researching the curriculum of other districts, and creating a shared vision for the curriculum to be written. Almost all work and all professional development was facilitated by the Director of Fine Arts who was in attendance at nearly every meeting.

At times some committees met jointly to drive horizontal and vertical alignment while other times sub-committees completed tasks independently. Additionally, due to the seasonal schedule of arts teachers regarding events and responsibilities, some committees completed more tasks while others met minimal goals. Some important documents that were collectively created during this process include common resources for teachers to use K-12 that outline important concepts and vocabulary. Overall, the core of the revised curriculum focuses on creating and participating in authentic arts experiences that foster creativity, skills in the arts, understanding global and historical arts genres and styles and critical thinking.

Detailed descriptions of the work accomplished by each of the four committees – 1) Middle School Music; 2) Middle School Visual Art; 3) High School Performing Arts; and 4) High School Visual Art – are below.

Middle School Music

Committee Members: Christopher Chambers, Merrillian Melberg, Timothy Mason, Ashley Owen, Matthew Pacheco, and Lynn Souza.

Overview of the work

This committee met more often than other committees and therefore completed work past expected goals. Their first task was to complete the “Music at a Glance” which serves as a scope and sequence/curriculum map complete with unit overviews for grades 6-8 with primary objectives, Massachusetts Arts Frameworks standards, extensions, and common assessments. They determined objectives by using a ‘backward design’ model and mapped important knowledge/skills that they wanted students to acquire and throughout the three years. Thinking with the end in mind, they loosely constructed and later refined an eighth grade common assessment for music composition.

This common assessment was based on the work of previously done in Connecticut but revised to suit New Bedford. A challenge in creating this assessment and the ensuing curriculum was that currently each middle school has very different schedules and therefore students participate in music classes for varying amounts of time. Determining reasonable expectations for students who receive minimal instruction while ensuring that the assessment is rigorous enough for students who receive appropriate amounts of instruction was a difficult task. The group met several times to create, pilot, and modify the assessment over the course of the entire school year using data collected while piloting the assessment. Lastly, they began to create unit plans using the district unit template, and finished one unit for keyboard performance.

Documents

  • Middle School Music at a Glance/ Scope and Sequence
  • 8th Grade Common Assessment
  • Unit Plan: Keyboard Performance
  • Preliminary work on K-12 music vocabulary and key terms

Next Steps

  • Unit Plans for all units with end of unit common assessments
  • Piloting of 8th grade common assessment
  • Scope and Sequence for Choral Ensembles and Instrumental Ensembles 6-8
  • Preliminary work on common assessments for choral and instrumental ensembles 

Middle School Visual Art

Committee Members: Judith Duval, Jarrett Green, Thomas Quirke, Rosannette Rivera, Alexander Simon, and Beth Ann Sousa

Overview of the work

This committee started off meeting regularly but due to various personal and school related commitments had difficulty maintaining regular meeting times. They did however accomplish much in the first half of the school year as full committee that laid the ground work for sub-committee accomplishments later on. Similar to the middle school music committee, their first task was to complete the “Art at a Glance” which serves as a scope and sequence/curriculum map complete with unit overviews for grades 6-8 with primary objectives, Massachusetts Arts Frameworks standards, extensions, and some common projects/assessments. They determined objectives by using a ‘backward design’ model and mapped important knowledge/skills that they wanted students to acquire and throughout the three years. Thinking with the end in mind, they loosely constructed and later refined an eighth grade common assessment for studio art that incorporated both representational (i.e. realistic) drawing and personal symbolism.

This common assessment was based on the work of previously done in Connecticut but revised to suit New Bedford. The same challenge in creating this assessment and the ensuing curriculum was that currently each middle school has very different schedules and therefore students participate in visual classes for varying amounts of time.

Determining reasonable expectations for students who receive minimal instruction while ensuring that the assessment is rigorous enough for students who receive appropriate amounts of instruction was a difficult task. Members of the group piloted the common assessment with mixed results and much debate resulted in the parameters of the assessment. Common resources for the Elements and Principals of Art were first drafted by this group and later refined by the high school visual art committee.

Documents

  • Middle School Visual Art at a Glance/Scope and Sequence
  • Preliminary 8th Grade Common Assessment
  • Common Resources:
  • Elements of Visual Art
  • Principals of Visual Art
  • Color schemes
  • Art Vocabulary

Next steps

  • Unit Plans for all units with end of unit common assessments
  • Refinement and piloting of 8th grade common assessment
  • Drafting of 6th grade common assessment

High School Performing Arts

Committee Members: Paul Cabral, Lynne Dandeneau, Eric Drew, Melissa Sheffield, and Mark Souza

Overview of the work:

This year the committee discussed the establishment of a new Music Fundamentals course as an entry point into high school music electives and as a course that will satisfy the Common Core Standards' Fine Arts requirement. They determined basic competencies that would build upon the outcomes of the middle school general music curriculum and then created a scope sequence for five units within the new Music Fundamentals Course. Unit Planning Guides were completed for each of these five units which include formats for five common assessments to be used by all teachers teaching these classes. Additional work accomplished included input on K-12 common music resources and preliminary work on Theatre Arts, choral and instrumental course units and assessments.

Documents

  • Scope and Sequence/ Curriculum Map – Music Fundamentals Course
  • Unit Templates
  • Preliminary Music Vocabulary

 Next Steps

. Development and refinement of the common assessments in multiple courses

. Determining appropriate “College and Career Readiness Literacy standards” to be incorporated in curriculum templates.

. Continued development of curriculum outlines for the remaining music classes taught by each specific teacher.

High School Visual Art

Committee Members: Nancy Hawes, Mary Ellen Nochimow, Danielle Riley

Overview of the work

The focus of this committee was horizontal alignment for courses that all three teachers current teach. Starting with the first course in the visual arts sequence, “Foundations of Art,” the committee used ‘backwards design’ to construct a common final and come to consensus on course objectives for knowledge and skill. A difficulty in creating complete units for this course is that the teachers had very different ways to present and configure teaching objectives. While all three presented viable lesson and project ideas for student acquisition of knowledge and skill, they all agreed that they should have some flexibility as long as students have hands on opportunities with all objectives prior to the end of the course. More work needs to be done to creatively solve this problem/benefit of teacher autonomy and yet meaningfully document specific objectives, goals and essential questions. This committee assisted in the refinement of the visual art common resources. They also began work on the next course in the visual art sequence, “Art I” as well as elective courses such as “Three-Dimensional Art and Artistry.”

Documents

  • Preliminary Foundations of Art Common Assessment
  • Common Resources:
  • Elements of Visual Art
  • Principals of Visual Art
  • Color schemes
  • Art Vocabulary

Next steps

. Unit templates for Foundations of Art

. Pilot Foundations of Art Common Assessment

. Common assessment and unit templates for Art 1, Art 2 and Art 3 and other electives

Submitted by Kerri Anne Quinlan-Zhou, Director of Fine Arts


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