Dana Carney

  • Love it. Let’s investigate and get something going for those Rainbow Fish in your class!

  • Yes! I also find myself constantly trying to find a balance with student sharing/talking time. Sometimes they do reveal learning that would not have been known otherwise. It would be awesome to set up some kind of independent video blogging center for those students who need to share verbally on a regular basis. And maybe the private-ness of…[Read more]

  • I found myself in a bit of a predicament this week.  The task was seemingly simple: Grade 1 students were to dictate their artist statements to myself and my teaching assistant (Alice).  They had completed ” […]

    • So many things to take into consideration when moderating assessment or even just chats with our teaching assistants. What we do naturally – like the extra questioning – is something I think good teachers are just programmed to do to get information. I think culture may even come into play as questioning doesn’t really seem like something that happens a lot in Cambodia…but maybe that’s just a bad assumption or observation on my part! 🙂
      I feel like I’m lucky in having a class that, for the most part, will talk, talk, talk, talk, talk…but sometimes I need to cut it off because it goes on and on. Other students would rather nod than say anything! But I do have a hard time cutting them off because what if I miss something good? What if I deter them from wanting to share again? So many questions!

      • Yes! I also find myself constantly trying to find a balance with student sharing/talking time. Sometimes they do reveal learning that would not have been known otherwise. It would be awesome to set up some kind of independent video blogging center for those students who need to share verbally on a regular basis. And maybe the private-ness of that would also encourage those shy/quiet types to share more as well. I’ve also been in several classrooms that use pretend telephones to allow students to “call” and practice sharing before doing so in front of a larger audience.

        • YES!!!
          Sorry, I’m just seeing this now! But I saw the EYs have those recording books and I know you can get recording buttons too…but that’s just short term. Maybe an iPad video booth…could easily go in a back room too!
          OMG OMG OMG!!!!
          Is this a brilliant project idea for next week?! I wonder if Mr. Matt has any preferred ‘video booth’ or ‘news booth’ apps?!

  • Glad the resources could be of use! There are so many great Visible Thinking Routines out there.

  • While extensive and explicit use of text types and writing in the art room is limited, visual culture pervades much of what is taught.  I find that, as a PYP art teacher, I may not be focused on formal […]

    • Thanks for this great blog! I like your point about formal and informal information gathering becoming more visual, so true. The articles and links you suggest are also very interesting. I am about to start some intense PD on Visible Thinking and my current school year has been shadowed by visualizing the learning of my students. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for this sharing, Dana! I am very interested in “Visual Thinking Strategies”. A great resource!

  • As I was reading articles about speaking and writing development and trying to visualize where and how this happens in the art room, most of the examples that popped into my head first were of my Teaching […]

    • Hi Dana, thank you for using the SPELTAC course materials to give such an interesting example of how they have made you reflect and make connections with what goes on in the Art classroom with regards to language. It’s something I am definitely now going to consider as well: how the presence of the TA and his/her language development and engagement influences the students, too. You are right, autonomy and engagement is so important for all people involved in learning!

  • As a PYP Art teacher, I completely relate to this post. I’m also always trying to think of new ways to get student feedback on the lesson and help them to reflect on their learning without letting that overtake the time we spend creating art. I have also adapted one of Kath Murdoch’s techniques by using “Check-In” posters in the art room. Take…[Read more]

  • I like this strategy, Emilie. I can also see how students with more language ability could create another outer circle and begin listing more details to describe each of the words in the previous circle. Thanks for sharing!

  • I attended the Asia Region Workshop for Art Educators (ARWAE) earlier this year and came away with several new ideas to apply to my own teaching practices.  One of the most valuable workshops I attended was ” […]

    • I used to LOVE making these fortune teller things! I think it’s great the students are thinking outside the box when creating them AND they must be so great for encouraging talking! Great idea! I might adapt it with some of our reading words! 🙂

    • This is a very interesting workshop, especially ”Bored no more”strategies. I am very interested in it, will try to use in my class.

      Thanks you as well for the sharing!

  • Your students were clearly excited about using persuasive vocabulary, as they continued using many of these phrases in art when talking about the debatable “success” of their peers’ photos. This is a great language tool for so many aspects of students’ lives. Thanks for sharing, James.

  • Yes, the G5 students seem to be very passionate about expressing their opinions using new, persuasive language and can be quite animated! It is also great practice in their dramatic/performance skills!

  • The answer is coming, I promise, but first you have to read through how I came to find the answer.  Here it goes…

    I am currently in the middle of a Grade 5 photography unit focused on the question, “What […]

    • Hi Dana, I too have been watching how students in grade 5 have been enjoying debating. It has developed their confidence and stretched their language. It struck me how engaged they were and how well they were able to argue- even the beginner EAL students rose up to the challenge. I think it’s wonderful they get to transfer these skills to Art as well. It gets them to see how persuasive language is used across all subjects. I totally agree that our own learning comes from collaboration and this is a wonderful example of that.

      • Yes, the G5 students seem to be very passionate about expressing their opinions using new, persuasive language and can be quite animated! It is also great practice in their dramatic/performance skills!

    • Hi Dana,

      This blog post has inspired me! Just as you said happens to you, I’ve found myself holed up in the kindergarten bubble too often. I prioritize getting the classroom stuff done during my prep times and continuously put off my peer observations. However, after reading about the ideas you gained from your peer observations, I’m feeling encouraged to spend more time in other teachers’ classrooms. I spend so much time getting ideas from teachers around the world on twitter or pinterest or blogs… but I have a wealth of knowledge and resources right here in the same building as me, that I don’t take advantage of often enough.
      Thanks for the inspiration:)

    • Thanks for your post Dana. As usual your well written post demonstrates your reflective practice and is thought provoking. I am very privileged as I get the opportunity to be in teachers classrooms on a daily basis and, I attend one of the collaborative meetings of each grade I work with, every week. With this insight, I too find it really helpful as it allows me to make meaningful connections (where I can) with students I work with.

  • I’ll have to check that book out, Liz. I’d definitely like to investigate more meaningful connections between students’ home cultures and the art they are making and think that Spotlight on the Arts nights at ISPP could be a gateway into that relationship building.

  • Thanks Sarah. I like the thought that the ways we’re preparing students with tools to think critically will help them to process, speak up and consider multiple perspectives. So much of what we teach can at times seem implicit, but I see students repeating and modelling themselves after the adults in their lives constantly. While we are pretty…[Read more]

  • I’m interested to know more about what the first statistic you quoted is about.

    I definitely agree that color meanings are cultural. I always learn something from my KG students in our color unit, as they explain their color choices in artworks and their meanings. They draw on such a wide range of experiences with their families, at school,…[Read more]

  • The funny thing is that I had written a whole other post at first and this topic was only a sentence or two of it. Then as I was rereading before publishing it, I realized that I had a lot more to say about the topic that was leaps and bounds more interesting than the original post! Haha, a great reminder of the creative process for me 🙂 I…[Read more]

  • Thanks Anita. There are a lot of amazing contemporary artists who also incorporate ideas of “social norms” and flipping stereotypes that I want to bring into the art room this year, as they stir a lot of meaningful questions. Have you seen the work of Kehinde Wiley, Barbara Kruger, Mary Ellen Croteau or Erwin Wurm? They all question the status…[Read more]

  • I listened to “The danger of a single story” and my brain was taken in a million different directions.  Past experiences, recent situations, self-reflection.

    I began reflecting on the past week at […]

    • Wow….what an insightful and thought provoking blog post. It has raised many questions in my mind too and made me reflect on personal experiences. I remember being told by a colleague that I was “culturally white” when I described myself as identifying as both Asian and European. I also wonder how to address examples of single stories in education – not just culturally but also related to gender – stereotypes and language that often pigeonholes children and adults (am I the only one who cringes every time I’m referred to as a girl or lady?) As a parent I have experience of working with somebody from a community organisation who dismissed autism as not a condition she believed in – again a dangerous single story. I wholeheartedly agree that their is a disconnect between the open-minded approach we instil in our students and the wider community; however, I see students as agents of change who are educating their parents. Recently a parent told me that his daughter “made him think about the world and education in a different way as she is always questioning everything.” His pride in her and her open communication made me hopeful. Thanks again such a reflective post Dana.

      • Thanks Anita. There are a lot of amazing contemporary artists who also incorporate ideas of “social norms” and flipping stereotypes that I want to bring into the art room this year, as they stir a lot of meaningful questions. Have you seen the work of Kehinde Wiley, Barbara Kruger, Mary Ellen Croteau or Erwin Wurm? They all question the status quo in new and creative ways. Check them out!

        • Thanks Dana. I will certainly be checking these artists out and finding you for an in person chat. Challenging “social norms” is certainly something I would like to bring into our classroom discussions and the work of these artists would be a meaningful way of doing so.

    • What a great blog post. I really enjoyed listening to the “Danger of a single story”. Agree whole heartedly how we stereotype people based on what we have read from stories, books and even movies. We even perceive countries to be dangerous based on movies we watch that show violent drug cartels running around. Thank you for your great blog post and making us think about preconceptions.

    • Dana ~ I have just tweeted this message out to the universe too – this is literally one of the best posts I have read about international mindedness. For me, this has doubled the value of our whole school goal and using SPELTAC to communicate our learning. One of the objectives of using this social platform to share our learning was to raise awareness that we are all teachers of language; and building on Dr. Gini Rojas’ work with us, the strategies we use are not just for ELL but ALL learners. Your post resonated with me on so many levels. Like you, I have a myriad more questions about what as a teacher I should do about this, and just where my responsibilities fall.

      Had I been there for the Santa or pink moments, would I have interrupted? Should you have interrupted? I am conflicted. On the one hand, our author-in-residence, Ellen, gave our students an experience none of us could have replicated because we’re not published authors or illustrators. Ellen herself is a TCK; did we make assumptions based on how she looked plus how she spoke, about what her perspectives might be? Ellen’s perspectives after all, are 100% valid – we teach our students that everyone is entitled to their own perspective and indeed we “encourage students ……[to] understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right” (IB mission).

      Through SPELTAC, our role as stewards of our students’ education reveals yet another complex and challenging dynamic related to international mindedness and what and how we employ language. I know Dana that you are always “culturally sensitive [and] open-minded” in your art lessons, and that you would never rely on your students hearing a single story. I am also interested to know how our students interpreted Ellen’s perspectives.

      • The funny thing is that I had written a whole other post at first and this topic was only a sentence or two of it. Then as I was rereading before publishing it, I realized that I had a lot more to say about the topic that was leaps and bounds more interesting than the original post! Haha, a great reminder of the creative process for me 🙂 I guess it’s the conversation that matters in the end. We can only begin to understand even the tip of someone else’s perspective if there is a dialogue. So looking back, I wish I would’ve taken the time to talk to Ellen about it one-on-one…to say, “Hey I noticed this happening as you were talking to the kids…did you?” or “You know, maybe the reason the kids aren’t coming up with the answers you’re expecting is because of our focus on inquiry, and being open-minded to different perspectives.” I think that would have helped me to have started a conversation and understood where her line of questioning was coming from.

    • I’m interested to know more about what the first statistic you quoted is about.

      I definitely agree that color meanings are cultural. I always learn something from my KG students in our color unit, as they explain their color choices in artworks and their meanings. They draw on such a wide range of experiences with their families, at school, from their travels, and the tech/media/consumer culture they encounter daily.

    • Dana…awesome post! A great Monday holiday read and I have been in SO many situations where I questioned whether or not I should step in…whether or not it was my place to do so or how others would interpret it. At the end of the day, I try to remind myself, that “the best way for evil to perpetrate, is for good people to do nothing.”
      So, I try and evaluate the situation based on how much this could or could not hurt somebody. And I also keep in mind that hindsight is 20/20!
      If I were you, I don’t think I would have done anything at that moment…and if I had time to reflect on it, I think I would want to approach her and just talk about how diverse-minded our students are – it would have likely been a topic she wanted to talk about to. Within that conversation, I’d hope I’d be building up enough trust to say to her your stance on “colours”. Pink is not and should not be a girl colour. I’d also definitely check in with that class of kids about colours. I think that yes, it is “just colours” but it’s one of many “dangerous stories”.

      Paula’s comment about Ellen being a TCK is something I totally forgot about when reading your post too. I think we definitely make assumptions about people and the way they look and what they wear without even knowing it…and sometimes we’re right and sometimes we’re wrong…but I think we just have to “flip the script” to have an open-mind. I know you certainly do, Dana! 🙂

    • Hi Dana,
      I really enjoyed this blog post!
      The “pink means girly” section of the article resonated with me a lot. I find it so interesting that every year I teach, I have to confront this misconception with my students. The thing that shocks me each year, is that so many kindergarteners hold this belief, regardless of their cultural background. I’ve always wondered where this stereotype comes from, if children from all over the world have encountered it – does it emerge within the classroom? Is it something they heard a peer say once and they are parroting it? Or is it something that stems from the media and consumerism – students seeing ads on TV or characters in movies that promote these ideas?
      You mentioned being conflicted about whether you should have interrupted Ellen and changed the course of the dialogue. However, no matter what we do, students are going to experience conversations that challenge the culturally sensitive, open-minded discourse we have at school, and I think that our job is to give them the tools they need to think critically and the confidence to speak up for what they believe. We won’t always be around when conversations like this occur, and so we can’t always step in to say our two cents – but we can hope that the conversations that we’ve had in the classroom have resonated with our students and allow them to confront these stereotypes with an open mind and a critical eye.

      • Thanks Sarah. I like the thought that the ways we’re preparing students with tools to think critically will help them to process, speak up and consider multiple perspectives. So much of what we teach can at times seem implicit, but I see students repeating and modelling themselves after the adults in their lives constantly. While we are pretty explicit with PYP attitudes, International Mindedness, and the Learner Profile, even the ways we self-talk, behave with colleagues, and engage with students can greatly influence their ideas about social and cultural norms.

    • Thank you Dana – I loved this blog post. ‘The danger of the single story’ is one of my favourite TED talks, and something that I think we should start each year off reminding ourselves of…..and to regularly check ourselves on whether we are placing a single story on our students and parents. Despite being rather quiet on the blogging front I have been doing a lot of reading within my inquiry group and my focus is very much on connecting with the parents as much as with the children. One of the books suggested by Marcelle, (Rothstein-Fisch, C & Trumbull, E (2008) Managing Diverse Classrooms – How to Build on Students’ Cultural Strengths) included a lot of research on the cross-cultural understanding between schools and families – and the challenges this can bring. What was overwhelming in research findings was that that when schools sought cultural information from families, and when classrooms reflected both dominant culture and home culture, relationships with parents flourished. I think this is certainly something I need to do more of!

      • I’ll have to check that book out, Liz. I’d definitely like to investigate more meaningful connections between students’ home cultures and the art they are making and think that Spotlight on the Arts nights at ISPP could be a gateway into that relationship building.

    • Great post Dana. I too enjoyed this TED talk as I made connections to some of my misconceptions about certain countries extra when I was younger. I think we can all reflect on times when we have realised we have been operating from a ‘Single Story’. Many factors impact on who we are and how we see the world. Like our students and their learning, people’s journeys are just as diverse. I think that is way it is important to remind ourselves to be open to someone else’s perspective even if we don’t necessarily agree – show respect, patience and compassion. Thanks for your insight, very thought provoking.

  • Dana Carney commented on the post, Sketchnoting, on the site Looking In and Out 1 year, 1 month ago

    You’re always welcome in the art room! However, for now the sketchnoting was just a part of the G4 integrated unit. We co-taught the introduction and the classroom teachers are now using on field trips and with guest speakers. We haven’t yet discussed if this will be something we extend on with the kids together or if they’ll focus on the skill…[Read more]

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