I really enjoyed the promising practices event we went to on November 5th. Almost everything about it was educational but some parts were not.
The session I was in was session H called Art and Diverse Expressions.
The first workshop was called Honoring Diverse Expression through Artistic Processes and it was conducted by Virginia Freyermuth. She discussed how art is more than just self expression. She said that art can lead to personal change/ social change. I completely agreed with this statement because I am a music major. Although it is a different form of art I still feel that any form of art can lead to personal change and social change. We worked on a project called prayer sticks originally of Native American tradition. Instead she called them hope sticks. Everything on the stick was relevant meaning anything from the colors of the beads or number of beads, to the number of times one wraps string around the stick. There is also symbolic meaning for the type of tree a stick came from. If the hope/prayer stick was given as a gift it was a very meaningful present. This project when done with the kids is to help them understand that there will always be hope. Another favorite thing that she had said was that there is an inner artist in everyone.
The second workshop was called Celebrating Diversity- Using Art Merged with Literacy conducted by Kristen Vito-Silva. She discussed about how when the students walk into the classroom it is a blank canvas and they will be creating their own space with all of their own art work. "Art can be anywhere and everywhere, even woven into everyday teaching practices." In order to work with them, you need to know your students, their background, and what makes them tick. She gave us a packet that included some of their work. My favorite one was this one:
Can't go to the edge
Heart starts beeping
Like never before
Try to get
To the edge
Somebody is pulling me
Right out of the room
On a boat I feel like
I am going to fall over
I feel like
It's trying to
Pull me away
From the edge
When I cracked my head
Just the fact that this came from a young child is amazing to me.
The workshops were my most favorite part of the whole conference. I did not enjoy the teen empowerment was not useful because they were doing ice breakers which would have been more useful in small groups. I found the panel informative but I did not take many notes on it so I sadly do not have a ton to say about that.
In conclusion, I am very surprised that I enjoyed the conference but I am glad I went and maybe I will go next year...