Classroom Connections

Document Sample
Classroom Connections Powered By Docstoc
					Classroom Connections
                    Welcome to the Smithsonian American Art Museum                                                                  Fall 2006

   Welcome to the inaugural issue of            workshops, and internships.                   collaborations with your school or
   Classroom Connections. This tri-                                                           classroom through real-time
   annual e-newsletter tells you what’s                                                       videoconference, online support, or
   new at the Smithsonian American                                                            digital resources available on our
   Art Museum and suggests ways                                                               Web site
   you can integrate our rich                                                                 education.
   collections into your curriculum.
   Our goals are simple. We hope you
   will find the content relevant, that
   you will recommend Classroom
   Connections to your colleagues,                                                                 Professional Development
   and that you will send us news of
   how you are using our resources.             Grand Opening festivities. Photo by Michael    Include Latino voices in your curricula!
                                                Mansfield.                                     SAAM’s in-person workshop, which
   Each issue highlights programs and
   materials in three areas: Our Space,                                                        takes you on a tour of the new ¡del
                                                Your Space spotlights programs
   Your Space, and Cyberspace.                                                                 Corazón! Web site, will investigate
                                                and materials that are used in class-
        Our Space showcases                                                                    stories Latino artists tell through their
                                                rooms. For example, in this issue
   programs that take place in the                                                             artworks. Join us in Washington, D.C.,
                                                we feature our outreach program
   museum. In Our Space, you and                                                               from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on September 19,
                                                whereby Education staff or docents
   your students learn directly from                                                           2006—then use this online resource in
                                                make presentations in Washington,
   the actual artwork through tours,                                                           your teaching.
                                                D.C.-area classrooms. Articles in
   gallery games, in-service programs,          the Cyberspace section highlight

                      Art for All Classes
   We at the Education Office of the             critical-thinking skills with an
   Smithsonian American Art Museum               emphasis on active learning, a
   (SAAM) want to work with you and              technique we have honed in the
   your students. Our collection of              museum’s informal learning
   American art spans more than three            environment. Our school
   centuries and tells the stories of our        programs are tailored to your
   nation and our people. SAAM                   curricular needs and can be
   artworks offer wondrous opportunities         delivered through video-
   for visual arts teachers—and teachers         conference, docent tours, or
   of social studies, history, language arts,    various materials we develop.
   even math and science. You’ll find it’s             SAAM education staff is
   easy to integrate the collection into         available to work with you—the                To register for the workshop, contact:
   your core subjects.                           teacher—to offer programs that                Education Staff
        We are in tune with the needs of         put the nation’s treasured art in             Smithsonian American Art Museum,
   today’s classroom teacher. Our                the service of you and your                   Education Office
   programs and materials focus on               students.                                     Phone: 202-275-2323

Smithsonian American Art Museum                                                       
Our art, your classroom                                                                                                           Fall 2006

   In July, the Smithsonian American
   Art Museum welcomed visitors to
                                                                                                  Current Tour Themes
   see its collections reinstalled in the                                                                   Young America
   newly restored building in down-                                                                         Beating the Odds
   town Washington, D.C. The                                                                                Lure of the West
   National Historic Landmark has                                                                           A House Divided
   undergone an extensive renovation                                                                      Urbanized America
   that showcases its most dramatic                                                                       Harlem Renaissance
   architectural features, including                                                                    Reshaping American Life
   skylights, a curving double               Reynolds Center for American Art and
                                                                                                         Our Mid-Century Crisis
   staircase, porticos, and vaulted          Portraiture, visit the Web site
                                                                                                             We the People
   galleries illuminated by natural
                                                                                                        New Voices, New Visions
   light. The building is one of the              We are especially excited about the
                                                                                                           To See Is to Think
   finest examples of Greek Revival          reinstallation and opening because, for
                                                                                                        Neighborhood and Nation
   public architecture in the United         the first time in six school years, we will
                                                                                                        From Sea to Shining Sea
   States. We have a splendid space          be offering programs in Our Space.
   for learning. Why not schedule a          School tours, guided by one of our
   tour and see SAAM’s artworks in           knowledgeable docents, begin this fall.
                                             Teachers can work with staff members                 To schedule a tour in the museum,
   person?                                                                                        email
        For information on visiting our      to create a custom tour or choose from
   home, now named the Donald W.             our list of topics.

    Listen to the Artwork
      SAAM’s Renwick Gallery of
      American Craft hosted visitors with
      a special assignment last spring.
      Teacher Brad Rathgeber brought
      his Advanced Placement Art
      History class from The Holton-
      Arms School and Landon School in
      Bethesda, Maryland, to study craft.
      Their ultimate goal was to
      demonstrate their new knowledge
      by creating podcasts (audio features
      to post and download online). After
      touring the special exhibition Grant
      Wood’s Studio and the Renwick’s                       Lunder Education Chair Susan Nichols discusses Dan Dailey’s Parkman
      permanent collection galleries, each                  Coupe with Holton-Arms students. Photo by Michael Mansfield.
      student “adopted” a work of art.
                                                perspective to his or her chosen               the podcasts and then selected six
      Staff from the Education Office and       work. One narrated her podcast                 to post on our Web site. You can
      docents helped students examine           in the imagined voice of the sitter            find and listen to them at
      and discuss the objects. SAAM’s
                                                in a Grant Wood portrait.            
      New Media Office also provided            Another student added stormy                   ound_take_on.html. We are
      advice about creating podcasts.
                                                sound effects to the audio. An                 excited to be continuing our
           The fruits of the students’
                                                artist whose work was featured in              partnership with Holton-Arms
      labor are sixty- to ninety-second         a podcast told us he was                       this school year.
      podcasts, which act as substantive
                                                impressed to hear that a student
      “teasers” to attract visitors to see
                                                had come up with a new                         — Cassandra Good
      the artworks described. Of course,        interpretation for his piece.                  SAAM New Media staffer
      each student brought a unique
                                                      SAAM staff listened to all

Smithsonian American Art Museum                                                       
 Our art, your classroom                                                                                                Fall 2006
                                                                                                      Our Art, Your Classroom

   Our Collection, Your Talent                 designed to correspond with each of           available on our Web site.
                                               our tour themes. It acts as an intro-
   SAAM’s Educator Internships                 duction to the content and skills that
   enable us to connect our                    will be used during the visit.
   collection and resources with               Through a combination of
   school curricula. Jacqueline                individual work and classroom
   Brzezowski, a seventh and eighth            modeling, students learn to put
   grade social studies and language           artwork into historical context and
   arts teacher at Nativity Catholic           “read” each object as they would
   School in Burke, Virginia, is our           any other primary source.
   second participant in the pro-                   In addition, Jackie developed a          Jackie Brzezowski
   gram. As part of her internship,            number of suggestions for writing
   Jackie developed a graphic                  activities that assess the students’               To apply for an Educator
   organizer for teachers to use in            understanding of the artworks.                Internship or to learn more about
   their classrooms in preparation                  Jackie is currently a Masters of         the program, please send an
   for a visit to SAAM, whether                Arts candidate at The Catholic                email to
   they tour in-person or via                  University of America for
   videoconference.                            Secondary Education, Social
         The graphic organizer is              Studies. Her resources will soon be

 Our art, your classroom

 YOUR SPACE                                        schools include learning difficulties,
                                                   emotional issues, or being court-
                                                   ordered into a program. The docent
                                                                                              activity is added. Some amazing art-
                                                                                              making tasks have been coupled
                                                                                              with the images, including
                                                   visits give the students, some of          bookmaking, Polaroid self-portraits,
       “Really? People from the                    whom may have never been                   and self-portraits in other media.
       Smithsonian are coming to show us           exposed to museums, a wider                      The SAAM Outreach Program
       slides of artwork! Really? Wow!”            glimpse into the wonderful world of        is an extremely valuable and
            That is the frequent reaction          art. The students show a new level         enriching experience for me as an
       when my students learn of an                of appreciation for visual art. They       art therapist/art resource teacher
       upcoming visit to our space from            demonstrate personal feelings of           and, most important, for the
       docents at the Smithsonian                  being considered special.                  students. The students have unique
       American Art Museum. As an art                    Since the program launched in        opportunities with visual arts and
       therapist/art resource teacher for          2002, 150 alternative school               gain a deeper level of understanding
       students of Fairfax County Public           students, ages approximately 12 to         of the world of art. Often students
       Schools (Virginia), Interagency             18, have participated. I have seen         who have neither heard of nor been
       Alternative Schools (IAS), I have           tremendous growth and improve-             to a museum vehemently vow a
       the delight, honor, and privilege of        ment in the SAAM Outreach                  future visit. That conclusion
       working with a small corps of               Program. More of our schools               captures a priceless gift the children
       SAAM outreach docents and                   participate. More is expected of the       receive from the Smithsonian
       witnessing the visible changes their        students. In the beginning, docents        American Art Museum Outreach
       presentations have on my students.          showed slides of thematically linked       Program and its docents—a driving
       The visits take place at our school         artworks and discussed with the            curiosity about art and a strong
       because the students attend                 students interesting and unique            desire to go to a museum to
       alternative schools for a variety           tidbits of information about the art       experience the art in person.
       reasons that require smaller,               or the artist. Today a PowerPoint          — Rebecca Bertram, M.A., A.T.R.
       specialized classrooms and more             presentation replaces the slide show;      Art Therapist/Art Resource Teacher
       one-on-one instruction. Some                the docent-student dialogue is very        Farifax County Public Schools - IAS
       reasons a student goes to alternative       interactive; and a related art-making

Smithsonian American Art Museum                                                   
Our art, your classroom                                                                                                                 Fall 2006
Web Launch-

         Fall 2006 marks the launch of the               Check out our resources,
         new education section of the               which range from instructional
         SAAM Web site. We have                     materials developed for media-
         compiled a library of our                  rich interactive sites to easy-to-
         classroom resources, which are             print lesson ideas and teacher
         available online in full text. All         guides. Get SAAM’s artwork—
         materials are aligned with                 the nation’s collection—working
         standards, and most correspond to          for your students!
         core subject curriculum for easy                All materials are free and can
         integration in any classroom               be found on our Web site
                                                                                                     SAAM Education’s new resource search page.

     Art in the Heart of Texas
         This past summer nearly 200 teachers
         from Edinburgh, Texas, switched sides
         in the classroom to learn how SAAM’s
         collection can augment and enliven
         their instruction of American history.
         Fifth-, eighth-, and eleventh-grade
         social studies teachers and took part in
         our in-service via real-time video-
         conference. Staff members from the
         SAAM Education Office developed
         and presented four lesson plans based
         on two eras in American history.
              Beginning with the American
         Revolution, teachers examined signs
         and symbols relating the emerging
                                                        Suzannah Niepold and Patrick Martin (bottom right inset) presented to teachers via videoconference.
         nation and the iconography of George
         Washington. They then explored the
         Civil War and Reconstruction. Lessons          story of the American experience.                        To schedule an in-service with
         and activities were presented using                 “The videoconference was very                 SAAM staff, email us at
         Civil War photography in SAAM’s                interactive. … I especially liked the    
         collection to teach about the period.          hands-on opportunity and the ability                    In-service programs are offered
         Another activity used sculpture and            for these (ideas) to be used in our                free of charge and can be tailored to
         painting to delve deeper into issues in        classroom (to develop) critical-                   your specific needs.
         American life during Reconstruction.           thinking skills,” said one teacher.
              Altogether, the program
         introduced teachers to various ways
         that American art can help tell the

       This newsletter is designed to inform teachers of our programs and showcase activities that integrate our materials in
       classrooms around the country. Please share this newsletter with teachers in your faculty lounge. To give feedback
       on this issue, ask questions about any of the programs highlighted, or pose questions about the Education Office
       itself, email us at

     Smithsonian American Art Museum