We regularly check the air quality index levels by using the Real-time Air-quality Advisory Network (RAAN) monitoring system for information on how to modify outdoor physical activity. This guidance can help protect the health of all children, including teenagers, who are more sensitive than adults to air pollution. Air quality flags are displayed daily with the forecasted level. Due to the possibility that the air quality can change, you can go to the RAAN widget links below to check current conditions throughout the day:
Colors that hiss and sing? Music that fills the air with shapes and images like a painting? How amazing it would be to hear colors and see sounds! This year, all 3rd and 5th grade students in TCSD had the opportunity to experience art in a different way, thanks to a collaboration between librarians, art teachers, and technology specialists across the district.
It all started out with our librarians reading students the story, The Noisy Paintbox: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art, written by Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by Mary Grandpre. This book describes the life of Vasily Kandinsky, who first heard a hissing sound when he mixed the colors in the paint box his aunt gave him for a birthday gift. According to the author’s note, Kandinsky was believed to have a genetic condition called synesthesia, in which people can hear colors, see music, taste words, or smell numbers. This is what Kandinsky had to say about his first abstract painting, finished in 1910:
“I let myself go,...drawing colored lines and blobs on the the canvas with my palette knife, making them sing just as powerfully as I knew how.” -Vasily Kandinsky.
You can view some of Kandinsky’s paintings online.
After listening to the story, students then logged onto a Chromebook to use Chrome Music Lab. This is a series of musical experiments created by Alexander Chen and Yotam Mann. One of the experiments was based upon Kandinsky, and it is meant to let you experience what it might be like to hear shapes and colors. You can try the experiments in Chrome Music Lab.
For the final project, our art specialists guided students in exploring color and sound through their own art and music with Chrome Music Lab’s online Kandinsky experience. 3rd grade students recorded their digital art/music piece by installing the Chrome extension Screencastify to their Google account, and they saved this recording to their Google drive. All digital portions of the lesson were performed on individual classroom Chromebooks. Please view an example of this Screencastify student project.
Fifth grade classes at Heritage School were lucky enough to take this collaboration two steps farther, as they spoke via Skype with author Barb Rosenstock in Chicago, and later that week met in a Google Hang-out with coders Alexander Chen, Yotam Mann, and Catherine Christiansen of Google Creative Lab in New York. Students learned Ms. Rosenstock read a whole shelf of books about Kandinsky before she wrote her own book. Students were very interested to find out the illustrator of The Noisy Paint Box, Mary GrandPre’, also did all the illustrations for the Harry Potter books! The programmers showed students some tips and tricks to using Chrome Music Lab. 5th grade student MariAnn Ochoa said, “I really think it was cool because we talked to computer coders who make things with their computer. It was also really fun to see the other things they made!”
The Advancement Via Individual Determination’s (AVID) mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college and career readiness and success in a global society. Tulare City School District (TCSD) has had AVID elective classes at our middle schools for over fifteen years.
Research shows that two years of middle school AVID has a positive impact on student’s course taking patterns and academic performance in high school. Tulare Joint Union High School District’s 2016 graduation data shows that over 90% of TCSD students, who participated in AVID in middle school and high school, went on to a post-secondary education.
With the great success of our AVID students, educators began to explore how these highly effective strategies could be used schoolwide to impact all students. TCSD has been providing support for implementation of AVID strategies schoolwide, at middle schools, through teachers’ attendance at the AVID Summer Institute, and ongoing professional development.
Based on the success of AVID strategies at the middle school level, TCSD began a pilot of AVID elementary at Wilson School in 2014. AVID elementary is designed to be embedded into the daily instruction of all elementary classrooms, across entire grade levels, to impact schoolwide structures. Like AVID secondary, AVID elementary essentials focus on student success skills, organizational skills, and WICOR lessons (emphasizing instruction on writing to learn, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading to learn in all content areas.)
We are proud to acknowledge that Wilson School was selected as an AVID showcase school in its third year of implementation! Wilson school hosted its very first showcase on February 16, 2017, where superintendents, principals, and teachers from throughout our county and neighboring counties, along with the state and regional AVID directors, came to see the amazing things AVID is doing for the students at Wilson School. The results of an effective execution of the AVID essentials by the principal and his staff were evident for all to see.
We are excited to say that Tulare City Schools will have full implementation of AVID in grades 4-6 on all campuses by 2020. As a result, we know we will positively impact all of our students on their journey to college and career readiness and success in a global society.
For more information about AVID implementation at your school site, contact Debbi Parker or Colleen Ross.
Student Art Exhibition
The 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 8th grade art students completed several projects using a variety of mediums throughout the course of this school year. Most of these projects are currently on display at one of four student art exhibitions throughout Tulare.
Third grade focused on elements such as line, shape, and color and worked with mediums such as tempera paint, copper wire, copper metal, and technology. Fifth grade students also worked with copper wire, copper metal, and technology along with paper, water color, and oil pastels. Between these two grade levels, you will see some monoprints, 3D organic compositions, Kandinsky-Based technology pieces, repousse/chasing techniques, and wire manipulations of various images and bugs.
Building on these mediums, 7th and 8th grade students learned how to further manipulate these materials through blending techniques and using the practice of grid-art for precision and proportion. The middle school students were also able to work with plaster and clay, creating sculptural (3D) pieces for the exhibitions. Graphite, acrylic paints, foil, wood, and pantyhose are some other mediums used throughout these exhibitions. These secondary students were able to create hand, arm and face molds, organic sculptures, life-size pop-art, celebrity portraits, animal drawings, abstract pieces of various mediums, and artist-inspired compositions.
Throughout the year each Tulare City School District art teacher incorporates a bit of art history and the variety of art-related careers that are available for our students.