Least Restrictive Environment

I recently became familiar with Chicago Public School’s Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Mandate. Quite simply, it requires that students with disabilities be taught with students who are not disabled, whenever possible

The LRE mandate requires that to the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities, including students in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with students who are not disabled. Special classes, separate


March 7th, 2013 Uncategorized

Learning with Peers

Photo: 4th of July Ride, North Ave Chicago 2011, from the Bike Club series, by Alexis Ellers

Fellow teaching-artist Alexis Ellers and I participated in a Peer to Peer program last spring and had the opportunity to observe each other's classrooms, participate in art-making with our students, and exchange ideas about teaching and engaging students. Now that a few months have passed, I asked Alexis to reflect


March 3rd, 2013 Uncategorized

Under Construction: Building Meaningful Work

Where do you begin with a new work of art? How do you design a new curriculum?  

Do you start with an idea or a question, and then break down the process into parts? Or do you jump in and make things finding the patterns and relationships as you go along? 

Maya Lin, the extraordinary public artist and architect of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial,


March 29th, 2012 Uncategorized

Facets of Understanding

When I recently told a friend that I have been trying to figure out the best way to incorporate assessment into my teaching practice, she dug through a binder from her graduate studies at Erikson Institute and yanked out a chart called “Performance Verbs Based on the Six Facets of Understanding”.

The chart simply lists verbs that can help us clarify precisely how we hope


March 29th, 2012 Uncategorized

Seeking the Unexpected, Unscripted and Unusual

This summer I spent two weeks at Ragdale, in Lake Forest. I was there as part of a unique residency designed specifically for teaching artists. As part of the experience, we worked with two amazingly kind and insightful individuals, Cynthia Weiss and Jorge Lucero. Cynthia and Jorge both fluidly combine the roles of artist, teacher, and administrator. They encouraged us to do the same. We


March 28th, 2012 Uncategorized

Course Expectations

After hearing about this idea from another teacher, I thought I’d try it: on the first day of the course, I asked the students to make a list of everything they expected from the class. I went into this exercise thinking I’d have to push and prod them to come up with more than “finish the project” or “learn something new”. They were accustomed to


March 27th, 2012 Uncategorized

Aesthetic Comprehension Often Needs Time to Evolve

For every studio course there are unique us viagra rules, vocabulary, and values that will need interpretation to be able to act upon them. For example, when a studio instructor says, “Shelia, there’s a lot of nice stuff going in this painting”. Shelia may be uncertain of what “nice stuff” means or which specific aspect of her art has received positive response. Shelia’s intuition tells


March 27th, 2012 Uncategorized

Spotlight: Student

Luis Mejico
Describe a project you are currently working on:

In Marwen Lab, I’m currently working on a is there a generic cialis film photography series of photos. I’ve been really interested in photography and haven’t done darkroom outside of school before, so I wanted to take advantage of Marwen’s darkroom. I am exploring relationships between people through physical contact. While some of these may


March 26th, 2012 Uncategorized


There is a dirty word in the art world, and no, it’s not something that warrants abbreviation or for you to look up on Urban Dictionary. It is “collaboration”. **gasp** Did you hear the sound of polite, older women dropping their fine china and holding hands to their ears in shame? Well ok, it may not be that bad, but it’s close; allow me to


March 24th, 2012 Uncategorized

Formative Assessment: Student-Centered Learning “Check-Ins”

Teaching at Marwen allows me to stretch my creative muscles. And teaching a socially interactive, and physically / politically / emotionally engaging course in a computer lab, aka “distraction city”, with 2 huge poles in the middle of the room -- forces me to be even more creative. The pole situation makes me feel like I can’t fully engage 100% of my students at every


March 23rd, 2012 Uncategorized

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