Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Reactions to The Partnership for 21st Century Skills Website

Students of today need educators and tools that can meet the needs of a accelerated, technology-driven world. Unlike a previous decade ago students are seeing more and more computer time in their everyday lives. Most forms of communication they use are driven by the use of technology. "The nation needs a compelling vision for education that will inspire education leaders, teachers, parents and students alike" (Partnership n.d. pg. 2). The Partnership for 21st Century Skills offers just this. It is "a unique public-private organization of leaders and educators in business and education" that has been formed to address the needs of today's learners. (Partnership n.d. pg 2)

Recently I spent some time on The Partnership for 21st Century Skills website ( and gathered the following information. Twelve states have thus far joined in creating a partnership to better educate their students for the skills they will need for the future. These skills include items such as:

Information and communication skills (information and media literacy skills; communication skills)
Thinking and problem-solving (critical thinking and systems thinking; problem identification, formulation and solution; creativity and intellectual curiosity)
Interpersonal and self-direction skills (interpersonal and collaborative skills; self-direction; accountability and adaptability; social responsibility)
Global awareness
Financial, economic and business literacy, and developing entrepreneurial skills to enhance workplace productivity and career options
Civic literacy (Partnership 2004).

Recently I watched a video titled "Skills for the 21st Century” in which Dr. Thornburg cited similar ideas known as S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) as important skills to keep the students of The United States competitive with other countries who have assumed this approach. (Thornburg 2008)

With each article I read, support is provided towards helping our students become more innovative, creative thinkers. My right-brained background knowledge as an art instructor is further enhanced with a website such as this where I am becoming more knowledgeable.

I was saddened to see that the state and school in which I reside and teach has not become a partner in this intricate concept. As a current educator teaching daily in a small rural school district, I strongly support the concept from the website that "there is a profound gap between the knowledge and skills most students learn in school and the knowledge and skills they need in typical 21st century communities and workplaces" (Partnership 2004).

I feel a movement such as this is essential in preparing our students for the workplace they will be entering in the 21st century. The tools and resources made available on this site provide a pertinent foundation for this movement to be a success. What I found most essential to aiding in the help of educating my students was the professional development opportunities for those partnering with this movement. The groundwork has been laid. It is now up to us to provide for future generations.

(2004). The Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Retrieved November 25, 2009, from

Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (n.d.). A report and mile guide for 21st century skills. Washington DC: Author. Retrieved from

Thornburg, D., & Davidson, H. Skills for the 21st Century (Laureate Education, Inc. 2008).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Brimfield Elementary's Finest Artists!

I am still getting my feet wet with this whole blogging experience, but really getting a better grasp and loving it! I thought I'd put my idea to the test and upload some recent work of my students. As I said in a previous post, my fifth grade students were recently working in the likeness of artist Chuck Close when they created this portrait of Barack Obama. We learned a ton about value with this monochromatic piece. Also I added just a few glimpses of the awesome pottery they are making for our pottery show and fundraiser! Richardson refers to publishing outstanding pieces of work as good way to use a blog. I know my students would be thrilled to see their work online! I am proud of their craftsmanship and can't wait to further explore this blog as a tool to utilize to enhance my student's educations!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Getting my students involved

Currently I teach in a rural setting in Ohio and work with about 650 students each week teaching art to grades kindergarten through fifth grade. I love their enthusiasm each day! Right now we are in full swing of creating pottery (one piece for each student) for a fund raiser coming up in December. The students are highly creative and their glazed pieces look amazing! Students could make use of my blog to showcase their art work. This would be a great tool to highlight outstanding students. I do something like this already with bulltein boards and display cases around the school. I was also thinking I could use my blog to enhance lessons by maybe posting a website of a persoanl artist every so often. We just finished a unit on Chuck Close in fifth grade, which if you have never seen his work you should check it out at This would a be a great tool to get children more engaged in technology for educational purposes and specifically for my class! What do you think?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

art and technology

I am an elementary art teacher who is earning a master's degree in integrating technology into the classroom. Although I teach in a beautiful brand new school building, our district is definitely lacking when it comes to the materials we have to use technology in our classrooms. Some times I am able to sign out our digital overhead projector, for example I just did this with a unit on Chuck Close so that my students could view his website and see his large portraits projected onto the screen. They really enjoyed this and I wish I was able to do this on a daily basis, however the projector must be shared.
I was just curious if any other teachers would like to incorporate technology into their classroom more but feel like their hands are tied a little bit. I think it would be great to even have my students talk to an artist using video conferencing or something.