New Course: Teaching Children’s Literature through the Arts!!


Teaching Children’s Literature through the Arts is coming to Portland

Dates:  January 20, 21 and March 23, 24, 2012  (Fridays 4-8pm, Saturdays 8-4pm)
Location:  Portland, Maine                                                               Instructor:  Catherine Ring


This course is designed for pre-service and in-service teachers of kindergarten through grade 8.   Practical strategies for using visual art, poetry, drama, story telling and music to enhance children’s experience and understanding of literature will be a major part of the course.  Discussions in class will include a review of genres in children’s literature.  Combined with an emphasis on multi-cultural and international literature, the focus on the aesthetic and artistic aspects of literature, music, the visual arts and drama promotes culturally responsive and researched-based teaching, making reading more inviting to diverse groups with varied learning styles.  The class is informative, hands-on, and fun!

This study can be taken for 3 semester hours of graduate or undergraduate credit through Endicott College (Van Loan School of Graduate and Professional Studies, Beverly, MA).  The course has also been approved  by the Maine Department of Education for re-certification.
Materials Required:
Encountering Children’s Literature:  An Arts Approach.  Jane M. Gangi., Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 2003.
A laptop is required.  Please bring to the first session.  Internet access is a requirement during the course.

Arts Assessment Courses Coming to Augusta, Bangor and York!

Join arts educators Catherine Ring, Rob Westerberg, and Jake Sturtevant for some great opportunities to meet and work with colleagues while improving teaching and student learning in the arts!

The New England Institute for Teacher Education is providing a unique opportunity for arts educators throughout Maine to take a three-credit, graduate level course on on Arts Assessment. Visual art and music educators who are interested in deepening their learning in arts assessment are invited to participate in a cohort of peers to collaborate, and to learn about and apply best assessment practices in their classrooms. Course credit is given through Endicott Collegeʼs Van Loan School of Graduate and Professional Studies.  (The course is being offered at a reduced tuition of $750 for three graduate credits for a limited time.)

These courses have been specially-designed as an outgrowth of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative. Teachers can expect to work at growing their level of understanding and enhancing their schoolʼs practices in an individually-tailored, inquiry- based class. Classes meet on a teacher-friendly schedule, over two weekends, with inter-session and post-session work done online.

Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring are the instructors for the Music and Visual Art courses being offered at York High School in York, Maine.  Catherine will also teach the visual art courses in Bangor and Augusta.  Both Rob and Catherine are experienced arts educators and teacher leaders and bring a wealth of knowledge in their disciplines and in assessment practices.

The Music Assessment course will also be offered in Augusta on Feb. 10, 11 and May 11, 12, 2012 and will be taught by Jake Sturtevant, music educator at Bonny Eagle High School.  Jake has been a Teacher Leader with the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative and brings his skills as an educator and composer to this course.

Dates and Locations:

January 13, 14 and March 16, 17, 2012 York High School, York (Visual Art K-12 and Music 7-12)

January 27, 28 and April 27, 28, 2012 Bangor (Visual Art K-12 only)

February 10, 11 and May 11, 12, 2012 Augusta (Visual Art K-12 and Music 7-12)

For Registration and Information, click HERE or call the New England Institute for Teacher Education at 207-367-5807.


Managing Classroom Behavior

A wonderful group of Educational Technicians from the Augusta area just completed a course on Behavior Management in the Classroom. Lots of learning, analyzing case studies, and practical application of strategies made this class immediately helpful to students and their teachers. Well done! 

This course is being offered in Portland (January 20, 21 and March 23, 24). Contact us to register!

Arts Assessment Courses



We are offering courses in Arts Assessment, to help arts educators take Assessment to a new level.  Check out the information below.


This offer applies ONLY to these course locations which start on the following dates:
York (Jan. 13, 2012), Bangor (Jan. 27, 2012) and Augusta (Feb. 10, 2012)


Rob Westerberg (Music Educator from York HS), Argy Nestor (Visual/Performing Art Specialist with the Maine Dept. of Education) and Catherine Ring (Executive Director, New England Institute for Teacher Education) stop to enjoy the view while enroute to Aroostook County where they presented professional development workshops to arts educators.

And don’t forget, Catherine and Rob’s Webinar Series on the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative are free and open to everyone.  Please join us!

Our next webinar on December 7 (3:30-4:30 pm) will cover the topic: 

Standards-Based Assessment in the Arts

To join the meeting, go online to (sign in as “guest”). Conference Number: 1-866-910-4857, Passcode: 140893

Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring Receive Maine Arts Education Awards

Two of our faculty members just received the Carol Trimble Award for Exemplary Service to Arts Education, presented at the State Arts Education Conference at USM October 7, 2011.  Catherine and Rob have been working together on the core team of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative for 18 months and just completed their second of five webinars.  In fact, yesterday’s webinar on Building an Online Community for arts educators, had over 50 participants. The webinar is archived, so people can listen to it if they’ve missed it, at this LINK.

Rob and Catherine receive Arts Education Award

They will be teaching courses on Arts Assessment in Music and Visual Art in January.  See our course list for more details!

Building an Online Community for Arts Educators!


Don’t forget to register for our free webinar on Wednesday, November 2, at 3:30 -4:30 pm.  Rob Westerberg and I will be hosting a discussion with guests, Jay Collier, Technology consultant with the Maine DOE; Ann Marie Hutton, MLTI Technology specialist, Shannon Campbell, K-8 Visual Art Teacher, and Mary Ellen Schaper, Dance Specialist.  The topic:  Building an Online Community with You.  To join the meeting, go online to (sign in as “guest”). Conference Number: 1-866-910-4857, Passcode: 140893

We will discuss:

  • Creating an online network of support for ongoing work
  • Providing tools to use for assessment and integration into teaching
  • Providing resources on arts assessment

Hope to see you there!


Why Arts Assessment? An Overview of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative – Our First Webinar






Rob Westerberg, music educator from York High School, and I just completed our first webinar on September 7.  We had over 50 people attend, from all over Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont!  The webinar is archived, so anyone can listen to it online by clicking on this Link. This is the first of a series which will address the many components of this exciting new initiative in Maine in arts education.  Subsequent webinars will be on the following dates, all occuring from 3:30-4:30 pm.  All of these will also be archived.

So if you’d like to join us for a conversation with our Guests, please do!

November 2, 2011 – Building an Online Arts Education Community with You.  To join the meeting, go online to  (Sign in as “guest”).  Conference Number 1-866-910-4857, Passcode: 140893.

December 7, 2011 – Standards-Based Assessment in the Arts. To join the meeting, go online to  (Sign in as “guest”). Conference Number: 1-866-910-4857, Passcode: 140893

January 4, 2012 – An Elementary Discussion: How in the World Can I Possibly Do This? To join the meeting, go online to (sign in as “guest”). Conference Number: 1-866-910-4857, Passcode: 140893

February 1, 2012 – Leadership and the Arts.  To join the meeting, go online to (sign in as “guest”). Conference Number: 1-866-910-4857, Passcode: 140893

Hope to see you there!


Webinars on Maine Arts Assessment Initiative

This is just in from the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) website:  I’m very excited to be doing this webinar series with Rob Westerberg!!  Stay tuned.

September 7 – Maine Arts Assessment Initiative webinar

August 31st, 2011 abby No comments

The MLTI and Department of Education will be hosting 5 webinars throughout the 2011-2012 school year on the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative and how it impacts teaching and learning in our schools.  Please join Catherine Ring, Rob Westerberg and guests for the first webinar, a conversation around Why Arts Assessment? An Introduction to the Maine Arts Education Assessment Initiative on Wednesday, September 7th, from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM. Instructions for joining the webinar can be found below.

Subsequent webinars will be held November 2, December 7, January 4, and February 1.  Mark your calendars now!  Each webinar will be recorded and added to the MLTI Archives for future viewing. Attendees will be eligible for two contact hours for their participation in the live webinar, just follow the feedback link at the end of the webinar and you’ll be prompted for your contact information to receive your contact hour certificate.

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) has been designed to create an environment in Maine where assessment in Arts education is an integral part of the work all arts educators do to deepen student learning in the arts. MAAI includes professional development opportunities, regionally and statewide, to share and expand on arts educators knowledge and skills. Teachers will be invited to contribute tools, resources, and examples of quality assessments and supportive standards based curriculum documents for all to access.

Please follow these steps to connect to the webinar:

  1. Click on the link
  2. Enter your name in the Guest box when prompted.
  3. In order to listen and speak during the meeting, you will need to be connected by telephone as well as the Internet. To help you connect by phone, a box will appear asking for your phone number so the Connect conference room can call you back. If you have a telephone with a direct-dial phone number, please accept this option, enter your phone number, and we will call you right back.
  4. If you have a telephone with no direct-line phone number (if your phone is only reached by a switchboard), please click on CANCEL when the call-back box appears, then dial-in to the meeting using this access combination:
    1. Dial-In: 1-866-910-4857
    2. Pass-Code: 140893
  5. To participate in the webinar, you will need:
    1. a computer with a broadband connection to the internet (Cable, DSL, or WiFi); Dial-Up will not work!
    2. Adobe Flash Player 10 installed on your computer; most computers already have the Flash Player installed – however, if yours does not, or if your Flash Player is in need of updating (version 6 or older), you can download the player for free from Adobe by clicking on this link; this is a safe and quick download.
    3. An open phone line; we recommend using a hands-free headset or speakerphone.

Illustrated instructions for logging in to the meeting can be downloaded here.