Harmon has been a teaching artist since 2001, bringing art into the classroom of numerous public and private schools across Mississippi. He has taught Universal Design for Learning and Differentiated Instruction workshops in Washington D.C. as well as New York and Mississippi. As a teaching artist, he can assist school administrators and teachers in developing curriculum that integrates the arts into classroom practices. He has also been a presenter for the Mississippi Arts Commission and the Whole Schools Initiative. The medium of hand papermaking is the primary art form he uses in the classroom. He says, “papermaking is an art form that can integrate with all subjects, from mathematics to language arts, as well as being an art form in which all students can excel. ” Through his training with VSA (a national and state organization supporting the arts for those with disabilities) he works with special education classrooms as well as classrooms which are inclusive.
He is also a practicing visual artist working in watercolor and oil painting and is a signature member of the Mississippi Watercolor Society.
Title: Introduction to Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Strategies
Description: This professional development workshop is designed to provide administrators and teachers the knowledge and skills to develop a curriculum that gives all individuals equal opportunities to learn. This hands-on training provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone—not a single, one-size-fits-all solution, but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs. Use of UDL principles is necessary because students bring a great variety of skills, needs, and interests to learning. Neuroscience reveals that these differences are as varied and unique as our DNA or fingerprints.
Title: Planning for All Learners (PAL) Workshop
Description: The Planning for All Learners (PAL) process builds upon two prerequisites:
The Planning for All Learners workshop is the follow-on training to assist teachers in implementing UDL principals into their curriculum. The PAL process begins with the formation of PAL teams, comprised of general education and special education teachers and other appropriate educational specialists at single grade level. (i.e. 1st grade PAL team, 2d grade Pal team, 3d grade PAL team, 4th grade PAL, etc.) The teams attend the PAL workshop to establish goals and procedures. The teams then meets regularly during the school year to focus on the foundation of instruction — the curriculum. Identification of a strong team facilitator, responsible for scheduling meetings and agendas, providing and/or facilitating “just in time” support, and actively promoting a growing PAL initiative, is essential to the success of the PAL team. The work of the PAL team must always be aligned with local district and school initiatives, and is guided by state standards. The PAL process includes four steps, based upon the principles and concepts of UDL, proven professional development strategies, and effective teaching practices.
Title: Hand Papermaking
Description: This workshop is designed to integrate arts into the classroom curriculum. The course consists of a discussion of papermaking and recycling and, learning and practicing the skills of following directions, teamwork, problem solving, and experimentation.
Title: Japanese Stab Binding Bookmaking
Description: The prerequisite for this course is “Hand Papermaking.” This is an arts-integrated workshop with links to language arts, history, mathematics, social studies, and art. The course builds on skills learned in the papermaking course and uses paper previously made by participants. The students will learn how to plan, design, and construct a handmade book using ancient techniques.
Title: Papercraft: Making and Designing Cards and Envelopes
Description: This is an arts integrated course with links to language arts, history, mathematics, social studies, and art. The course builds on skills learned in the papermaking course and uses the paper made previously. The students will learn how to plan, design, and construct a handmade greeting card and envelope using visual art standards.
Title: Introduction to Watercolor Painting Techniques
Description: This is an arts-integrated course with links to history, mathematics, and art. This course introduces the art medium of watercolor to students and discusses the types of paper, the types of pigments, and the selection of brushes. The students will learn the techniques of watercolor and the elements of art by hands-on exercises and experimentation. The course will culminate with the students utilizing their new skills to complete a watercolor painting.
Title: Basic Block Printing
Description: This is an arts integrated course with links to language arts, history, mathematics, social studies, and art. The students will learn how to plan, design, and construct a block print using simple tools and equipment and then print their designs on various items such as paper and cloth.
Teaching Artist Roster
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