Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Program Summaries

The Arts in Every Classroom: A Video Library, K–5 includes programs grouped into four content categories that are intended to be viewed in sequence:

Introducing Arts Education introduces viewers to opinions and perspectives from a variety of educators and locations. This program consists of three short segments:

  • “What Is Arts Education?” (14 minutes). This program provides on overview of arts-based learning, including comments by the arts coordinator of an urban school district, comments from teachers and administrators in six elementary schools where the arts are being used successfully, and examples of learning experiences in classrooms using the arts.
  • “What Are the Arts?” (5 minutes). In this program, teachers, administrators, and students offer their perspectives about what the arts mean to them.
  • “How Do You Know They’re Learning?” (4 minutes). Teachers, administrators, and parents share their personal strategies for assessing whether students have learned what was taught.

Arts Specialists at Work presents five half-hour programs that give in-depth looks at the work of outstanding arts specialist teachers in a variety of elementary school settings:

  • “Expanding the Role of the Arts Specialist.” Three arts specialists share their skills and ideas with teachers in other subject areas. Dance teacher Kathy DeJean uses dance to enrich students’ experiences with language concepts. Visual art specialist Mary Perkerson gives teachers hands-on instruction in painting techniques. Theatre teacher Amanda Newberry uses dramatic play to explore and develop story-telling skills.
  • “Teaching Dance.” Two teachers with contrasting training and classroom approaches create rich dance experiences for their students. Dance teacher Kathy DeJean works with an auditioned troupe of second- to fifth-graders as they explore shape, space, and time to create a journey in dance. Former physical education teacher Scott Pivnik rehearses a West African dance with a class of second-graders, exploring the dance’s geographical, cultural, and historic context as well as its music and movement.
  • “Teaching Music.” Music specialists from two arts-based schools demonstrate different approaches to serving diverse student populations. Barrett Jackson provides violin lessons for a majority of the students at her elementary school in Mableton, Georgia, aligning her goals with process rather than performance. Music teacher Sylvia Bookhardt investigates Renaissance history with a class in choral music.
  • “Teaching Theatre.” Theatre specialists and their students investigate basic theatre skills and use theatre education as a gateway to other kinds of learning. Amanda Newberry engages children by using improvisational exercises that develop their creative listening and thinking skills. George Jackson, III, employs basic and advanced theatre skills to achieve learning goals for various age and grade levels.
  • “Teaching Visual Art.” Visual art specialist teachers use contrasting approaches to interpreting the human face. Pamela Mancini has students study historical portraits for clues about the artists and their subjects, and then create original portraits, expressing information about their subjects through expression, clothing, background, and other visual cues. MaryFrances Perkins uses a mask-making session to explore the vocabulary concept of symmetry and study the presence of masks in other cultures.

Arts in the General Classroom consists of six half-hour programs showcasing classrooms where the arts are used as keys to learning across the curriculum:

  • “Developing an Arts-Based Unit.” A team of first- and second-grade teachers at Lusher Alternative Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana, plans a year-end project that lets students show what they have learned in science, math, and English. Their classes work together to create an original, multi-arts performance based on works of art with similar themes
  • “Working With Local Artists.” Dance artist Caren Plummer, drummer Kojo Plummer, and poet Leonore Gordon work with first-grade teachers to plan and implement an African-themed learning strand. Students and teachers prepare their work for a culminating, original “never-before-seen performance.”
  • “Collaborating With a Cultural Resource.” Lusher Alternative Elementary School teams with the nearby Ogden Museum of Southern Art on a unit of study based on the work of a local artist. As a culminating project, students proudly exhibit their original paintings and poems, which explore their personal “sense of place,” in a gallery show for parents.
  • “Bringing Artists to Your Community.” In rural Idalia, Colorado, Idalia School uses artist-in-residence programs to expose students to arts-based learning. Theatre artist Birgitta De Pree shares story-telling skills with classes of kindergarten and fifth-grade students. Musician Michael Stanwood works with students and their teachers to write song lyrics that relate to their curriculum, then puts these lyrics to music.
  • “Students Create a Multi-Arts Performance.” Kindergarten and fourth-grade students collaborate on an original performance piece inspired by Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam. The program presents highlights of the creative process, including brainstorming about characters’ emotions, creating speech and movement for the characters, constructing costumes, and performing.
  • “Borrowing From the Arts To Enhance Learning.” Teachers use techniques drawn from the arts to engage their students’ minds, bodies, and emotions, adding vitality and context to day-to-day learning experiences. Penny Suazo engages students with special needs in lessons filled with color, rhythm, drama, and other sensory experiences. Monica Bermiss and her students create skits to help them understand the concept of cause and effect. Hazel Lucas culminates her fifth-grade social studies unit on family history by having her students use favorite objects to make vivid visual representations of their lives.

Organizing for the Arts offers two half-hour programs that address aspects of operating a school with an arts emphasis:

  • “Three Leaders at Arts-Based Schools.” Three administrators share their strategies. Principal Martha Rodriguez-Torres describes her role as “politician, social worker, parent, and police officer” and says that her primary responsibility is to “provide teachers the resources they need to fulfill the program.” Principal Sandra McGary-Ervin encourages use of the arts to achieve the school’s priority goal of literacy. Assistant principal Rory Pullens uses his own arts background to ensure the arts play a prominent role in day-to-day learning.
  • “Leadership Team.” Principal Kathleen Hurstell Riedlinger works closely with a Leadership Team of classroom and arts teachers as a long-term strategy to protect the school’s mission and commitment to arts-based learning. The team considers a diverse agenda including the school’s annual Arts Celebration, increasing demand for enrollment from outside the school’s neighborhood, and strategies such as peer mentoring to orient new teachers to the school’s arts-based curriculum.

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