Friday was Resica Elementary’s Celebration of the Arts. These annual celebrations have been occurring since 1995, but this year was different. A group of veteran teachers and the art and music educators at Resica were involved in a year long study of documentation as a way to sustain and extend arts integration in the everyday work of the classroom and the learning life of the school.
Resica, since its inception in 1994, has been an arts integrated school, valuing the role of the arts in learning within and through the curriculum. Artist’s in residence, professional development, and a core of arts committed teachers and arts educators have sustained the arts integration impetus over the past years. I have had the honor of working with the amazing faculty and administrators for the past 19 years, so when they requested a “refresher” course on arts integration I saw this as a unique opportunity to take their work to another level!
Resica is a K-5 school in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania and not unlike other schools across the county is faced by increasing accountability demands, such as increased testing mandates, meeting Annual Yearly Progress (AYP), scripted curriculum, and addressing more diverse learners in an increasingly narrow curriculum. We began by reviewing developmentally appropriate practices (NAEYC) and current research on arts integration, studies on the arts, brain and creativity, and examined student learning. We aligned research with curriculum goals and set out to document student learning through the arts, as inspired by Reggio Emilia schools, while sharpening artistic skills and studio thinking. The discussions were lively, the arts explorations engaging, and the thinking deep!
This year’s Celebration of the ARTS provided a perfect venue for showcasing their Arts Integration Documentation projects — a sustainable way to advocate for arts integration as everyday work in the classroom. I will be sharing their stories more fully in upcoming blogs, but here a few photos to pull you in, wet your appetite, and engage your curiosity.
Dr. Kelberman has a theory that if you wear your pajamas backwards, you will have a snow day. So I want to know which of you is wearing your pj’s backwards AND do you know it?
Today you will have class right here…First you will scroll down through a few posts until you see one titled Thinking about Arts Integration. There is a link to an email dialogue I had with a student last semester about the 3 lesson mapping process. I think you will get a good idea of how she and I thought together about her three lessons and how to craft strong learning goals and assessments.
Then you can go to Art 311 and Checkout two pages with power points. The first is Mapping-Linking-Planning-Documenting that provides an overview of the 3 lesson planning process all the way to the final documentation of student learning. The second page on Engaging Art Lesson Planning with a power point on Lesson Planning, which offers an overview of how to plan powerful, cohesive arts integrated lessons. Handouts resources which support both parts are there for your success. Looking for the Arts Standards? That is on the another page. Check there for National Visual Art, PA State Art and Early Learning standards.
So what do you do on a snow day….Start thinking about your mapping process. Begin by looking at what your teacher is covering in the next few months in Science or Social Studies (Mentor map). Maybe there is a language arts unit coming up? What might be a great connection for art? Email me a draft or what you are beginning to think and we will carry on our own conversation. Warning!! Think about what you want the STUDENTS to LEARN…NOT what activity YOU will do. Also I DO NOT respond to … I don’t know what to do. THINK FIRST….have some ideas, possible content to play with, and we will work together to craft the three lessons. Oh…if you get stuck take a walk outside…it is beautiful!! Definitely a snow angel day.
FINAL ART REFLECTION is up under Art 311.
We are rounding the bend headed to home….ENJOY your final days with your students in your PDS site. Be Grateful and Gracious to all who have impacted your learning this semester. Kind words, written words are BEST. Show your best work AND how you had an IMPACT on Student Learning at your CELEBRATION!