Integrating the Arts Morning

Dear Families,

It was a real treat to see SO (!) many enthused family and friendly faces at our Integrating the Arts morning last Friday! WOW!  In case you missed my school wide presentation and the classroom experience….here is a virtual experience!

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Imagine you can hear my voice 🙂

Please check out the fun video also on our Instagram account: FOLLOW US HERE!

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First….I spoke about what arts integration is…. look at what the John F Kennedy Center for the Arts says :

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Why is this important at Memorial Spaulding? Well, consider these points:

Here in Newton, we have a strong arts education program, we know the power of the arts and what is afforded from the arts; the students who find an opportunity to shine, the joy that students experience while painting, singing, acting or dancing, or the phenomenal engagement that motivates our students in the arts. Memorial Spaulding teachers have worked to make the commitment to have students experience learning from the arts, but also, now through the arts.

-Back in the summer of 2013, I had to opportunity to go to a workshop through the Department of Education and Lesley University about integrating the arts with seven other teachers from Memorial Spaulding. When we came back from that workshop we created an Integrating the Arts committee that has in total has had 35 faculty members who have served on it to date….clearly this work is a passion for many of your children’s teachers. (HERE is a little more history too)

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3rd Grade Poetry and Science Collages

Teachers and specialists work together to create arts integrated strategies to help all children access content material in areas ranging from math, science, social studies and literacy. Our goal is to prepare our students (your kids!) to be 21st century learners, who are independent, self-regulated learners but also as more imaginative and integrative people.

As Memorial Spaulding teachers, we work hard to be sure that accountability can coexist with creativity and play….it doesn’t have to be one or the other…. High standards and maintaining a joyful and interactive environment can both occur here (and do!). Put simply…learning through the arts is joyful, helps all children learn and is a best practice for teachers.

What are teachers saying? Here are few…

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Here is how it looks at Memorial Spaulding.  We are all building our teacher toolkit and are training in these five areas:

Visual Thinking Strategies, Dramatic Play through Tableau, Soundscapes, Creative Movement, and Creating Art for Comprehension.

I also went on to explain how that looks in classrooms- download the documents below to learn more…..

I also was able to share some of our deeper connections in our 3rd Grade unit where we study biographies of artists, use VTS, Creating art and more as a way to engage students in this work. In our 4th grade unit, we have been able to develop exciting and meaningful lessons in our Civil Rights study. This opportunity is afforded by a grant we received this past year from Boston University where students are now going to learn in diverse ways about the ever-important lessons around civil rights history and how we can apply this knowledge as fourth grade citizens.  We as a staff and Integrating the Arts committee are working to create more and more curricular opportunities for your children to learn through the arts in deeper units of study and continue to pursue grants and opportunities. Stay tuned. Back to the morning…..

What did your child’s classroom experience highlight? 

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I was proud of our thriving classrooms, as each one had a unique and exciting arts experience for families to experience. Teachers developed authentic arts experiences that connected to curricular experiences….such diversity of creativity within our school!

Would you like to learn more and extend this learning at home? Here are some resources for you to download from our morning:

Art to Interpret- ITA Morning

Soundscapes- ITA Morning

Dramatic Play- ITA Morning

Visual Thinking Strategies- ITA Morning

Dance and Creative Movement ITA Morning

Thank you so much for your enthusiasm, support and interest in integrating the arts- an area that I consider as one of my favorite aspects of why Memorial Spaulding is SUCH an amazing place to be!

Colorfully Yours,

Alexandra 🙂

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