Monday, March 26, 2012

Arts Integration- Guest Blogger Lisa Ricciardelli

Check out the guest blogger feature from Lisa Ricciardelli, Art Teacher at Austin Elementary.  She recently returned from the National Art Education Association's 2012 Conference and brought back a rekindled passion for arts integration!

Through a grant made possible by the Coppell Gifted Association I had the fortune of attending the National Art Education Association’s 2012 Convention in New York City on March 1-4! One of the highlights of my conference experience that would be purposeful to teachers was a session I attended on educational neuroscience and the important role art plays in the development of the brain. The Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning demonstrated in this session that, based on educational neuroscience, teachers must tactically integrate understanding of various learning modalities with multisensory learning into the curriculum for students to best learn. Arts participation has been consistently linked to better academic performance largely because the Arts are inherently multisensory and do uphold diverse learning modalities. The arts can enhance spatial reasoning, attention, thinking habits, motivation, and collaboration. What's more, Arts activities naturally incorporate factors that are known in cognitive psychology to improve long-term memory for information, rousing active retrieval of factual knowledge.
Teachers and Specialists,
I am happy to support any staff member on integrating the arts into your curriculum by helping you create project-based ideas and/or creativity exercises for your students. As a resource to you, I welcome our collaboration individually or in teams!
Need some instant gratification on the topic?
Here are some examples of excellent creativity exercises that can be used in most classrooms: DIVERGENT THINKING BEGINS HERE

More on Arts Integration…
Arts integration is not a substitute for teaching the arts for their own sake. While it is necessary to recognize the need for art specialists in the schools, it is also important that all educators become aware of the successes that have been demonstrated when students become engaged in their own learning via arts integrated instruction. Furthermore, it is essential to understand that arts integration is about a methodology and a philosophical approach to education that creates a level of personal connection and added depth in the classroom through a creative inquiry-based process of teaching and learning.
Source: Northeastern Illinois University

Links/Books: has excellent lesson ideas for arts integration. The blogger believes in providing high-quality, high-impact professional development for education practitioners and advocates using Arts Integration, Technology and Innovative Teaching Strategies to positively impact all learners.
Artful Thinking is a program that was developed by Harvard Project Zero in collaboration with the Traverse City, Michigan Area Public Schools (TCAPS). The program was one component of a larger TCAPS grant from the US Department of Education that aimed at developing a model approach for integrating art into regular classroom instruction. The purpose of the Artful Thinking Program is to help teachers regularly use works of visual art and music in their curriculum in ways that strengthen student thinking and learning.
The following books are highly praised publications presented to us in this seminar on the topic of educational neuroscience:
·         Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck (familiar? LOL)
·         A Whole New Mind: How Right-Brainers will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink (J)
·         Five Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner (Genius!)
·         The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner (of NPR)
·         The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model by Dr. Mariale Hardiman (Feb 2012)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cooperation vs. Collaboration

At our most recent Team Leader meeting, we began a discussion of ways to build a more reflective campus culture.  One of the questions was, "How can we get to a place where, as teachers, we are comfortable stepping back, taking a look at our instructional practices, and adjusting as necessary?" 

One of the things we realized was that it will require serious and continuing collaboration.... but what exactly is collaboration?  Are we often times confusing it with cooperation?  We sat down and tossed around some ideas of what collaboration IS and IS NOT.  Check out what we came up with so far, and please forgive the atrocious handwriting :)

Here's what we came up with for "Student Collaboration."

Here's what we came up with for "Teacher Collaboration."

What would you add to the list?  Is there anything you would change?