Confession: I dread visual arts projects. My background is primarily in theater, dance, and other performing arts, and I would so much rather write and produce a classroom play than have the kids paint a mural. Classroom murals are my Vietnam. They are messy and interminable, and they never seem to finish as a clear … More Organizing Visual Arts Lessons
Transitions. Done poorly, they can break down classroom order faster than you can say “Sit down, please.” Done well, they become an important educational tool. Here are 20 transition games to improve early literacy learning. Rhyming 1. If your name rhymes with Bichael, Bessica, or Bestiny, you may go back to your seat. (Use whatever … More 20 Transition Mini-Games for Literacy
So far on this (very young) blog, I’ve focused mostly on listicles, but this week I want to zoom in and focus on doing one idea very thoroughly. This is the very definition of rigor, and it’s something an arts-integrated unit is very good for. So here’s an All About Me unit incorporating poetry, drawing, … More An All About Me Unit
What Is It? You might not realize, especially if you’re from the US where it doesn’t get a lot of press, but it’s World Water Week next week (8/24-8/28). It tends to get lost in the back-to-school frenzy (and many schools haven’t even started yet), but it’s a worthwhile cause, and a good learning opportunity … More Bonus Post – Arts Integrated Activities for World Water Week
It’s back to school time, which, for early elementary teachers, and sometimes for upper elementary teachers, means back to the ABCs. That’s 26 letters times 2 (for upper and lower case), to be matched in various combinations with 44 separate phonemes. That’s 96 distinct factoids necessary for reading, not counting the skills needed to put … More Arts Integration & the ABCs – 6 Ways to Make the ABCs Artistic, Beautiful, & Creative
The classroom rules are rarely approached as an opportunity for creativity. Introducing the rules is the moment for sober reflections on safety and stern discussions of consequences. When I first started teaching, I was told not to smile for the first six weeks. But then I left the traditional classroom for an arts and literacy … More 6 Ways to Art-Up Your Classroom Rules
School is just around the corner, and what better way to wade into a new year (and start a new blog!) than with an armful of great read-alouds. Here are some old and new to launch those important conversations about school, rules, community, respect, and inspiration. And some craft and writing suggestions to kick-start those … More 21 Great Picture Books to Open the School Year (With Bulletin Board Ideas).