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Thank you for your blog! I

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Thank you for your blog! I have been doing a great deal of research of how the emotional state of a child effects the amount of learning that is received and retained. I teach Kindergarten, and the amount of learning that happens with my five and six year-olds is not because their little brains are "like sponges." It is because it is acceptable to learn through play. Kindergarten is full of joyful learning. Unfortunately, the fun in learning seems to fizzle out as students progress into intermediate, middle and high school classes. The arts and collaborative learning should be involved in every classroom, along with the knowledge of neuroscience. I enjoy reading Dr. Willis' posts. I learn very much from each one!

High School Teacher from St. Paul, MN

The title of your blog really

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The title of your blog really caught my attention and I continued to be impressed as I read. This last year, my school had a large focus on Carol Dweck and her research on the fixed v. growth mindset. We are diligently working to help move our students to the growth mindset. I am very interested to try in my own classroom how integrating the arts can have an impact in this area.

Experiences with arts integration

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My students with learning disabilities/cognitive disabilities are very excited about arts integration techniques. When I introduce a topic and let them know what they are going to get t o do or what materials they will be able to use, they are very motivated. Through the arts component, several students, who pour themselves into the expression, often show an alternative understanding, added knowledge, or new angle on the topic. By sharing these creations, explaining them, presenting them to other classes, the students' true intellect shines and they get respect for their very real conceptual understandings. Students learn that there isn't one "best" or most "accurate" depiction of a topic.

Elementary Art Teacher from Woodhaven, MI

I really liked the message of

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I really liked the message of positiveness and happiness that can help students achieve and learn through art. I also like the idea of students having "emotional comfort and a safe haven" through the arts as well. I think this in turn leads to increased student learning, and as you stated, more pleasurable learning as well.

Homeschooling

Excellent!! Everyone must read this

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I am not a person formally knowleageable in education or neuroscience. I am just a person who reads a lot, and has read a lot. My formal education is in chemistry. When I made a short stint as a chemistry teacher in a private school I was told by a PhD in Education that "motivation was intrinsic". And this was supposed to be the end of my conversation about motivating students... :<. Well, maybe it is true that it is intrinsic, but how can you affect this "inherence" of the child's mind? Is it possible to excite those neurons? I guess it would work just like what the physical therapist does to acheive healing of a muscle.
Thank you so much for this superb article. I hope every teacher reads it.

Literacy, ESL Teacher and Creator of MakeBeliefsComix.com

Enhance the Joy of Learning by Creating Comic Strips Online

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Hope, in your efforts to use educational resources that provide a joyous as well as a learning experience to youngsters, that you'll experiment with MakeBeliefsComix.com, a free comic strip generator. The site offers 128 characters with different emotions to choose from, blank talk and thought balloons to fill in with text, story prompts and more than 250 graphic writing prompt printables to encourage students to write and express their thoughts and feelings. Creating comic strips online can be a wonderful way to improve writing, reading, language skills and stir creativity, and the completed comic strips can be emailed or printed to place in a portfolio.
Sincerely,
Bill Zimmerman
Creator, MakeBeliefsComix.com and www.billztreasurechest.com

Voice Teacher & Educational Rap Enthusiast

Thank you for mentioning rap!

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I REALLY enjoyed reading this article and was particularly happy that you mentioned rap as one of the artistic resources from which students can thrive and excel. I work for Rhythm, Rhyme, Results (www.educationalrap.com) and we've long known that academic music, particularly educational rap, is a culturally relevant, accessible and affordable educational tool which can be used in a variety of ways to help students learn.

Off to tweet this on our page. Bravo! Excellent article.

Theater Artist and Somatic Education in Movement and Creative Integration

Nia Training Faculty, White & Green Belt, Somatic Education

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I am excited to hear of your discussion linking Joy, the child (beginner's) mind and the arts. I teach movement through Nia (Somatic Education for EveryBody) which stimulates the limbic and sympathic nervous system responses through movement. Thank you for your citing of JOY and Pleasure as important aspects of sensing the emotional components of learning.

Theater Artist and Somatic Education in Movement and Creative Integration

Nia Training Faculty, White & Green Belt, Somatic Education

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I am excited to hear of your discussion linking Joy, the child (beginner's) mind and the arts. I teach movement through Nia (Somatic Education for EveryBody) which stimulates the limbic and sympathic nervous system responses through movement. Thank you for your citing of JOY and Pleasure as important aspects of sensing the emotional components of learning.

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