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Artist, Educator, Dog Lover

Art can teach so much more

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Art can teach so much more than how to make a pretty picture. I have seen this happen in my middle school art class for over twenty years. Personally, I integrate as much writing and culture into my art lessons as possible, and believe art is the foundation for teaching critical thinking skills. You can get more interdisciplinary examples at my blog http://corndogart.com/blog/. When art is used correctly in school, it should provoke children to think and ask questions.

Art integration always sounds

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Art integration always sounds good, but the how to is where I get blocked. This article gave some good examples of how to make that integration happen. It's very helpful when I am able to see concrete examples of art integration. I was especially impressed with rethinking of the image of the atom. I think activities like this will help students think critically, yes, but also help make the learning of the concept stick.

Middle School Social Studies teacher, Bismarck, ND

Art and politics

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I teach North Dakota Studies in Bismarck, ND. With the legislative session fast approaching (January 2013), I am really excited about incorporating pieces that integrate arts and politics to engage my students in critical thinking about their government at work. I love the idea of picking apart policies to really get at the "meat" in the bills that are being proposed into law, so that students realize that the law making process politicians partake in is incredibly complex. Once students examine legislation, I am going to have them focus on the question the teachers suggested, "How can art reflect and inform the public about policy-making agendas?" I am just wondering if I should limit the forms of art in which students can express themselves to one or two types or just let their creativity run wild? I would definitely be open to some suggestions.
Thanks for the great information.

First grade teacher from Ada, MN

I really enjoyed reading your

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I really enjoyed reading your blog. I’m taking a master’s class right now on integrating arts into curriculum. After taking this class and reading your blog, I’m realizing the importance and positive impact arts can have on a child. I agree that when a school is lacking money or making cuts, the arts are the first thing to go. This way of thinking needs to change. It’s so interesting to realize the impact the arts can have on critical thinking skills. I personally have thought as art as a separate class, but now I’m realizing that it shouldn’t be. We need to work to incorporate art into our everyday teaching of core subjects. I love your examples of different ways to integrate art into the classroom. It was really amazing how the students not only had to use their critical thinking skills, but they also had to express it through art to convey a message. I’m going to take on your mission and try to incorporate art into my first grade curriculum. Thanks so much for writing this blog, and inspiring me to start putting more emphasis on art in my own classroom.

Great Idea!

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I was very excited to see the picture of the bee-hive to represent an atom! I think my students would really enjoy having the opportunity to use art supplies to create their representation of the atoms. I can see some students choosing to take photographs or creating a collage as well. Furthermore, I think it would be neat to just bring in a bunch of watercolor paints and see what the students create.

I am planning on trying a similar idea I found while researching about art integration. I am going to have my students pick an ionic compound and create a piece of artwork to represent their compound. The students will need to include the Lewis structure of the compound somewhere in their work. I am hoping that my students find this exciting and engaging, as I have not tried this type of project before in my classroom.

Seventh and Eighth grade band and chorus director in South Carolina

Wow!

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Wow! As a teacher of the arts, I am extremely proud to read this. Many times, elective teachers do not feel appreciated for what they do. I am among this crowd at times, because the core subjects in our school get so much attention, as they should, but we get pushed aside most of the time. I was so excited to read about how Jazz Choir is what kept you in grade school. I teach choir and have been wanting to start a jazz choir, and your blog may have just given me the motivation to do so. Thanks!

GA

Assistant Editor, Literacyhead

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At Literacyhead, we believe the visual arts can be a key to teaching literacy! Thanks for this great article and check us out here at www.literacyhead.com

Titian and Tennyson

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Hear, hear. I've been saying for some time that the arts are an important place for holding critical thinking. Indeed, I can't imagine anything more full of critical expression. For example, Titian's magnificent, Flaying of Marsayas: http://ovenell-carter.com/titian-tennyson

President Art Administrators of New Jersey

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Arts specialists know that students learn in and through art; and that a well-crafted integrated program requires certified arts educators. All educators and decision makers should be mindful though, that for integration to work properly and effectively, the integrity of the art form must be upheld. The arts should not be used as an add-on but rather as another avenue in the process of integration for student skills and knowledge. Unfortunately in many schools due to budget cuts, arts teachers have been sacrificed. School districts promote the arts as a component of their curriculum through integration, but often, certified arts teachers are not part of that educational landscape. As arts advocates we must promote the necessity for arts specialists in all our schools and in every grade level working collaboratively with other classroom and subject area teachers to establish the arts as a crucial component to the educational environment.

Exploring frontiers of teaching, jazz, yoga, Macs, film

How to integrate art and history + summarizing skills

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A great post - so much truth in this statement "Teachers, your mission is finding ways to integrate art into the core subjects. Use your students' creative impulses to bring a new purpose to interpreting, conceptualizing and critically thinking around content. This type of integration can work for ANY discipline."

Here's my post that integrates art and historic interpretation - "How to Teach Summarizing: A Critical Learning Skill for Students" http://bit.ly/n8Fze4 A three step process I followed in a second grade classroom using a popular Currier and Ives print.

Summarizing is an essential skill for learning, but too often in school we simply ask students to "guess" what the teacher (or author) thinks is important. If students are going to learn to summarize they need to be given a chance to genuinely share what they think is important for an audience other than the teacher.

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