Blog

Moving Towards Culturally Responsible Classrooms

The start of the new year is a great chance to hit the reset button. As we move forward, let’s pause to contemplate how we as educators can examine our complicity in perpetuating stereotypes and, in response, activate empathy, knowledge-seeking, and change. As we ask hard questions and are willing to seek out answers, we can move from our old normal to a new normal, one that creates new healthier circuits and behaviors.   Some of our 2020 experiences have given us a reckoning of how Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) have been treated. They have propelled us to…

M ‘art’ ch Madness

What Is M ‘art’ ch Madness?Do you know anyone between age 5 and 18 who would love to win a pair of AirPods? That’s what K-12 students may win by entering our M’art’ch Madness competition! Sponsored by the Arts for Life Utah initiative and the professional arts organizations across the state of Utah, M’art’ch Madness is a multidisciplinary art competition that invites students to submit a work of art on the theme Arts for Life. Submissions from drama, dance, visual art, music, and literary arts are accepted. How Do I Get Started? We created prompts to help get the creative…

Classroom Management, Part 2: Hands-on Techniques for Tier 2 and 3 Students

My last blog post was centered around laying a foundation for good classroom management that targeted all Tier 1 students. If you missed that post, read it here! Tier 1 refers to support for all students in the classroom. This is where about 80% of your students will be. Tier 2 refers to a small group of students who may need differentiated strategies to aid in their behavioral progress in class. This will only account for about 15% of your students. Tier 3 refers to students who need individualized plans that support their specific needs. This accounts for less than…

Arts Bridge Scholar: Jessica Jensen at Brookhaven Elementary

The Power of a Name: There were so many benefits to simply learning student’s names that I would implore future arts bridge scholars to make this a priority! Set aside a few minutes at the beginning of each class to learn and remember each of the student’s names. They will know you care about them, focus, and understand you as a teacher so much better. This semester I had the opportunity to participate in the Arts Bridge Scholar program. I was placed at an elementary school in Eagle Mountain where I taught 6th graders dance while integrating some of their…

Arts Bridge Scholar: Mattie Davis at Brookhaven Elementary

I am a Dance Education major and this semester I taught sixth graders at Brookhaven Elementary. During my time at Brookhaven I saw a couple of different teachers and classrooms, as I rotated classrooms every couple of weeks. Because of this rotation, I had the opportunity to revisit my lessons and revise them to create an even more effective program. My lessons focus on dance concepts based on the B.E.S.T. (Body, Energy, Space, Time) principles. I strongly believe that teaching dance to children has many benefits that carry into their lives outside of the classroom. Dance helps students develop kinesthetic…

Arts Bridge Scholar: Deanna Nielson at Brookhaven Elementary

My name is Deanna Nielson. I am an Art Education major, and I will be completing my student teaching next semester and plan to graduate in April 2021. This is my third semester being involved in Arts Bridge, and I love this program. I have really enjoyed teaching, having fun with the students, and learning from the teachers I have worked with. I believe that visual art is an extremely beneficial aspect of education, so I am so grateful to have the opportunity to help elementary teachers integrate art into their classrooms! Sixth Grade Mrs. Sweeney’s class has been learning…

Arts Bridge Scholar: Emmalynn Pace at Brookhaven Elementary

I had the privilege of being a dance Arts Bridge Scholar at Brookhaven Elementary school for the past couple of months. I was nervous about teaching kids by myself, as this was my first experience doing so. I quickly learned from my first- and second-graders, however, that kids are so non-judgmental and forgiving. They are eager to participate, please, and conquer the next challenge. My Arts Bridge experience this semester has been extremely informative in changing my teaching practices for the better and helping me understand the complications and beauty of integrating dance into the classroom. The first thing I…

Classroom Management, Part 1: Go Back to the Basics and Get More Done

WARNING! WARNING!! RED ALERT!!! Winter break is approaching. Be prepared for classroom parties, students missing your class, whole classes missing your class, quarantined students missing your class, and the inevitable rise in behavioral issues.  In all seriousness, the holiday season is upon us. NOW is when your classroom management skills are put to the test. I often thought that classroom management was a skill that you either had or you didn’t. (Like it was some innate survival instinct that you were born with.) But notice that I keep using the word skill. According to Merriam-Webster, a skill is “a learned…

Another Way to Listen

National events during this difficult year evidence a need for better models of civil dialogue and respectful communication to solve the complicated issues we face. How can each of us reach across the aisle to shift the direction of the widening divide? As educators who teach by example, how can we think critically about the challenges before us and practice effective communication for synergistic collaboration to achieve creative solutions?   I have learned a lot about this while participating in the BYU ARTS Partnership Native American Curriculum Initiative (NACI). NACI works across various cultures, belief systems, and values. It offers a…

Forest Bathing: Being Outside, Mindfully

The Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku is gaining traction across Western cultures. Shinrin means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” Forest bathing, or soaking in the atmosphere of nature through our senses, is a restorative habit. As the arts connect the dots of a shared human experience, the practice of joining with nature through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch also acts as a bridge between people and the natural world. As COVID-19 continues to spread globally and the weather gets colder, finding time or space for just being in nature can prove a challenge. But there’s no such…

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