Laura Giles

Teachers as Artists: Get to Know Jennifer Purdy

Jennifer Purdy has seen firsthand how art changes lives. Now, Jennifer is helping to change more lives by mentoring educators who are bringing the arts to their students. Jennifer is a BYU ARTS Partnership leadership team member, the program coordinator for the Arts Integration Endorsement class, and works to make sure educators learn basic art skills, learn how to teach the arts and encourage arts leadership in schools and communities.   Jennifer began taking piano lessons when she was five years old. “I had a variety of teachers, but my piano teacher, Lucille Wilson, taught me how to love music, to…

Teachers as Artists: Get to Know Cindy Clark

“The arts make the world worth living in and help define purpose.”   Cindy Clark, BYU ARTS Partnership leadership team member, visual artist, singer (in the shower), piano player and teacher, works hard to ensure that teachers and future teachers feel comfortable and successful with the visual arts.   Cindy is currently helping participants in the Arts Integration Endorsement classes to get more comfortable with an art form. For example, everyone in the class recently played with watercolors in their personal sketchbooks. “We talked about sketchbooks/journals, and used watercolors as background or borders for our journals,” Cindy said. “Plus, we threw in…

Life is Better With the Arts

The arts impact the lives of students, educators, and communities. This idea reflects the founding principle of the Arts for Life initiative. Created by the Utah Partnership for Arts Education, Arts for Life shares stories of how the arts personally affect people. By highlighting these personal stories, the Arts for Life initiative reveals the rich and strong significance of arts education in helping people deal with life’s struggles, giving them hope, and providing a creative outlet. Rhonda Rhodes, a past president of UMEA, explained that creating resources for principals was the original idea uniting the four founding organizations of Arts…

More…POPS opportunities abound for the classroom as well as remote learning

Now that school has begun, many opportunities exist for integrating the arts into teaching and learning. Professional Outreach Programs in the Schools (POPS) provide resources that can be used in the classroom as well as remotely.  POPS is managed by the Utah State Board of Education and sponsored by the Utah State Legislature. The program brings arts education and professional artists across multiple disciplines to educators and schools for free or subsidized costs. Many of the experiences are also readily accessed online.  Springville Museum of Art The Springville Museum of Art’s Museum from Home page offers several resources for teachers…

POPS: More Opportunities to Refine Arts Education During Summertime

Summer break is when many educators think about, collaborate, improve, and refine their plans for the upcoming school year. Professional Outreach Programs in the Schools (POPS) can provide the needed resources to integrate the arts into those plans.  POPS is managed by the Utah State Board of Education and sponsored by the Utah State Legislature. The program brings arts education and professional artists to educators and schools for free or subsidized costs. Read on to discover different and accessible ways to integrate dance and visual arts into your classroom, all available through POPS. Ballet West Ballet West has a variety…

POPS: Resources for Professional Development and Remote Learning in the Arts

Recently, the quick shift to remote learning presented a unique challenge to many educators. Though school may be out for the summer, we know teachers are continuing to work hard, preparing for the unknowns of next year through summer team collaborations, individual development, or lesson planning. POPS (Professional Outreach Program in the Schools) has resources to help prepare for the upcoming school year. There are also great resources available to share with your students during the summer months.  POPS is a resource managed by the Utah State Board of Education and sponsored by the Utah State Legislature. POPS is designed…

Arts Integration and Online Learning: Frindle, Dinosaurs, and Chalk Art

Arts integration is continuing, even during these months of digital learning. Across Utah, teachers are integrating the arts with other curricular areas to keep their students engaged, spark creativity, deepen learning and make home education enjoyable. FUN WITH FRINDLE Lori Nickerson, a second-grade teacher at Westland Elementary in Jordan School District, has been reading “Frindle” by Andrew Clements to her students. Class members culminated this literature experience by joining a Frindle Fair through Google Meet. At the fair, each student showed how he or she created a project to demonstrate understanding of the story. The students were encouraged to incorporate…

Utah Women’s History to Be Celebrated in 2020

Better Days 2020, a nonprofit organization dedicated to popularizing Utah women’s history through art, education, and legislation, has reason to celebrate this year—as do all of us. This year, Better Days 2020 will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Utah women casting their first ballots, the first American women to vote under an equal suffrage law. It is also the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave equal voting rights to women; and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, which protected voting rights of racial minorities. Arts-Based Initiatives There will be numerous arts event to celebrate these landmarks…

Celebrating and Honoring Veterans through Music

For the second year, Veterans Day was a musical event at Orem Elementary School in Orem, Utah. Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program (BTSALP) educator Cheri Hancock has been working for several weeks with all of the students in the school to prepare for this celebration. During the weeks leading up to the special day, Hancock integrated social studies, literature, history, and science into her music class. Weaving music into the study of other content areas allows the students to understand what they are learning more deeply and have emotional experiences, especially when learning about historical events about the country…

Finding the Best Arts Specialist

Who a principal hires to teach the arts at a school can impact student learning and school culture. At the elementary level, an arts teacher serves every student in the school in one art form and provides leadership across all the art forms. At the secondary level, there is often only one teacher in each art form at the school, which means the entire school program is dependent on the skills, ability, and professional commitment of that individual. At both levels, the teacher plays a critical role to build a quality program over time. To optimize the impact of arts…

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