Featured Teachers

Dance for All Abilities: Instructional Strategies for Every Classroom

I like a bargain! When I get the biggest bang for my buck, a delightful feeling springs up inside of me. This is a personality trait that has stuck with me over the years. Getting the biggest bang for your buck is a mantra I live by when creating content for my students. Developing a cardio-focused version of the BrainDance, connecting dance movement to the core curriculum, and providing classroom teachers with extra movement resources are a few ways I have practiced giving educators and students a big bang for their buck.  Over the past five years, I have developed…

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…

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…

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…

Critique in the Classroom: How to Use A Gallery Wall

The art room is a busy place with projects, supplies, and students everywhere. As artists, we are all so invested in the art-making process that many times we don’t leave enough time to stop, appreciate, and reflect on all that we have accomplished and learned along the way.  My students’ absolute favorite day is our “Gallery Wall” day. During gallery wall time, every student gets to display their artwork to the class. We discuss and critique each piece in a safe and respectful environment. This time is spent focusing on the positive and calling attention to the detail, uniqueness, and…

Veterans Day Art: Celebrating the Individual and the Community

Melissa Deletant teaches art in the Uintah schools, one of Utah’s most diverse districts. At Lapoint Elementary, which borders the Ute reservation, the population is mostly a mix of Native Americans and the white descendants of Mormon ranchers. Instead of seeing these differences as a challenge, Melissa sees opportunity.  Raised in a homogenous rural Pennsylvania community, Melissa’s first teaching job was in Virginia where 96% of her students were minority populations. Notions of being “color blind” evaporated when she realized that embracing each student’s unique background, perspective, and gifts would help her see the whole student and create a culturally…

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…

Chalk Art Festivals and Summer Fun

Liz Brown is the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program Visual Arts Specialist at Daniels Canyon Elementary and Old Mill Elementary in the Wasatch County School District. During the last week of school, Liz hosted school-wide chalk festivals at both locations. Each class was given a designated area on the school sidewalks to create chalk art. Every student received professional chalk pastels that can be used in unique ways to create pieces of art. Before the students could begin to draw on the sidewalks, they had to learn about chalk pastel techniques. First, Liz had the students practice blending and…

The Art of Collaboration

Art students in James Rees’s classes at Provo High School have had the opportunity to work collaboratively with the community during the last couple of years to beautify the schools of young children. Two different murals were created for Mountainland Head Start – one for the school in Orem and one for the school in Lehi. The first mural was created in collaboration with elementary students from Lakeview Elementary School in Provo. Art teacher Elicia Gray’s students created artworks depicting robots. Then, Rees’s students incorporated the robots into the mural. About 80 students total – elementary and high school –…

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