Featured Teachers

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 –…

Authentic Experiences with the Visual Arts: An Interview with Tara Carpenter

Tara Carpenter, professor in BYU’s Department of Art Education, shares her ideas on how to help future teachers integrate visual arts into their classrooms. Carpenter has taught at BYU for the past three years. She teaches art for elementary teachers (VAEDU 326). The class is designed to help pre-service teachers understand visual arts and develop their own skills. Her teaching style focuses on providing authentic experiences to teachers. She believes that if teachers have real experiences with art they will feel more motivated to teach it. This year she has done just that! Carpenter helped develop and pilot a new…

Feature Teacher: Kelleen Leslie

Kelleen Leslie has been teaching for seven years, exclusively in the fourth grade. She is currently teaching in Utah’s Jordan School District and serves on the district’s arts committee.  Kelleen attended the BYU ARTS Partnership’s Arts Academy her second year teaching, had a BYU Arts Bridge scholar the year after that, and attends the partnership’s ARTS Express, a two-day conference, during the summer each year. In addition, she attended a week-long teacher seminar at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. where she further enhanced her skill set in teaching with the arts. When she began teaching she wanted…

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