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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…

Native American Hoop Dance 2021: Competition and Reunion

Watching the Native American Hoop Dance is an experience that sticks with you. Maybe a Native American group visited your school or you witnessed the dance at a cultural event. Whatever the case, those moments make a lasting impression. You may not remember the faces or names of the dancers, but the feelings and the power of the dance remain. If you’ve missed the pleasure of absorbing this experience, now is the time! Sponsored by the Heard Museum, the annual Hoop Dance Contest is virtual this year due to COVID, thus expanding the audience and widening the participant pool. Instead…

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…

Teach Your Content with a Utah Twist

In my work with the National History Day (NHD) program, I have witnessed the transformative power of relevancy in student learning. So often our students report that they didn’t think history was relevant in their lives… until they had the opportunity to delve into something that was meaningful to them. “By doing these projects,” a high school student reflected, “not only do you feel that you have a place in a vast universe, you feel more empathetic. Human.” I have learned that finding the local in the global can help students identify with content across curricula in the arts, humanities,…

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…

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