Integrating arts into the curriculum will be our ticket to getting all of these things accomplished, Right now, we have art class isolated as a separate subject. Although I do understand that we should be thankful that the district hasn’t cut our arts program, we should be taking advantage of this by trying to use the arts as a process to connect teaching subjects in the classroom, Teaching through the arts not only supports a positive learning environment, but it will address student-centered learning and will impact the diverse learning needs of each student. Ill explain and eve examples of significant instructional strategies that are based on practicing integrating the arts along with culturally responsive pedagogy. I will also discuss how students learning styles and multiple perspectives are encouraged. Lastly, I will show evidence of academic and cognitive outcomes of a lesson have taught using the arts and how the instruction was linked to state standards. My new knowledge and understanding Of integrating the arts and multiple intelligence approaches to classroom learning impact my every day teaching and has enabled me to take my teaching too higher level.Order now
As I’ve read in the book, Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom by Thomas Armstrong (2009): Multiple Intelligence theory makes its greatest contribution to education by suggesting that teachers need to expand their repertoire of techniques, tools, and strategies beyond the typical linguistic and logical ones predominantly used in American classrooms. MI theory provides a broad range of stimulating curricula to “awaken” the slumbering brains that Goodling fears populate our nation’s schools. P. 54-55) “Slumbering brains” is a great description of students in an every day classroom in America. The teacher stands in the front of the room and talks at the students almost all day. There is hardly any learning going on. These students’ brains are just being filled with information instead of their passion being ignited! Then, the practice that the teachers are giving to the students that supposedly supports the lesson is a worksheet out of a workbook.
Armstrong (2009) believes that, “The federal governments No Child Left Behind law has created a climate in which standardized tests, and standardized methods to prepare for them, have overwhelmed the landscape in schools across the United States” (p. 5). Most schools are now so worried about standardized tests that they hue begun to teach to the test. They have begun to steer their direction of teaching students from becoming educated, successful, creative and competitive community members to just good test-takers. At what cost is this?
In my opinion, we are dumping down our kids and not allowing their creativity to blossom and take shape. Studies show that our actual peak of creativity happens in fifth grade. In fifth grade! We really need to take this into account as we start to plan for the upcoming year. We need to think about what we really want for our students and who we want them to become. Creating a sate environment in which students can freely experiment their passions through their MI and the arts along with connecting it to key standards in the curriculum is key for our students to be successful.
It shouldn’t just be connected, though; it should be embedded throughout the curriculum so that students are getting every chance possible to receive the best education and learn the curriculum in every way. Students’ learning styles and multiple perspectives should be encouraged, not discouraged, in the classroom. As educators, we do this by gearing our lessons more towards MI and the arts and using strategies that will significantly help take our student’s learning to a new level.
The first step is to recognize the learning styles and multiple intelligences in our classrooms at the beginning of the year. It would be best to even teach it as a lesson for the kids to understand and to give examples Of famous individuals who show signs of having one predominant MI. How empowering for the kids to know how they learn best and to make connections With Ray Charles knowing his struggles? As you know, most lessons follow this process: Introduce the lesson, give a lecture, maybe students pair share, then an independent worksheet for the assessment.
An integrated arts and MI lesson will focus on teaching through strategies using poetry, music, dance, theatre, visual arts and even storytelling to solidify the concepts and standards, It will also incorporate movement, logical and mathematical thinking, tactile materials and experiences, hands-on activities, interpersonal interaction, visual thinking and much more, One of my readings in Integrating the Arts by Merry Goldberg (2006), states that “using the arts as way to teach subject matter places the learner in the position of truly working with ideas and taking control of learning in a manner that is at once intellectual, personal, meaningful, and powerful” (p,S), recently taught an integrated arts unit on Cesar Shaved called “Coming Together”. Instead of the normal lesson have done in the past, used my new knowledge about integrating the arts and shifted my approach Students’ attitudes, behavior, and motivation drastically changed for the better. I was astounded at how differently my students took to the lesson and how much ore interested in learning about Cesar Shaved they were than in the past. The art strategies that were used helped the kids not only cooperate With each other, but they were motivated to participate in the lesson. Seed movement and music to pair up students With puzzle-piece word cards; the words Of Which they came up with after brainstorming about Cesar Shaved on the first day, Word Recognition 1. 1. Students had to then completely color the back Of the word card while music was playing to show how that word made them feel. Using different types of coloring materials. After that, piece-by-piece, the students, as a class, UT all of the word cards together in a way that connected them, We were also learning correct ways to use reference books, CA Standard Writing Strategies 1. 7. I integrated using a thesaurus to find the synonym of their puzzle-piece word. Then the student hanged small index cards with the synonym hanging from the piece. We now have a beautiful art piece that not only they are proud tot but that also has a purpose.
Some students want to take it a step further to recreate a story about his life! So, split up the class and had students chose an art form to present information about Cesar Shaved. One group chose visual art and drew pictures of his life in chronological order. Another group used music and movement and created a short dance to mimic farm workers going on strike, PAPA standards Artistic Expression I _S, Creation/alienation of Dance Movements 2. 1, and Communication of Meaning in Dance 2. 5. Other students practice the art form of storytelling and retold a story that Vass written about him when he led the association of united Farm Workers. As you can see, Mr..
Scott, my students’ learning was taken to a higher level Of learning, and they will never forget the struggles of Cesar Shaved. This was just one small unit that had such a huge impact. Teaching through the arts truly impacts the diverse learning needs Of each student. Imagine the possibilities if we are able as teachers to integrate our entire curriculum With the arts. There are a number of activities and strategies that are based on the principals and practice of integrating arts. Some examples of these activities are integrating music and movement in a math lesson to learn about fractions. Students can form fractional parts of a group and create a rap about simplifying fractions. In social studies right now, we are learning about California missions.
After students conduct research about their mission, they have a choice to create a dance that correlates with the actions of the daily elite tot a Native American in a mission, use printmaking to show sections of the mission grounds, or retell a story off Native American woman. In our next unit, the gold rush, as the end of the unit project, students will create a Living History Museum in the classroom depicting tactual events that led up to and after the California Gold Rush with the help of parents and community members. One group will be using printmaking to make a mock newspaper article from the east when people first found out bout gold in the west. Our community and families can be included in this new process of integrating the arts into our curriculum.
We can invite parents to volunteer to take parts in an end of the year play or have them come in to retell a story that has been past down from generation to generation in their family. There are many things we can do to incorporate the community. Taking a culturally responsive approach to integrated arts serves to enable students, their families, and community to be included in the shaping of our curriculum. Students from our school especially come from diverse backgrounds ND bring in different languages, culture, beliefs, skills and interests. This situation makes it difficult for teachers Who still teach traditionally in the classroom. Children have a lack of motivation and engagement in this setting.
Although, in this setting for a teacher that embraces multicultural education along with the arts, the educator will produce a learning environment in which the students can succeed and grow and take responsibility for their own learning, In a culturally responsive classroom, the teacher takes time to get to know each student, where they come from, and what their culture and traditions are like. In my classroom, we have not only embraced different cultures but we have celebrated them as well. It is especially important to show the students how much you care for them and how meaningful it is to learn about make social change in the future. There are many strategies and projects that can help gain cultural awareness in a classroom, Journaling is a proven strategy that helps student touch on their inner feeling as well and connecting it to the curriculum. In one article I’ve read, Raising Children’s Cultural Voices, a third grade teacher describes how she uses writing and journaling as a “step toward literacy'(richer, 000, p. I).
She explains how the arts and writing are deeply connected and play an important part in cultural awareness in the classroom. At her school, she uses autobiographical writing, journaling and publishing in her writing program to enhance students’ learning. Berries states, “autobiographical writing is key to the positive cultural identity formation Of children Who have been inhibited by negative immigration experiences or by Throughout their day, she has woven in time for writing in many forms. Each morning, every student freely writes how he or she feels as soon as they get into the classroom. It mess like a good transition from their horn life to more structured school life. In these journals, the children are allowed to write in any form to express their feelings.
A few of her students even write poetry to release thoughts onto paper. Cultural awareness is not only important for the students but mostly for the teacher. In an interesting letter to his son’s teacher, Robert Lake expressed his deepest concerns about her recent label of his child, She had labeled him as a “slow learner” at the age tot. He was astounded and began explaining that his son went beyond his years and beyond the basics of school curriculum. Lake explained to the teacher that his son had practiced in rituals and healing ceremonies held by medicine men and women, He had experienced sweat- lodge-rituals and exposed to different religions and religious practices.
Just because his son wasn’t learning at the same capacity as another student that just came from preschool didn’t mean that he was an “empty glass coming in to be filled”, but actually a “full basket coming into a different environment and society with something special to share (Lake, 1990, p. 3). As you can see, Mr.. Scott, being culturally aware and having a culturally expensive classroom is imperative in creating a safe environment in which students can learn and grow as individuals and positive influences in society. Integrating the arts is a gateway in doing this. Truly using every art form to help deliver the curriculum in a successful way Will only heighten our standards and expectations of future generations.
It will also positively impact the needs of our student population. Right now, our students are struggling and wanting something more. They are ready to explore and take their learning into their own hands. They are ready for us to supply them With the vehicle they need to evolve skills and inspire them to learn. So what are we waiting for, Mr.. Scott? We have the opportunity to be and see the change that has needed to occur a long time ago. We, as humans, are prone to express ourselves. Its our nature to want to sing, dance, act, draw, and tell stories. Outside of school the first thing we do is an activity that has to do with the arts; go to the movies, attend a play or ballet, or enjoy a museum.
We should use what we know and resources that are everywhere to connect our students’ interests, their culture to what they are learning in school. Mr.. Scott, please allow me to begin to integrate arts into our whole fourth grade curriculum, My goal is to help other teachers across grade levels to integrate a culturally responsive arts integrated curriculum. We can meet with outside agencies to connect family and community members to help support this and become as school, what you have envisioned! It will take effort from all teachers, but as we come to an end to this year, this will be a great time to discuss our vision for the next year and years to come.