Posts Tagged ‘Common Core State Standards’


Creativity and Common Core

March 21, 2014

Professional Development Workshop for Maine Teachers – April 1


Lesley University’s Creative Arts in Learning Division proposes to offer a professional development workshop for teachers in your district focusing on creatively implementing the Common Core State Standards. The 2-hour workshop will introduce teachers to strategies for designing curriculum and pedagogy that utilize creative processes across the disciplines to implement Common Core State Standards.  Just one example is preparing students to “actively seek the wide, deep, and thoughtful engagement with high-quality literary and informational texts [drawn from all of the arts] that builds knowledge, enlarges experience, and broadens worldviews.”[i]   The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education points out that it is important to select “informational texts and multimedia resources to create coherent curriculum units that link science, social studies [and] the arts.” [ii]   This workshop is offered at no cost to the district.

Design of the Program

The district-wide professional development workshop will be offered for teachers across disciplines and grade levels.  The workshop will focus on creative strategies to support teachers in integrating creative movement, drama, music, poetry, storytelling, and visual arts into teaching and learning activities.  At the conclusion of the workshop, teachers will have the opportunity to imagine creative project-based learning activities that meet Common Core State Standards in their classrooms.

The Creativity and Common Core workshop is designed to address best practices in education that Cambridge’s Superintendent Young identified in his district’s 2011 Innovation Agenda.  These include “engaging students in project-based and experiential learning, interdisciplinary curriculum and instruction … and providing professional support for teachers to provide effective differentiated instruction.”

Workshop Leader

Martha McKenna is University Professor and Director of the Creativity Commons at Lesley University. A senior administrator of the University for 27 years, Dr. McKenna founded the Creativity Commons in 2011 to support innovation in teaching and learning.  The Creativity Commons is committed to active learning, scholarly research, critical inquiry, and diverse forms of artistic practice through the development of close mentoring relationships with students, faculty, and practitioners in the field.

[i] Introduction: Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.  Common Core State Standards Initiative: Preparing America’s Students for College and Career. 2012.  p. 3.

[ii] Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Resources for Implementing The Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks

in 2012-2013.


Education Week Webinar

February 13, 2013

Art and the Common Core

This event takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, 2 to 3 p.m. ET. As educators work to help students meet the demands of the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and mathematics, many arts education advocates are making the case that the arts can be a valuable partner. For example, some teachers are seizing on works of art as “text” to be the subject of a close reading, much like a novel or essay, as called for in the new English standards. This Education Week webinar will feature two experts to discuss the potential of arts integration with the common core and to provide practical examples of how to put the concept into practice.

Susan M. Riley, expert in arts integration, curriculum innovation and resource development specialist, Anne Arundel County public schools, Md.

Lynne Munson, president and executive director, Common Core

Erik Robelen, assistant editor, Education Week

Registration is required to attend this event. Here is the link to the list of webinars, scroll down on the left to to get the clickable link to register for Art and the Common Core.


Connections: Arts and Common Core Standards in ELA and Math

October 4, 2012

Let’s put this in perspective

Recently I have received emails asking about our role as arts educators and the Common Core Standards for ELA and Math. My colleague from Arizona, Lynn Tuttle, was asked to write a blog post for ARTSblog, Sept. 10, 2012. Lynn is not only the Director of Arts Education for the Arizona Department of Education but she is also the President of my national organization called SEADAE (State Education Agency Directors for Arts Education). Her post was so fabulous that we reprinted it on our SEADAE blog. The blog post is called Common Core is Here – Don’t Panic. It provides an overview and how and where the arts connect. Lynn also reminds us of the importance of the each states arts standards. Of course in Maine we have the 2007 document Maine Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction that are our responsibility to teach.

My colleague, Joyce Huser, the Fine Arts Education Consultant from Kansas conducted a webinar last year for SEADAE called The Arts, Common Core, and 21st Century Connections. She collaborated with her ELA and Math colleagues to develop the webinar that is available for you on the Maine Department of Education site.

Also underway are the re-writing the national arts standards. You can keep abreast of that work at the wiki National Coalition for Core Arts Standards. I will be traveling to Washington DC next week to meet with my colleagues from SEADAE and the chairs of each of the National Core Arts Standards writing teams. At this point the new standards are due out during the summer of 2013. I will provide a blog post on my return to share what I have learned.


Common Core State Standards: ELA and Math

April 12, 2012

Catch up on what’s happening

National work

I get a ton of email and at least once a week this question: “when are the Common Core coming for the Arts?” If you’ve been following the blog posts you probably know that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) include ELA and Math. However, the work is underway on the rewriting of the national arts standards which will not be called common core but National Core Arts Standards. The Coalition for Core Arts Standards is the leadership team for the work and is made up of the national organizations for each discipline of the arts plus The College Board and my professional organization State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE).

There are five disciplines being developed as part of the document: dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts. The writing teams are comprised of teachers in PK-higher ed and also include members from SEADAE. You can follow the development of this work and learn what has taken place to date by going to

I have been reading information about the connections of the arts to the CCSS and have provided some resources at the Maine Department of Education arts pages for you. My colleague from Kansas facilitated a webinar called The Arts, Common Core, and 21st Century Connections. Please take a few minutes to view it by clicking here.

With the heavy focus on reading and math with the CCSS I know there are some concerns that the arts will be marginalized. I understand David Coleman who was a leader write for the CCSS, ELA said: “The new requirements do not exclude the arts. There is no such thing as doing the nuts and bolts of reading in kindergarten through 5th grade without coherently developing knowledge in science and history and the arts. Period. It is false. It is a fiction.” Education Week/Curriculum Matters blog (3/21)

Condoleezza Rice and the Arts

Condoleezza Rice Makes the Case for Arts as Vital Part of Education at

Teaching Math Through the Visual Arts

Caren Holtzman and Lynn Susholtz have written a book called Teaching Math Through the Visual Arts, K-5. You can preview the book online at

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