Posts Tagged ‘integration’


Dorie and Hope Connect

March 28, 2018

Arts integration at its finest

Art Teacher Hope Lord and Music Teacher Dorie Tripp collaborated to create an amazing learning opportunity for their students in the RSU 38, Maranacook area schools.

Hope working on the drum at the MALI summer institute

Hope and Dorie became Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leaders last spring as part of phase 7. Both are inspirational leaders who shared their integrated work at the MALI winter retreat in March.

At the MALI summer institute in August 2017 they participated in the drum building session with MALI Design Team member Lindsay Pinchbeck. Out of the learning opportunity they decided to involve the students in cross-curricular and cross grade level learning.

Hope worked with her general art & design students to build drums and create tribal printing stamps. They brought their ideas and stamps to the 5th graders who used the stamps to make designs on 16 drums.

The students experimented with the sounds that the drums make by using different materials for the drum head and by how tight they attached them. They already started to use the drums and are looking forward to the spring concert to perform with them for the community. Both Hope and Dorie are glad to share their ideas in more depth, if you’re interested!


Integrated Teaching Through the Arts

May 24, 2014

Lesley University



Archived Webinars: CDLN

May 31, 2013

Wrapped up with a bow!


Jen Nash, K-8 music educator, Etna-Dixmont, RSU 19

Lisa Gilman, 7-12 art educator, Winthrop Middle and High School, AOS 97

Suzanne Goulet, art educator, Waterville Senior High School

The three visual and performing arts educators hosted 4 webinars during the 2012-14 school year for the Cross Discipline Literacy Network. They did a fabulous job planning and facilitating the webinars that illustrated the connections between the arts and literacy from multiple angles and integration methods.

They invited guests to participate as well so there was a wealth of information shared on each webinar from people with tons of knowledge. Guests included: Catherine Ring, Jude Valentine, Katrina Billings, Pam Ouellette, Karen Montanaro, and Jake Sturtevant.

Fortunately the webinars are archived so you can access them alone or perhaps with your colleagues. It would be a great way to spend professional development time with colleagues in your building, district, or region. Each webinar provides a place to start a conversation and continue with work you might have underway with literacy, the Common Core ELA, integration, and much more.

The webinar are listed below along with the links where you can access them.


Lisa Gilman


Jen Nash


Suzanne Goulet


Arts Integration

October 23, 2012

In the best interest of students

Some of you are aware that the discussion at the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) is on LD 1422, the high school proficiency legislation. We are discussing the role of the Department in assisting school districts in implementation of this bill. We are looking at defining proficiency and what this looks like in standards-based systems in student-centered classrooms. Our conversations include how to deliver instruction in an integrated fashion.

In a September ASCD article independent consultant Christa Treichel reviews a project that brings educators together and breaks down the “silos” of content, classroom, and traditional teaching methods. The collaborative culture is used to improve student learning.

The school and teachers are located in west-central Minnesota and the arts educators are from the Perpich Center for Arts Education. The arts integration program uses “collaborative culture” to improve student learning. The teachers from different disciplines work side-by-side looking at the standards, plan and deliver, and assess arts-integrated lessons.

You can read the article to learn more about this Minnesota program by clicking here.



The Math Gates

May 16, 2012

Team teaching art and math works!

The following was written by art teacher, Dona Seegers, and RSU#38 district math coach, Sarah Caban, who created a unique team teaching and student learning opportunity at Mt Vernon Elementary School this year. They provided the following information for this blog post sharing their collaborative work.

We are motivated by the excitement of new ideas for presenting our subjects to the students, are eager to experiment and have infectious enthusiasm.

We are interested in having the students discover how integral math is for an artist and how a mathematician benefits from creative thinking abilities with 2D and 3D design vocabulary and concepts.

Math and art share many core features focused on thinking and problem solving. Students become better at math through visual investigations.

Students and teachers alike benefit with two instructors in the room. Dona and Sarah are better able to address students of all levels and to increase student participation. It personalizes the learning experience and students witness us learning from each other.

Students experience the myriad of connections between disciplines while doing creative movement, making Venn Diagrams, using math manipulatives  and participating in art projects.

Algebra and Art were the focus for our 3 week interactive hallway installation titled The Math Gates.

Sarah had been reading about the importance of introducing algebraic thinking in the early grades, inspired by Robert Moses who started The Algebra Project.

Dona was inspired by Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s 2005 art installation of The Gates in New York City’s Central Park. Students learned to temporarily transform an environment through art installation. With the help of the janitor, Craig Dunn, and the district volunteer coordinator, Nancy Mormon, the front hall became a learning lab for algebraic equations K-5. Cloth flags with dots (K), whole numbers (1-4) and fractions (5) hung four across to demonstrate a variety of equations of increasing difficulty.

Object Lessons: Teaching Math Through the Visual Arts K-5 by math educator Caren Holtzman, and art teacher, Lynn Susholtz, has been a fantastic resource this year and the source for all of our collaborations.

Next year we plan to do a project based on the Fibonnaci sequence including a field trip to an art show on this theme at The Emery Community Arts Center in Farmington.

Student comments about The Math Gates; “You are able to do both tasks at the same time. Math and Art are my favorite subjects so it is double the fun.”  “ Sometimes you do art and sometimes you do math, so it evens out in the end.” “Installation is a lot different because you have never heard of it; you need to know both subjects because they come in useful.” “We don’t have other subjects combined.”

Thank you Dona and Sarah for providing this blog post!



Kennedy Center on Arts Integration

April 8, 2012

Kennedy Center

Some of you may be aware of the work that the Kennedy Center has done on Arts Integration. If not, please click here to learn about it and to access their arts education information. They have a very clear definition which they use in their education programs. Recently they’ve added a just over 6 minute video on their site that I recommend to you found on the Kennedy Center ArtsEdge site. It is called Public Education in the United States, Setting a Context for Arts Integration, and includes ideas from many educators (Dewey, Vygotsky, Piaget) through time and people from today (Robinson, Pink) who are promoting and supporting what the arts have to offer in the development for our 21st century learners. Please take 10 minutes to take a look!


Professional Development Opportunities in the Arts

February 7, 2012

Join in live or listen to archived webinars

Regional Workshops:                                                                                                                 The Arts Assessment Iniative continues to offer opportunities around the state. The list of Regional Workshops being provided by the initiatives 18 Teachers Leaders are listed at

Maine Assessment Webinars:                                                                                                The Leadership and the Arts webinar, facilitated by Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring, was held on February 1, 2012 and explored:

  • The Role of Teachers
  • The Role of Administrators
  • The Role of the greater Community

If you were not one of the 35 participants, or if you wish to hear it again, you can go to the archive at Along with the archive there is a meeting plan located at I suggest that you use the meeting plan on a school workshop day with your colleagues. Please take the time to read the plan to help you decide how to use this  valuable document. And by all means invite your administrators to participate.

There was a glitch in taping the January elementary assessment webinar that took place so it has been re-scheduled for March 14th, 3:30-4:30. You can access the link to join in at

The Arts, Common Core, and 21st Century Connections:                                              On January 17, 2012 Joyce Huser, Kansas Department of Education, Fine Arts Consultant facilitated a webinar for my colleagues from throughout the country. Joyce created documents that I am certain you will find helpful in your work at the local level. You can access the recording at Joyce includes the direct correlation between dance, music, theatre, and visual art to the Common Core State Standards, and the 21st Century Arts Skills Map. At the above page you will find the presentation Power Point, the P21 Arts Skills Map, and an ELA Strand Organizer (Joyce and her ELA partners created). Most interesting to me is a graph in the Power Point that exhibits the skill demands for arts related careers for 2008 – 2018 which shows the skills taught in arts education classes. There is a link on the webpage is the sources for the work force data in the graph.

President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities Report:                                Last week while I attended the Maine Art Education Association board meeting Rob Westerberg attended a webinar that provided information on the recently released report by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Rob was kind enough send his “take-aways” from the webinar “Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools.” The report is posted at The culmination of 18 months of research, meetings with stakeholders, and site visits all over the country, this report represents an in-depth review of the current condition of arts education, including an update of the current research base about arts education outcomes, and an analysis of the challenges and opportunities in the field that have emerged over the past decade. It also includes a set of recommendations to federal, state and local policymakers.

In Rob’s words: A good webinar today… it hit on key components of an effective integrative strategy at the elementary and middle school levels.

  • A few quotes: “Arts Education is a flower AND a wrench” (a tool for development of creativity in the curriculum… I LOVE the analogy!)
  • “Having a good music program isn’t enough”.
  •  “Wow, schools are the ones where Arts teachers were given liscence to craft the vision for their school; were the chief creative officers for their schools.”

Rob was able to ask this question of the moderator: “How do the findings of this report tie into standards based assessment in the arts? Do they?”

Rachel Goslins response: “The report does not get into either standards or assessment… too big and messy.”

She then went on to mention the development of the national standards as the primary focal point of that discussion. In other words, it was not within the scope and sequence of this report to dive into the realm of standards or assessment.

For her final thoughts, she mentioned that “for the arts moving forward, (and I’m paraphrasing here), they must be integrated in a meaningful way, led by valued and empowered arts specialists.”

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to Rob for sharing your notes with the blog. If you’d like to listen to the webinar please go to the archived at


Thoughts on Arts Integration

August 24, 2011

Blogs talking about why arts integration isn’t enough

For years I’ve heard two sides to the story… from arts teachers who absolutely love to teach in a connected fashion: “if teachers are collaborating to teach the arts and other content areas, students will have a better understanding of the connections in the world and will be more integrated in their thinking and approach to solving problems”. And from others: “we have to be careful how we integrate since administrators will eliminate our jobs because they think that classroom teachers can be trained to teach all subjects”.

Arts integration is not a new concept. In fact, in 1978 I was reserching arts integration. At the foundation of my teaching practice in 1976-1980 I was connecting content with visual arts to teach in a K-8 system. I was doing this because that was the intentional design of the program. And I absolutely loved it and found little research at the time of exisiting documented programs.

When I received a link from a colleague to the blog Education Closet I was excited to read the post called What Do You Mean I Can’t Cut My Arts Teachers? August 19, by Susan Riley. The post was Susan’s response to a blog post called Why Arts Integration Isn’t Enough by Katherine Damkohler on ARTSblog.

Both blog posts reach out to me and reaffirm my beliefs and provide an opportunity to reflect on the value of arts integration. I paused remembering discussion in my middle level education graduate courses with Ed Brazee at UMaine on multi-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, integration, integrative. The conversation was taken to my school and all staff came to the importance and value to arts education. It was simply about the connections. It was the valuable conversations my colleagues had about teaching and learning and how we “drilled down” so students can be in the center of their learning. They were engaged when they could find meaning in the world that exisited when the curricula was connected. They weren’t handed the puzzle pieces separately and expected to put it together but understood the connections and made meaning of it in a creative manner.

The beauty of connected curriculum is that teachers learn from each other while planning and implementing and students have the expertise of their teachers from different content areas. It takes a certified instructor and a highly qualified individual to guide students in their learning journey. Students, teachers, administrators, and parents were learning.

I hope you will read each of the blog posts and let me know what you think!


Today and the Future

April 14, 2011

Time to reflect

This winter I read a blog post called Can You Predict The Future Technologies in Your Classroom? written by Patrick Ledesma. Patrick is part of the Classroom Ambassador Fellowship program sponsored by the US Department of Education.

He had attended a national meeting where the presenter asked the participants questions that included these words: innovation, creativity, teaching, learning, creative expression, and new media. We know as arts educators that all of these words relate to the work we do each day in our classrooms. Other educators, and people who are outside of the education system, don’t necessarily see the connection with creativity and innovation to arts education.

So, this post is about two topics. One is to ask you what you’re doing in your classroom today that is different than what you were doing in the past to address or incorporate technology for the “natives”? The other question is what are you doing to connect and collaborate with other arts educators in your building or school district to strengthen your programs? In my mind these questions go hand in hand. Hopefully this blog post will give you a reason to “pause” and/or “ask yourself questions” and/or to “reach out to a colleague”.

Times are tough in education, no question about it. Will we face what is happening with anger or fear or embrace it as a challenge that will make us better teachers and provide high quality educational opportunities for our students? That’s up to each individual.

The 21st Century Skills Arts Map which was created by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills provides teachers with guidance on how arts skills provide what is needed in today’s world. Does your school administration and other teaching staff understand that when we talk about innovation and creativity that many skills are introduced and mastered in the arts classroom?

So, here is a segment from Patrick’s blog post from Education Week located on Leading from the Classroom blog, February 21st.

“Does your school have a culture of innovation or does your school have pockets of innovation?”

Expanding on the idea of a culture of innovation, we discussed the recent 2011 Horizon Report from the New Media Consortium and the Educause Learning Initiative. This report “examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and creative inquiry.”

Members of the Horizon Project Advisory Board, which is made up of mostly university researchers and corporations (note to New Media and Educause: more K-12 representation next time please….), were asked the following questions:

1) Which of these key technologies will be most important to teaching, learning, or creative expression within the next five years?

2) What key technologies are missing from our list?

3) What trends do you expect to have a significant impact on the ways in which learning-focused institutions approach our core missions of teaching, research, and service?

4) What do you see as the key challenge(s) related to teaching, learning, or creative expression that learning-focused institutions will face during the next 5 years?

The Horizon Report Wiki shows the various stages and development of the report. For example, you can view the early results to see the original 43 technologies, 14 trends, and 19 challenges listed by the board members. I think this early list is as interesting as the final list since it shows the variety of ideas and opinions.

In today’s educational arena when reflecting on practices including curriculum, teaching, and assessment it is important to consider collaborating with colleagues. Some of us teach in a “connected manner” by planning with other teachers to create integrated lessons or units. Standard E of our Maine Learning Results states: Visual and Performing Arts Connections: Students understand the relationship among the arts, history and world culture; and they make connections among the arts and to other disciplines, to goal-setting, and to interpersonal interaction. Some teachers report they believe this is easier at some grade levels than others. However now more than ever it is in our best interest to link arms, so to speak, especially with arts colleagues. Each of the art forms has benefits to students overall growth and development for a variety of reasons. If we divide our commitment it will have a negative impact in the long run.

Please ask yourself: where are you today in your teaching? Where have you been and what changes have you made since your first year? And just as important, where are you headed?

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