Arts integration/Visual thinking strategies

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Arts integration/Visual thinking strategies

Robyn Davis
What speaks to you?

This all speaks to me. I was out of the classroom for many years before teaching again full time this year so a lot has changed in the past 18 years as my children came up through the elementary schools. I don't remember many of these terms in my previous teaching.  It also makes me realize how much I have yet to learn.  I particularly enjoyed the video about the difference between arts enhancement and arts integration.  I know that I have done arts enhancement but definitely need to work on arts integration.  I think in some ways it might be harder for me as a teacher librarian who doesn't even get time to collaborate with classroom teachers - not to mention the fact that in 2/3 of my buildings I don't even see the art or music teachers.  I still feel it is important for me to find ways to integrate art into my lessons.

Does it give you any ideas?

I have several ideas swirling around in my head but nothing concrete. I am thinking of a way to integrate art terminology/ or pieces of art along with stories. I think there would also be a way to make a connection with music and beginning/middle/end or perhaps with repetition in music.  We could talk about how a piece of literature is circular and how that is also a part of music - repeated phrases or things like that.  Also the idea of rhythm and meter - could easily be integrated with a discussion/practice of pacing when you are reading and using voice.  
All stuff to work on for next year!!!

How do you integrate art into your current curriculum?

To be perfectly honest, I don't.  I would love to think that when I have my students draw a picture in response to something we read, it was integrating art. BUT after having read the article and watched the videos, it obviously is NOT.  However it is definitely something I will strive for in the future.

Other reactions?

I wish we had more time to do this as teachers.  Sometimes, I think I'm lucky to just do a read aloud and have a short discussion.  INTEGRATING arts or doing a project based learning project is a goal to strive for.  I think it also has to be quite deliberate on the part of the teacherS.  We have to think about what we are teaching and how can we make it more interesting to our students.  Reaching all of our students is something we desire and we all know that there are different styles of learning.  However, we tend to fall back on what we feel comfortable with.  Stretching our teaching is good but not always easy.  We know that using arts (whether visual, musical, or performance) will help us reach some of our students better but if we are not strong in that area, we tend to shy away from it. I think part of the point of this class is to show us that we need to COLLABORATE. It doesn't always have to be on us but it can be in conjunction with another teacher who has those skills and can help us with them.  That is good teaching.