Assignment 3: Readings/Forum Discussion

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Assignment 3: Readings/Forum Discussion

Shelby Blum
Exploring the Benefits of Art in Elementary Education
My thoughts:
In this article, it talked about how students can learn through art. It reminded me a lot of my classroom. I have a student in my class who is very talented and creative. She will use art as a way of getting her calm down time. She can think about our lessons in a different way that I myself did not think about. Her creativity drives the lesson at times and allows me to think how I can best accommodate her and how she learns.
Throughout the article it talks about No Child Left behind and how it is setting students up for failure because it is only meeting a certain range of students. In the article, it talked about English Language Learners and how they are required to take the standardized tests without any question. They may not know a lot of English or enough to even get through the test.
When I read this, I thought about our students that are not on an IEP yet or do not have accommodations. Our students that are on that border line who don’t always meet a certain criterion. Those students that may not do well on a standardized test. I thought about a specific kiddo in my class that is on that border line. I have noticed when I am able to make the lesson creative and fun for him, he is more motivated to be successful. When it has to do with him making up a song or creating something with his hands, he feels the most successful.
I am a first-grade teacher so when this article talked about how students can use art as a way to express themselves I was on board. The article talked about observations in a Kindergarten room and how they used painting and drawings as a way to communicate. A lot of my class uses art as a way for them to communicate. In first grade, we are still working on social skills and coping skills. We are still trying to find ways to appropriately communicate and calm down ourselves when we are upset or angry. Art in my classroom has really made an impact on the way we express ourselves. It has also given me a way to see where my students are at as an individual and it has allowed me to even communicate with my students how I am feeling.
For example, when a lesson is not going the way I had planned, or I am frustrated during a lesson. I have been able to put a “face drawing” up on the board. The students know how I am feeling and know where I am at as far as frustration. I also do this when I am happy too so it is not just a sad face on the board. They have also started to put faces on how they are feeling and connect those feelings with those faces.

How Integrating Arts Into Other Subjects Makes Learning Come Alive
In this article, it expresses how in recent years art has been woven out of the curriculum and replaced because it has been seen as not an important part of the academic curricula. Schools have begun to integrate into their own lessons because they see the importance and affect it has had on the students. Schools have experienced a wide range of creativity and expression across a range of subjects. This has led to students being more self-confident, higher order thinking and reasoning, and cross curriculum connections.
This article talks about how the art integration experiment at Integrated Arts Academy or IAA broke up the socioeconomic imbalance. The wealthy started to send their kids to this school because they saw the success and importance art has on their students. Immigrant families have sent their kids here as well and are able to make a connection between art and their students. It has brought their relationship with their kids and the school closer together. At the start of the experiment only 17% were passing the standardized tests. After 5 years, 66% met the standards.
Overall, this article has shown me the importance of art integration within the classroom. Right now, we have Art two times a week. This is a time that all of my students absolutely love. I can tell that a lot of my students learn through art and we have done many activities within my classroom that allows them to express and learn with art.
In math, we painted apple trees with apples that were green and red. The green and red apples signified how many combinations of ten we could make. We hung it up in the hallway and it was something that my students to this day have never forgotten. They all know their combinations of ten!

How Arts Integration Supports Student Learning:
Students Shed Light on the Connections

This study outlined how art increases student achievement. The study showed an increase in student enjoyment of the subject in which it was being integrated with. My take-away was that art integration into the curriculum is a vital tool that can be used successfully across the curriculum and grade-levels. It can increase student participation and helps students be more successful in the classroom.