Wednesday, January 9, 2013

ABCs of Arts Integration: K-O, Part 3

We're making progress. 
This is part 3 of the five part mini-series of the ABCs of
A special word of gratitude to KBN for the challenge.
There are 70 participants in the Kid Blogger Network fun. 


We give children the goodies to explore 'kinesthetically' with the Arts. It is during their ever shifting kaleidoscope of experience that they garner new tidbits of insight into how the world works. Stacking bits and pieces of flotsam and jetsam. Arranging pieces of this and that. Creating balance in their composition along the way that pleases their unique appreciation for design is the for-runner of a more refined sense of Arts appreciation.

I prefer this master over that. I like this style over the other. I place my feathers here rather than there. I need some texture derived from a pompom to off-set all of that sculptured fluffiness. We notice as we create. We juxtapose and we kanoodle and then we say, "It's done. This is the best that I can do. I like it now." 

photo of: Feather Fun Exploration for Thanksgiving via RainbowsWithinReach

We continue to experiment and explore with pieces and parts. We place and we rearrange and before you know it we're in first grade creating a 'quilt' of sorts in response to the visiting illustrator's work. Displayed prominently on the metallic lockers for the whole school to appreciate we have a sense of, "I did that. My piece was successful." 
photo of: Red, White and Blue: Construction Paper Quilts in Honor of 9-11 (in response to "Red, White and Blue" picture book)
Kinesthetic  Collages of Response to Picture Book, "Red, White and Blue" 

"Lyrics to Literacy"
The title of my favorite keynote presentation to deliver. My favorite bit of alliteration. The subtitle? 'Read a Song and Sing a Book.' When your picture book's text is based on the lyrics of your original song -- it's all woven together. 

Laughter. Laughter. Laughter!
We know that children who are happy, smiling, laughing and enjoying their time together are more likely to remember what they're learning. An atmosphere of light-hearted, up-beat engaging instruction is one where brains hum with efficiency. That's exactly how I want my time spent with children. When you elicit laughter in the course of your interactions with children, just stop and pat yourself on the back. 

My first memory of taking a 'field-trip' involves going to the LIBRARY. The first stop upon moving to a new home, is to get established by getting a library card. Literacy and libraries. Libraries and Literacy. I have an original song, "Going to the Library" now in Mp3 format that serves as my first 'calling card' over at Teachers Pay Teachers. 

photo of: "Going to the Library" FREEBIE Mp3: Song by Debbie Clement
Did someone say, FREEBIE? 



Yup. That's the title of my second favorite workshop to present. I love to weave all of those alliteration words into one medley presentation. We mix it up all right. We march. We cross the mid-line. 

I'm including one of my ALL time favorite photographs with letter M. M as in Mid-Line, as in crossing the mid-line. Music and Movement. Hand in glove. Peanut butter and jelly. Once the music starts the movement can't be too far behind. When we sculpt 'choreography' over top of the music, we're introducing even higher level skill sets. Following instructions. Attending to the teacher. Focus. These are all good foundation skills that result from integrating Arts into the day. 

Think 'wipers-on-the-bus' for the littles. Think hand-jive for the biggers. In order to become a successful reader, those eyes have to go back and forth and back and forth across lines of type. When we create opportunities to cross the mid-line in our music and movement experiences we start wiring the brain to prepare for future reading experiences. [Click back to read my initial ramble regarding this photo.]

photo of: Crossing the Midline: gross motor activities prepare young bodies for future reading
One of my absolute favorite picture of all times! CROSSING the Mid-line en mass. 

Novice in the Neighborhood

The brain loves novelty. After a sense of trust is established and the comfort of an established routine is developed, the next best thing is to 'mix-it-up' a bit. That's when all of those developing dendrites sit up, snap together and take notice. What was that. 

Juxtaposing something that is familiar -- such as marshmallows with an atypical purpose, such as use as a paint brush, is certain to stir up a whole new level of delight. Who ever thought of this activity? Marshmallows as paint dispensers? What else can we do with marshmallow? How else can we use them? What other purpose can they serve? 

photo of: Marshmallow Painting in Preschool, Open-ended Art Project via RainbowsWithinReach

Overcoming Obstacles! 

There's a lot to say when it comes to the letter O, in the grand scheme of themes on the topic of Arts Integration. I have already written a rather opinionated piece on the value and benefits of "Open-ended" Art, over at our collaborative blog, PreK+K Sharing. It  actually turns out that I'm pretty outspoken on this particular topic. The younger the child, the MORE opportunities for OPEN ended artwork would be on my perfect world agenda. 

I have some great visuals below which make my argument for me. I was told in numerous comments on the original article that I had taken on a 'controversial subject.' Little did I realize the amount of emotion and angst this topic holds for folks. The article is currently still the number 2 read article of all time over there at the collaborative and I'm amazed at the continued traction and weekly readership that it sustains. Perhaps issues that I've long taken for granted are indeed worth spelling out in further depth?  [Click here for the entire original rant.]

Art on Paper Plates: Process vs. Product

What starts out innocently as cute little paper-plate projects that some parents 'want' for their refrigerators, can all too quickly morph into what I described as Stepford Wives Penguins on the bulletin board. Ye GADS. Beware. The beauty of integrating Art into the day and into the classroom is to develop a unique and novel voice and NOT to follow the herd. 

Penguins: As Process + Product

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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