This post represents the views of the author, and not necessarily those of Rethinking Schools.
Monthly Archives: November 2011
Interesting article courtesy of The Committed Sardine…
Visual Art as Critical Thinking
From the early age of kindergarten I was in musical theater. I eventually transitioned in music as a focus, and was a choir nerd in middle school and into college. In fact, my participation in Jazz Choir kept me in school, as I struggled with depression as a young adult. I kept singing into college, where I led the jazz and a cappella ensemble, and participated in a semiprofessional jazz ensemble the Seattle Jazz Singers. Although my schedule no longer allows me to sing on a regular basis, karaoke continually calls my name. I’m sure many of you had have had a similar experience, where art remains a crucial part of your being. These stories alone say “Yes!” to arts education.
Well, I have another argument to advocate for arts education. Visual arts (as well as other arts) are an excellent discipline to build and utilize critical thinking skills. I don’t think we often give credit to the deep conceptual and interpretational thinking that goes into the creation of a piece of art, and this is often because art is treated as something separate from the core content areas. School does not need to be this way. In fact, I have recently seen two excellent ways that art can be used to wrestle with rigorous content from the core while allowing for creativity and expression.
Chris Uyeda was nice enough to sit down with me to talk about a recent chemistry project by his students. They were told that the common image of the atom was WRONG, and that they needed to create a pitch for a better representation of it. Chemistry and the study of the atom require deep conceptual thinking, some of which is hard to grasp. Chris saw art as an opportunity to have students critically think around the content to create a beautiful art piece. The student example below shows just one student’s take on a more appropriate representation of the atom through the motif of bees and beehive. Art was a great way to familiarize students with critical content they would need later in the course.
We are excited to have the ExploreLearning GIZMOS and REFLEX trainer at our PD day on Friday, November 25th. All Intermediate teachers will get their accounts set up in the AM and junior teachers will be able to view the resources in the PM. Please check your government e-mail for the PDF file that Peter Wright has shared with our teachers specifically for this PD day.
for the love of learning: Assessment and Provincial Achievement Tests: This was written by Don Wielinga who is an elementary principal in central Alberta. by Don Wielinga This Is What I Think: “Assessment…
Nya:weh to Mr. Freeman for sharing this with us a few years back…
and a HUGE meegwetch to the soldiers this song pays respect to.
Mrs. Reuben asked me to share this particular resource from the Six Nations District Numeracy Plan.
It is John A. Van de Walle’s series of books entitled “Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics.” Above you will see the K-3 text. There are texts for grades 3-5 and 5-8 as well (see District Numeracy Plan for ISBN numbers/details). Most of our schools have these texts kicking around, probably in a teacher resource area or on a teacher’s classroom book shelf. If you haven’t had a chance to look through it, please consider taking some time and contacting me to try a lesson in your classroom. For downloadable blackline masters of each text, click here. Thanks to Mrs. Reuben for bringing this text to the attention of PAC and for recommending it be shared here for all of you!
Nya:weh to Mr. Freeman for sharing this info.
Not exactly Numeracy, but too good not to share, there is a website called We Give Books. It is exactly what it sounds like. There is a selection of digital books that you can read (alone, with a child, with your class) and once you are finished you will be asked to input your e-mail (so the site knows you are an individual, real person) and they will donate a book to a child that needs it.
Here is a link to the website: We Give Books.
Today we read Goodnight iPad, a fun parody of the classic Goodnight Moon. Check out the site!!