Martha Burdette and Sheila Kerrigan led a two-day professional development session for the faculty of Sandy Ridge Visual and Performing Arts Elementary School, a brand-new arts magnet in Durham, NC.
Teachers began the first day with collaboration skill-building, so that they can model and foster collaboration (a 21st century skill!) in the classroom. Then they participated in a creative movement workshop that gave them the basics of leading movement in the classroom and a variety of activities that they can use to teach and reinforce English, math, science, and social studies concepts across grade levels by using visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning pathways.
Guest teaching artist and master percussionist, Beverly Botsford, taught a dynamic music, poetry, and reading lesson. The entire faculty contributed to the groove with instruments Beverly brought. Beverly provided information about how to make percussion instruments out of everyday objects, so the teachers can use the groove in the classroom.
On day two, teachers experienced Martha Burdette’s visual-arts workshop that integrated math, English, and social studies. They explored the elements of art and principles of design and made masks. Martha demonstrated how to manage supplies in a classroom and how to teach young students to properly use glue, scissors, and paper, so that teachers would feel comfortable using art supplies in their classrooms.
Sheila Kerrigan led a workshop on using simple dramatic techniques to spark vivid and moving writing in English and social studies. Teachers collaborated on mini-performances of their writings, and commented on the vivid writing and moving performances.
Teachers then collaborated in grade level teams and with arts teachers and specialists to create exciting, experiential, arts-integrated lesson plans that taught goals and objectives in the NC Standard Course of Studies, climbed to the highest levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, involved 21st century skills, and engaged multiple intelligences. They left at the end of the second day energized and full of ideas for the coming school year.