Duplin County Schools Full STEAM Ahead!

Thanks to Kevin Smith at Duplin County Schools for arranging a professional development session with K-5 teachers. The workshop was called, “Full STEAM Ahead! Closing the Gap in STEM Subjects Through the Arts.” We explored how Dance and Theatre Arts can be integrated with Mathematics and Science. We made human graphs, used our bodies to compose and decompose. We collaborated to express mathematical and scientific principles through theatrical and dance performances. In the pictures, the teachers are working on lesson plans based on the workshop.
The workshop was sponsored by the Cameron Art Museum, facilitated by Sheila Kerrigan, of the SE Center for Arts Integration, and funded by Duke Energy and the Corning Foundation. Many thanks to all involved!

“I thought the workshop was outstanding.  As I said at the end, when students read, write, think, and talk, learning occurs.  Your workshop added movement to this and everyone seemed to enDuplin Wkshp 2016IMG_0807joy the session very much.  My hope is that there is a direct impact on the students in the classrooms represented.”
Kevin Smith, Chief Officer for District-Wide Early College & Professional Development


“I enjoyed your class and the movement within.  I used the theater standards with force and motion today within my first grade classroom and the children had the best time acting out ‘The Enormous Turnip.’ The role cards made them all feel like they were in charge.   I plan to do some more tomorrow and for the rest of my teaching career.  Thanks for the excitement you’ve added to my classroom.”

Tracy Cruse, Duplin County School first grade teacher

Using movement to show “compose and decompose”

“I have already used some of the ideas in my classroom. My students have played the control game and acted out the butterfly life cycle. We have also counted money using the addition and subtraction activity we did in the workshop.  The information I received on Tuesday has and will continue to impact my teaching and I look forward to applying many more of your ideas and activities in my classroom.”
Taylor Edwards, Duplin County 2nd grade teacher
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SE Center for Arts Integration at Cameron Art Museum

October 23rd and 24th, 2015, SECAI  leads Full STEAM Ahead!! Closing the Gap in STEM Subjects through the Arts for K-8 teachers in eight counties in Southeastern North Carolina. The workshops are sponsored by Wilmington’s Cameron Art Museum. They follow a series of professional development sessions on Closing the Gap in Literacy through the Arts.

The workshops are fully funded by Duke Energy and The Corning Foundation, so they are free for teachers from New Hanover, Brunswick, Bladen, Onlsow, Pender, Columbia, Sampson, and Duplin counties. There will be follow-up half-day workshops in each of the eight counties on using the arts to teach Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

We express our gratitude to the Cameron Art Museum, especially Martha Burdette, Curator of Education, and Anne Brennan, Director, for their deep commitment to education, and to Duke Energy and The Corning Foundation for their generous support.

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SC Alliance for Arts Education Presentation

Jef Lambdin, Faye Stanley, and Sheila Kerrigan gave a presentation, Effective and Efficient Arts Integration Learning Strategies, at the South Carolina Alliance for Arts Education conference in Columbia, on October 8, 2015. About twenty-five teachers, old friends and new, participated. Jef taught the group a simple mime game that can be used to assess, teach, reinforce, and demonstrate learning in science. Teachers immediately made connections to several other subject areas. Sheila told the group a story while some people drew key images on large paper. Everyone chose a character in the story and explored key moments through movement, stillness, and in relation to other characters. Faye taught everyone a traditional African-American chant with interchangeable verses, and we sang it about the cycle of human life, butterfly life-cycles, and other topics.

Teachers grasped the point–that they can use these simple structures to teach subject areas across the curriculum. They do not have to be mimes to invite their students to show what they know using their bodies. They don’t have to be musicians to lead a chant. (No melody!) They can tell a story while their students create the setting on big paper and physically explore character relationships, thoughts, and emotions.

In spite of devastating flooding in parts of the state, and in spite of the fact that the city of Columbia had no potable water, the SCAAE board decided to go ahead with the conference, as planned. Many teachers and administrators from all over the state managed to attend, even with hundreds of roads across the state closed due to flood damage. The conference hotel staff at the Marriott, put in much extra effort to creatively manage contingencies like the inability to wash dishes, using bottled water to make much-needed coffee, and providing bottled water for 200 or so attendees.

Our hats are off to the SCAAE board, to all the educators who managed to get there, and to the Marriott staff who made it work for the group. We look forward to seeing them next year!

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Presenting at A+ Schools Conference

We are excited to be presenting at the A+ Schools 20th Anniversary Conference in Durham, NC, at the Carolina Theater, on August 3-5th.


Sheila Kerrigan leads a workshop for educators on “Fostering Creative Thinking in the Classroom.” Here is a handout: FosterCreativThinknClassA+2015

Jef Lambdin leads, “Multiple Intelligences: Theory in 1983 is Practice in 2015.”

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Presenting in Chattanooga

Sheila Kerrigan was invited to present a workshop, called, “How Do I Get My Students to Collaborate and Discuss Effectively?” at the 2013 Arts and Education Forum of the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts in Chattanooga, TN on May 15 and 16, 2013. Co-founder of the Southeast Center for Arts Integration, Jef Lambdin, also attended and assisted with the workshop (and drove and made the trip fun). About a dozen educators, artists, and administrators participated with a will. They created beautiful mini-performances about equity and social justice, using a collaborative method that Sheila has developed for use in the classroom. “I love it when a plan comes together!” (Hannibal from The A-Team)Chattanooga forum w Jef Chattanooga Forum 2013 justice

Here is the handout:

How Do I Get Students 2 Collaborate wkshp2013

Teaching Artist Training in Durham, NC

Sheila led a training for about 45 teaching artists for the Durham Arts Council’s Creative Arts in the Public Schools program in January, 2013. She led a brief arts-integrated activity involving history, theater, and writing.  She walked the artists through the process of accessing the new Common Core and NC Essential Standards in their arts residencies. And then artists collaborated to locate standards that they are already teaching in the arts and one other subject area.

“Sheila’s kinesthetic exercises were inspiring.”

“It was engaging, informative, fun, & an ice-breaker. Mind if I steal it?”

“The Civil War improv/statue/writing exercise really sparked a lot of ideas for me.”

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Arts Integration Workshop in Wilmington NC



Closing the Literacy Gap

Exploring Charlotte’s Web through drama: Charlotte held the baby pig to her cheek. Photo by Alan Cradick.



With Arts Integration



On June 13 & 14, 2012, the Southeast Center for Arts Integration and Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC, came together to offer this unique professional development workshop for Elementary educators–classroom generalists,  and teachers of Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics, Visual Art, Drama, Dance, Music, and Special Education.

In this two day workshop, participants selected workshops that were focused on their own subject, grade level and student populations, so that everyone found ideas that are relevant to the setting in which they teach.

Using Movement to create geometric shapes–Integrating Math, Visual Art, and Dance; photo by Alan Cradick

Participants learned proven strategies for integrating Visual Art, Drama, Music and Creative Movement with literacy education across the Elementary Curriculum including pre-school and special education.  Workshops addressed reading comprehension, fluency, language structure, reading across the curriculum, writing, history, and cultural issues in literacy.

The workshop was free. Fifty-five teachers from public schools in New Hanover, Pender, Brunswick, Columbus, Bladen, Onslow, Cumberland, Durham, Roberson, Sampson, Scotland, and Wake counties attended, participated, collaborated, created,  and went home with one literacy credit, as well as many fruitful ideas for using the arts to teach literacy.

I certainly have more tools in my tool chest! —K-5 teacher with 8 years experience

The Cameron Art Museum Café provided delicious box lunches. Many thanks to the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and the Corning, Inc. Foundation for their funding support!

Thank you so much. This was one of the best & educational workshops I have ever been to. — 6th grade Social Studies teacher with 5 years experience


Collaborating on geometric shapes, integrating visual art, math, and dance. Photo by Alan Cradick







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NC Arts Education Commission’s Arts Education Plan

The North Carolina General Assembly has approved the creation of an Arts Education Commission to oversee the implementation of recommendations from the Senate Bill 66 Task Force. The recommendations call for a comprehensive arts education plan where arts are a core academic subject; arts are a catalyst for learning across the curriculum; and where exposure to arts is critical to N.C.’s 21st century education.

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Sandy Ridge Elementary School Faculty Training

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.

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SE Center for Arts Integration Led Orange County Arts Commission’s Artists’ Salon

Jef, Martha and Sheila led an Artist Salon on Becoming a Teaching Artist for 22 potential teaching artists on Friday, August 19th, 2011, at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC, under the auspices of the Orange County Arts Commission.

We demonstrated three short, arts-integrated, experiential lessons—one with dance, PE, and math; one with visual arts, dance, and math, and one with theatre, social studies, and writing. All three lessons incorporated 21st century skills and multiple intelligences. Then we described a few aspects of what it means to be a teaching artist, how to get work, and how to design a lesson or residency that integrates the standard curriculum with the art form of the artist. The attending artists received a packet with information, resources, and a brief residency planning guide.

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Arts Education Partnership Forum

Martha Burdette and Sheila Kerrigan attended the Arts Education Partnership Forum in Washington, DC, May 6 & 7, 2011.

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