Eastport Pilots Schoolwide Arts Integration
In 2018-19 in partnership with the administration of Eastport Elementary School, MAAE will provide EES’s classroom teachers with the professional development training and classroom support to make EES the state’s first schoolwide, classroom teacher-based model of arts integration. The Maine Department of Education will be treating this pilot project as a case study, which if successful will be providing data that will be disseminated on the DOE’s information platforms and presented to school administrators statewide. Stay tuned for further details.
Quoddy Tides highlights MAAE’s work in bringing Arts Integration to Eastport Elementary School
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Report from Eastport
By Anna Woolf
On October 10th, we all enjoyed a full day of integrating clay sculpture into the classroom curriculum of the Kindergarten, 1st/2nd grade and 5th/6th grades. Students in grades 5/6 at Eastport Elementary School were so excited to sculpt their islands in 3 dimensions. Prior to our clay work, the class had begun a social studies unit in which they divided into small groups, and were tasked with the challenge of creating an imaginary island. They developed details about each island’s topography, history, technology, mythology, industry and art. Classroom teacher, Lisa Mahar, has assigned students with this 2-month long study. Anna Woolf worked with students and Lisa to explore ways to integrate visual art into this curriculum.
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The weaving of art-making strategies into the teaching of non-arts content areas of ELA, math, science and social studies has been shown to boost student engagement and student achievement. Low income and special needs students have been found to be helped more by arts-integrated classroom instruction in ELA and math than by traditional remedial programs. Arts integration is most effective when it is a school-wide practice, and the classroom teachers themselves are trained to integrate the arts, and can use them also to respond to unexpected opportunities and changing classroom needs, rather than relying only on pre-scheduled visits from teaching artists. For rural schools in low income and remote communities, the classroom teacher-centered model is also more practical and sustainable.