Hi all!  I hope your year has started out wonderfully.  First DREAM workshop of 2014/15: Theater!
This workshop, presented by Kaja Dunn, Theater prof at CSUSM will give teachers new and innovative ways to incorporate theater into daily currciulum.  Activities include adapting stories to the stage for children, theater games, and activities that increase focus, teamwork, and critical thinking skills.  Sign up by going here:  DREAM_Workshop 10 11 14

More workshops coming!


Hi DREAMers….come to the DREAM 3-day July 21-23!  There are still spots left.  It will be amazing per usual with a keynote from Carol Dweck (author Mindset), visit and talk with Sara Pennypacker (children’s book author), and lots of visual art and theater activities directly linking Common Core with VAPA standards.  Shani Leader and Kaja Dunn are lead teaching artists and of course lots of support and up-to-date education connections with Merryl.  Institute is structured to accomodate returning teachers as well as teachers new to DREAM.  Future teachers, retired teachers, parents and administrators welcome as well!  On the CSUSM campus.  Please share with colleagues.  Link to registration included in flyer here:  DREAM summer Institute July 2014


Posted: May 2, 2014 by merryl in Uncategorized

KickstART the arts was a terrific success.  Here are the powerpoints from merryl’s sessions.  The first outlines the key similarites and differences when talking about arts as text/arts integration/arts education and common core and Title I.  The second one is about using music performance as an “informance” to learn about music and gain understanding of the process that goes into learning music (or other arts!).

KickstART 2014


Sign-up Open! DREAM 3 day July 21-23

Posted: April 23, 2014 by merryl in Uncategorized

Don’t wait to sign up – and share with your friends ASAP!   This summer’s exciting DREAM  3 day institute will be for all teachers K-6 and focus attention on arts integration at the core:  Common Core, Title I and kids’ learning.  Special guests include Carol Dweck, author of Mindset, and children’s book author (and DREAM officiando) Sara Pennypacker!  here’s the link to the flyer (please share) and the actual sign-up.  Incentives given for schools with 4 or more teachers attending.

DREAM summer Institute July 2014

The DREAM summer institute is announced!  It will be July 21-23 2014 on the CSUSM campus and open to all grades (with a focus on elementary).  Among the guests slated to participate are Carol Dweck, author of Mindset,  Sara Pennypacker, children’s book author, and Pam Kragen, arts critic, UT San Diego.  DREAM Arts coaches will guide you through lots of hands-on activities focused on “arts integration at the core,” including attention to the role of arts integration in common core, Title I, and assesing students’ understandings through arts-based activities.  Per usual, this will be a livley and engaging 3 day experience to write home about!  Here’s the flyer with links to registration:

DREAM summer Institute July 2014

Why Teaching Art to our Children Matters

Posted: March 4, 2014 by merryl in Uncategorized

Why Teaching Art to our Children Matters

 corrected link!

here is a terrific editorial from the Sacramento Bee 3/2/14 written by Joe Landon, California Alliance for Arts Education, and being shared statewide by the California Arts Council:


Here’s a wonderful (and short) letter that says a lot!  Thanks to Diane Ravitch’s blog for this share:

“We hear widespread calls for “outcomes” we can measure and for education geared to specific employment needs, but many of today’s students will hold jobs that have not yet been invented, deploying skills not yet defined. We not only need to equip them with the ability to answer the questions relevant to the world we now inhabit; we must also enable them to ask the right questions to shape the world to come.

“We need education that nurtures judgment as well as mastery, ethics and values as well as analysis. We need learning that will enable students to interpret complexity, to adapt, and to make sense of lives they never anticipated. We need a way of teaching that encourages them to develop understanding of those different from themselves, enabling constructive collaborations across national and cultural origins and identities.

“In other words, we need learning that incorporates what the arts teach us.”