Thursday morning Merryl’s reflection

Posted: June 23, 2011 by merryl in Uncategorized

Good morning DREAMers!

My turn to blog a little!  Every year we do DREAM I learn more and more.  And, this year is no exception!  I’m really excited by your discussions about feeling renewed and excited.  I wonder what brings on renewal?!  Is it finding a passion?!  Being excited about something new – perhaps something “old” that was once familiar?!  Speaking of excited – how about Kim?!  Was she passionate about what she does and how it relates to kids, or what?!  We’ll be posting her notes.  I promise they will be G rated.  Kim also noted the importance of “desire.”  What do you think brought Kim to be so passionate about bringing the arts to kids?!  I also started wondering if we should have a role in being a passionate advocate for kids – and for kids having an opportunity to learn through the arts.  Are you beginning to have some ideas on how to feel confident in discussing the role of arts in engaging learners so that your administrators, colleagues and parents will understand it in a way you’re coming to understand it this week?

I am really enjoying spending time with you this week!


  1. Charles Finn says:

    I think part of the sense of renewed purpose comes from the camaraderie of the group. Teaching can be a very isolating activity, and in today’s TEST TEST TEST climate many of us feel we have to keep even a modest art project in the closet. DREAM is akin to coming out. It’s going to take a critical mass of educators, armed with research data and creative applications of the standards, to swing the pendulum in the other direction.

    Yes – We have to be passionate advocates for our students as much as or even more than we advocate the arts themselves. “Art for art’s sake” won’t win over administrators and school boards. For that matter, I’m sceptical that “kids need arts programs in order to become well-rounded, educated adults” will carry any weight either. Our greatest weapon in this fight will be the research that connects participation in the arts with increased achievement in reading and/or math. We have to hit them below the scantron…

    • L.G. says:

      I agree that administrators and the school board won’t be won over with the pure enjoyment and fun in doing the arts. According to them, learning shouldn’t be fun. As teachers, we do need to fight using research as our weapon in the fight against the “testing-centered” classroom.

    • bc says:

      Hahahaha. “Below the scantron”…Also, our knowledge of the content standards and inviting administrators to witness the learning through arts methods can keep us off the ropes.

  2. karolbickel says:

    Merryl I am excited to go back in August and start out with some of these great ideas we have learned form the experts this week.

  3. Jean Morris says:

    I wonder if working with 2 children that were not “educated” in acting encouraged her to step forth in arts educations, then again, perhaps the arrival of her own daughter prompted her actions. Parenting has a way of doing that to one.

  4. Lil says:

    Your passion and enthusiasm is contagious! I am so excited to start off the school year with new ideas to engage students.

  5. donna says:

    I agree passion through art is something we should advocate. Everyone has a gift and they need to know that their gift is valued. The hardest part about incorporating art into the curriculum is taking the time to do it, and not feel like you should be doing something else.

    Reviewing the theater arts and visual arts standards has been helpful because it allows us to know that we are teaching what we should, while letting students experience out of the box thinking.

  6. Fernando says:

    I know it’s thursday but I feel like I’ve been at this for a month. I have gotten so much and done so much!

  7. Julie Brackx says:

    Yes, I am inspired! Last night, I grabbed an empty toilet paper roll, construction paper, and when the moment presents itself, I will make another puppet!
    The importance of art in the classroom needs to be conveyed to the public, the families of our children, but most importantly to have the support of your principal. Everyone needs to be on-board to get the message out there and revive the arts in classrooms.

    • L.G. says:

      Funny! I too grabbed an empty toilet paper roll and placed it where I can access it later to create another puppet.

  8. L.G. says:

    I am really looking forward to implementing what I’ve learned in the classroom. Thanks for this opportunity.

  9. Wes Sechrest says:

    I’ve learned that it won’t be as hard to incorporate activities that include art as long as it’s tied into a Language Arts standard. I already have ideas on how to use both Visual and Dramatic Art with comprehension, inference, sequence, and multiple step instructions.

  10. Jackie Algazi says:

    I have been a great advocate for the arts in my class and my school. There was a time were I would create an assembly to teach kids and teachers about the arts, ex: Chinese New Year, African-american music, Multi-cultural dance anc music assemblies. Unfortunately with Reading First as an excuse, my assemblies went away because of lack of time:-( and the prescribed curriculum. I do a lot of work in the Visual Arts in my class whenever possible, it is not nearly enough though…..I have seen what the arts do to kids a shy second language kid blooms and produces amazing art. I had a student last year that was told to have selective mutism, through her pictures she would shine and believe it or not speak, and speak and speak!

  11. Karanne Stark says:

    On the first day of the training I kept asking myself “When am I going to have the time to do all of this?” Now, as the week has progressed I have seen how easily these activities can be tied into our ELA instruction (and even some Math and Social Studies).

  12. Kathleen says:

    The leadership presentation by Dr. Raz will be very helpful as I share the information I learned on the importance of teaching the arts in our classes. Kim’s statement that we have to teach the arts because it teaches creative and critical thinking skills (which are essential in school, career, and life. The depth of understanding the children will get from acting out the character as described by Kim compared to completing a worksheet from the practice book is 100 times greater. I wish brain researchers would document the brain’s activity on a worksheet compared to creating dialogue for a Reader’s Theater or acting as a character, Research has proven that staring at a wall shows more brain activity than watching tv. Information such as this will prove the importance of teaching the arts in our nation’s classroom.

  13. Monica says:

    I too have enjoyed every bit of the workshop. I feel confident, and I know I’ll be able to implement my new-found-knowledge into action.

  14. Myrna Gonzalez says:

    I keep repeating the same thing, but I feel empowered and justified to be able to do more theater presentations and definitely to continue to do more visual arts. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity!!!! 🙂 Super Star Whoosh…..

  15. Rosa Venegas says:

    I believe we are advocators already, but are dictated what we can do and//or the degree we can incorporate the Arts into our curriculum. Further education, like this institute, helps us (teachers) become more aware, informed, and confident, to be able to enrich our students’ learning and understanding.

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