Pop Up Preschool Playdates

We launched our Phoenix based Pop Up Preschool Playdates today at Paradise Valley Park located at 40th Street between Bell and Union Hills. We had an amazing turn out of toddlers and preschoolers and their parents. Moms got to know one another, they got information on hand writing development and activity ideas to promote “All About Me”. We look forward to seeing everyone again next Wednesday from 9-10:30

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Call for Poetry

Call to Poets: Celebrating the Caesars and Ancient Rome 

Deadline November 1, 2021

Pop Goes the Classroom is pleased to announce a collaboration with artist Marek Danielewski and FourStrokeStudio to promote critical thinking and celebrate the Caesars as artistic inspiration.

Over the years, ancient Rome has been a popular topic for film and television. Spartacus (STARZ), Rome (HBO), Britannia and Domina (EPIX) have brought ancient ROME into contemporary popular culture. As with all media, their depictions vary in their level of accuracy.

We are seeking poetry submissions that reflect the personhood of the great Caesars in a manner that can connect the contemporary audience to the historical figures in a manner consistent with Danielewski’s multimedia approach to the topic as seen below in his artist’s statement.

Artist Statement:

When I see Roman Art, I immediately think of fancy banquets and the excess in all forms.  The American vision of self is that of Ancient Rome.  Where for the French, Brutus is the hero of the Republic, so as for Americans it is Caesar who resides as the pinnacle of the Empire.  The American public including writers like Gore Vidal have been for the longest time referencing America’s link, similarities and growth toward the Roman Empire.  While Hollywood puts out a steady dose of sword and sandal epics for the viewing public to make the same association. In my work I feel I am showing this link in a contemporary media.  By engaging the iconic image of the Caesar I feel I am showing the degradation, the excess that is America and the Roman Empire.

We look forward to a rich diversity of submissions from practicing poets, students and hobbyists.

Images of Daneilewski’s Caesar’s Series can be found at marek79.weebly.com and Instagram @fourstrokestudio. We are seeking original works only. Simultaneous submissions will be accepted, but the poet must notify us as soon as possible if the work is accepted elsewhere. It is free to submit, and multiple poems may be submitted. 

Inquiries and Submissions should be sent to kellyann@infspec.com.

Submissions must include in the subject line Caesars Poetry Submission

Submissions must be in PDF format for the selection process. 

In the body of the email please include your name and contact information.

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Working with Teaching Artists

Pop Goes the Classroom programs are developed to be implemented by professional teaching artists. Teaching artists actively practice their art form outside of the learning environment. They are authors and artists, dancers and musicians. Teaching artists have mastered their art form and chose to give back to their field by fostering the next generation of arts patron and enthusiast. Opening the arts learning experience to everyone.

Our choice to use teaching artists is an important one. It informs our practice. It also informs our budget. We strive to balance the budgetary needs of the schools and community organizations we serve with the best practice recommendations put forth by the Arizona Commission on the Arts on teaching artist salary.

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Three Ways to Include the Arts in Your School

Including the arts in our daily learning routines is important to a well-rounded education. Arts experiences can be included into a school day in one of three ways – arts instruction, arts enhancement and arts integration.

Arts instruction can be in the areas of art, music, dance or drama. Each artistic discipline has its own unique set of arts standards that are addressed throughout the course of a given class. Culminating experiences in art instruction might include an art show, a concert, a dance recital or a dramatic performance.

Arts enhancement is when an artistic discipline is used to enhance learning in an academic content area but is not part of the assessment rubric. This might be teaching children a song to remember the continents or a guided drawing activity to support science learning.

Arts integration occurs when both the academic content and the arts content are equally emphasized and assessed. It requires a clear understanding of standards to be assessed in both content areas and includes a culminating project to highlight learning.

How do you teach the arts in your school?

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Starting Small in the 20’s

The philsophy of teaching equity and social justice to young children has existed for a very long time. I began presenting professional development using the Starting Small equity and justice materials in the late 90’s to preschool programs. These are topics that are always needed. Today probably more so than back then. So we are taking a few steps back to take many steps forward.

I’m using the same tried and true materials developed by the Southern Poverty Law Center. They’ve now been adapted for primary educators acknowledging current events and needs. This retooling will provide teachers with powerful tools that can easily and immediately be implemented in any classroom.

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New Navigation Tabs

I see you’ve noticed the new navigation tabs. I’m getting many questions.


The League of Extraordinary Academics is what you might call our advisory council. This is the men and woman who have informed our practice.

YD Lab

The Youth Development Lab is where you will find the camps that pilot and refine Pop Goes the Classroom Curriculum Resources. We parnter with parks and recreation programs and school districts to offer clubs and camps that help us to refine the trainings we provide and the products we sell.


We offer educational consulting services in the form of professional development and coaching services. Here you will find our preservice and inservice trainings, our partner workshops and the site based professional learning communities and coaching services we offer.

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5 Ways to Bring Art + Activism to the Classroom

powered by XQ

“When I started to step into saying, ‘I am an artist,’ I started to understand my why.”
— artist-activist and XQ #Artivism Challenge host Brandan “BMike” Odums   

Art is a powerful way for students to explore their creativity, express their emotions, and learn about social issues. In fact, many youth activists across the nation have begun to use artivism—a blend of art and activism—to exercise their voice and choiceSince art is so important, how can we empower students through art? From sparking challenging conversations around critical social issues to developing creative solutions to address community needs, we’ll explore why arts education is crucial for student development.  Sound good? Give me five! 😉

Read about five ways you can bring artivism to your classroom here.

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Teaching Dr. Seuss to Older Students

The Dr. Seuss estate has removed several books from print. This has caused quite a bit of controversy. Here is an article written in 2019 that might guide discussion in the older classroom.

It’s Time to Talk About Dr. Seuss


In light of a new study revealing stereotyped characters across Dr. Seuss’s children’s books, published just before Read Across America Day, how can educators engage older students in a critical discussion of this canonical author?

To read more click here

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Social Justice Standards Workshop

We are pleased to announce that we now offer the Social Justice Standards Workshop created by Learning for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance). This is a 4 hr professional development experience for classroom educators and out of school time professionals.

What are Social Justice Standards?

The Social Justice Standards are a road map for anti-bias education at every stage of K–12 instruction. Comprised of anchor standards and
age-appropriate learning outcomes, the Standards provide a common language and organizational structure educators can use to guide
curriculum development and make schools more just and equitable.

Divided into four domains—Identity, Diversity, Justice and Action (IDJA)—the Standards recognize that, in today’s diverse classrooms, students need knowledge and skills related to both prejudice reduction and collective action. Together, these domains represent a continuum of engagement in anti-bias, multicultural and social justice education.

How long is the workshop?

The workshop is four hours in duration.

What will be covered during the workshop?

The workshop addresses six topics:

  1. Introduction to the Vocabulary of Social Justice
  2. The Social Justice Standards
  3. Antibial Concepts Underpinning the Social Justice Standards
  4. Ideas for Implementation and Support Materials
  5. Creating a Social Justice Integration Plan
  6. Implementing your Integration Plan/Reflection

How can I schedule the workshop?

To request information on presenter qualifications and availability email kbonnell@infspec.com.

What is the cost of the workshop?

The cost of the workshop is $400 for up to 20 participants.

If you have a group larger that 20 please email kbonnell@infspec.com for a quote.

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Pop Up Preschool Registration OPEN

Registration is now open for the 2020-21 School Year.

These are unprecedented times. As parents your juggling working from home and coordinating distance learning for your school-age children. It’s easy for the educational needs of your preschool age child to be overlooked.

You recognize that preparing for kindergarten is important; and you know that social distancing is important to slow the spead of the global pandemic. It’s why you’ve decided to home school your preschooler. And you want to get it right.

That’s why we created the Pop Up Preschool!

We know kindergarten preparation is a big deal. We’ve heard from Kindergarten teachers what a child needs to be successful in a structured kindergarten classroom. We know the skills and behaviors your child is going to need.

Under the direction of a master’s level certified early childhood educator, the Pop Up Preschool has been created to give you the resources necessary for you to successful prepare your child for kindergarten. We’ve combed the internet for the best early childhood resources content creator can provide. We’e curated it and built learning experiences around those resources.

Click here for more information and to register

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