Remote Instruction: Looking Back on this Past Week

On the educational front, last week was pretty crazy as educators across the country struggled to put together distance learning options for their kids, some of whom are too young to read. Recognizing the unique challenges the teachers of our youngest learners will be facing we immediately took steps to support primary school teachers.

Our first step was to begin curating youtube playlists. These are some of our favorite learning videos that are used in many classrooms across the county. Next we put together an online Primary (K-3) Professional Learning Community that will focus the next six weeks on remote instruction. As of Sunday night we have 59 K-3 classroom teachers in the group.

We are challenging these teachers to go beyond the motions of remote teaching to look at what their desired outcomes for the experience are and how much engagement they can realistically expect.

We are looking forward to gaining some important insights over the course of the next six weeks and we will most certainly share what we learn.

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Recommending a Home Routine

We’ve created a Remote Teaching PLC Group on Facebook. Join the conversation.
Primary (K-3)PLC
Intermediate (3-5)PLC
Remote teaching is as much about educating the parent as the child. Many parents do not have routines established for their young children. We see it daily in our classrooms. For this reason our first task in remote teaching is to recommend a daily schedule for learning. This creates a framework for our home learners while teaching the parents the importance of routine for their children. Below is a sample of an academic morning routine.

Daily 5 is a reading routine that ensures early readers get practice in all the areas they need to become fluent readers. These areas include the following:

Listen to Reading

Read to Others

Word Work Games

Work on Writing

Read to Self

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Youtube and Chill

School closings mean that kids will be learning at home instead of in school. Here is a series of play lists our K-1 teachers use in their classrooms that should keep basic skills fresh. Remember that playlists no longer exist in kids youtube so be prepared for advertising.

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We All Need to Advocate

Today was the annual Arts Congress at the Arizona State Capitol #artscongress. Over 300 arts advocates gathered to communicate the importance of the arts and arts funding.

KellyAnn attended on our behalf. She met with the senator for her home district. This is a very important aspect of the advocacy process. Every Senator will take information but they will really listen if the person talking can vote for them.

We had two students, two education professionals, an artist and two agency representatives in our meeting with Senator Carter. It was a great meeting.

Make your voice heard! Become an advocate.

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Art Makes Me Happy and a Better Teaching Artist

Today I had the opportunity to showcase some of my fiber art at the Nontraditional Art Expo at the Chandler Public Library. My mission today was to spread the word that making art makes you happy, whether you are good at it or not. Here’s the research to prove it.

I’m pretty honest with myself. I’m not going to be the next great fine artist. I’m not trying to be. What I am trying to do is live a fuller, happier life. This is important to me as a human, as a wife, as a mother and as a teacher. And wouldn’t you know it – art is a part of the answer.

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Title IV-A? Never Heard of It.

Most everyone in education these days knows about ESSA. For those not in the loop, ESSA is the Every Student Succeeds Act which is passed in 2015. It was a bipartisan effort to reauthorize the 50 year old Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It said goodbye to No Child Left Behind and opened the door for well rounded education in public schools.

Title I of this act provides formula grants to assist schools with certain percentages of low income children.

Title II of this act provides funds for teacher and principal training.

Title III focuses on institutions of higher learning.

And Title IV was all about 21st Century Schools, right? Those after school programs. Howeer Title IV is so much more. Under Title IV-A flexible funding is available to Title I schools to address Well Rounded Education/Safe and Healthy Schools/Effective Use of Technology. Projects that couldn’t be covered by Title I may very well be funded with this pool of money. You should check it out.

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Join Us In July

KellyAnn will be presenting with ADE Title IV-A Arts Education Specialist, Haley Honeman. The topic is STEAM Integration- Webbing for Cross Curricular Integration.

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Time for a Reboot

Well my friends, its been forever since I made a post so I figured it was time for a reboot. For those of you who have been with us for a while…

“Hey, how are ya! Long time no see!”

For those of you who might have recently stumbled across our blog…

“Hey, how are ya! Nice to meet ya!”

Pop Goes the Classroom is an innovative support for educators mostly serving intermediate grade school, middle and high school students. That’s not to say ideas can’t be used with younger kids, after all I’m an early childhood specialist currently teaching 1st grade, its just that its more difficult to find pop culture that can be used that doesn’t distract the littles from the learning goals.

Our philosophy is simple.

“If the arts are the voice of a generation, pop culture is the dialect of its youth.”

If we can learn to speak this dialect, we can build meaningful relationship with the kids we serve. Meaningful relationships will intern result in higher student engagement and more meaningful learning.

So what is pop culture? Well there is quite a bit of disagreement over the definition. I can say this. Pop culture is usually arts based. Pop culture is movies, music, television, comic books, video games, table games, etc. All of these activities have one or more art forms in play.

For this reason, here at Pop Goes the Classroom, we see our work primarily in the role of STEAM integration.

So check out some of the old postings, or just read the new ones. There are lots of ideas to be had.



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Welcome to our new staff

We are pleased to announce a new addition to our team. Welcome to Shelbie Cline. She replaces Geri Crouse who has moved on to new exciting experiences. Shelbie is a calligraphy artist and gentle craftswoman with many gifts to share.

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Hot STEAMy Summer Camp

We are just finishing up our third and final camp for the Summer 2017 season. It’s been a summer of fun and discovery. There were so many times when STEM and Arts/Humanities were so interwoven you couldn’t distinguish one from the other – as it should be. This meant that we needed to highlight the STEM learning in the arts experiences in a way that fostered scientific thinking. I want to revisit some of those experiences with you here today.

Our first camp this season was Summer at Hogwarts. On the first day the youth constructed their student wizard hats. This was an excellent opportunity to introduce them to terms like circumference, diameter, radius, and pi. Those who were interested in the Breannchallenge were given the formula for circumference to see if they could determine the diameter of their circles. They then used this information to create their student hats.

To the left is a picture of a proud candidate who created her student wizard hat and wand.

Wands were an opportunity to introduce chemistry. Hot glue gave us an opportunity to have a discussion about adhesives and the polymers used to create hot-melt adhesives. The adhesive discussion would come up multiple times throughout the camp with the hot clue being a reference point.

The highlight of any Hogwarts/Harry Potter camp is the potions demonstration. A seasoned actor can make the science demonstration magical allowing children to suspend their disbelief as they make divination balls and see frozen dementors’ breath scream. We could simply allow the performance art experience to stand on its own but where would the STEM be in that. Instead, after the performance, before the hands on experience we challenged the kids to use their scientific thinking. What might this be in the muggle world? Then come the educated guesses. Then the discussion about dry ice being frozen CO2, states of matter, etc. We didn’t detract from the arts experience, we simply discussed the science with intentionality during the the debrief.

Our next camp was Super Hero Invention Camp where we used the gadgeteers of the super hero world to discuss engineering habits of the mind. We highlighted how characters like Tony Stark were engineers who used their skills to create their super hero personas. We looked at how Tony’s character identified his problem – Tony had shrapnel in his chest and needed an electromagnet to keep it from getting to his heart. His current electromagnet was being powered by a car battery. If Tony was going to escape his captors he needed something that could help him that woulironmandn’t be so heavy. Tony used his resourcefulness to find a solution-he made a mini arch reactor based on his knowledge of building a large one back home eliminating the need for the car battery. After reflecting on his new invention he realized the battery could power other things –Tony adapted the battery to power a super suit to help him escape. The kids were focused on the art and story of Ironman, however with intentionality we were able to introduce them to concepts identifying a problem, using creativity and ingenuity to come up with a solution, to reflect on the solution and adapt it to other purposes.

Our final camp of the season was Under the Sea. Port Hole step 1Porthole Student

Here you see a port hole project that incorporated the scientific knowledge they had learned over the course of the camp to create an acrylic and tempera paint art depiction of a coral reef. The children mixed colors, explored pigment, and used bamboo skewers to create the final result.

STEAM is everywhere you simply have to highlight it.



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