Overview of Workshops for Teachers
Here are my current workshops for teachers. For more details, click on the name of a workshop on the Home Page.
“Authentic Assessments in the Arts”
Why do we assess the arts? How do we do it fairly? Can we use it to guide teaching & learning? In this workshop we will create a sample project to assess, perform it, and give feedback. We will explore the process of making a rubric for this performance piece. Then we will look at sample rubrics contributed by various teaching artists from around the country. In order to create a personalized assessment tool for one of your projects, we’ll take a quick look at the Content Standards for the Arts and identify learning objectives for your project.
“Count On It: Connecting Creative Movement with the Math Curriculum”
This active workshop for teachers of grades K-5 helps teachers find creative connections to the Common Core Standards in Math by integrating the art of dance. Learn some exciting movement strategies for the elementary classroom while gaining an understanding of elements of dance as an art form. Experience the connections between counting and cardinality in some addition/subtraction dance activities. Reinforce your skills of working with money by buying locomotors and non-locomotors from a Dance Bank and create dance phrases with your purchases. Use your body as the ultimate math manipulative, as you learn to apply principles of design to the shapes and patterns you create.
Take the fear out of using dance in the classroom by learning some basic classroom management skills and social skills for the art of movement. Warm up by learning the “Brain Dance” designed to wake up the mind and body. Learn about the elements of dance through engaging movement activities using B.E.S.T. –BODY, ENERGY, SPACE, and TIME. Learn to collaborate with partners, small groups, and large groups to create a dance based on the elements learned in this workshop.
Go beyond the basic elements of dance to explore a deeper knowledge of using the BODY with ENERGY moving through SPACE and TIME. Warm up the BODY by going from isolating one body part at a time to using whole body movement and body shapes. Create a personal movement vocabulary. Learn to use ENERGY as an expressive tool to vary your movements. Add an awareness of SPACE by exploring levels, directions, pathways, and range of motion. Use TIME to create rhythmic patterns of beats, pauses, accents as well as natural rhythms. Culminate with an “Enter, Meet, and Exit” dance based on vocabulary learned.
Kennedy Center Workshop: “Exploring the Environment through Movement”
This workshop is designed for teachers of grades 2-6. In Louisiana, our entire coastline can be considered endangered wetlands. What are the threats to the environment in your area? This workshop can be adapted for the environment in your area or can be a survey of all types of environments/ecosystems. We begin with a warm-up that explores the elements of dance while exploring various types of water. Next, we will learn some facts about ecosystems and about what threatens those environments (both man made and natural) while learning a basic format for choreography. Near the end of the workshop we will take all this new information and our knowledge of the environment and synthesize it in the creation of an environmental performance piece.
Kennedy Center Workshop: “Exploring Symbols of Culture Through Writing and Movement: A Look at West African Textile Art”
This workshop is designed for teachers of grades 3-6, but can be adapted to include other K-8. In this workshop, explore West African culture through its textile art, the widely known Kente Cloth and the lesser known stamped art called Adinkra. The Adinkra symbols of the Ashanti people in Ghana represent attributes for which they strive: strength, wisdom, learning from mistakes, hope, truth, etc. In this workshop, explore ways to examine the symbols for these personal attributes that are critical to successful living. Learn to guide students’ exploration of each symbol through creative movement and writing. Movement explorations are guided by an understanding of lines, levels, shapes, and pathways; Writing explorations involve use of synonyms, verbs, and modifiers for each symbol. The experience concludes when students combine their movement and writing into a culminating performance.
Kennedy Center Workshop: "Kinesthetic Learning: Linking Language and Dance"
For Teachers of Grades 2–4
Imagine your students expressing concrete nouns as body shapes, using adjectives to modify their bodies, and adding a prepositional phrase to express a spatial relationship. In this workshop, help students discover the amazing parallels between dance and descriptive writing. Progress from writing simple poems inspired by dance to creating descriptive dance/spoken word improvisations that serve as a springboard for helping students communicate orally, kinesthetically, and through writing.
“Learning to Move, Moving to Learn: Integrating Dance into the Math, Science, Social Studies, and/or Language Arts Curriculum”
In this workshop we will look at a variety of ways to integrate creative movement and dance into the elementary curriculum. In my work in the public school system, we have used dance to show an understanding of the water cycle, landforms, erosion, plant studies, weather, timelines, life cycles, the solar system, mapping skills, parts of speech, poetry, number concepts, fractions, etc. These engaging activities can be adapted for older grades as well. It is also important to note that we will be learning about the art of dance and choreography. We will warm up as a dancer, cover the basic elements of dance, and explore some simple choreographic techniques. We will pause from time to time to reflect on arts integration, as well as to discuss the activities and how they relate to your work in the classroom. We will finish by discussing assessment strategies and look at some sample rubrics. In a 3-hour workshop, I can do two of these areas: Math, ELA, Science or Social Studies.
"Meaningful Movement Experiences"
I am on an artistic and spiritual journey using movement as meditation, as centering, as inspiration and as a means of unblocking creative potential. Toward this goal, I have used my own practice as a guide for developing a series of workshops for adults. We find ways of moving that express our feelings, our inner voice, connections to life around us. We dance, we journal, we share, we create.