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The Arts

When dealing with bullying in your classroom, be sure that every act of discipline provides an opportunity for bullies to discover their own compassion and develop it as they would a muscle.

Recycling Activities Turn Trash Into Treasure
In one Indiana art class, students create glamorous ensembles from recycled rubbish and strut their stuff on the runway. A Spanish club in Missouri makes money and serves a need in the community by operating its own recycling center.

Teaching the Mathematics of Music
Drawing parallels between pop music and math concepts is a great way to reinforce cross-curricular concepts while using a strong mental hook to keep students attention. Try these simple ideas to incorporate music or mathematics into your next lesson.

Music Sends Toes Tapping to Class
When students at one school hear the theme music to "Mission Impossible," they know their mission: to get to class. The music helps set a tone for the day and gets kids moving in a timely fashion. Included: More principals share how they use music to hit the right notes.

Executive Gives Arts a Boost Where He Got His Start
Now a successful businessman and philanthropist, Richard Fields still remembers his elementary school music teacher with appreciation. He now is funding an extensive arts program at his former school to give todays students the experiences he had.

Bringing Back the Arts to Help Boys Learn
Reducing or eliminating art, music, and creative programs to spend more time on academics has been particularly hard on boys, some educators think. Integrating the arts into lessons is helping two schools close the literacy gap between boys and girls.

Artsonia: Online Gallery Raises Funds, Art Awareness, and Self-Esteem
At a time when money for the arts is limited, one online resource seeks to support local schools in one broad stroke. Artsonia is a masterpiece: a fundraiser for the arts and a free online gallery for student artwork. Included: Tips for Artsonia newbies.

Teacher's Travels Inspire Young Artists
Last summer, art teacher Tim Wallace hit the road on a driving tour of America's national parks. Along the way, he inspired his students to create art and to maintain their own sketchbooks about their summer travels.

Kids Learn Better With a Song in Their Hearts
Do you recall the multiplication tables, grammatical terms, or historical documents because of a song you learned as a kid? Educators recognize that teaching with song makes learning not only more fun, but more effective and long-lasting.

Keeping Art Alive Under NCLB
While nothing in the No Child Left Behind Act says schools must eliminate the arts to concentrate on math and reading, arts instruction is shrinking or vanishing in many schools. Arts advocates say the arts are critical to a complete education.

O, Say, Does Your Class Know the National Anthem?
For years, students learned "The Star-Spangled Banner" and other patriotic songs in music class. Budget cuts, though, have forced many schools to eliminate music, so the National Association for Music Education is urging people to learn and sing the anthem.

Learning Takes Center Stage in Second Grade Opera Company
When Ellen Levine saw firsthand the benefits of having students create, stage, and perform an original opera, she couldn't have known that she would become part of a dynamic teaching team in a classroom with opera at its center.

Music's Key Role in Helping Students Learn
Music's positive impact on learning is becoming well known, and one of the groups trumpeting that message is NAMM, the International Music Products Association. NAMM's Mary Luehrsen talked about the research behind the group's message.

Putting the Arts in the (Everyday) Picture
While for the most part the arts have been on the fringes of education, when they become a larger part of the curriculum, they can engage students in numerous ways, and particularly can benefit students in low-income, low-performing schools.

Strategies That Work: Music
"I started writing [music] as a way of helping myself (and my colleagues) survive the year with an intact sense of humor," educator and songsmith Eric Baylin told Education World. But teachers aren't the only "savage beasts" who are soothed and inspired by music. Discover how music is being used in schools to enhance and support learning.

Eek! Comics in the Classroom!
Are you looking for a way to motivate reluctant readers, engage urban youth, develop the comprehension skills of second-language learners, or teach visual literacy to elementary level students? Have you considered using comics and graphic novels?

Building Close-Knit Communities: Knitting Makes a Comeback
Knitting is a great activity for students with ADHD. It makes a great recess activity, and it meshes with the multiple-intelligences philosophy. And it's catching on in schools around the country! Included: Learn why knitting works from teachers at two schools.

Morning Sing: School's Weekly Tradition Is Music to the Ears
What has "risk takers" performing on stage, teachers reading and singing to the entire school, and students still talking about events from elementary school years later? It's Lake Street School's "Morning Sing," a weekly event that brings together the entire school.

Strike up the Band, Exit Stage Right!
In the Internet, TV, video game-age, kids draping a sheet in a garage to "stage" a "play" seems quaint. But author and performer Deborah Dunleavy wants children to create their own dramas and music, and has written guidebooks both kids and teachers can use.

Strategies That Work: Timelines
Across the grades and curriculum, teachers treasure the value of timelines; the ultimate graphic organizers. Timelines provide visual tools for studying brief periods of time -- a day, a year, an individual's life -- or for examining a topic across centuries.

Strategies That Work: Poetry Slam
Blend poetry and theater to create a fun event that emphasizes creativity while developing students' thinking and presentation skills. Use a slam as a Poetry Month fundraiser or Parents Night event, or as an antidote to the winter blahs or end-of-year slump.

Strategies That Work: Creating ABC Books
Have you ever had your students write ABC books? Creating ABC books reinforces language skills and develops research skills. The activity also is a unique tool for turning students into teachers, as they share what they learn about a curriculum-related topic.

From "Pretty" to Practical: Using Bulletin Boards to Teach
If you've ever been guilty of ignoring a clearly out-of-date bulletin board or of putting up "anything" that will do, maybe it's time to give your bulletin boards a second look. Experts tell Education World that classroom boards can be more than just "wallflowers" -- they can be tools for teaching too!

Reader's Theater: A Reason to Read Aloud
The Reader's Theater strategy blends students' desire to perform with their need for oral reading practice. RT offers an entertaining and engaging way to improve fluency and enhance comprehension. Included: RT tips from the experts!

Could Your School Be a Money "Wiener?"
The Oscar Mayer School House Jam Talent Search offers schools the opportunity to win enough money to start or restart their music programs. All it takes is a song!

Music to Our Ears
In the past, because written music requires basic music literacy, the songs that children created on the spur of the moment were difficult to record, replicate, or edit. Technology has solved that problem by providing a number of inexpensive ways in which children can write and record their own music. Discover how fifth graders at California's Village School composed original rondos and created their own CD.

Opera Is a Class Act!
In an effort to enhance learning in all subjects, some teachers and school districts have adopted a musical medium -- opera! As students become acquainted with Aida and The Barber of Seville, they develop their understanding of music, language, and culture. One teacher who is infusing her own classroom with opera points out that it isn't necessary to be an opera aficionado to introduce pupils to Puccini!

Make It Happen: Awesome Author and Illustrator Visits!
Don't squander a precious resource! Learn how to transform a school author or illustrator visit from an hour of entertainment into a life-long connection to reading and writing. Education World writer Leslie Bulion talked to Toni Buzzeo and Jane Kurtz, children's authors and co-authors of Terrific Connections with Authors, Illustrators and Storytellers, about how to help students get the most out of meeting the folks who write the books kids love to read.

National Survey Will Find 100 Best Communities for Music Education in America
The American Music Conference, a nonprofit organization that promotes music education, and other groups are currently running the second annual survey to identify the top 100 communities for music education in America.

'Art Guitars' Auction to Benefit Music Education!
Staff members at the Fender Museum of Music and the Arts in Corona, California, hope funds from an on-line auction of celebrity-painted "art guitars" will help them build a larger music center and let them provide free music lessons for a greater number of kids. The museum's program is one of many nationwide private initiatives to support music education. Included: Links to national organizations that promote music education.

Mr. Lowe -- From the Classroom to the Funny Papers!
An Education World e-Interview With Teacher/Cartoonist Mark Pett, Creator of the 'Mr. Lowe' Comic Strip

Mark Pett married his two loves -- teaching and cartooning -- and produced Mr. Lowe, a comic strip dedicated "to the unsung heroes who manage our nation's classrooms... and the kids who aggravate them." Today, he tells Education World how it happened. Included: Pett's recollections of his funniest teachers and the funny -- and not so funny -- moments from his teaching days. Plus

Special Program Brings Student Excellence to Life!
"The most important thing I learned was if you work hard and put all of your heart into something, the final product will be excellent," said Heather. "It made me see that I could be more creative than I thought I could be," added Jordan. Those are the comments of two of the students challenged by a special program that paired the imaginations of 13 fifth-graders and two artists-in-residence. To participate, students must submit portfolios containing original writing and an art form. Could such a program work in your school?

When the Curtain Goes Up, All Kids Shine!
This year, fourth graders at Keeney Street School in Manchester, Connecticut, went back to the future! In their end-of-year play, they became well-known singers of the 50s who had had been cryogenically frozen for decades. Director Michael Norman said participating in performances such as this teaches children cooperation, presentation, and stage presence and emphasizes the importance of following directions and listening.

Bettie Lake: Building a Home for Art Teachers on the Internet
Of all of the usual school subjects, art might be considered one of the least compatible with computers and the Internet. Not so! Students can create art with their computers and experience virtual galleries they might never access in person, and teachers can communicate via the Net to exchange ideas and show off their students' work. Bettie Lake is one art teacher who built a Web site for educators who are looking for a guide to art resources on the Web.

Making the Case for Music Education
What will it be -- music or computers? In some communities, it all comes down to that question. New research, special programs, and dedicated teachers and community members are helping to make a solid case for putting music "Bach" into our schools!

WANTED: Art Teachers Willing to Share!
Art teacher Pete Sotelo is looking to add to his "collection" of lesson plans by collaborating with other art teachers on-line. Here, he offers three of his best activities. Do you have an idea to share with him? Included: Take a look at Web pages created by a handful of other art teachers!

Making the Case for the Fourth `R: Art!
Reading and riting and rithmetic and rt (art)? Many school districts are strengthening the art components of their curricula in light of new research on the benefits of arts education.