Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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In rural Idalia, Colorado, 150 miles from Denver, two visiting artists work with teachers to enhance learning at tiny Idalia School:

  • Theatre artist Birgitta De Pree involves a kindergarten class in a storytelling activity that engages the imagination while reinforcing story structure skills.

  • After learning that teacher Trudi Weiser would like her fourth-grade students to build more colorful vocabularies, De Pree asks the children to pick verbs that sound “juicy,” act them out, and then use them in sentences.

  • Musician Michael Stanwood works with students and their teachers to write song lyrics that relate to their curriculum, then puts these lyrics to music. Sandi Waitman’s third-grade class explores Colorado history through a song. And social studies teacher Jim Rittenhouse describes the process Stanwood used to create an emotion-filled song about the massacre of Plains Indians at nearby Sand Creek.

Young Audiences of Colorado sponsors workshops for artists to learn to work with schools, and arranges their residencies. These same workshops are open to teachers, who learn to work effectively with resident artists. De Pree, who has worked with the school for several years, shares some of her strategies for successful residencies.

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