This school year we are working to bolster students’ core skills through STEAM. We customize our programs to meet the needs of the class and the teaching cirriculum. Working closely with the teachers and arts liasons we specifically design our time within the classroom to have the most impact in each childs life. In both our research and practice we’re finding more and more evidence supporting the power of integrating the arts into science, technology, engineering and math lessons to create “STEAM”. We’re excited to be part of the movement to inspire today’s students to become tomorrow’s ground-breakers in exciting and new ways, who contribute to enhancing our communities and nation as a whole.
Here are some of Story Tapestries’ current STEAM programs:
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FULL STEAM AHEAD!!!
Your participation in our projects to bring the Arts into every core standard is making tracks and showing instant results in the students and teachers we work with. Thank you so much for your continued support of these events and workshops. Here is one of our latest experiences:
Ms. Ross, "LOOK, LOOK, I created a number line dance for 6/12+3/12........."
Ms. Ross, "DID you see my "Choreography" of the ordered pairs.....wasn't it out of this world!!"
Ms. Ross, "I can do it. I wrote a word problem by myself and answered it by myself. Okay not by myself entirely but almost by myself."
The power of the arts strikes again..... at Kenmore Middle School and Greenwood Elementary School. For the past 3 weeks, we at Story Tapestries have had the honor of working with teachers on how to use the arts, specifically dance and story, to teach math. At first, when we proposed the idea of teaching fractions and graphing ordered pairs of numbers using dance, we were met with skepticism. However, by the closing day, both the students and teachers enthusiasm was huge. The 4th graders at Greenwood got it, they understand both at a math and a kinesthetic level how to add basic fractions. Within one 45 minute session, they acted out a word problem, solved one, and wrote their own.
On the other hand, at Kenmore Middle School the students we were there to support have cognitive and developmental needs that requires a variety of adaptions. YET again, the teacher at Kenmore MS stepped up to the plate. She blew our mind away with her creative ideas and passion for helping her students grow. We taped out a "LARGE size" Graph on the floor of her classroom. We completely rearranged the desks. EVERY idea we had, she always said yes, never no.
Through our work, the students began to develop a stronger comprehension of positive or negative integers on a graph. Finally, they had a full body experience learning how to graph a series of ordered pairs. It was not an everyday lesson. They had to write out the pairs, graph the pairs and finally dance their graph illustrating to us their understanding of the parallel arts and math objectives. It was powerful to see students who are not always considered successful, who have difficulty remembering details, instead creating, rehearsing and finally performing a 4 phrase dance blocked on a graph.
As we sit here right now formulating this report, it is with the knowledge that it is not, what Arianna Ross, the Executive Director, did with the information that caused it to be so impactful but again the power of the arts to take a relatively basic lesson and make it exciting, engaging and educational. For many people, this report may feel out of the ordinary but the truth is that this is what we do EVERY day at Story Tapestries, we bring the arts to the community with a new power approach.
Thank you again for continuing to bring the Arts into the lives of our communities.
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Happy 2015! We hit the ground running this year and are already deep into building our programs and services bigger and better for the New Year. While the nation’s overall dropout rate is declining, Secretary Arne Duncan has stated that the dropout rate is still “unsustainably high for a knowledge-based economy and still unacceptably high in our African-American, Latino, and Native-American communities.” This means it is more important than ever for us to continue moving forward in our work of teaching literacy and STEM concepts through the arts, especially for these communities who have limited access to such educational resources.Truthfully, some days our work is a challenge....students are distracted, teachers over-burdened with testing, administrators taxed over managing the every-changing moving parts of the school system...BUT...every time we hear a positive response from a teacher about how our work has helped motivate them to think about old lessons in a new way, or every time a student gleefully proclaims the correct answer to a once daunting question..we remember, THIS is why we must go on! THIS is why we LOVE our work. But you don't have to just take my word for it, check out these quotes about Arianna and Story Tapestries.......“She creates an environment where the children feel safe to take risks and grow from their mistakes. It is with her soft yet strong voice that guides the children.” -Franklin Wassmer, Principal, Washington DC“Thank you for inspiring me to remember how I used to teach.” -Jen Flores, 1st Grade Teacher, Barrett Elementary School, VA “They sat in awe! She exceeded our expectations. We want her back next year!!” -Adrian Blount, Administrator, Ideal Academy, Washington DC
After a great day of teaching, I feel like there is no doubt that we can change the world through the arts. My students for the day light up when I'm there. They made new connections and their teachers were so impressed at what they had been able to accomplish in such a short time. Then I think about how much we could accomplish with more time! And I think about how many more classrooms there are in that school, and how many more schools there are that have no arts integration presence at all. And suddenly, it all just feels like there is too much work to be done. That’s when I realize that those teachers are really the key. They are there every day with their students, all year round, year after year with a new class. And if they had even a few of the tools I have to help them reach all their students in more meaningful ways through the arts, then the impact of the work we do will go on and on. This is why doing Professional Development Workshops through Story Tapestries is so important. The gift that keeps on giving!
Literacy is not just about teaching children & adults to read & write. It is about people discovering the power of the written word and STEM concepts to help them reach for their dreams. If you agree with this statement, please re-post it! Share this project report with friends and family, or simply mention Story Tapestries in conversation.
Wishing you all the best this Holiday Season!
Over this past year we’ve worked with over 100,000 children and coached multiple teachers around the country. Administrators regularly show us that test scores have increased after we have trained their staff to apply the arts to their literacy programs. Beyond embracing the quantitative results touting the positive results of education using the arts as one of the tools to teach, we do this work because of those light-bulb moments we often witness during our programming. Those electric moments when students and educators suddenly “get it”- when the math concept they’ve been struggling to grasp or present becomes clear through the visual art project they’re engrossed in, or when the writing exercise they’ve struggled for weeks to make sense of suddenly becomes second-nature. We believe in the value of the work we do because we so often witness these pivotal moments propelling individuals ahead further than they even thought possible, and continuing to have a positive effect long after our programs have ended.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead
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