New England Arts for Literacy teachers are trusted to bring new ideas to each other and to students. Learning crosses content areas and includes deep exploration through the arts and vivid arts experiences to help students to enter, question, understand and express their own views about the world around them.
This dynamic initiative provides teachers, museums, and artists with tools like The Performance Cycle framework. The framework engages students by building a classroom community of learners centered on meaningful text. Kinesthetic learning, and teacher and student reflection are critical to this process of deep understanding.
Learning, like life, is a creative adventure. Learning is structured around big ideas and taking risks, including the risk of making teacher and student learning visible and joyful. Documentation using our technology platform is a key part of the learning process and the first step in dissemination.
WORK WITH DISTRICTS & TEACHERS
Our three districts (Quaboag Regional Innovation District, Salem Public Schools and Andover Public Schools) share a common commitment to students, and a need for additional strategies to improve reading comprehension, increase interdisciplinary learning, and emphasize the “four C’s” (creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication).
Over 120 teachers will receive instruction and support in our model, reaching over 1,000 students per year with creative classroom lessons enriched by visiting artists and integrated museum visits.
Within the NEAL project, teaming is a dynamic concept; flexible to meet individual needs but fixed around collaborative practice and professional growth. Teaming is inspired by work (such as a shared essential question, theme and text) that accommodates both single practitioners and multiple teachers becoming a team through reflective practice.
Teacher support is provided by the project director, technology coordinator, district coordinators, museum educators and our project facilitator. We support teachers in collaborative practice, unit design and implementation, performance of understanding, reflection, and documentation. Project staff and district coordinators meet regularly with district leaders to encourage project understanding and support. Project staff and others who work across districts meet regularly to exchange information and keep the project moving forward towards meeting its goals: including teachers who can connect literacy, the arts, and other content areas; classrooms with a positive climate and the capacity to offer high quality arts-integrated units of study; and students who are engaged in learning with a high academic self concept and excellent reading comprehension.