Performing Arts & ECEAP Partnership

Modeling Performing Arts Integration in the ECEAP Classroom.
Posted on 05/04/2023
This is the image for the news article titled Modeling Performing Arts Integration in the ECEAP Classroom. ESD 123’s ECEAP program teamed up with the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) and Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts program, Early Learning Through the Arts, to model performing arts integration in the classroom.   

Singing At this time of year, the focus is on reinforcing student learning of important self-regulation skills in preparation for kindergarten.  Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist Christina Farrell worked together with the ECEAP teachers and staff at Virgie Robinson and Rosalind Franklin to tailor her art to their classroom needs.  She then implemented this kindergarten readiness focus through song and drama in activities that included stopping and listening, taking turns, and sharing. 

Characters coming out of the box  Students were learning curricular concepts such as understanding the natural world and basic counting as they figuratively planted seeds, watered them, shined the sun on them, and watched them grow.  The students also learned story sequencing, how to safely express their emotions, and problem-solving as the story character, Rabbit, tried to figure out what to do with all his carrots!  Students engaged actively with various suggestions while others showed their ideas through their actions.  They couldn’t wait for the characters in the story to come out of their box, even rememberiCharacters and sceneryng the pieces of scenery that went with the storyline.   Surprise!
  Teacher Alejandra Cruz-Ortega expressed feeling more confident and comfortable as Christina turned the lead over to her.  This program follows a philosophy of modeling arts integration and leaving the teacher with the skills and knowledge to implement the ideas once the teaching artist leaves the classroom.  Rather than one-and-done, Christina built the story in the classroom over two classes, during which the teachers could observe and participate.  Wednesday, May 3rd, featured professional development, during which the teachers could be the ‘actors’ and learn more about the theories behind the program. 

Teacher Alejandra "photographs" students Then it was back in the classroom with Alejandra taking on more responsibility.  Alejandra was so excited to share how she planned to take pieces from the program and use them in other parts of the day.  She also plans to turn ‘Fun Fridays’ into ‘Drama Fridays.’  

Teachers Linda Cervantes and Erica Guzman, Virgie Robinson, and Teacher Bianca Espinoza from Rosalind Franklin experienced performing arts integration in their classrooms with similar eagerness to implement it themselves going forward. 

Parent night In a parallel process, parents were invited on the evening of Thursday, May 4th, to participate alongside their children, gaining an appreciation for what their children were learning in the Wolf Trap program in the classroom.  Parents were given excellent cues to use at home, helping build literacy through music, movement, and play.  Full participation and plenty of laughter reminded parents how fun learning can be!   
ESD 123 had applied for and received three grant awards from the ArtsWA Creative Start program to bring teaching artists into the classroom while incorporating early learning principles.  ArtsWA saw how this aligned with Wolf Trap’s work creating a natural fit to bring this pilot program to South-Eastern Washington.  Going forward, Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts Director Jennifer Edelen, and Washington State Arts Commission Arts in Education Program Manager, Tamar Krames, are excited about working with ESD 123 to create a sustainable endeavor, including training local teacher artists to continue the vision.  They also expressed appreciation for our ESD 123’s Lisa Brouwer-Thompson’s wholehearted advocation for the program. 
 Besides performing arts, ESD 123’s ECEAP has also been implementing visual arts through the Creative Start grant.  Teachers will submit samples of ECEAP student artwork for display at ESD 123 from May 15th through 19th, 7:30 am-4:00 pm, for public viewing.  Come and see the beautiful art these little ones can create!      

View more pictures of performing arts integration in action on our Facebook page. 
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