20 Innovative Ideas

20 Innovative Ideas

From the 2016–2017 Champion Creatively Alive Children Grant Winners.

From the 2016–2017 Champion Creatively Alive Children Grant Winners.
Principal Supplement: Champion Creatively Alive Children
September/October 2017

Access to Art-Infused Active Learning

Melrose Elementary School, Roseburg, Oregon
Tamara Rasmussen, Principal
This rural, Title I school’s Creative Leadership Team provided teachers with art-integrated professional development focused on Da Vinci’s model of merging academics, action, and art.

Artists as Inventors: Exploring Form and Function

Public School 174—William Sidney Mount, Rego Park, New York
Karin Kelly, Principal
Teachers join inquiry teams for common planning, collaboration, and reflection across and within grade levels. In partnership with the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, teachers and students study design thinking to create and curate inventions.

Bridging the Gap With Art

Sheridan Arts Spanish Dual Immersion, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Yajaira Guzman, Principal
Leveraging teacher leaders’ expertise and resources from the Walker Art Museum and Minneapolis Institute of Art, this grant provided professional development for teachers. Their focus was integrating art across the curriculum, especially visual and written literacy.

Building Thinkers

Wolf Canyon Elementary, Chula Vista, California
Debra McLaren, Principal
Project “Design Time!” provided teachers with professional development and students with resources to merge art, engineering, and creative problem-solving processes. They developed a “FAST Track: Fine Arts, Science, and Technology” art integration program.

Contemporary Voices on Teaching Art

Chabot Elementary School, Castro Valley, California
Vivienne Paratore, Principal
Professional development and an Art-Infused Lesson Planning Guide, developed by the school’s Creative Leadership Team, focused on highly relevant contemporary art-integration strategies so teachers make informed aesthetic and pedagogical decisions.

Creating a Cohesive Community With Art

Perry Drew Elementary School, East Windsor, New Jersey
Robert Dias, Principal
What if students became producers of knowledge, not just consumers of content? What if learning extended beyond classrooms as students curated galleries that inspire and document learning? They used interactive cross-curricular experiences, gallery walks, and monthly professional development to strengthen their student-centered practices.

Design Thinking With Community Coaches

Monett Intermediate School, Monett, Missouri
Cherie Austin, Principal
The Creative Leadership Team collaborated with the district’s regional technology center and local industries to address students’ needs as future designers and problem-solvers.

Embracing Partnerships

Vandyke Elementary School, Coleraine, Minnesota
Sue Hoeft, Principal
Art integration deepens collaboration and cultural understanding. Vandyke educators partnered with other schools to share insights and cross-curricular lesson plans.

Expanding Professional Learning to the Broader Community

Los Berros Elementary School, Lompoc, California
Heather Anderson, Principal
To align art-infused pedagogy practices within their feeder schools and deepen their collaborative relationships, they included the local day care center and other schools in their weekly art-integration training sessions.

Priorities and Promising Practices

Henry Kaiser Elementary School, Oakland, California
Dennis Guikema, Principal
Hosting listening tours, art-in-education networking meetings, and walk-through observations for others to observe their promising practices, these educators learned from others while sharing insights on the power of art integration.

Observational Rounds Transform a Vision Into Practice

Powder Springs Elementary School, Powder Springs, Georgia
Debbie Broadnax, Principal
Cobb County School District’s “Investing in Educational Excellence” vision is focused on innovation. Art integration that involves teacher training cohort groups, multiday professional development, collaborative planning sessions, and observational rounds has delivered positive results for Powder Springs.

Natural Rhythm of Art and Written Words

Dover Sherborn Middle School, Dover, Massachusetts
Scott Kellett, Principal
The “power of an image as reliable text” helped students read images as original source material. Collaboration among this middle school’s English, science, and art teachers helped colleagues teach the parallels among science, art, and written words as they blended their three disciplines with a shared multiliteracies purpose.

“PERKS” of Student Growth

Atwater Elementary, Shorewood, Wisconsin
Kayla Russick, Principal
The acronym PERK stands for perseverance, empathy, responsibility, kindness, and self-discipline—the elements of this school’s character code. Their grant focused on using visual representations as metaphorical thinking about citizenship and character traits to build students’ personal sense of efficacy.

Power of Art to Persuade

Ocean Knoll School, Encinitas, California
Jennifer Bond, Principal
Teachers and students used art to explore social justice issues and consider the power of art to persuade, build awareness, and inspire activism. In conjunction with book studies and history stories, students visually expressed thoughts on injustice themes.

Scaffold Steps to Success

Brooklyn Park Elementary School, Baltimore, Maryland
Rodney Walker, Principal
Just as experienced teachers know how to scaffold learning for students, this Creative Leadership Team used scaffolds to layer the depth of understanding robust art integration in their professional development. They outlined a multiyear “train-the-trainer” model, in which cohort groups of teachers share insights and lessons.

Bringing Art to the Community Increases Family Engagement

Creedmoor Elementary, Creedmoor, North Carolina
Nancy Russell, Principal
This rural school has a deep commitment to art integration and community engagement. Using ideas they gathered from Crayola webinars, they took art experiences into the community center, trailer park, and housing complex, sparking fruitful conversations with families about children’s creativity.

Sketching Science

Bush Elementary School, Idaho Falls, Idaho
Joshua Newell, Principal
Inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci, this school’s Creative Leadership Team integrated art and science instruction. Science sketch journals documented observations of ecosystems.

STEAM Ignites Learners’ Energy

Bagdad Elementary School, Milton, Florida
Daniel Baxley, Principal
This rural, high-need school was eager for art to energize their STEM program. “Project LITE (Lightbulbs Ignite—Teachers Excite)” provided professional development for teachers and illuminated their progress.

Tinkering Teachers Explore Design and Creativity

Roosevelt Elementary,
Keego Harbor, Michigan

Dennis Rapal, Principal
Partnering with local university architecture departments and engineering and design firms helped teachers and students see that building a culture of creativity involves collaborative problem-solving and risk-taking. Real-world engineering challenges, with engineers and designers as coaches, made their project-based learning come to life.

What Adults Learn From Children

Acmetonia Primary School, Cheswick, Pennsylvania
Gregory Heavner, Principal
This school’s Creative Leadership Team provided professional development on mixed media storytelling so teachers learned about animation, moviemaking, and art integration for multimedia content creation. Their best discovery was how much teachers learn from children.


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