Julie Keefe and I met with Woodlawn’s art teacher, Crystal Simpson and teaching artist, Tina at the end of May.  They showed us around the school as we met teachers and viewed the many work spaces.  The school is a very different than the layout of Peninsula with more common spaces and detached classrooms.

Tina and Crystal’s work involves how the arts support their students.  They work with teachers in different cohorts facilitating ways for them to incorporate art into their classrooms.

We noticed many full color posters lining the hallways that showcased students working and explaining the value of art.  Tina explained her project of ‘Loose parts collage’ that invites engagement and connections through playful, metaphorical thinking.  Other posters showed students painting and answering the question, “How do materials support thinking?”.

We visited an arts integrated classroom where Tina was collaborating with a 3rd grade classroom teacher.  The focus of this lesson was a heavy integration of using math in the arts.

We finally all met in Crystal’s classroom to discuss the project and admire all the amazing art that Crystal has done with her students.  They explained how the project was going very well, that they had support and that most of the teachers were on board with what they were doing and wanted to learn more.  Very exciting!

Julie and I were very interested in Woodlawn’s project, particularly their training of teachers, and discussed how this would continue to be a focus in our 3rd year at Peninsula.  We were interested in the posters in the Woodlawn hallways that showed the public student work and all the benefits of their project and thought this could be a consideration for next year.  All in all, we were very inspired by this visit and excited to add some tricks into our program for next year!