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Classroom Connections helps teach the teachers

The 2015-16 school year marks the fourth year the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center and Appleton Area School District (AASD) are participating in the Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. This partnership allows the Center and AASD to create professional development opportunities to help teachers use the arts as a catalyst for creative energy in every curricular area. The Classroom Connections Teacher Workshops are open to all Wisconsin educators on a first-come, first serve basis.


Last year’s Math Dance workshop meant a fun evening for all

Classroom Connections Teacher Workshops prepare educators to integrate the arts into their classroom, resulting in more effective and engaging lessons. Even for educators who have never been trained in the arts, these hands-on workshops are presented in a way that makes educators confident and comfortable to use the arts to teach core curriculum.

This year’s roster of professional teaching artists will encourage educators to get creative. Topics include songwriting, movement, language arts and engaging students with autism through the arts.


This year’s workshops include:

Sing to Freedom: Music of the Underground Railroad
Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015 4-7 p.m.
In this participatory workshop, educators will learn to decode and sing “Follow the Drinking Gourd” and other traditional songs of the Freedom Train. Led by musicians Kim and Reggie Harris, teachers will learn songwriting strategies to update period songs and compose new songs on freedom themes to bring history to life for students.

Reaching Students with Autism Through The Arts: Implications for Inclusive Arts Classroom
Monday, January 11, 2016, 4-7 p.m.
In this session, participants explore questions about what autism is, how it affects people, and how some strategies are utilized to help students with autism learn and experience the arts. Ryan Hourigan, Associate Director of the School of Music at Ball State University, addresses communication, emotional, socialization, cognitive and sensory challenges faced when working with students with autism in music, art, theater and dance classrooms and offers practical suggestions for teachers to use.

kennedy-headerDanceTalk: Creative Movement and Language Development
Thursday, March 3, 2016, 4-7 p.m.

In this workshop, participants discover ways to teach essential reading, writing, speaking and listening skills through creative movement. Throughout this dynamic workshop, participants will build language and dance vocabulary and learn practical strategies for space, time and behavior management. Creative dance educator Kate Kuper, will also model several activities from her popular CD, AlphaBeat, which participants take home at the end of the workshop.

Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies Through Visual Arts
Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 4-7 p.m.
How can students gain skills in questioning and making inferences from a text? In this workshop, the “text” is a work of visual art. In this workshop, led by Sandi Hammonds, teachers examine techniques for helping students develop their questioning strategies—posing relevant questions to gather information and progressing to more in-depth inquiry about the artwork.

For more information on these workshops including fees and how to register, visit our website.

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