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Purposeful Pathways: A Review

April 24th, 2015|0 Comments

I have had the pleasure of reviewing a great resource for the general music classroom over the past couple of months. As an elementary general music teacher, I am sometimes overwhelmed by the amount of materials and cost involved in some of the great resources that are available. When seeing […]

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Sparkchasers Podcast: Breaking Away from the Pack

April 23rd, 2015|0 Comments


In this episode, Susan and Greg explore how to get started at the school-level with making a change for innovation. You’ll hear why most schools fail to move the needle and what you can do about it. And, you’ll discover the top questions that successful schools ask that help them […]

  • Fostering Grit with aGrowth Mindset

Fostering Grit with a Growth Mindset

April 22nd, 2015|0 Comments

I am hard on myself.  I always have been.  Over the years I have come to intellectually understand that being hard on myself has not served me, that it has only led to stress and made achievement a much more arduous and less joyful journey.  I don’t want that for […]

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Extend Your Arts Integration Strategies into Any Grade

April 21st, 2015|0 Comments


How many times have you seen a set of arts integration strategies and thought, “those are great, but I can’t use that in my grade level”?  I’m willing to bet you’ve had that thought-bubble at least once.  In fact, when I share arts integration strategies with teachers anywhere, I can […]

  • Unpacking the National Standards

Unpacking the National Standards: Anchor Standard 9

April 20th, 2015|0 Comments

This month we will be exploring Standard_9:  Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work

Anchor standard  9 focuses on the artistic process of responding with the component of critique.  The enduring understanding is how to use criteria for evaluating dance, which may vary across genres, styles, and cultures.  Although the anchor standard […]

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Project to Project-Based Learning: Extreme Makeover

April 17th, 2015|0 Comments

I was so thrilled to present EdCloset’s webinar, “Project Based Learning and the Arts,” this week. What a wonderful experience to connect with other educators looking for ways to meaningful integrate the arts and project based learning experiences!

It is so important that we, as arts educators, ensure that educational initiatives […]

  • learning from leaders at ascd 2015

Sparkchasers Podcast Season 2: Learning from Leaders at ASCD 2015

April 16th, 2015|0 Comments


Today’s special edition episode of SparkChasers Season 2 was recorded on location at the 2015 Annual ASCD Conference and Exhibition Show in Houston, TX back in March.  Greg and I share with you some insights about the conference, who we connected with from around the world (so many people were there!), […]

  • Reflection Key

Reflection – A Key to Professional Development

April 15th, 2015|0 Comments

The words evaluate and observe seem to have taken on a negative connotation in the education world when it comes to teacher evaluation.  There are good reasons for that, unfortunately, because evaluations and observations are not always conducted well or used constructively.  Reflect on your experience of evaluation of your […]

Check out these great resources to get you started with using this approach

what is arts integration

A Vision for What Education COULD Be

Students are excited to come to school and their learning is relevant, meaningful, has depth and propels them forward into discovering what else is out there.  In the process, their teachers have come to love teaching again because they are allowed to do what they do best – use their creative energies to develop lessons that make a lasting impact immediately and for the future. Read more

What is AI?

This is a research-based curricular strategy in which both the content area and the fine arts area objectives are taught AND assessed simultaneously.  This means that teachers find naturally-aligning objectives between standards, create and implement a lesson plan teaching both content areas and assessing both set of selected standards. Read more

How to Start an AI Program

By following these simple steps, you’ll be on your way to building a successful integration program that will enhance and deepen student learning and bring achievement to all students in your building.  The characters may change, but their “character” will not.   Read more


Move from STEM to STEAM!  Here are a few informative articles that will help speed up your learning curve.

what is steam

The Power of Curriculum Mapping: Paving the Way to the Future

Curriculum mapping can be an exhaustive task, but one that will certainly allow your STEAM efforts to jump light years ahead in a very short period of time.  Your teachers will appreciate the time saved and will get excited about the possibilities for teaching again. Plus, your student body will have access to so many new ways to learn content that they will be fully engaged each new day, making you wonder why you didn’t use STEAM in the first place.  Read more

Creating Buy-In for Integration

When schools or teachers start out on their STEM to STEAM journey, so many become frustrated that other teachers or school leaders don’t want to jump on the bandwagon.  I know, I know – you’re excited.  You’re passionate.  You’ve got research that says that using STEAM integration will WORK.  None of that matters if you don’t have buy-in.  Read more

Finding the Time to Integrate

Here are 5 easy ways to make more time for STEAM integration:

1. Treat it like an Investment.  The first way to make more time for integration is to view it as an investment in you and your students. That does a couple of things.  First, it suddenly shifts planning and learning more about STEAM integration a priority.  And when things are a priority, they get done. Read more


Common Core is here – are you ready? Here are a few things we made to help you connect with these new standards.

thinking sense infographic

The Common Core are Just Standards

The Common Core are JUST Standards.  That’s it – no more, no less.  They are a set of benchmarks developed by a consortium with a variety of backgrounds with the goal of preparing our students to face a global reality of changing skills and processes that are needed to thrive in the 21st century.  The potential for the Common Core standards is enormous, but it will never be realized until the true issues surrounding them are addressed.  It is time to stop demonizing a set of standards and instead, start to recognize and attack the root causes of these frustrations.  Read more...

The Difference between Standards and Standardization

Instead of fighting common standards for the arts which connect to the Common Core, why not embrace the powerful opportunity these standards present?  Let’s use the frame of the Common Core standards to break the glass ceiling of standardization.  Read more

The Great Common Core Hoax

Common Core is one of the hottest topics in education right now and unfortunately, many organizations are trying to capitalize on it without putting in the hard work to find those alignments which will bring the most meaning to our students.  This is especially true as “integration” becomes a buzz word for connecting to contents across the curriculum.  Be cautious and use a critical eye when reviewing these resources so that you can find and use the very best tools with your students while meeting the vigorous expectations showcased in the Common Core Standards.  Read more





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