pbl and the arts



  • allaboutlanguage

It’s All About Language: Communicating the Advocacy Message

March 27th, 2015|0 Comments

As we have been talking about arts advocacy and the role of the arts in schools over the past month as part of Music in Our Schools Month and Arts Advocacy Day, there has been a recurring theme of making intentional choices about how we communicate our message of advocacy, […]

  • sparkchasers episode 4

Sparkchasers Season 2: Episode 4 “Get Fuzzy”

March 26th, 2015|0 Comments

Did you ever see the cartoon series “Get Fuzzy”?  It’s kind of a modern take on Garfield, and as a person who has both a dog and a cat, the banter in the series gives me a great chuckle.  The idea that genius is both hard to hold onto and […]

  • Time

Time: Don’t Spend It All In One Place

March 25th, 2015|0 Comments

My third grade art students and I tackled a new project I called kinetic art in the style of a Rube Goldberg machine to connect what they were learning in science about energy transfer to visual art.  Hearing the spontaneous applause or a “yeah!” from students as the last moving […]

  • make the most of your break

Revitalization Tips for Your Breaks

March 24th, 2015|0 Comments

Is it spring break yet?  If you’re lucky enough to still have some spring break days left after all the snow this year, I hope you are planning on doing something revitalizing during your time off.  This has always been tough for me since the work I do and the […]

  • coaches' corner #2

Coach’s Corner: The Art of Lesson Planning

March 23rd, 2015|0 Comments

A couple weeks ago I posted my first Coach’s Corner article addressing some of the prevalent issues my new teachers are facing, and I received a wonderful comment on the post from Brad Foust, he commented, “Surprisingly, far too many teachers, including veteran teachers, simply don’t write lesson plans anymore. […]

  • ascd 15 live from edcloset

ASCD 2015 LIVE from EdCloset

March 22nd, 2015|0 Comments

We are so excited to be attending and presenting at this year’s ASCD annual conference in Houston, TX.  Today, we just finished up a presentation on the Innovation Flywheel and tomorrow, I’ll be giving a session about STEAM education.  One of the reasons we are so thrilled to be here […]

  • revitalize

Strategies to Revitalize the Arts Advocate

March 20th, 2015|0 Comments

Next week, arts advocates from across the country will meet in Washington, D.C. for Arts Advocacy Day to speak about the importance of promoting the arts through policy and funding. While many of us won’t make the journey to the capitol to advocate for the arts, there is much we […]

  • sparkchasers podcast breaking through the roadblocks

Sparkchasers Podcast: Breaking through the Roadblocks

March 19th, 2015|0 Comments

Do you ever feel like you WOULD innovate and integrate if you COULD? That there are just some roadblocks that are just too overwhelming? In episode 3 of season 2 on Sparkchasers, we take a look at what is standing in your way (time, fear, silos – anyone?) and how […]

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



Sparkchasers Podcast

interactive lesson header


innovation movement


steam portal