Arkansas A+ Offering PD Workshops at Co-Ops Throughout Arkansas This Summer

Teachers participating in the Integrating Visual Arts workshop at Great Rivers Education Service Cooperative in mid-June.
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Teachers participating in the Integrating Visual Arts workshop at Great Rivers Education Service Cooperative in mid-June.

Arkansas A+, an arts integration program in the College of Education and Health Professions, is offering 23 workshops at education service cooperatives across Arkansas in June and July.

A+ trains K-12 schoolteachers and leaders across the state in incorporating the arts into subjects such as literacy, math, science and history. The summer workshops are designed to equip teachers with tools and strategies for integrating the arts into their schools' existing curricula.

Educators receive professional development credit hours for attending the workshops, which are led by A+ fellows who are active and retired teachers and teaching artists with specific training in arts integration. Teachers can implement the ideas in their own classrooms.

Each workshop has a slightly different area of focus and could include anything from combining movement with letter sounds to explore phonics to using famous artworks to encourage close exploration and examination from multiple perspectives.

The first round of workshops kicked off in mid-June. A participant in the Integrating Visual Arts through Colorful Content Connections workshop noted, "I loved this PD and how relatable the content was. Oftentimes you go to these and don't take away anything. I learned so much today."

While A+'s flagship program is whole-school arts integration, these workshops provide educators with a sneak peek into the different ways the program can impact teaching and learning by inspiring curiosity and engaging students more deeply.

Workshops will take place at various co-ops throughout the rest of the summer. Teachers can register through their local co-op's website.

Upcoming workshops

Integrating Visual Arts Through Colorful Content Connections

This workshop is designed to explore how visual arts can be integrated into the core subject areas of literacy, math, social studies and science to increase student engagement and promote student achievement. Through art-making, the exploration of famous artworks and technology use, participants will expand their teaching toolbox with tools that can reach a wide range of learners.

  • Monday, July 8 — South Central ESC
  • Thursday, July 11 — Northwest Arkansas ESC

Reframing History: Exploring Difficult Topics Such as Forced Removal

This workshop is designed to explore different ways that the arts can support the exploration of difficult topics in social studies and history, such as the forced removal of Native American tribes.

  • Monday, June 24 — Great Rivers ESC
  • Tuesday, June 25 — Southwest Arkansas ESC

Inspiring Learning by Engaging Learners

Are you looking for ways to plant seeds of joy in your classroom and make learning (and teaching) fun again? This workshop will explore how experiential learning in math and literacy can bring joy back into your classroom.

  • Thursday, June 27 — Crowley's Ridge ESC
  • Friday, June 28 — Great Rivers ESC
  • Wednesday, July 10 — Northwest Arkansas ESC
  • Tuesday, July 30 — Arkansas River ESC

Curriculum Based Reader's Theatre

Curriculum Based Reader's Theatre is an arts-integrated strategy that combines theatre techniques with your curriculum to strengthen student retention, reading fluency and build confidence.

  • Tuesday, June 25 — DeQueen-Mena ESC
  • Monday, July 22 — South Central ESC
  • Wednesday, July 31 — Arkansas River ESC

Contact A+ Program Director Allie Mitchell for more information at am278@uark.edu.

Contacts

Shannon G. Magsam, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-3138, magsam@uark.edu

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