Why COCAedu Summer Institute: LaToya Crockett on changing the way she views art in the classroom

Attending the 2019 COCAedu Summer Institute was an amazing experience that I would highly recommend to all educators and anyone who works with children.  This 3 day Institute allowed me to experience Art in a new way. I was able to learn about Art through images and movement. Not only did I learn about Art in multiple forms, I learned how I can integrate Art in the school provided curriculum I teach in the classroom.

Working with Jamin Carter (Focus Five, Inc.) I learned that reading comprehension can be taught through visual literacy. During the institute we looked at photos and paintings and “read” them so that we could understand what the artist was trying to tell us.  We had the opportunity to visit the St. Louis Art Museum where we were able to really dig deep with visual literacy. We looked at several paintings and were able to put ourselves in the shoes of our students. We were able to ask ourselves, “How would our students respond?’ “What connections would they make?” By experiencing first hand how Art can help deepen critical thinking skills I knew I needed to do this with my students!

In addition to learning about visual literacy, I had the opportunity to learn about tableaus from Susan Kopp (COCAedu).  What a unique experience! Even though I am a teacher, getting in front of people and “acting” is difficult for me. Not with Susan!  Learning how to create motionless images to convey a story was such a life changing way to look at Art. It took minutes to put myself in the place of the images that were before me. After going through the Institute, it was obvious I needed to bring this experience to the students in my classroom. How much more information would my students retain if they were allowed to act out scenes from text we are reading?

Knowing from experience that this process of reading art and creating tableaus could be used to help deepen comprehension and help students retain information, I had to figure out a way to integrate this work into my classroom routine. With the help of COCA Teaching Artist Roxane McWilliams, my students are learning how to read visual images and are creating tableaus to learn about the Lewis and Clark expedition! They are having so much fun, I don’t think they realize they are learning!  The best part is that the information they are learning through COCA is reinforcing information in other content areas.  

None of this would be possible without the support of COCA! I can’t express how much the COCAedu institute has changed the way I view art in the classroom.

Pre-Registration opens Nov. 18 for 2020 COCAedu Summer Institute for Arts Integration for Teachers!

Join us for the 2019 COCAedu Summer Institute for Arts Integration for Teachers, July 28-29 at University City School District McNair Building.

Teaching artists and facilitators from across the country lead teachers through three days of learning experiences that provide concrete strategies for the classroom.

Learn More about Summer Institute 2020


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