When Wolf Trap Teaching Artist Amanda Layton Whiteman arrives at the preschool classroom, all the children are excited that it’s time for dance — and for math. The teacher is amazed at how much the children love math, she tells Whiteman. She’s astonished that certain children who once showed little interest in school are absorbed and attentive during the classroom residency sessions. What’s happening in this Fairfax, Va., classroom to spark such a change?
Working side by side with the teacher in the classroom twice a week for approximately eight weeks to introduce the children to early math concepts through dance, Whiteman’s challenge is to “put math in their bodies.” How, she’s asked herself, can she use dance to help them make connections to math concepts?
Whiteman leads the young learners in the dance experiences they love to do, knowing they’re making important discoveries in the process. When she asks them to make a curvy or angular shape with their arms, they’re grasping the earliest concepts of geometry, while also learning to regulate their own bodies. When she asks them to alternate making high shapes and low shapes, they gain the vital math skill of pattern recognition as well as learning to create a dance phrase.
The Department is currently seeking peer reviewers for the FY 2013 Arts in Education – Model Development and Dissemination Grants Program (AEMDD) competition. Persons interested in serving as peer reviewers need to submit their resumes and a completed copy of the "AEMDD Peer Reviewer Checklist" to Clifton.Jones@ed.gov by Friday, April 12, 2013.
As part of its Champions of Change initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities, the White House recently hosted 14 Arts Education Champions to discuss the importance of the arts in the education of every child and to share the accomplishments of their schools, programs, and organizations. The group included artists, teachers, principals, superintendents, and arts education organizational leaders. Among the school districts and arts education organizations that attended the July 19 event, several are recipients of Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) grants.