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Engaging the Classroom

The classroom experience is unique each and every day, for each and every student. Every student has multiple perspectives and experiences, while various lessons are being taught each week, which all work together to create a multifaceted learning experience for, not only the students, but also the teachers. Because of the various techniques and the multiple intelligences utilized in each lesson plan, all students are engaged in some manner. For the teaching artists, some weeks prove to be smoother and easier to manage than others based on the engagement and energy of the classroom. While interning with Community Word Project’s 3rd Grade Poetry & Visual Arts class at PS 84 in Williamsburg, I

Metaphor To Go: Two Teachers' Love on a Paper Plate

PS 84 is a special place. On a winter day, the walk towards it, from the Bedford Avenue station in Brooklyn, feels energizing. Upon arrival, there is something endearing about its physical aspect - the colorful mural adorning one of its walls, the glass structure on the last floor - that conveys a feeling of joy and care. The inner space matches perfectly the initial external insinuations. Here, there is plenty of love, creativity and care for all. There are children's drawings (their tender perceptions of the city), charts with letters to the President, photographs of field trips, classrooms with signs in Spanish, order, and plenty of laughter. Room 227 is Ms. Lorenzana's classroom. Her you

Where Dreaming Stops & Dreams Begin

Kym Boyce and Martha O’Connell share a conversation about their experience collaborating as practicing teaching artists with Community-Word Project's Teaching Artist Training & Internship Program (TATIP). Martha: While my Saturdays spent with TATIP have been transformative each and every hour, I would like to give a mighty shout out to one specific TATIP-inspired muscle: Collaboration (as cheesy as it may sound)! Kym Boyce and I have been designing a sample lesson plan and working through the complexities of combining our overlapping arts media: Visual, Media and Performance Art. It has truly been a process of Magic, Surprise, and Growth as an artist, teacher, and friend. Let’s talk about th

Coming Out of My Shell

Community-Word Project's Teaching Artist Training & Internship Program (TATIP) provides exactly the type of training that I was looking for! I wasn’t sure I was going to find this style of training in a traditional master’s program. TATIP’s training involves participation based activities, utilizing art forms such as writing, poetry, dance, visual arts, etc. We learned how to develop creative lesson plans. Two trainees of different art forms were paired up to create a lesson plan. We had to present a summary of our lesson plan to our fellow trainees. One of my favorite moments was when my partner and I presented an intro activity from our plan to the group. I was very comfortable facilitatin

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