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Internships, Secret Ingredients & Pigs Who Save the City

I recently started the Teaching Artist Project (TAP) at Community-Word Project. In addition to immersive seminars with other adult-students, we are placed in a weekly classroom internship. I’ve been asked to intern in a first grade class at P.S. 316 in Crown Heights shadowing Teaching Artists Mary Cinadr and Shawn Ferreyra. Mary and Shawn are co-teaching and use their individual artistic disciplines of writing and visual art to collaborate in a way that best facilitates teaching their residency goal, which is to teach the students virtues and qualities for global citizenship and visual storytelling in order to explore narrative expression. Whoa! For first graders? That’s a lot! In order to d

A Pizza With Everything On It

My name is Dominic Bradley and I am a multidisciplinary artist in the New & Beginning Level of the Teaching Artist Project 2017-18. Almost immediately, TAP partnered me with another artist to create and present a well scaffold-ed lesson plan to the rest of our cohort. "Scaffolding" simply refers to a teaching strategy in which teachers break subjects into smaller chunks that each build upon one another to support a larger learning outcome. I found it intimidating because I had never worked with children before, and my previous facilitation experience as a direct social service worker did not include much in the way of curriculum development. Nevertheless, I was determined to rise to the occa

Expanding Pedagogy & Philosophy

On December 9th, 2017, as snow fell across the city, our TAP trainees came together at the Langston Hughes House in Harlem, courtesy of Renée Watson and the I, Too Arts Collective, to work on community building, teaching philosophies, inquiry, and reflection. With a picturesque scene of snow falling, garland wrapped around the doorways and a tree with fairy lights before the fire place, the trainees felt Langston's presence throughout the old brownstone and delighted in his spirit. Facilitators Patti Chilsen and Heidi Miller led this week's workshop, focusing on philosophy and pedagogy, inquiry and reflection, community building, and co-teaching. The day started with a "fishbowl" exercise, i

Two Teachers, Two Art Forms, One Collaborative Lesson

One December 2nd, 2017, our New & Beginning and Student trainees gathered once again at The Drama League for a day of collaborative lesson plan presentations, while the Advanced trainees had a relaxing day off. These teaching teams spent the last three weeks collaborating on some innovative lessons, many for the first time, and for this fourth workshop we had twelve teams step up to present. Our brave Performance Artists AnJu & Liz were up first, having designed a lesson for 9th grade girls around the idea of the body, theatre, and creative writing. Noelle & Michael created a memory quilt with their "students," guiding them in an activity around illustrating and sharing memories through stor

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