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Engaging Active Learners

Flynn Center Education presents

Teacher Conference Engaging Active Learners

Flynn Center

  • Thursday, December 13, 2018, 8:00 AM

$70 per registrant
(includes lunch; optional reception from 4-5 pm includes cash bar)

Fee support is available on a limited basis; professional development credit available.

Essential Questions:
In what ways can the arts help us to establish greater equity in our classrooms and communities? How can we prioritize the assets and needs of learners of all ages who are often from marginalized groups?

With a performance and workshop by Parsons Dance Company as the centerpiece of the day, this year’s conference brings together a diverse group of dedicated collaborative partners from Vermont schools as well as institutions including VSA Vermont, Champlain Valley Head Start, and the Howard Center to explore these essential questions through a variety of experiential workshops and conversations. With a central theme of equity and access for marginalized groups including language learners, students on the autism spectrum, and students with behavioral needs; this event continues its focus on making authentic connections between arts integration and the transferable skills prioritized by the Agency of Education.

* The focus of the event is equity and access.
* In response to requests for more community reflection time, this year we've added an optional participant-driven “unconference” opportunity from 3 to 4 pm, followed by a cash bar reception in the Amy E. Tarrant Gallery from 4-5 pm.
* Workshops are taught by a combination of Flynn teaching artists, school teachers, and collaborative community partners.
* All will see the performance by Parsons Dance Company.
* All will participate in a workshop with Parsons Dance Company about their approach to sensory friendly dance.
* Download and share the conference flyer.

Workshop Descriptions:

Interactive Storytelling & Movement/Theater with Language Learners
Tracy Martin, Flynn Center
Susanna Olson, Flynn Center
Beth Evans, Burlington High School
Christine Gilliam, Champlain Valley Head Start
How can the performing arts help students aged preschool through adult expand receptive and expressing language? This workshop offers an experiential glimpse into the variety of ways the Flynn has been using theater to reinforce language acquisition in such programs as Champlain Valley Head Start, Parent University classes with New Americans, and Burlington High School’s After School Theater Troup for English language learners.

Debunking Stereotypes through Drama
Joan Robinson, Flynn Center
Putting oneself in another's shoes develops an understanding of common stereotypes and their limitations. This workshop aims to deepen awareness of the perception of identity through movement and improvised dialogue. Relevant content areas include language arts, humanitie, and social studies. Applicable to grades 6-12.

Exploring Literature through Improvisation with Students Encountering Behavioral/Emotional Barriers to Participation
Mark Stein, Flynn Center
Timothy Moore, Howard Center’s Baird School
In this workshop, participants discuss general best practice guidelines for working with grade K-8 students who have barriers to participation in performing arts education due to social, emotional, or behavioral challenges. The group will experience a theater arts integrated lesson that is modified to improve outcomes for this population.

Student Support Systems & Culturally Responsive Curricula
Jess Handrik, Flynn Center
Emma Louie, Agency of Education
Lydia Clemmons, Clemmons Family Farm
Join Emma Louie, coordinator of the Multi-tiered System of Supports for the Agency of Education, Lydia Clemmons of Clemmons Family Farm, and Flynn Education Director Jessica Handrik for a dialog about reaching all students in and through the arts. Learn more about the agency’s approach to supporting all students; the Clemmons Family Farm and its African-American history and culture field trip modules. Engage in exercises that activate the Clemmons Family Farm art exhibit in the Flynn gallery; exploring the potential of arts integration for creating culturally responsive curricula.

Inclusive Audience Engagement in the Gallery Setting
Heidi Swevens, VSA Vermont
Alexandra Turner, VSA Vermont
Participants explore visual art pieces in a gallery setting through a model of the inclusive gallery tours offered at the recent FLOURISH exhibition partnership between VSA Vermont, Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Flynn Center. Following the tour, reflective conversation guides participants to examine the techniques and strategies modeled in the tour and consider how these techniques can be applied to classroom and community settings.

Creative Play, Accessible Learning Environments, and Theater-Making for Students on the Autism Spectrum
Kat Redniss, Flynn Center
Cast Members of Red Kite Green Mountain
Red Kite Green Mountain, commissioned by the Flynn Center in collaboration with Chicago Children’s Theatre, is an interactive theatrical experience with live music and sensory moments created specifically for young people on the autism spectrum. This session offers a sampling from the production as well as opportunity to learn best practices for creatively engaging students on the spectrum and with sensory sensitivities, and consider how it translates to fostering an inclusive classroom environment.

Funded in part by the Ford Foundation.
The themes for this year’s professional learning opportunities are EQUITY & EXPRESSION. All sessions are directly connected to Student Matinees and are a unique opportunity to meet and learn from the national and international performing artists in residence here at the Flynn.

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