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Artful Connections to Literature and Culture through Teacher/Student Pen Pals

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  1. Artful Connections to Literature and Culture through Teacher/Student Pen Pals Maria A. Ceprano & Nancy A. Chicola Buffalo State College

  2. …things gain meaning by being used in a shared experience or joint action John Dewey, 1916

  3. Penpalling • Impact on Children • Writing messages as a regular part of children’s lives • Providing authentic opportunities for written communication • Creating intrinsic motivation for writing

  4. Penpalling • Impact on Teacher Candidates • Focus on aspects of the writing process • Genuine assessment of children’s writing needs • Awareness of individual differences

  5. Penpalling • Impact on Mentoring Teachers • Extends and refines writing workshop model • Supports meeting individual differences • Creates a productive learning environment

  6. Research on Penpalling • Focus on reading and writing • Children’s literature connection • Holistic content

  7. Penpalling and Children’s Literature • Contributes to long-lasting appreciation of books and reading • Promotes reading and literature conversation • Provides a common bond

  8. Penpalling and the Arts • Learning connection • 21st Century skills • Habits of mind • Emotional connector • Connecting to the arts • Creating and participating • Knowing and using arts materials • Analyzing works of arts • Understanding cultural connections

  9. Penpalling and Social Studies • Connecting to Socio-cultural experiences • Developing an awareness of similarities and differences • Understanding diverse practices and perceptions

  10. Artful Penpalling Model

  11. Current Project • The Setting • Enterprise Charter http://enterprisecharter.org/ • High Poverty/Urban http://www.ci.buffalo.ny.us/ • Participants • 5th & 6th grade children identified at-risk • Graduate-level teacher candidates

  12. Current Project • Methodology • Assignment • Letter exchange • Modeling • Common literature prompt • Conversation about art • Action Research • Questions • Design project • Presentation

  13. Current Project • Going beyond the “sloppy copy” • Focusing on Visual Arts http://www.bryancollier.com/ • Making Cross-cultural connections • Addressing cognitive dissonance

  14. Dion’s First Entry

  15. Courtney’s Response

  16. Dion’s Response to Modeling

  17. Pen Pal Model

  18. Courtney’s Response with Picture

  19. Expected Results • Improving Writing Instruction and Performance • Developing Responsive Literacy • Making Artful Connections • ???

  20. Art is a shadow of what a person is thinking... a small glimpse of what they hold inside.  Little secrets, regrets, joys... every line has its own meaning.  ~Sarah, Los Cerros Middle School, 1999