FINE ARTS PROGRAMMING
Arts-rich schools are schools where student achievement benefits are realized through the integration of high-impact arts strategies. Arts-rich schools demonstrate the capacity to sustain broad and in-depth creative learning experiences, accessible to all.
In arts-rich schools, all children are free to express themselves in an environment that fosters disciplined critical and creative thinking,that explores heritage through multicultural experiences, that stimulates innovation and imagination, and that honors and engages the whole child in a lifelong love learning.
In the creative classroom, teachers are skilled in applying arts education techniques to all content areas. Students are engaged and use the rigorous creative thinking and communication skills they will need to imagine, innovate and realize possibilities in the future.
Additionally, students are offered a sequential fine arts program at each grade level through collaboration with community arts partnerships.
The purpose of the Fine Arts Academy is to:
- Provide all students with the knowledge and skills necessary for cognitive, creative, emotional and social growth through sequential study, practice, and reflection.
- Build many types of literacy while developing intuition, reasoning, imagination, and dexterity into unique forms of expression and communication.
- Explore the influence of the arts in their power to create and reflect cultures.
- Engage students in a process that enables them to develop the self-esteem, self-discipline, self-motivation, and cooperation necessary for success in life.
- Develop student artists who will create, lead, inspire, and contribute to a global community, through active involvement in creating, performing, and producing.
Austin Creative Classroom Fund is a supporter of our campus programs. Many of our programs are sponsored by the Austin Creative Classroom Fund with support from MINDPOP.
FRIDAY ENRICHMENT CLASSES
During the 2012-13 school year, Blackshear Elementary implemented an Enrichment program, comprised of a variety of selections for students, inclusive of several Fine Arts strands and programming to support physical fitness. Everything we do at Blackshear Elementary is aligned to Education, Enrichment, and Exercise. Each week students are able to participate in a semester long session of their choice. Choices made available to students vary from year to year. Some examples of enrichment programming we have had in the past and present are:
- Yoga, Cycling, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Athletic Club, Stop Motion Animation/Technology Classes, Keyboarding and Internet Research, Write Like a Movie Star, Strategic Games, Dance, Readers' Theater, Acting, Photography, Gardening, Writing Songs through Ground Work Music Project, Learning to Play Instruments with SWAN and LHMM.
SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING (SEL)
The SEL Stool is a graphic representation of how Social and Emotional Learning is implemented on a campus.
Each leg of the SEL Stool must be stable for Social and Emotional Learning to grow and thrive!
Explicit Instruction refers to the actual lessons and concrete skills taught at a dedicated time. Schools from
pre-kindergarten through 8th grade use Second Step, an evidence-based curriculum approved through the
Collaborative for Academic and Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). High schools use another approved
curriculum called School Connect,which builds on the skills taught in elementary and middle school.
Integration is the practice of building and reinforcing Social and Emotional skills in academic curricula, lesson
plans and classroom procedures. For example, as a teacher is planning for an academic vocabulary card-sort
to introduce a new unit, he or she might incorporate SEL concept words alongside the academic words to preview and reinforce the SEL skills that will be important for the unit. Or, a teacher might remind students of the SEL skills needed during a particular activity, like walking down the hall to the library or going to lunch.
School culture and climate involves every person on a campus building a safe, positive learning environment.
Teachers may open their classes with an activity where students share good news from their lives. Faculty
meetings may involve restorative circle practices,where participants sit in a circle to share challenges and
successes or brainstorm solutions to a campus issue.
Administrators may attend training on creating an open, welcoming school environment where diversity is
encouraged and celebrated. These are just a few examples--each campus creates its own unique SEL stool!
The Blackshear Minitropolis is a program sponsored by IBC Bank, and partnerships with HEB, and KVUE, to provide students the social, academic, and real-life skills they need to be successful and responsible citizens, while introducing them to different careers. The program supports the Social Studies TEKS of Economics and Math Financial literacy skills that all students and community consumers must develop. In the Blackshear Minitropolis, students are producers and consumers. Students collect money for attendance, responsible actions, and homework expectations. Additionally, student groups have the opportunity to receive payment for jobs they are performing at the school, such as recycling, banking, human resources, cashiers, newscast and other school based jobs necessary to support an economy.