cHide RubricsRubric Name: Assignment 8 RubricThis table lists criteria and criteria group name in the first column. The first row lists level names and includes scores if the rubric uses a numeric scoring method.CriteriaExemplarySatisfactoryUnsatisfactoryUnacceptablePart 1: Art-Based Centers Nurture Creative Expression20 pointsThe student provides a clear explanation of how art-based centers nurture creative expression.15 pointsThe student provides a mostly clear explanation of how art-based centers nurture creative expression.10 pointsThe student provides a weak or unclear explanation of how art-based centers nurture creative expression.0 pointsThe student does not provide an explanation of how art-based centers nurture creative expression./ 20Part 2: Adapting Art-Based Centers30 pointsThe student provides a clear description of how teachers must adapt art-based centers for toddlers through fourth grade.20 pointsThe student provides a mostly clear description of how teachers must adapt art-based centers for toddlers through fourth grade.10 pointsThe student provides a weak or unclear description of how teachers must adapt art-based centers for toddlers through fourth grade.0 pointsThe student does not provide a description of how teachers must adapt art-based centers for toddlers through fourth grade./ 30Part 3: Managing a Center- Based Environment30 pointsThe student provides a clear discussion of techniques teachers can use to manage a center-based environment in the creative classroom.20 pointsThe student provides a mostly clear discussion of techniques teachers can use to manage a center-based environment in the creative classroom.10 pointsThe student provides a weak or unclear discussion of techniques teachers can use to manage a center-based environment in the creative classroom.0 pointsThe student does not provide a discussion of techniques teachers can use to manage a center-based environment in the creative classroom./ 30Mechanics – Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling5 pointsStudent makes no errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling that distract the reader from the content.4 pointsStudent makes 1-2 errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling that distract the reader from the content.2 pointsStudent makes 3-4 errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling that distract the reader from the content.0 pointsStudent makes more than 4 errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling that distract the reader from the content./ 5Writing Style – Organization, Transitions, Tone5 pointsThe assignment is written with excellent organization, thoughtful transitions, and the appropriate tone.4 pointsThis writing assignment is adequately organized, but has some errors in the transitions or the tone.2 pointsThis writing assignment is poorly organized, or it contains ineffective transitions and/or inappropriate tone.0 pointsThis writing assignment displays little to no organization or transitions, and/or does not use the appropriate tone./ 5APA Format – Margins, Font, Spacing, Headings and cover page.5 pointsThe margins, font, spacing, headings, and cover page are all formatted properly.4 pointsThere are 1-2 errors in the formatting of the margins, font, spacing, headings, or cover page.2 pointsThere are 3-4 errors in the formatting of the margins, font, spacing, headings, or cover page.0 pointsThere are more than 4 errors in the formatting of the margins, font, spacing, headings, or cover page./ 5APA Format – Citations and References5 pointsAll sources used for quotes and facts are credible and cited, and the references and in-text citations are all properly formatted. Each reference has an in-text citation and in-text citation has a reference.4 pointsAll sources used for quotes and facts are credible and cited, but slight errors are present in the format of the in-text citations or references. Or there may be one in-text citation or reference missing.2 pointsSome sources used for quotes and facts are either not credible or there are significant errors in the in-text citations and/or references. Or there are multiple missing in-text citations or references.0 pointsThe sources used for quotes and facts are not credible and/or not cited. The in-text citations and/or references are not present./ 5TotalLesson 7Theoretical and Research Base: Creative Learning EnvironmentsThe work of Urie Bronfenbrenner (2004), Maria Montessori (1909, 1964), Loris Malaguzzi (1995), and Lev Vygotsky (1967, 1978), among others, provide important insights into creative environments that engage all children. Following is a brief statement of each of these theorists’ assumptions about the influence of the environment on children’s creativity and how their theories might look in early childhood classrooms.BronfenbrennerFrom Bronfenbrenner we learn about the important interactions of many environments, such as the family, school, neighborhood, peers, and media that are all connected and influence not only one another but also the developing child. His theory provides one way to view the effects of the social contexts of children’s lives on the child in the classroom.An early childhood classroom influenced by Bronfenbrenner’s theory would include:· Strong connections between home and school by listening to what families have to say about their children and their home interests so that both teachers and children can learn about every child’s community and culture.· Families that are involved in children’s learning activities that you send home.· Family members that are involved in a variety of roles in the classroom.· Strong relationships with the community.MontessoriFrom Montessori we learn that children need a carefully prepared, well-organized environment with authentic, homelike materials to reflect order and calm. The environment contains aesthetically pleasing and sensory-rich materials, child-sized furnishings, and self-correcting materials to be used in a specific way. Teachers carefully structure the environment for the children to complete tasks and develop at their own pace.This girl is building a tower using Montessori cylinders in a prepared environmentA classroom environment influenced by Montessori would have:· An aesthetically pleasing classroom with a wide selection of sensory materials and experiences for self-expression.· Low shelves with materials that children can access easily and return materials to their original place.· Large, open floor spaces.· Considerable freedom for children to choose activities that have been prepared by the teacher.· Teachers who respect children, guide their use of materials, and offer help if asked.Malaguzzi and Reggio Emilia SchoolsMalaguzzi calls the classroom environment the child’s “third teacher,” which conveys its powerful impact on children’s thinking and feeling. In Reggio schools, environments are places of beauty that are designed to promote children’s relationships, sense of community, and aesthetics. They are also places that value children’s relationships as a basis of learning. Reggio teachers respect children’s curiosity, ask focused questions, document children’s learning, and display children’s work that reflects their conversations, interests, and experiences.This video shows key principles of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. Notice the Reggio environment. How does it impact children’s creative thinking?Classrooms inspired by Malaguzzi and Reggio Emilia schools would have:· An aesthetically pleasing environment with lots of light and welcoming entryways.· Children collaboratively exploring topics of interest to them for long periods of time.· A variety of open-ended materials and media that stimulate children’s senses and curiosity and encourage investigation, inquiry, and discovery.· Places for children’s “in progress” projects or products.· Displays of children’s work that show children and their work are valued and respected.VygotskyVygotsky theorizes that a hands-on, interactive environment is children’s opportunity to work together. Teachers scaffold children’s thinking and relationships with one another. They guide children in creating themes based on their interests and focus on child-directed play for preschool children and productive activities in the primary grades.Environments based on Vygotsky’s ideas would have:· Small-group work that focuses on social interaction and learning from one another.· Choices of projects for which children can seek help if needed.· Dramatic play that includes children’s plans of what they want to do to increase the complexity of their play.· Teachers who serve as partners in learning until children can apply a skill on their own.Each of these theorists helps us understand the importance of the environment in promoting children’s creative thinking. Now, recall some of your own classrooms in which you were comfortable, felt valued, and looked forward to learning as compared to those in which you were uncomfortable, felt devalued, and felt like learning was a chore. Think about those classrooms as you read about the elements of creative classroom environments.An aesthetically pleasing environment with lots of light impacts children’s creativityElements of Creative Learning EnvironmentsEvery learning environment contains physical, social, emotional, and virtual elements that support creative thinking and arts-based learning. Four main elements are climate, relationships, space, and time (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 1999; DeViney, Duncan, Harris, Rody, & Rosenberry, 2010; Davies et al., 2013; Kuh, 2014; Starko, 2014). Each of these is discussed next.ClimateClimate is the emotional and academic feeling one gets from the environment and dictates to what extent children can be productive, engaged thinkers and learners. A classroom climate that promotes children’s creativity and the arts has the following:· Teachers who care about children’s creative expression, intentionally plan active learning experiences that engage children in interesting projects, have high expectations for all students’ success, support children’s efforts in both the art forms and the subject areas, and create aesthetically stimulating classrooms.· Children who feel safe enough to take risks, feel valued and appreciated, can invent, explore and initiate ideas, become engaged in learning, feel supported by the people in the environment, and have choices about work to be done. Asking questions, finding and solving problems are enthusiastically welcomed.· Materials that capture and sustain children’s interest and imagination, are stored attractively and orderly, and spark ideas and active learning.· Spaces that are aesthetically pleasing and evoke a warm, homey quality such as carpeted surfaces; soft, interesting colors and textures; multiple sources of light, and comfortable furniture in a safe, flexible, and orderly environment.Classroom climate is greatly influenced by children’s relationships and by an environment’s aesthetic appeal (DeViney, Duncan, Harris, Rody, & Rosenberry, 2010; Gandini, Hill, Cadwell, & Schwall, 2005; Isbell & Raines, 2012; Kuh, 2014; New & Kantor, 2013). For example, Reggio schools explicitly create environments to build positive relationships and also appeal to children’s aesthetic senses. A visitor to such a school might see environments full of light, color, plants, and mirrors selected for their aesthetic characteristics. Great care is taken to create a beautiful environment—detail is given even to such seemingly inconsequential considerations as how bathrooms are decorated, how materials are stored, and how lunches and snacks are presented. Children are supported by the other children, the teachers, and the families for their unique ideas and abilities. The Reggio environment is caring, warm, and beautiful and is taken as seriously as is instruction.RelationshipsGuideline 1 of developmentally appropriate practice explains the importance of a caring classroom (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009). Such an environment values children’s relationships with each other, with teachers, and within their families. Relationships affect all aspects of children’s development and learning and school success. Environments with high-quality relationships affirm diversity, have an “ethic of care,” and connect with children’s families.· Affirm diversity: High-quality relationships help children feel valued so they can be productive learners. They affirm the diversity of each child, provide equal access to learning opportunities, and educate children for a diverse world. The children live values of cooperation, equality, tolerance, and shared learning (Bullard, 2014; Copple & Bredekamp, 2009; Williams & Cooney, 2006).· Have an ethic of care: Caring is at the heart of healthy relationships. You can show care by learning about children’s interests and offering enough support so children can become responsible learners. The ethic of care is aptly discussed by Nel Noddings (1995), who states that caring teachers are an essential part of responsible education.· Connect with children’s families: It is well accepted that strong families make strong environments for learning. Involving families shows that you value their children and want to build respectful, two-way communication about their children’s learning (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009; National Association for the Education of Young Children [NAEYC], 2005). Sending home positive notes, emails, or hands-on learning activities to be used at home lets families know that you care about their child’s progress.Positive relationships among all the people in the learning environment directly affect how children learn to think, develop, create, and grow.SpaceSpace sends a message to children about creative thinking. Space should be organized, have a purpose, respect children, enhance their learning and creative thinking, and be aesthetically pleasing. At a minimum, you will need space that accommodates different numbers of children as well as some open space where children can engage in dramatic retellings, share their learning through movement, and enjoy each other’s creative work. Most teachers use classroom space quite inventively (Clayton, 2001; Crawford, 2004; DeViney, Duncan, Harris, Rody, & Rosenberry, 2010; Starko, 2014).Consider the following types of spaces you will need in your environment.· Spaces for a range of group sizes. Children need spaces to work alone and in small and large groups. Teachers can use flexible materials and furnishings, such as easels, movable cabinets, storage shelves, and tables to define areas and maximize the potential of any room regardless of its size or shape. If, for example, children are in a school building that is undergoing renovations and want to reconstruct what they are seeing with blocks or other large materials, flexible furnishings allow for spaces to be increased and decreased in response to the children’s current project needs and interests.· Spaces for quiet and noisy activities. Well-balanced classroom space separates quiet and noisy activity and creates safe traffic patterns. It also provides small spaces necessary for young children to create imaginative play worlds in which they can engage for long periods of time. These arrangements give both children and teachers more control and choice over their creative work and their play.· Spaces for privacy. Some children need a periodic rest from the activity of the classroom in a place to restore energy or to think quietly before resuming classroom work. Certain activities, such as listening to a story tape, may be enjoyed more fully in a secluded place. It is important to have a special, comfortable place with pillows, soft animals and furnishings, and soft lighting where children can be alone. If classrooms lack such places, children often create their own, such as the first graders who found that the space underneath their teacher’s seldom used desk was a favorite place to read. Figure 9.1 lists ways of creating small spaces to increase the quality of children’s play and creative thought.Figure 9.1 Suggestions for Creating Small SpacesSpaces for sharing work. These spaces may be physical, such as bulletin boards or display cases, or virtual such as wikis or blogs where children can share their learning. Sharing work helps children stay engaged and communicate their learning—an important 21st-century skill.Children often need time alone before resuming classroom work.· Spaces that accommodate children with special needs. Adapting space for children with special needs helps them feel part of the classroom community. A child in a wheelchair, for example, needs additional space to maneuver or sit at a table. Children who are impulsive often need two distinct spaces—one space to work alone and one space to be in a group. Children who are ELLs need spaces where they can collaborate with peers in English so they are not always working alone. How you arrange and use space impacts how you will use your time to nurture children’s creative work.TimeTime conveys the importance of an activity or experience. More than 200 years ago, Benjamin Franklin referred to time as “the stuff of life.” The same could be said about time and teaching, for many teachers think there never is enough time to cover the material.There is no doubt that the creative process takes time. Children need enough time to explore and examine many ideas before completing them. Time influences three aspects of creative thinking: self-expression and self-regulation, attention span, and complex thinking.· Time influences children’s self-expression and self-regulation. When children have enough time during the school day to think creatively, they become more self-directed learners. Long blocks of time build children’s ability to persist, concentrate, and stay motivated with an experience. Teachers who are sensitive to time factors must decide when to extend or stop an activity or when to capitalize on a “teachable moment.” Classroom environments need ample time to foster children’s imaginative spirit and original thinking.· Time affects children’s attention span. Many teachers erroneously believe that because children have short attention spans, activities must be changed constantly. When children are engaged in meaningful learning, they can concentrate for comparatively long periods of time. In the schools of Reggio Emilia, for example, very young children remain with a topic for as long as they show an interest in it. Often these topics last for several months (Edwards, Gandini, & Forman, 1998; New & Kantor, 2013). In elementary schools, children remain with highly interactive and engaging projects and investigations for long periods of time.· Time affects the complexity of children’s thinking. With ample time, children can use the kinds of complex thinking processes used by inventors—curiosity, persistence, imagination, communication, and problem-solving. Higher levels of play, such as sociodramatic play, require considerable amounts of time to plan and carry out an activity that is particularly engaging and meaningful to the child (Edwards, Gandini, & Forman, 1998; Garreau & Kennedy, 1991). Long-time blocks increase children’s ability to move from exploration to more complex investigative play with materials, people, and events. To illustrate, one primary-grade teacher helped her children observe and record changes of plant growth over time. The children classified those data by similarities and differences in types of plants, answered questions using scientific processes, and concluded their study with cooking, dramatizing, and illustrating the plant growth cycle. In this example, long blocks of time investigating a process (change in plant growth) helped the children deepen their conceptual understanding. These influences on the learning environment—climate, relationships, space, and time—are critical for children’s creative processes. Classrooms that value children’s exploration and inquiry within safe and secure settings support children’s sense of wonder and their changing needs, interests, and abilities. Figure 9.2 contains a checklist for identifying key elements that affect creative learning environments. What questions do you have about implementing these environmental factors?Figure 9.2 Checklist for Elements of Creative Learning EnvironmentsClimate· Have I created an aesthetically pleasing environment that stimulates children’s imagination, supports learning, and inspires creativity?Yes No In Progress· Does my environment reflect the identity of the family and community of the children?Yes No In Progress· Do the colors, furnishings, natural objects, texture, and lighting inspire children’s sense of wonder?Yes No In ProgressRelationships· Do the children feel a sense of belongingness and community?Yes No In Progress· Am I regularly showing respect about children’s sense of wonder, curiosity, and creative problem-solving?Yes No In Progress· Am I promoting appreciation and respect among the children and families?Yes No In ProgressSpace· Is my space organized so the materials are accessible to all children?Yes No In Progress· Am I using children’s work to personalize the space?Yes No In Progress· Have I defined areas that are clear, safe, and that encourage individual, small group, and large group work?Yes No In ProgressTime· Does my schedule encourage creative activity through hands-on learning, in-depth projects, and more complex play?Yes No In Progress· Is there enough uninterrupted time for children to explore, experiment, and problem-solve during selected activities?Yes No In Progress· Am I maximizing flexibility with the time that I have to use?Yes No In ProgressSources: Based on Bullard (2014); Copple & Bredekamp (2009); DeViney, Duncan, Harris, Rody, & Rosenberry (2010a, 2010b); Isbell & Raines (2007); Jacobs & Crowley (2007).Teachers’ Reflections on Classroom EnvironmentsPreservice Teachers“As a student teacher, I noticed the children often started cleaning up at centers almost as soon as they initiated an activity because so little time was allotted there. When I had responsibility for full-time teaching, I extended the time blocks and saw its benefits on children’s creative thinking.”“I used to think that classrooms should be serious, ‘no nonsense’ places to learn. I now believe that warm, safe, and homey environments are more beneficial to fostering creative thinking.”Inservice Teachers“The idea of the environment as the ‘third teacher’ has prompted joyful wanderings in my own head of the possibilities associated with this notion. How to make this happen in my kindergarten class is daunting to me now, but I am convinced of the need for it and am pursuing it.”“As a school board member, I was asked to examine the playground space at one of our elementary schools and hesitated at first. Playground space just did not shout out creative thinking or priority to me in this time of standards and accountability. Now, I realize how the playground can hold the key to hands-on extensions and expand children’s view of their life, the world, and the future.”Your Reflections· What do you think is the impact of the classroom environment on children’s and teachers’ creative thinking?· How might your knowledge and beliefs about creative environment affect children’s self-expression, and learning?· Explain how you would go about designing your own classroom environment and provide a rationale for your decisions.Indoor Environments That Foster Creativity and Arts-Based LearningDesigning the indoor environment for creativity and arts-based learning begins with knowing the children, what they need to learn, and how they best can learn. The next consideration includes four interlocking environments—the physical, social, cognitive, and digital environments—that together support children’s creative growth and arts-based learning (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009; Kuh, 2014; Saracho, 2012). The physical environment includes such arrangements as furniture placement, accessibility of stimulating materials, pathways, and large- and small-group meeting and work areas. It must be a safe place to be and provide novel and flexible opportunities for creating. There is also the social environment that involves interactions among the people. It includes the kinds of relationships, respect, and acceptance of individuals, families, and communities that children experience as well as children’s culture and language. The cognitive environment includes those learning experiences, materials, and opportunities that enhance creativity. It focuses on the knowledge, skills, and abilities children need to acquire in order to think and behave creatively. And the digital environment is a simulated, virtual place accessed through computers. It uses various technology tools, websites, and devices to access virtual worlds through which children learn and develop. How these four environments are designed directly affects children’s creativity and arts-based learning.Classroom environments that value curiosity and eagerness to learn provide children with a balance of self-selected, self-directed, and teacher-selected activities. The following section describes two important components of indoor environments that nurture creativity and the arts: room arrangement and arts-based centers.Room ArrangementRoom arrangement refers to the way space is organized. It can be planned, such as the art center and the areas around it, or unplanned, such as a cubbyhole between two shelving units that attracts children. Room arrangement affects children’s creativity, productivity, and interactions with one another and with materials (Bullard, 2014; Copple & Bredekamp, 2009; Jacobs & Crowley, 2007; Kuh, 2014).When arranging space for creative experiences, keep in mind the following:1. The environment communicates expectations. If you are invited to dinner, you would behave differently at a cookout with paper plates and plastic utensils from a formal dinner party with china, silver, and crystal. Room arrangement works in the same way. Well-organized, carefully arranged space dictates how children may behave, interact, and use materials, and affects their work pace. It fosters self-regulation and student engagement, which creativity and arts-based learning require. In contrast, poorly organized space invites interruptions, decreases children’s attention spans, increases the likelihood of conflicts, and demands more teacher direction.2. Space must be easy to supervise. Teachers need to be able to scan the room from all vantage points. In this way, you can facilitate children’s behaviors that support learning goals and redirect those that do not. It is equally important to distinguish between the child’s and the adult’s environment. Adults and children view their surroundings from different perspectives. Both usually attend to what is at their eye level.3. Materials must be accessible, appropriate, and easy to use. Make sure you have plenty of shelves so that children can reach and see the materials that are there. One preschool teacher arranged the manipulative materials such as large Tinkertoys and shape sorters along low, open shelves that face a carpeted area away from traffic flow. Because children need a lot of floor space to play with them, this teacher provided the space for them to do so. She made her appropriate materials accessible and easy to use, which enhanced children’s sense of ownership, encouraged creative problem-solving, and fostered exchanges of materials from one part of the classroom to another.4. Be alert to traffic patterns. Clear pathways provide for a smooth and easy flow of traffic throughout the room. When centers are too close to one another or crowded around the outside of the room, children cannot freely move among them. To maintain freedom of movement that keeps children focused on their creative processes, paths should not be used for any other purpose. Unclear paths often distract children on their way to a space or lead children to intrude in others’ ongoing activities and concentration.Room arrangement is a powerful environmental tool that affects children’s creativity. Figure 9.3 shows room arrangements for three age groups: toddlers, preschoolers/kindergartners, and children in grades 1 to 4. You can also download free PDF guides for room plans for children from birth through age 5 by going to the website for Environments and choosing planning guides.Figure 9.3 Room ArrangementsThis video describes seven principles of design for creating inspiring and inviting spaces for children. How does Principle 3, Furnishings Define Space, affect children’s creative thinking? What other principles capture your attention?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RD9XOow20EArts-Based CentersArts-based centers are inviting, self-contained spaces where children engage in creative activities. These activities can reinforce skills and concepts or spur new interests while promoting children’s critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity (Bullard, 2014; Copple & Bredekamp, 2009; Isbell & Exelby, 2001; Mayesky, 2015; NAEYC, 2015b; Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2012); Saracho, 2012). Good arts-based centers contain a variety of learning experiences, easily accessible arts-based books, materials, resources, and supplies that accomplish the following:· Promote active learning, planning, decision-making, problem-solving, and originality in all subject areas.· Increase social and verbal interaction and various forms of play among peers.· Offer choices to increase children’s creative thought and help them manage their time.· Reflect children’s interests, families, and cultural backgrounds to motivate learning.Arts-Based Centers for Different Age LevelsArts-based centers are appropriate for every child. Each requires a clear purpose, a range of materials and activities, and a means of assessment or evaluation. While centers must take into account individual needs, interests, and levels of learning, there are unique considerations for children at different ages.Toddlers need centers that contain a variety of sensory materials with different levels of complexity, as well as time for exploration. They must have low, open shelves to display and help the children find materials that reflect familiar people and places matched to their developmental level. Toddlers also need materials that encourage exploration and large motor development with climbing and push–pull toys, provide a private space to watch others play or to rest with a soft toy, and offer sensory and creative experiences with music, science, pretense, construction, manipulatives, and sand and water to encourage different types of play.Preschoolers and kindergartners need centers that meet all of the requirements for toddlers and contain a variety of interesting materials and experiences that can be used to role-play (such as hats and shoes) and to construct (such as wood, glue, and blocks). The materials must reflect the expanding world of their community, their culture, and their increasing interest in all subject areas; the activities must promote creative problem-solving, communication, and collaboration.First and second graders need centers that enhance their developing logical thinking and engage them in focused learning that supports critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. Centers help integrate subjects meaningfully across the curriculum, help children demonstrate competence in a particular area, and feel part of a peer group. Their active learning experiences should capitalize on their need to feel competent and successful.Third and fourth graders like resources in their centers that include literacy materials, challenge cards, hands-on learning, and ongoing projects. They need opportunities to conduct experiments, work on long-term projects, and use data to support their learning. Regardless of age, all children require centers to explore opportunities to connect their learning through art, drama, music, and play.This child is using modeling material to create.As you watch this video about preschool centers, notice how the teacher creates multiple areas for centers. What do you see as the purpose of her centers, and how do the learning activities promote creative problem-solving?Teachers need systems for managing centers. The following section
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