• Fusing Literacy and the Arts to Meet Common Core Standards

      Pelttari, Carole; Jackson, Justin; The College at Brockport (2015-01-06)
      The literacy demands of current elementary students continues to increase through the use of state testing and Common Core State Standards while the time devoted to creative exploration suffers on the sidelines. As a way to bridge this increasing gap, educators may look towards new means of integrating literacy with the fine arts to produce a creative, fresh appearance to literacy instruction beyond that of traditional reading and writing instruction. The fine arts can serve either as literacy or as a component to a literacy lesson. This project researches the benefits of including the fine arts in some capacity to literacy instruction while also providing twelve lessons that utilize the fine arts to increase student learning. Each lesson combines literacy skills with a fine art focus, not to use art as part of the lesson assessment but as a tool to increase the student understanding, all while remaining aligned to Common Core State Standards.
    • Hands-On or Hands-Off: Effective Elements of Elementary Social Studies Hands-on Lessons

      Jackson, Justin; Bailey, G. A.; The College at Brockport (2013-04-08)
      In today's American school system a hole has begun to form in elementary schools as social studies education has been on the decline, or in some cases, cut out entirely in order to allow more time for mathematics and literacy instruction. Modern educators have begun to acknowledge this gap and want to develop new ways of instructing social studies. Hands-on learning may be one solution for this issue. The purpose of this study was to describe what happened in regard to students' understanding of and engagement in social studies content when presented in a hands-on teaching style. One fifth grade inclusive classroom, one fourth grade inclusive classroom, and one self-contained fourth grade classroom were taught using hands-on social studies lessons in a rural school district in Western New York. Five themes of effective hands-on lessons emerged throughout the study that may aid elementary teachers in their creation of these types of lessons: Collaboration, Open-Ended, Meaning, Experience, and Timing (C.O.M.E.T.).
    • Hands-On or Hands-Off: Effective Elements of Elementary Social Studies Hands-on Lessons

      Wright, Allison; Jackson, Justin; The College at Brockport (2011-12-01)
      In today’s American school system a hole has begun to form in elementary schools as social studies education has been on the decline, or in some cases, cut out entirely in order to allow more time for mathematics and literacy instruction. Modern educators have begun to acknowledge this gap and want to develop new ways of instructing social studies as a way to keep the subject current, interesting, and effective. Hands-on learning may be one solution for this issue. The purpose of this study was to describe what happened in regard to students’ understanding of and engagement in social studies content when presented in a hands-on teaching style. One fifth grade inclusive classroom, one fourth grade inclusive classroom, and one self-contained fourth grade classroom were taught using hands-on social studies lessons in a rural school district in Western New York. After utilizing a variety of hands-on lessons and activities, and researching the existing literature there is on hands-on learning as it relates to social studies instruction, five themes of effective hands-on lessons emerged that may aid elementary teachers in their creation of these types of lessons: Collaboration, Open-Ended, Meaning, Experience, and Timing (C.O.M.E.T.).