A Letter From An Educator

I received the following letter recently from Dr. Jennifer Skopecek, High Ability and Title 2 Teacher at Indian Creek Intermediate School in Trafalgar IN.

With her permission, I am reprinting it below.  So many great thoughts here.

Author of the letter on differentiated instruction through the arts

“I have not met a student yet that raves about how much they learned from a worksheet”

Differentiated Instruction Through the Arts

In my classroom, I love to incorporate music and the arts as much as possible.  Since I teach 3-4-5 high ability and Title 1 reading, I have 101 students to care for, up to 34 at one time.  You can imagine the challenges that come with trying to keep 34 high ability 5th graders engaged in an activity!  I’m always looking for new, creative, engaging things to do!  Last year I did a castle unit, and we learned medieval songs/dances.  They are still singing the songs!  We also studied different countries, again, the music and dance are still carried with them!  We took a day to go outside and play the musical games, and they are still asking when we get to do that again.  My son still remembers all 50 states that he learned in 1st grade…because of a song.  I still remember all of the prepositions…because of a song I learned in elem. school.

I have not met a student yet that raves about how much they learned from a worksheet.  However, I have met MANY that rave about how much they enjoyed learning a topic with roots in the arts.  Music, dance, painting, reader’s theatre, design, anything that they can really get “in to” makes a huge impact!

We talk a lot about differentiated instruction, but what are we really doing to achieve it?  Music and programs like this reach the auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners!  That solves the problem of actively engaging the entire class at once.  It also helps with memory skills.  Recall.  Eases cognitive dissonance because it is pleasant.  Keeps the “channel of flow” going and makes an hour seem like 5 minutes!

I hope that helps with your research!  If you ever have more questions, etc., I am always happy to help fellow educators!  We are super excited about your program!

Dr. Jennifer Skopecek
Indian Creek Intermediate School, Trafalgar IN
High Ability & Title 2
ICIS Room B1