The newest series in our institutes, virtual reality institutes provide teachers with immediate application of virtual reality apps that support teaching and learning. In the institutes, teachers learn everything from locating and downloading relevant applications, applying VR lessons to their curriculum, designing innovative ways of teaching, using VR goggles to support an immersive experience. To date three school districts have participated in the VR institutes: Walnut USD, La Habra School District, Ontario USD. If your school site is interested in learning more about VR inclusion practices, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a session.
The most established of our series of institutes, visual arts institutes provide teachers with the opportunity to learn processes for creative expression that can be integrated into their particular grade-level content. In the institutes, teachers learn processes such as grid drawing, observation drawing, painted papers, and guided drawing. Teachers then create classroom lessons and projects that link these processes with curriculum. Center coordinators continue to work with teachers on site to plan and implement arts-rich lessons. Students in general education and special education, from pre-school through Grade 8 have found great success as visual artists through their teachers’ efforts.
To date, seven schools in three Orange County school districts have participated in visual arts institutes.
Music and Movement
Music and movement institutes explore music skills and activities for teaching and learning across the content areas. Center team members include faculty from CSUF’s College of the Arts. Participants include primary teachers as well as methods instructors of CSUF credential candidates. Ongoing site support includes follow-up sessions by team leaders and collaboration meetings for participants to share implementation ideas.
Drama and Puppetry
In support of the development of the innovative Preppy K program, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District is partnering with the Center to provide teachers with the skills and resources to use drama and puppetry with their young students. Teachers are learning to incorporate creative thinking to foster students’ oral language development, a sure marker of later literacy success. Puppetry experiences also provide students with opportunities to imagine, to consider an audience’s perspective, and to solve problems—all vital skills for the 21st century.
Cox Elementary School in Fountain Valley partners with the Center in the area of technology. Every teacher received a SMARTBoard (an interactive white board), but few had training to realize the full potential of the boards. During their two-day institute, teachers learned to install and operate their boards, to integrate them with document cameras, to use software to develop lessons, and to use the boards during instruction. Ongoing site support focuses on smooth implementation and on future steps for enhancing digital learning.