RPS 205 students, teachers practice arts integration

In 23 years of teaching, Caroline Kelly Wright has seen what the arts can do for children. “It breaks kids out of their shell,” she said, showing them the importance of communication and collaboration. Wright, a 3rd grade teacher at Johnson Elementary School, participated this month in an arts integration workshop for the Rockford Public Schools at Flinn Middle School. The workshop was led by Stuart Stotts, a Madison, Wis.-based storyteller, musician, author and teaching artist. Stotts’ work in RPS 205 is part of a four-year arts...

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Flinn Middle School in RPS 205 wins national award for encouraging fitness

Christina Koblosh was hired by the Rockford Public Schools five years ago to teach a non-traditional, non-team sport approach to physical education. She was a part-time teacher then. Today, she teaches three elective classes in fitness and dance at Flinn Middle School. The classes are so popular, each has at least 40 students enrolled. The fact that Flinn offers this fitness elective–as well as regular physical education classes–is part of the reason the school recently received national recognition from the Let’s Move Active...

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Tiny chairs, big connections at Principal for a Day

Principal for a Day is an annual event at the Rockford Public Schools in which community members get an insider’s view of the schools. But the schools get so much more. Promod Vohra, dean of the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at Northern Illinois University, was Principal for a Day at Flinn Middle School. Vohra spoke to as many as 12 classes, covering the basics such as the importance of science, math, reading and writing. He also stressed the need for women in science and engineering, for developing good communication...

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Arts integration is golden for RPS 205 students

The Golden Mean. The Golden Ratio. The Divine Sequence. By any other name, it’s a mathematical rule of proportion that can determine whether people find art pleasing. Auburn High School teachers Miranda Schieve and Joselyn Ludtke are exploring the concept of the golden mean with their students. That’s not unusual—what’s unusual is that Schieve teaches algebra and Ludtke teaches theater at Auburn.  They are bringing their disciplines together in an arts integration project, funded by a four-year, $1.2 million grant awarded to the Rockford...

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Local artists to Flinn students: Go fly a kite

Local teaching artists had a challenge for Flinn Middle School students: Just try not to engage with this math. Over the course of a year, students in Math Foundations at Flinn built and flew tetrahedral kites with a jewelry artist; used their bodies to make reflections and rotations with a ballet dancer; measured, spaced and hammered nails to create string art with a visual artist; and made pan pipes out of straws with a musician. The activities were part of a program funded by a federal grant in which teaching artists plan and deliver...

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