One of the things that will make or break any lesson (or family get-together) is how well we listen.  Our students need as much practice at this as possible.  In today's special episode we'll working on the 4 steps to building critical listening skills through some holiday music examples.

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According to Sheena Jeffers, there's a BIG difference between movement and Mindful Movement.  In today's podcast episode, we dig deeply into the idea of giving our students the tools to express themselves, their emotions and their thought processes through specific movement practices (including integrating movement with visual art, theater and music).  Be sure to visit the podcast post here to download the free handout guide!

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In today's episode, Brianne DeFrang is really taking us back to the basics of PBL as a teaching approach.  Because after all, if you don't have the basics down pat, you'll never be able to really build up to those deeply meaningful experiences in your classroom.  She shares how the inquiry process sets the foundation for everything and links together PBL and the arts in a really beautiful way.  She also goes over some sample lesson ideas and how to get started while avoiding some common pitfalls.  It's such a helpful interview for anyone who is looking to link together the inquiry process in and through the arts!

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In today's episode, I'm sharing my arts integration lesson planning process so that you can get a glimpse into how we do it here at EdCloset.  This format is pretty straight-forward, but it can help to lay it all out and see how the sequence flows. The nice thing about this planning process is that it builds a sense of consistency into your lessons.  Your students know right away what to expect, immediately begin to start paying attention to connections and naturally work at a higher level.

Be sure to check out our show notes below to download the checklist I reference in today's broadcast, as well as a sample lesson. 

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In today's episode, I'm opening the curtain to let you inside our biggest flops and failures of 2015 so that you can learn from our mistakes when it comes to taking chances.  Some of our failures were really painful (and I'm still smarting a bit from them), and others were mini course-corrects.  But my team and I have learned from every single one - big and small - and can now focus our energy on moving forward.  And if we can do it, you can too! Show notes and downloads available here: http://wp.me/p1felg-4gb

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What do PBL, STEAM, Arts Integration, Common Core, and student learning all have in common?  Questions.  Inquiry is the foundation for our best educational approaches, as well as the whole reason for creating art.  But how do you pull the pieces together, and what makes a great question?  This episode of SparkChasers gives you plenty of ideas and resources to help in the process!  View the show notes here: http://educationcloset.com/2015/11/12/episode-31-driving-artistic-inquiry-in-the-classroom/

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Now that we've gone through all 7 elements of the Creative Process, it's time to tie it all together.  In today's episode, Susan shares her "secret-sauce" for a terrific lesson using the creative process that you can deliver in under 60 minutes.  Plus, a big surprise is revealed.  Season Finale.

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Genius: everyone has one.  But it's sometimes challenging to figure out where our genius zone is and how to access it.  After all - most times as an educator, mother, or wife I'm not feeling like THAT much of a smarty-pants.  Oh how I wish I was!

In today's episode of SparkChasers, we're investigating how to find your creative genius and use it as the fuel to reignite your classroom.  And it's not just about us as teachers.  It's about how we can help our students find their own genius and share it with the world.  

That means not just projects, but instead projects that make a meaningful difference in some way.  That leads to multiple layers of learning and that, my friends, can transform anyone.

We're also taking time this episode to think about what happens after our students leave us and our cocoon of working through the creative process.  Will they use that process outside of our classrooms or will it just be a nice memory to share with their friends or children 10 or 20 years down the line? 

In the end, the creative learning process is about so much more than our classrooms.  It's about learning how to live a creative life.

Today's episode is a bit longer than most - clocking in at 26 minutes! - but the big questions we explore is the very one that we constantly bump up against: "why the arts?"

SHOW NOTES:

Weekly Art Challenges you can participate in from anywhere 
The amazing Team Grundler and their #k12artchat challenges 
The Musician's Soul from Dr. James Jordan
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Reflections can be both painful and insightful.  They can reveal our most wonderful highs and our most difficult lows.  Which is why I think so many of us are scared of reflection.  It's why we have become a culture that refuses to sit still.  We constantly have something on in the background or are looking at our devices in the hopes that we don't have to spend a single second in silence and contemplate with our inner voice.

But for the creative process to be most effective, reflection is the crucial step.  It is the keystone!  Without time to think through what worked, what didn't and why, we never grow.  We never get better!  In today's SparkChasers podcast episode, we're closing the loop on our Creative Process series with the biggest step of all: looking into the mirror of our creation.

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When all the "creating" is over, the real hard part begins.  Letting go of your work and being prepared for the evaluation and interpretations of others can be a time of anxiety and worry, especially for our students.  They need support and tools to both help them accept and provide constructive feedback on creative work.  In today's episode, we'll be sharing where to find those tools and how to prepare for this big leap.  

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