Arts In Your Classroom 2016

Saturday, March 5, 2016, 9AM - 4PM



VENUE: Historic Villa


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This dynamic and engaging symposium of integrated learning explores topics current to education and the needs of educators. With inspiring keynote presentations, applicable hands-on workshops, and arts performances, this day will enrich and revitalize your teaching approach.

This year, the conference will focus on Growth Mindset. Growth mindset helps to break down former notions that success and talent are innate and rather we all have the potential to succeed and ability to develop skill and intelligence. It cultivates curiosity for learning and interest in self-improvement, with empirical research proving its effectiveness across contexts and around the globe. Growth Mindset is quickly being identified as a powerful approach for learners of all ages, in and outside the classroom. 

Keynote Speaker: Shirley Brice Heath


Artists, scientists, and other creative professionals all know first-hand the powerful role curiosity plays in their lives: it drives them to embrace challenges and invent new ways to engage with the world around them. Rather than wasting time preoccupied with the skills they do not yet possess or anxieties about getting the answer right the first time, they joyfully approach each new undertaking with the desire to experiment and create.

How can we model this curious, can-do approach to problem-solving for our students? This talk will explore how artists and teachers can inspire young learners to find the fun in the creative process, and demonstrate to them that being wrong is often the first step to discovering new routes toward answers, discoveries, and even innovative collaborations.


Dr. Shirley Brice Heath is an internationally recognized linguistic anthropologist whose research examines learning environments where artists, young people, and learning come together.  Over the course of her decades-long career, she has taught at universities throughout the world—most notably Stanford and Brown University, as well as the University of London, and universities in South Africa, Brazil, and Australia—and penned more than a dozen books and several hundred articles examining learning environments that involve taking risks and letting curiosity ignite creativity.

Continuing Education Units

Teachers who register for this conference can also earn Continuing Education Units through San Jose State University by also adding our workshop, Relevancy: Project-Based Learning Through the Arts on Monday, April 11. Click here to download the CEU form (please follow directions on the form to submit it to SJSU). For questions, email


Following the keynote, we will break into workshops. Lunch will follow, and then a second workshop. We will close the day with a reception including wine and hors d’oeuvres, live music, and raffle prizes.

When completing your registration, please sign up for one AM workshop and one PM workshop. Click on any workshop below for an expanded description.

Workshop 1: The Data Art Project

Instructors: Noa Mendelevitch and Natalie Einhorn

This interactive session will take you on an interdisciplinary journey exploring the intersections of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) through growth mindset. Participants will use body percussion, laptops, and art materials to transform musical data into a collaborative sculpture. Takeaways include an understanding of how growth mindset can be used to catalyze collaboration; practical methods of integrating STEAM to fuel innovation; and hands-on applications to integrate growth mindset practice in your classroom.

Workshop 2: Plankton Project: How to create a collective and luminescent art installation about plankton in your school 

Instructor: Michele Guieu

In this workshop, you learn how to assemble an art installation about one of the most important, yet almost invisible elements of our eco-system: plankton. Participants will be invited to embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as the path to mastery, learn from criticism, and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others. Surprise your students with this stunning way of discovering some of the beautiful plankton species that populate our ocean, using simple materials that are recyclable. When the installation is taken down, students can still keep their drawings.

Workshop 3: Beautiful Work

Instructor: James Conway

"Beautiful work" is a broad term that applies to eloquent writing, careful scientific investigations, elegant mathematic concepts, as well as striking and original creations of art—and this session will show you how to inspire students to create it! We will demonstrate how to employ an aesthetics rubric and critique process to guide students into understanding how to produce their optimal output. You will learn how to that assign work that matters, study examples of excellence, employ multiple revisions, build a culture of critique, and provide opportunities for public presentations. Grade Levels: 6 - 8

Workshop 4: Connecting Kandinsky, Rhythm, and Ratios

InstructorsCarey Liston and Tammy Schultz

Participants will delve deeper into growth mindset as it directly applies to art, music, and math. Connecting Kandinsky to rhythmic drumming through fractions and ratios, we will create visual art and a performance piece that explores the hidden connection between size and sound. Grade Levels: 3-6

Workshop 5: Picture This: a team-based growth mindset lesson integrating visual and performing arts, history, and technology

Instructor: Jennifer Sylvester, PT, DPT

This workshop will be taught through a growth-mindset approach; allowing opportunities for both success and challenges through a number of activities that engage multiple cognitive, creative, social, and sensory demands. Participants will use "tableau"—a traditional performance-art technique—as the centerpiece of this multidisciplinary demonstration. Historic images will be brought to life through a series of brief individual or team “stepping stone” activities. The final product will be captured via historical and more contemporary visual arts processes.

Workshop 6: Ways into Knowing: Walking in a Landscape / Curating Curiosities

Instructors: Fieldworks Collaborative (Trena Noval & Ann Wettrich)

We will investigate social and natural ecologies within Montalvo's landscape. Exploring and experimenting with somatic, perceptual, observational, and integrated arts practices, we will individually and collectively exchange ideas and construct knowledge as a way to frame, reframe, and expand our thinking. Activities will help students understand their own perceptual awareness in the natural world.