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Learning Math Through Movement

At 9:15 AM on a crisp March morning, Kentucky Performing Arts' Vice President of Education & Community Arts, Bryan Warren, and Sr. Director of ArtsRise, Jeff Jamner, went out to Stonestreet Elementary School to observe one of their ArtsRise programs in action.  They observed a group of second grade students exploring math concepts with their bodies. That’s right – with dance! Don’t these students look like they are solving math problems?

They sure are energized and engaged, but where does math come into it? They have created a 32-count dance phrase with four movements in the phrase. At first there were 8 counts per movement. Then when they varied the amounts, the math thinking was put to use. If the first phrase is now only 4 beats, how many do we have left? (32-4=28).  It’s a good thing that teaching artist Stacey Blakeman from the Louisville Ballet helped to activate their brains through a Brain Gym warm up first.

This is part of a program called On-Ramp to Deeper Learning through Arts Integration (“On-Ramp”). This program brings together three strong partners: Kentucky Performing Arts, StageOne Family Theatre, and Jefferson County Public Schools. We are currently working with 17 Partner Schools to expand arts integration in their instructional practices and help teachers engage their students and further their students' learning. This is one of the many ways that KPA builds lifelong relationships to the Arts, both on and beyond our stages.

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