makeSPACE PHILADELPHIA

A collaboration between Children First PA and makeSPACE

What is makeSPACE?

makeSPACE enhances the creative strengths of teachers and prepares them to integrate research-based creative and artistic practices into curriculum and instruction across content areas and grade levels. makeSPACE is a flexible system of self-guided online courses, live insti- tutes and workshops, grab-and-go instructional routines and solutions, and an interactive com- munity of practice where innovative educators can exchange and crowdsource ideas. Teachers develop their own creative practice and adapt materials to suit their unique school context and classroom settings to enhance the creative learning experience of students. Most importantly, these learning experiences can enhance student engagement and result in improved academic skills and motivation. This specific project has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education to focus on 7th and 8th grade Philadelphia teachers and students with makeSPACE strategies in theater and other art disciplines.

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MAKESPACE SNAPSHOTS

On Playfulness

“Frankly, envisioning how I could implement tableaux and some of the other theater arts strategies in my classroom once we are back to something resembling "normal" has been one of the biggest motivating factors for me to want to keep teaching. I can't wait to see how my students respond, and I feel like it is going to bring a lot of energy and playfulness to my classroom and make learning more personally meaningful and transformative for my students (and me).”
English Teacher & makeSPACE Participant

makeSPACE at a Glance

Who can enroll in makeSPACE for Agency and Readiness?

School District of Philadelphia schools serving Grades 7 and 8 are eligible to apply for participation. All 7th and 8th grade content area teachers and specialists in participating schools will engage in makeSPACE professional development activities and implement routines and strategies in their classroom. All subject area teachers are eligible, including specialists and special education teachers.

What would I do as a participant?

Participating teachers engage in online, self-paced courses that scaffold new ideas and techniques for teachers to try, adapt, and integrate into their teaching. Online courses are supplemented with in-person or virtual workshops, small group coaching, and hands-on experiences facilitated by fellow teachers trained in makeSPACE school teams. Teachers develop their own design-based action research process to test and learn from the integration of creative and artistic practices in their classrooms. Interested teachers can also develop their own capacity to train their colleagues. Our virtual library provides dozens of instructional routines, integration ideas, and teacher-generated innovations across grade levels and content areas.

How does makeSPACE cultivate culturally responsive teaching?

Creativity and the arts are universal forms of inquiry, expression, and meaning-making. Different creative and artistic modalities leverage the cultural assets of diverse learners and provide equitable opportunities for students to learn and contribute. We introduce creative routines in theater and other art domains that help teachers get to know their students’ cultural backgrounds and establish a sense of belonging and agency in students. Our trainings introduce teachers to techniques, perspectives, and diverse examples of creative artists and innovators that will enhance the accessibility and responsiveness of their approach.

How does makeSPACE support Social-Emotional Learning?

Trusting relationships and social-emotional knowledge and skills are critical to effective teaching and quality learning. In fact, recent research suggests teacher-student relationships may be the most important factor in student motivation and achievement. Creative engagement in the classroom is foundational to establishing strong relationships, supporting the well-being of students and teachers, and implementing and fostering social-emotional skills. Our arts integration strategies for creative engagement make space, literally, for feeling, thinking, expressing, identifying, and sharing emotions through the creative and reflective process in any content area at any grade level.

Recording of Informational Zoom Session for Teachers and Principals

Watch the following info. session for a comprehensive overview of all things makeSPACE!

Project Timeline

Program Planning Year : 2022-2023 School Year | CAPACITY BUILDING

Once schools have been selected, orientation, course engagement and planning with project partners begins. School teams consist of several 7th and 8th grade teachers and an administrator. Engagement of other 7th and 8th grade teachers will begin in the spring of 2023.

Program Year 1 : 2023-2024 School Year | Engage in foundation course

Foundation Course

All 7th and 8th grade teachers in participating schools engage in the online Foundations for Creative Engagement course to explore these questions through their own creative process: What is creativity and how am I creative? How can I foster conditions that support students’ creative engagement? What is the role and purpose of integrating drama-based and artistic practice in learning? How do I begin to make space for student creative engagement?

Program Year 1 : 2023–2024 School Year | Engage in the Theater Arts Strategy Course and Additional Modules in Other Arts Domains

Theater Arts

Through this course, teachers explore how theater-based pedagogy can support embodied learning and personal meaning-making across curricular areas and grade levels. Theater integration includes short gestural routines and more elaborate theatrical enactments. Every technique is scaffolded carefully, starting with very basic warm-ups and theater games. Ultimately, the teacher becomes a designer and facilitator of theater integrated lessons that address both social-emotional and academic learning targets.

Other Art Domains

makeSPACE includes strategies and routines in music, media arts, visual arts, and movement. 2-D and 3-D visual arts routines are highly adaptable and provide students other ways to access content and share ideas. Routines in rhythm, music, storymaking, and movement develop students’ active listening, focus, and engagement. Some of these integration strategies are built into explorations of theater arts integration and others are available for participants as optional extensions that support arts integrated instruction.

Program Year 2 : 2024 – 2025 School Year | Engage in additional modules in theater and other art domains and the Advanced Design Course

Advanced Arts Integration Design

This structured practicum supports teachers in more advanced integration of theater and other art domains, specific to their context. Teacher participants grow competency with designing and implementing quality arts integration by engaging in collaborative action research in a cohort of their creative colleagues. This participatory action research process supports teachers in creative experimentation with new strategies and offers them tools for observing the effects at the student level. Like all makeSPACE courses, it invites playfulness, risk-taking, observation and reflection. Teachers can also select additional modules from other arts domains to continue developing new skills.

Course Previews

CONDITIONS FOR CREATIVE ENGAGEMENT

Foundation Course

The online Foundations for Creative Engagement course invites participants to explore these questions through their own creative process: What is creativity and How am I creative? How can I foster conditions that support student creative engagement? What is the role of artistic practice in learning? How do I begin to make space for student creative engagement?
“As an English teacher, metaphor was always just another content area to deliver during the year. This class has helped me see how it can be the entryway to deeper, creative, and engaging thought and understanding. It will be a foundational part of my future classes thanks to this course.” - makeSPACE teacher

EMBODIED LEARNING

Theater

How can your students explore and represent complex concepts such as photosynthesis, democracy, metaphor, or algebra using only their bodies? In this course, we will delve into how theater and embodied learning can increase access to the curriculum and learning objectives in your classroom. It offers culturally responsive strategies that invite all students to engage, regardless of previous experience or proficiency in theater arts. Everything is scaffolded carefully, starting with the very basics of warm-ups and theater games. You will learn to design and facilitate theater-integrated lessons that support cognitive and affective learning targets. No theater experience is necessary! This is truly a foundational course that will support you to build the confidence and skills necessary to get your students out of their seats and into a collaborative, embodied process.
"Frankly, envisioning how I could implement tableaux and some of the other theater arts strategies in my classroom once we are back to something resembling "normal" has been one of the biggest motivating factors for me to want to keep teaching. I can't wait to see how my students respond, and I feel like it is going to bring a lot of energy and playfulness to my classroom and make learning more personally meaningful and transformative for my students (and me). " - makeSPACE teacher

TIMELINE FOR CREATIVE ENGAGEMENT

Classroom Implementation Goals

Year 1

  • Begin weekly creative routines in first half of Year 1 (2023-24) – target of 10 short theater routines (<10 minutes)
  • Begin full class period theater integration in second half of Year 1 – target of 5 class periods

Year 2

  • Implement weekly creative routines across the school year
  • Develop deeper theater integration into curricular unit as part of teacher-led action research – target of 10 class periods

CONDITIONS FOR CREATIVE ENGAGEMENT

Teacher Engagement and Expectations

  • 60 hours of professional development across two program years
  • Approximately 20 of those hours will be embedded into existing school-based PD
  • Approximately 40 hours of paid out-of-contract time
  • Teachers will receive $35/hr for out-of-contract time
  • Teachers participating in a makeSPACE School Team each year will receive an additional stipend

SUPPORTERS OF OUR CREATIVE EXPLORATION

makeSPACE Partners

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Contact Us

Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about the current grant opportunity or about the makeSPACE project.

We want young people and their teachers to be fulfilled, to feel agency, and to shape their own lives and the world around them. We want them to thrive within the possible - as the world offers them moment after moment of uncertainty.