I looked in my Early Childhood folder. I didn't save my post on
integrating art-music-dance and drama for early childhood. I know I
made it to ArtsEducators Yahoo list and it is in those archives. You
can sign on to that list and do a site search. I am short on time
right now and don't have time to write it up again.
Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training
Spinning on spot can boost early academic achievement
Encouraging young children to spin on the spot can significantly boost
their early academic learning. Other brain-stimulating activities for
children include hanging upside down, scrabbling along the floor on
their stomachs and crawling along a trail of marked out prints.
The package of activities called SMART (stimulating maturity through
accelerated readiness training) has been developed in the United
Five and six-year-olds who have taken part have shown significant
improvements, compared to other classmates, in early language and
numeracy skills, according to Lyelle Palmer of Winona State
In one group of 70 SMART kindergarten children, only one was referred
for remedial services when usually a quarter would be.
Based on research into how the brain develops, the programme's
activities are designed to stimulate brain cell growth, and have been
used in 20 schools in Minnesota and 80 others across the US
Professional Development Workshops promote - "The SMART (Stimulating
Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training) program is the
world's most highly-researched and effective innovation in early
From what I read it is a fancy label for drama activities, too....
Which all of you pre-school/early childhood art teachers should be
doing (for a comprehensive arts program). (scroll down to read about
the SMART Circus http://www.buenavistaeoes.mnps.org/Page3787.aspx)
"The SMART Program seeks to increase early academic development in a
fun and age-appropriate context for all children, using a curriculum
that emphasizes the repetition of a number of physical and mental
exercises designed to develop learning readiness. At the same time,
attention is given to increasing community integration of
disadvantaged and minority children."
Sites are not giving away the secrets of SMART since schools pay for
these training workshops. One school received over $13,000 grant to
implement the program.
I am sure you can brainstorm some activities for art.
Listen to Greg Percy's Songs in the Key
of Art (and others) - You will come up with movements to reinforce the
songs. Look at your pre-school/K lesson plans and think how you can
reinforce the key concepts with movement. Literally "take a point for
a walk" to make different kinds of lines.... Have the kids walk
zig-zag and curvy lines.
Check out this book (posted by Jenna to TAB list)
"Art and Creative Development for Young Children," by Robert Schirrmacher.
This book is a great combination of early childhood and art
education. It incorporates early child development with the basic
principles of art through themes surrounding sensory stimulation,
creativity, and self discovery. It is very readable, practical and
provides an opportunity for educators to learn through each of the
chapter summaries, objectives, and review questions. It also
provides a long list of curricular activities that link the premises
of each chapter. For example, in the sensory stimulation chapter,
they're activities that go directly with the traditional five senses
and Montessori's five senses that are easy to carry out within one's
The beginning of the book opens up with the child
development aspect. The author discusses what early childhood art
should be, and then later discusses how art fosters child
development, by giving a general overview of it. The book then
addresses elements in art, the adult role in children's art and how
the adult plans, implements, and evaluates the curriculum. It then
discusses how to respond to children's art, and provides strategies
to enhance children's artistic development. Next, the last few
chapters share the components and design of art centers, and a
variety of two and three dimensional activities. To close the book,
the appendixes include endless resources, recipes, books, artistic
junk creations, and styles to link art and the early childhood
I feel that all early childhood educators could benefit from
this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it because it linked together both
of my majors: early childhood education and psychology. I like how
the book not only was knowledgeable, but it also gave ideas to
implement what was read within one's own classroom. This book will
definitely have a permanent spot on my teaching shelf!
Look for this book:
Young at Art by Susan Striker
I do have more saved up, but this has become quite lengthy.