For the last 20 years, KID smART has used arts integration- the blending of math, science, social studies and English with a variety of art forms- to make classrooms more joyful and effective places to learn. We’ve expanded student outcomes in over 40 schools by placing artists and teachers together in academic classrooms to teach more powerfully. We help teachers expand their teaching toolbelt and build more engaging classrooms through the arts.

In 2015, KID smART received a three-year grant from Baptist Community Ministries to work with two ReNEW Charter Schools to implement THINK smART. The THINK smART initiative was designed to answer this question: What happens when classrooms replace rote memorization with creative learning?

The initiative placed professional teaching artists in schools to co-teach arts integrated lessons with classroom teachers. Collaborating teachers received monthly professional development, strategic coaching, and a spot in a 13-week Harvard online course, Making Thinking Visible, a series of research-based strategies to elicit student thinking.
When pairing arts integration strategies with research-based thinking routines, KID smART and ReNEW teachers saw tremendous gains. The Program and Evaluation Research Group (PERG) evaluated the effectiveness of KID smART’s Think smART program. The data revealed:

87% of teachers rate their experience with the project as very or extremely worthwhile.
88% of teachers report that THINK smART changed their classroom practices somewhat or significantly.
100% of teachers who attend 4 or more KID smART Making Thinking Visible PDs regularly use strategies in their classes.

Teachers reported that arts integration and Making Thinking Visible improved classroom community and increased student engagement. Additionally, the THINK smART initiative showed that teachers engaged in co-planning and co-teaching improved their ability to independently integrate arts and thinking strategies.

Schools that partner with KID smART have seen growth in both student and teacher performance. Let KID smART help impact your school through Collaborative Arts Residencies, professional development, teacher coaching, and enrichment/afterschool arts courses. To learn more, reach out to India King Robins, Education Director, at india@kidsmart.org.