Made possible by grants from:
PNC Foundation Laffey-McHugh Foundation State of Delaware Longwood Foundation Gilliam Foundation
Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts
Delaware Wolf Trap (DWT) program was established in 1998 and is modeled after research conducted by the Wolf Trap Institute For Early Learning Through the Arts in Vienna, Virginia. DWT places professional actors, musicians and dancers, who are also trained Teaching Artists, in classroom residencies to engage preschool children with arts activities that promote literacy and STEM development. The program also trains early childhood educators to integrate performing arts techniques into their curriculum.
STEM/Arts residencies. The primary goal of the Early STEM/arts program is to help preschool children develop skills necessary to prepare them for success during their elementary school education by promoting math and geometry concepts, furthering emerging literacy and language skills, and enhancing creativity and problem solving abilities. The lesson plans explore abstract concepts of math and geometry in concrete ways through arts activities: geometry utilized in dance; spatial relations and measurement demonstrated in storytelling; or language developed and enhanced through drama and music.
Teacher Development. Besides working with children, TAs also help early childhood educators develop ways to integrate the arts into their lessons by guiding them toward designing and conducting their own arts-based lesson plans. This is an important element of our program so that the work begun by the TA is sustained by the teacher long after the residency is completed.
A typical Wolf Trap residency. At the beginning of the residency, the TA meets with teachers and aides to learn about the special needs of their children and to design a series of STEM workshops to complement the school’s curriculum and educational goals. Objectives are discussed and arts activities introduced. The TA then conducts twelve workshop sessions with students twice a week over a six week period. At the end of the residency, the TA meets with teachers and staff to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the program as well as to discuss methods to continue to use arts-based activities in their curriculum.
The residency can touch on any of the following early childhood content areas.
- Numbers and Operations: counting, one to one correspondence, recognizing numerals, ordinal numbers, subitizing, quantity, cardinality, comparisons, conservation, estimation, and part-part-whole.
- Geometry: shapes, attributes, matching of shapes, spatial awareness
- Measurement: length, height, width, volume, temperature, time, speed
- Data analysis: data collection, classifying and sorting, graphing
- Algebra: patterns, seriation
If you have questions/comments, please contact us.