The Gold Coast Arts Center was excited to welcome arts educator Marcia Daft for a series of special teacher training workshops and educational programs, as part of our Kennedy Center Partnership with Plainview-Old Bethpage Schools and Hofstra University. Her workshop, Moving Through Math: Multiplication and Division, combines music and movement with math, which helps students grasp complex material.

Ms. Daft first worked with pre-service teachers at Hofstra University on all the fundamentals of mastering a class and weaving that into teaching music and math.  Students enjoyed the energy and the interactive lessons. The next day, she presented to a group of 38 2nd and 3rd grade teachers in the Plainview-Old Bethpage school district taking the concepts further and looking at pattern recognition in numbers, music and choreography.  She then did demos for two sets of 2nd and 3rd grade students.

Marcia Daft is known for creating original instructional methods for teaching music as well as integrating music and movement into other areas of the curriculum. Her work has been used in classrooms throughout the United States for fifteen years. Ms. Daft is a national workshop leader for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a Master Artist with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, and a consultant for arts institutions throughout the U.S. She has developed museum exhibitions, broadcast programs, and educational programs for the Smithsonian Institution. Ms. Daft holds a Bachelor’s Degree in engineering from Duke University, a Master’s Degree in music from the University of Chicago, and studied piano performance at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

Many students memorize the times tables yet fail to master a conceptual understanding of multiplication, and therefore have no foundation upon which to build. In the Moving Through Math: Multiplication and Division workshop, teachers examine how repeating patterns establish the equal grouping concepts that underlie multiplication and division. Through pictures, words, rhythm, and movement, equal grouping concepts are literally brought to life. Through this process, teachers discover how to help students move past memorizing the times tables, and understand the foundations of multiplying and dividing with this active, conceptual, and creative approach to teaching mathematics.

This workshop was developed in association with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and is partially underwritten by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Committee for the Performing Arts. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: Partners in Education program is designed to assist arts organizations in developing and extending partnerships in local school systems in order to promote the professional development of classroom teachers. We do this by holding workshops for classroom teachers on how to incorporate the arts into the teaching of core curriculum subjects. GCAC’s partners in our Kennedy Center affiliation are the Plainview/Old Bethpage School District and Hofstra University. The prestigious Kennedy Center affiliation is awarded to a select few and the Gold Coast Arts Center is one of only 2 such partnerships in New York State. For more information about the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program, click here.