Teacher Art Retreat 2013

This Retreat is over.  If you are interested in learning about future retreats including the one this summer, please visit: theinspiredclassroom.com/teacherartretreats


Can’t view the embedded slideshow of the 2013 Teacher Art Retreat? Go HERE.

The Inspired Classroom is happy to announce its third annual Teacher Art Retreat!

This is PD for Creative Teachers!  August 5-7, 2013

Film ~ Music ~ Visual Art ~ Poetry ~ Movement ~ Drumming

An amazing 3 days of creativity and professional development
that truly feeds our souls.”  Amy M.


Join other preK-12 educators for three days of discovery and inspiration for yourself and your teaching.  Experience the creative process and learn new ways to integrate the arts into the work you do with your students every day.

Get Inspired, Be Inspiring!


Teachers collaborating on a visual, poetic piece.

Click on the heading for more details.

The Basics

When: August 5th, 6th & 7th;  8:00-3:00

Where: Amesbury Cultural Center, Amesbury, MA

Who: ALL teachers—Any subject, any grade!   PDPs will be awarded to all attendees.

Whether you are interested in ARTS INTEGRATION, ART EDUCATION, or just need some time for YOURSELF, this retreat, built just for TEACHERS, is for YOU!

What is a Teacher Art Retreat?

It’s Professional Development that is




Yes, you read that right!  This is professional development that was created with the TEACHER in mind.  Our philosophy at The Inspired Classroom is that teachers need to get inspired so that they can be inspiring to their students.


First and foremost, this retreat is for YOU.

The Teacher Art Retreat is a place where you can relax, create and learn with other like-minded educators.  This is what sets the retreat apart from other professional development you’ve had.

Our goal is for you to interact with a variety of art forms so that you can get ideas to bring back to your teaching.  The workshops are hands-on and accompanied by discussions of how to apply your new knowledge and skills to what you do with students every day.

Each workshop session will be hands-on and fun!

Time each day will be spent reflecting on how you can apply what you have learned in each workshop.

Start each day with coffee, muffins and an energizing warm-up.  Each day you will have studio time to work on your book making.  In addition, you will attend one of the other three workshops.  Everyone will attend all workshops!  No one will miss ANY of the fun!  Lunch will be provided each day as well as some special treats (door prizes too)-just for YOU!

Who Attends Teacher Art Retreats?

If you are an educator who believes in the arts, you should attend the Teacher Art Retreat!

Our professional development is taken by pre K through high school teachers including those who teach special education, art, music, guidance, ELL, technology, ELA, science, and general ed, as well as school nurses, reading specialists, behorialists, speech therapists, home school teachers, long term substitutes, veterans and first year teachers.

And who knows? Maybe this year we will have our first administrator!

Time each day will be spent discussing how the things we learn apply to what you do with students every day. Part of the power of the arts is that they transcend subjects and age levels.

Not to mention, YOU will get something personally out of this too…

The arts touch us all!

Get the PDPs or Grad Credit You Need

Every participant will be awarded PDPs or attendance hours for their records.  In addition, we are now able to offer 1 GRADUATE CREDIT (15 hours) through Madonna University.  The fee is $150 for the one credit.  Your registration to the retreat does not cover this fee.  For more information, go to our Earn Grad Credit page.

I'm coming from far away. Where can I stay?

Call the Fairfield Inn by Marriott

35 Clarks Road Amesbury, MA 01913

This is on a main road with access to many large stores and restaurants as well as two major highways that will easily get you both to Boston, MA and Portsmouth, NH.



Ask for the LNR rate [ local negotiated rate ] which will provide a 15% discount.

It is so fun to meet people from various places who share an appreciation in arts in education!  If you are coming from far away, you will certainly enjoy your time in Amesbury, Massachusetts.  It has a delightful downtown with so many restaurants and shops to explore.   You will enjoy walking around and visiting a variety of places.

In addition, Amesbury is 45 minutes from Boston, Massachusetts and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, both wonderful cities to visit!

Teachers outside brainstorming ideas.

Registration Information

Registration is OPEN!

Register and then RSVP on Facebook – get a deal.  Register with a friend – get an even better deal!

Register here online or download this flyer and registration form and send a check to The Inspired Classroom, PO Box 303, Hampton Falls, NH 03844.

Come to the retreat with a friend!  Tell your colleagues about this great event and get special pricing!  Start asking around now, so you won’t miss out!

Best take away from the retreat?  The people, interactions, sharing, laughter; the information and the chance to grow.” ~ Judy L.

Retreat Workshops

Focus Project – Book Making with Renee Schneider

Local artist and teacher, Renee Schneider will lead us through this year’s focus project – Book Making.  (The focus project  is one we will work on each day for the three days of the retreat.)

At this book making workshop, we will learn to create hand stitched books and journals using various techniques for cover design. Participants will also experiment with other creative ways of shaping, folding and binding books for children to create for many uses in the classroom.

If you have never made a book before, you don’t want to miss this fun experience.  If you have made books before, this will be a wonderful time for you, as we will provide the materials to create different sizes, shapes and variations on book making.

This focus project is for you to relax and create on your own – go through your own creative process.  Discussions will be had about how to use books in your classroom.  For a taste of one idea, visit this post on Sketch-Reflection Journals.
Renee Schneider Schneider, has a BFA in Graphic Design, and a Master’s of Education in Creative Art & Learning. She worked as a graphic artist and then as a kindergarten teacher for several years incorporating her belief in tapping into a child’s creativity through integration of the arts in the classroom. Now, combining her love of art, and teaching, she owns and operates Colorful Kids, providing private art lessons to children while she continues to develop her own art. Her latest endeavors include writing and illustrating Swing Time, her first published children’s book.



Workshop 1 – Poetry and Postcards with Kristina Peterson and Deb Wheeler-Bean

This workshop will walk participants through a collaborative project designed around art and poetry. Led by their art teacher (Deb) all grade 5 students illustrated the front of blank postcards. These cards were then delivered to EHS 9th grade English teachers (Kristina) who wove their project into their poetry unit.  Deb and Kristina will share their experience and give teachers a chance to create work based on this wonderful project.

More Details

Research tells us the most successful learners are those who engage both hemispheres of the brain in their learning. Poetry is hard work. Painting is hard work. Pairing them together, and really working those hemispheres, is also hard work. But teaming up 5th graders and 9th graders to create true works of art is worth it. The beauty of this partnership is the link between LSS & EHS students … a reminder that we are not separate entities from each other. It is whole-brained – utilizing both the visual spatial part of our brain along with the linguistic part.

Kristina Peterson is a high school English teacher at Exeter High School in Exeter, New Hampshire. She has a B.A. in Literature from the University of Southern Maine. and an M.A.T. from George Fox University. She has been teaching at Exeter High School since 2008. She keeps in touch with the ever changing educational practices through extensive continuing education at the UNH Literacy Institute and presented with a panel of like-minded teachers at the 2012 National Convention for Teacher of English in Las Vegas about the importance of choice in high school classrooms. Her latest projects involve writing a book for preservice and new teachers and creating a high school summer enrichment class on memoir writing.

Deb Wheeler-Bean is a teaching artist from Exeter, NH. She began her career as a freelance photographer before finding her life’s work: teaching children how to retain their creative intelligence. Deb’s work has evolved and changed over the years: from photographs to handmade books, from books to found object collages. Her material of choice right now is anything she finds at her feet during one of her daily walks – combined with remarkable language. Deb is a graduate from White Pines College (AA), NH Institute of Art (BFA) and Lesley University (MEd).  Deb is currently employed as the art educator at Lincoln Street School in Exeter, NH – teaching a fine arts-based curriculum to grades 3 – 5. Other recent projects include working with adolescent girls through the Arts in Reach Program, working with children of all ages through the Tents of Hope project, establishing and co-chairing the Spirit & Enrichment Council for the Exeter elementary schools. Deb is also the co-owner of the Anahata Gallery, located in downtown Exeter.


Workshop 2 – Songwriting with Students with Judy Pancoast

The magic of songwriting will be revealed in this fun and exciting workshop in which participants create a song from idea to recording in one session! Where do ideas come from? The answer may surprise you!

More Details

Participants in this exciting and fun workshop will create a song in popular style from idea to recording, beginning with the question, “Where do ideas come from?”

What follows is a brief discussion of brainstorming, thinking creatively and organizing ideas; and then a little about story songs and patterns.  After some brainstorming, participants will decide on an idea and start to create the first lyrics of the song: a “hook,” or chorus that tells only the main idea of the story. Once that is accomplished, the first verse is created, followed by the challenge of having the students create the melody.  This is where the true fun and community spirit of the project flowers as participants encourage each other to step out of their comfort zone and sing. When the melody is created the rest of the verses will be written and the finished song will be performed for recording and playback.

It must be noted that Judy will NOT be creating any part of this song, but merely facilitating. It will be an entirely participant-created project.

Judy Pancoast is a singer-songwriter-recording artist from Manchester, NH. She was nominated for a Grammy for Best Children’s Album in 2011 for her CD “Weird Things are Everywhere! A Reading Road Trip with Judy Pancoast” and contributed to the 2012 Grammy winning album, “All About Bullies…Big and Small.” She obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from the University of Maine and a Master’s Degree in Education at the University of New Hampshire, and now works as an independent musician, traveling throughout the country and abroad to share her original music with children and families.


Workshop 3 –  Teaching Core Writing Standards Through the Art of Film with Hilary Weisman Graham

This dynamic, interactive session will explore several fun, easy techniques for teaching the Core Writing Standards through the language of film. Teachers will engage in screenwriting and filmmaking exercises, plus a step-by-step film scene analysis—all of which exemplify the skills and understandings students must demonstrate.

More Details

In today’s world, it’s more important than ever that teachers remain agile. And what better way to do that than by using the exciting medium of film to help students reach their educational goals?

Whether your students are working on crafting effective, well-supported arguments, structuring their stories, or enhancing their content with details and symbolism—cinematic writing is a fun way to engage even the most reluctant writer.

Through a combination of film analysis and hands-on screenwriting and filmmaking exercises, teachers will explore several effective techniques that can be easily adapted for any classroom.

Whether students are writing essays or shooting documentary films, the goals are the same: to develop their topics using well-chosen, relevant facts and quotations, and to employ extended definitions and concrete details. Similarly, students can learn to organize event sequences by participating in Hollywood-style pitch sessions, where success depends on one’s ability to tell engaging well-structured stories using narrative techniques such as dialogue, pacing, and description.ues that can be easily adapted for any classroom.

These are just two examples of teaching Core Writing Standards through the language of film. Though the context may be different, the fundamentals and learning outcomes are the same.

Hilary Weisman Graham is a filmmaker, screenwriter, Emmy-nominated TV producer, and the author of REUNITED (Simon & Schuster), her debut young adult novel. Visit her at: http://www.hilarygraham.com


Follow-up Links and Additional Information

Keep in mind, this retreat is not just about the workshops, it’s about building a community of like-minded passionate teachers.  We will be busy with other activities too: movement, brain gym, collaborative art work, discussions, drumming.  When you register, you will get more info on all this other fun stuff!

For general information about the retreats, visit the Teacher Art Retreats page.

Teacher Retreat 2011- A Success!

What it means to Feed Your Flame

Happy Teachers, Happy Kids

Arts Integration Summer Grad Course

For ALL the posts about our TEACHER ART RETREAT go to this link.


Come to the retreat with a friend!  Tell your colleagues about this great event and get special pricing!  Start asking around now, so you won’t miss out!


Coming from far away and need a place to stay?  Call the Fairfield Inn by Marriott; 35 Clarks Road Amesbury, MA 01913; marriott.com/MHTFA; 978.388.3400; and ask for the LNR rate [ local negotiated rate which will provide a 15% discount.”

Check out our location!

Amesbury Cultural Center

36 High Street

Amesbury, MA 01913

If using GPS, put in that your destination is Friend Street in Amesbury, MA.  Park on Friend Street or in the lot on the street in downtown Amesbury and walk across the bridge.

Continue down the walkway…

The Amesbury Cultural Center is right in front of you!

Come in and enjoy your retreat!

Cancellation Policy

Paid registrants may send a substitute.
If for any reason you can’t attend, 100% of your paid registration will be
refunded when you notify The Inspired Classroom at least 48 hours in advance.
Notifications after this time will be refunded less a $25 service fee.