Education

Teaching to a new beat, workshops bring arts into lessons

Sam Pierstorff
Sam Pierstorff Modesto Bee file

Using dance to teach science, using magic to teach math and using performance to inspire poetry will be the subjects of three workshops on integrating the arts into everyday lessons.

The teacher-targeted sessions are being provided by the Gallo Center for the Arts, the Stanislaus County Office of Education and Modesto City Schools.

• “Scientific Thought in Motion” is a workshop for grades two through four being given from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Gallo Center. Cost is $35. Register online at

http://ccsesaarts.k12oms.org/411-84845

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The workshop presenter will be Randy Barron, Kennedy Center teaching artist and national leader in arts integration. This workshop will translate basic scientific content into meaningful movement activities that put abstract concepts into tangible form. Using the water cycle and systems of the human body as examples, he will show how dance elements can be used to teach scientific content.

• “Math Magic” is a workshop for grades four through six being given from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Gallo Center. Cost is $35. Register online at

http://ccsesaarts.k12oms.org/411-84846

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Arthur Benjamin is a math professor at Harvey Mudd College. But in his stage life, he is the tuxedo-clad Mathemagician, performing high-speed mental calculations, memorizations and other math stunts. Math is the science of patterns, he says, and learning it teaches logic and creative thinking.

• “Poetry on Fire” is a workshop for grades six through eight being given from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Gallo Center. Cost is $35. Register online at

http://ccsesaarts.k12oms.org/411-84844

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Modesto Junior College Professor Sam Pierstorff is the founding editor of Quercus Review Press and creator of The Ill List, California’s most prestigious poetry slam competition. His debut poetry collection, “Growing Up in Someone Else’s Shoes,” was published by World Parade Books in 2010, and most recently he edited “More Than Soil, More Than Sky: The Modesto Poets,” which launched to No. 1 on Amazon’s Poetry Best Seller list upon its release.

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