Art class in East Prairie teaches more than art - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Art class in East Prairie teaches more than art

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According to administrators, her style of teaching fits right in with the Leader in Me Program that focuses on positive re-enforcement for progress many schools in the Heartland now live by. According to administrators, her style of teaching fits right in with the Leader in Me Program that focuses on positive re-enforcement for progress many schools in the Heartland now live by.
Mrs. Quaite entered students in a statewide calendar contest for Red Ribbon week and three East Prairie students now have their art featured in the 2014 calendar. Mrs. Quaite entered students in a statewide calendar contest for Red Ribbon week and three East Prairie students now have their art featured in the 2014 calendar.
Mrs. Alissa Quaite has a colorful checkered floor she designed herself. Mrs. Alissa Quaite has a colorful checkered floor she designed herself.
EAST PRAIRIE, MO (KFVS) - You just have to take one look at Mrs. Alissa Quaite's art class at Doyle Elementary in East Prairie to see it's not your typical class.

She has a colorful checkered floor she designed herself. Just one symbolizes the passion she has to turn students' experiences into one that's about much more than simply drawing pictures. She wants to show them art relates to many subjects from physics to literature.

"I don't want to just give them art lessons; I want to give them life lessons," said Quaite. "We use art to tie in math, reading, science, history, and culture and give them an environment where - stress-free - they can see they are talented and gifted at many different subjects."

Principals where she teaches at Martin and Doyle say you might call it art therapy. It's raising grades and even enthusiasm about simply coming to school. According to administrators, her style of teaching fits right in with the Leader in Me Program that focuses on positive re-enforcement for progress many schools in the Heartland now live by.

She engages them first with what she calls 'a language they speak'...technology.

She brings them into the lesson by taking her sixth graders on a virtual ride and has them thinking about what it would really be like to ride on one and how it works.

"It gets my mind going," said student Brayden Bratton.

"It's so different than reading out of a book," said student Morgan Baker. "You get to use your hands."

From there, Quaite teaches them fundamentals of math and physics as they design roller coasters of their own out of paper strips.

In another example, Quaite explained the anatomy of the human head as students sketched self-portraits.

"You just get to be yourself," said student Ray Norton.

Another important element is building self esteem.

Mrs. Quaite entered students in a statewide calendar contest for Red Ribbon week and three East Prairie students now have their art featured in the 2014 calendar.

"It makes me feel like I did something important," said Daniel Miranda, one of the winners in fifth grade. "I was so surprised."

A first and second grade students were also winners.

"I love how I get to express myself however I want," said Anna Ray, a fifth grader.

"I just want to show them how important they are and when they leave I hope they are excited to come back," said Quaite. "I love all my kids."

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