Arts Start Evaluation Documents
Teacher Training Evaluation: Participating teachers were asked to evaluate the teacher training workshop on-site at the conclusion of the session, using an evaluation instrument developed by Sangamon Auditorium project staff.
Class Acts Evaluation: Teachers were asked to complete a brief evaluation form on which they offered their evaluation of the pre-show preparation and attending the live performance. This evaluation form was distributed to Head Start classroom teachers on the bus when they arrived in the parking lot at UIS for the performance. Criteria for evaluation included the experience’s perceived contribution to school readiness as well as age appropriateness, anticipated student interest, and practicality. Evaluative questions covered the several components of the Class Acts process, including the classroom learning materials, the pre-show visits by Auditorium staff, and the field trip and performance.
Family Event Evaluation: Parents and caregivers were asked to evaluate the Family Event via a mail-back survey instrument, with questions touching on the following criteria: interest and engagement of children in pre-show activities, their own and children’s response to the performance, and questions or responses children had following the event. The first year this survey was distributed to parents and caregivers when they checked in at the event they attended, the second year it was sent home from school the following week with students who attended.
2013-2014 Evaluation Report
Summary of 2013-2014 Teacher Training Evaluations:
Twenty-five teachers, thirty assistant teachers, and five other Springfield Urban League staff attended the workshop “Creative Movement and the Kinesthetic Learner,” led by Kimberli Boyd on August 27, 2013. The participants expressed an overwhelmingly positive response to the program, with 93% of the teachers giving the workshop an overall ranking of “excellent,” the highest ranking, and the additional 7% of teachers ranking it “good.”
Sangamon Auditorium project staff members believe there is strong evidence that teacher engagement in the professional development aspect of the Arts Start program is steadily increasing. This year, we were able to work with the workshop leader to design an example within her workshop specifically around the book/chant “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” which is a title that almost all the teachers knew and was also the Head Start Family Event for the year. The incorporation of this familiar title helped to make the workshop additionally accessible for the teachers, as evidenced by their responses in the evaluation about how they planned to use the workshop content in the classroom.
Their comments also generally echoed pleasure with the format and the content and the workshop leader. Comments included:
- "I really liked it. She never made you feel you were stupid or not capable of doing the dance."
- "I can use what I learned with a lot of different topics using music and movement to teach the lessons."
- "Ms. Kimberli was a great facilitator."
- "She was very interactive with the audience along with teaching new ideas for professional development."
There were no rankings of “poor” in any of the ranked categories. Responses to the question, “How will you use these ideas in your classroom?” included the following:
- "We love Bear Hunt and this could put a new spin on it. I like the idea of using movement to calm down."
- "I will use it in my circle time by providing different stories and having the children act them out in the classroom!"
- "I would use these concepts in my classroom on a daily basis. It helps to get the kids more active and allows them to be a part of the learning process."
- "During transition period – adding, sequencing, patterns to learn math…"
- "The parts of the body would make a wonderful transition sequence."
- "I will use it to educate the children in arts."
On their survey responses, participating teachers had great suggestions of ways to enhance the Arts Start program overall. Their suggestions reflect a level of engagement that is deeper than when the program began a few years ago. We will consider these suggestions as the program continues to evolve:
- "Visual artists sharing works of art with the children and discussing types of mediums for visual art"
- "Have actors from plays visit students in the classroom"
- "To allow the presenters to come and teach the children to perform"
- "Try to bring in some parents"
- "Bring (workshop leader) to the actual classroom and show students"
Summary of 2013-2014 Class Acts Evaluations:
Once again this year, we distributed surveys to teachers as their classes arrived for the performances. Continuing with the method we developed last year, the surveys instructed teachers to return them to their Site Managers. We distributed approximately 60 surveys and received 15 responses. Working with Head Start staff, we are considering some options for improving the response rate in the coming year. (The surveys are lost amongst other field trip paperwork, or the teachers simply forget by the time they get back to the classroom and would have the opportunity to fill it out.) The new method will probably involve delivering the surveys to the Site Managers, who will be able to distribute them to the teachers at a more convenient time.
Concerning the Teacher’s Guides, all teachers used “most” or “some” of ideas presented, which continues to meet our expectation of providing a variety of ideas that may not all be appropriate in all classrooms.
All teachers rated the usefulness of the pre-show classroom visits as a 6 or better on a scale of 1-10. They appreciated the consistent review of expectations and procedures for the field trip, especially concepts such as when to clap and what it means to take a bow. Teachers particularly commented on how good it is to have someone read the stories to their students and how helpful it is that they are able to keep the books for their classroom libraries.
Regarding the quality of the performances they saw, all teachers rated the shows as 5 or better on a scale of 1-10. Their written comments were mixed, with several specifically mentioning the pacing of the shows. Overall, the teachers appreciated the quality of the performances, but they prefer shows with plots that stay very close to the source material and shows that have interactive elements. A few teachers commented that the check-in process was very smooth, but they would like for the dismissal process to be slower.
In the survey, teachers were also asked to complete a brief oral survey with their students. When asked to tell about what they saw and heard, the students accurately described many elements of the plays, including specific character names and elements of the sets, demonstrating how well they remembered and recalled what they had seen.
2012-2013 Evaluation Report
Summary of 2012-2013 Teacher Training Evaluations:
Thirty teachers, eighteen assistant teachers, and three other Springfield Urban League staff attended the workshop “Dancetalk: Creative Movement and Language Development,” led by Kate Kuper on August 29, 2012. The teachers expressed an overwhelmingly positive response to the program, with 88% of the teachers giving the workshop an overall ranking of “excellent,” the highest ranking, and the additional 12% of teachers ranking it “good.”
Sangamon Auditorium project staff members were particularly pleased that 96% of the teachers ranked the hands-on demonstrations and activities “excellent.” This being the second year of the program, and the second arts integration professional development session many of these teachers have experienced, their responses indicate to us that they are becoming more comfortable with the concept of integrating arts learning into their curriculum.
Their comments also generally echoed pleasure with the format and the content. Select responses (all of which were positive) included “Excellent way to incorporate learning! Awesome!!” and “Thank you for the new ideas and the CDs. This is a great thing to introduce and do with the children.” and “Presenter was very enthusiastic and modeled techniques for us.”
There were no rankings of “poor” in any of the ranked categories, and only one ranking of “fair” in on category. Responses to the question, “How will you use these ideas in your classroom?” included the following:
- “I will help use the sound cues to help with transitions.”
- “With the letter sounds (when teaching a new letter).”
- “In a variety of ways. Gross and fine motor and cognitive, etc.”
- “We will use the song and exercises to help children recognize the letters of the alphabet.”
- “Teaching children that whatever movements they do is not wrong. It would teach children to use their imaginations.”
We were pleased to have been able to provide each Head Start classroom with Kate’s CD of movement activities at the workshop. In the surveys distributed at the two spring semester performances we asked teachers if they had been using the provided CD or any activities learned in the workshop. About half affirmed that they were using the CD or activities, and two commented with specific activities they enjoyed.
Summary of 2012-2013 Class Acts Evaluations:
Again this year, each teacher was given a survey as the classes arrived to campus for the performances. Instead of a pre-paid envelope, we included instructions for each teacher to return the completed survey to his or her Site Manager, and then the Site Managers would give them all to the Education Coordinator. This allowed the Site Managers to follow-up with their teachers. Approximately 70 surveys were distributed, and we received 32 responses throughout the year, showing an increase in our response rate from 29% to 46%.
When asked about the Teacher’s Guide, none rated it below a 5 except for one teacher who did not receive the guide for one performance. Seventy-two percent of respondents used “some” or “most” of the Teacher’s Guide materials, which was expected; we want to provide teachers a variety of ideas they can use and adapt in ways that work best for their particular mix of students.
When asked how useful the pre-show classroom visit was in preparing students for the performance, over half of teachers rated it a 10 out of 10, and none rated it below a 5. Teachers commented that they appreciated receiving the books to add to their classroom libraries, and they were glad that their students were able to see pictures of where they were going on their field trip.
All teachers rated the quality of the performance as a 6 or better. Teachers commented that the performance of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie did not hold the students’ attention as well as the others, but overall the teachers were very pleased with how engaged the students were by the performances. Many teachers commented that they were pleased with the organization and felt the process for getting children in the building and seated went smoothly. A couple teachers felt the dismissal process was chaotic, and we are continuing to evaluate this part of our procedures for all Class Acts performances.
As part of the survey, teachers were also asked to complete a brief oral survey with their students and record the responses. When asked to describe what they remembered seeing and hearing during the field trip, the students accurately stated many important plot points in the stories.
Once again a few teachers used the survey to express how grateful they were for this program. One teacher wrote, “This program is wonderful, this may be the first and only time to see a live performance,” and another said, “This program is great and we have enjoyed the performances each year. We hope to continue to be invited!”
Summary of 2012-2013 Family Night Evaluations:
Evaluation surveys were distributed to the Head Start families who attended the Head Start Family Night event, 3-Legged Tale. Surveys were distributed at Head Start sites following the event; twelve completed surveys were returned.
The responses to the experience of the evening were positive about the entire experience, including the performance, the crafts, the meal, and the bus ride. Responses from parents and teachers included the following:
- It was different – she liked all the cool things in the show.
- He had lots of fun and wants to go again
- Really well put together - Plenty of activity to keep families busy.
- This is a great experience beyond many children’s personal life. Thank you for giving HS children this opportunity.
- One student in my classroom went – she talked for days about the “show” and how she had fun there with her Mom and Grandparents.
Seven of nine respondents indicated that their Head Start student “occasionally” attended performing arts events. Unlike the timing for last year, this year’s Head Start students had already attended two performances with their class prior to the Family Night. While we don’t have specific evidence of this value, Head Start administrators had indicated earlier in the year that it would particularly validating for the Head Start students to be “experts” on attending events when they brought their loved ones with them to the Family Night.
2011-2012 Evaluation Report
Summary of 2011-2012 Teacher Training Evaluations:
Thirty-two Head Start teachers and twenty-five assistant teachers attended the workshop “Drama Every Day,” on September 2, 2011. The teachers expressed an overwhelmingly positive response to the program, with 76% of the teachers giving the workshop an overall ranking of “excellent,” the highest ranking, and an additional 21% of teachers ranking it “good.”
Sangamon Auditorium project staff members were particularly pleased that 84% of the teachers ranked the presentation style and format for the workshop as “excellent.” Based on discussions with Deb Lahey, Education Coordinator for the Head Start program, we were aware that this kind of hands-on, arts-based presentation was outside of the usual professional development experience of the Springfield Head Start teachers. Their comments also generally echoed pleasure with the format and the content. Select responses (all of which were positive) included “I learn better with hands-on. Excellent!”, “Great audience participation along with education,” and “We really enjoyed the activities.”
There were no rankings of “poor” in any of the ranked categories, and only one ranking of “fair” in each of the categories. Two teachers suggested that the ideas presented in the workshop would have been more useful to them if resources including books, videos, CDs, and props had been incorporated into the training. This is useful feedback for our advisory committee and project staff to keep in mind when planning future professional development events; we might be able to incorporate such resources in future years.
Summary of 2011-2012 Class Acts Evaluations:
As Head Start classes arrived at Sangamon Auditorium for Class Acts performances, each teacher was given a survey and an envelope with prepaid postage. The survey included questions about the Teacher Guides, the pre-show classroom visits, and the performance experience. It also asked teachers to conduct an oral survey with their students. Approximately 70 surveys were distributed; we received 20 responses throughout the year.
When asked how useful the Teacher’s Guide was in preparing students for the performance, eleven rated it a 10, and none rated it below a 5. Fifty percent of the respondents used “some” of the Teacher’s Guide materials, and 35% used “most,” which is fitting with our concept of providing a variety of activities from which individual teachers can choose.
When asked how useful the pre-show classroom visit was in preparing students for the performance, 65% of teachers rated it a 10 out of 10, and none rated it below a 5. Through their comments, several teachers expressed how much they liked that we introduced the students to some new vocabulary words and told them expectations of their behavior on the field trip.
All teachers rated the quality of the performance as a five or better, and one hand-wrote a 20 on our scale of 1-10. Many teachers expressed surprise that their students remained engaged throughout the show, but a few felt some of the content was too advanced for their students. We also asked teachers to share any comments or suggestions about the procedures for attending the show. We received many positive comments, but some teachers pointed out some seating issues that we have since been able to improve.
The oral survey responses reflected a great deal of retention among the students. After the performance they accurately remembered some of their favorite sights and sounds, and they expressed understanding that they had seen people dressed up as animals.
At the end of the survey a few teachers expressed their thanks for this program by writing, “We are very thankful to PNC for choosing to give to youth in such a grand fashion while teaching the children about the arts! Thank you!,” “We want to come back,” and “This was a great experience for the Head Start children.”
Summary of 2011-2012 Family Night Evaluations:
Evaluation surveys were distributed to the 60 families who attended the Head Start Family Night event, Imago Theatre’s ZooZoo. Sixty surveys were distributed at check-in with pre-addressed, postage paid envelopes; six completed surveys were returned.
The responses to the experience of the evening were overwhelmingly positive, and seemed to reflect that the families received sufficient advance information about what they could expect from the evening, which included a complimentary meal, pre-show craft activities, and a performance.
One parent responded that s/he disagreed that there was educational value in the evening and stated, “I think this performance was for entertainment purposes only.” This is representative of a way of thinking that is challenging to our organization on a regular basis. While we appreciate and place value on the parent’s finding that the performance was entertaining, we also wish to continue to stress that there is educational value in nearly all the performing arts events we present. The educational value comes in learning about an art form, a culture, a new way of approaching a challenge, and possibly in other subject areas as well, depending on the nature of the particular performance.
Two of the six parent responses indicated that their Head Start student had never attended a performing arts event until this event. This is exactly the kind of headway we had hoped this program would make, introducing students and families who are not regular arts participants to performing arts programming.