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make your day dance

First week of school: managing dancers

September 7th, 2008 · No Comments · Tags: ····

Whew!  and this was only a three-day week.

We started Wednesday, and by Friday, we’d covered enough logistics (fire drills, emergency drills, shoe drills, bandaid, bathroom, and tissue drills) to dance!  What a relief.

5th graders — “The Hustle” went over big, providing a quick application for concepts — self and general space and direction changes.  Most of them have been dancing since kindergarten — and then there’s two or three newcomers, for whom it’s the first time ever.  The new kids get swept right along.

Meanwhile, in addition to “The Hustle,” 3rd & 4th graders are learning how to communicate two levels of attention: Perfect Attention (including listening ears, focused eyes, quiet body, crossed legs, straight back) and Relaxed Listening (including quiet body, mouth, and focused eyes).  And their understanding of the basic elements of paying attention deepens…

A highlight: The new kid Alex astonished his two partners with strong, quick, sharp moves, clear shapes, and total concentration.  Tight fists punching the air powerfully but harmlessly.  They were stunned and admiring.

Kindergarteners — Take 28. Add colored spots for them to sit on. Arrange them in order, so as to learn their names, keep them spaced, and get their attention.  Do it again the next day. Then do it again.  By Friday, it’s clear that only 5 or 6 of them are ready to learn within a group of 28 — sitting proudly on the proper colored spot!

Everyday, a different kindergartener asks plaintively, “Is it time to go home?” And while I say “no,” I think “YES!” Whew.

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