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make your day dance

Creating closure by performing early

December 20th, 2008 · 3 Comments · Tags: ···

I’m not good at creating closure. Much as I know that the best last thing in class is to guide kids to acknowledge and reflect on the topic of the day, I’m too often going full steam ahead at the moment when class should end. We finish with a flourish, and they rush out the door. Closure missed.

So much better to use the last two to three minutes for processing. On days when I do it right, I give the kids “homework” — “your homework for tonight is to practice the pattern of skip, circle, turn, and add an ending shape… we’ll see it first thing tomorrow.” Which gives us a great entrance-and-settling-down activity the next day — written on the board: “Practice your skip, circle, turn & ending!”  …or “teach someone at home how to make shapes under, over & around…” Closure is not to be underestimated!

This week, despite five days of inclement weather, including two days of late starts and three days of canceled school, we got closure. It didn’t look good, but we did. Our evening performance for parents was scheduled for Thursday night. On Monday,  it snowed, there was a two-hour late start, and two classes missed their rehearsal slots. Weather news predicted such bad weather all week, with the worst to fall on Thursday night, that the kids still rehearsing were sharing the weather report with me at every opportunity. On Tuesday, it was icy, another two-hour late start, and the same two classes missed their rehearsal slots.

By Tuesday morning, it was clear that, even if we managed a performance Thursday night, it would be ill-attended, so we called it off and scheduled an all-school performance for Tuesday afternoon — allowing the kids to perform for each other, if not their families. Slightly under-rehearsed, the performance was a little rough on transitions, but lovely, and the kids had a great time sharing their work with peers and teachers. Closure: showing what you’ve created and rehearsed! I only wish the families could have shared it.

Meanwhile, a great vacation is starting three days early and watching it snow, satisfied at having achieved some closure.

And a happy new year is starting fresh on new material, without having to rehearse old stuff for a rain-checked performance.

3 Comments so far ↓

  • danceadvantage

    Oh my goodness, Yes! There’s never enough time, is there. I need to remind myself of the importance and impact of “closure” in the classroom more often. Thank you!

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