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make your day dance

Wow! Mid-year progress!

January 9th, 2011 · No Comments · Tags: ··

I have to admit I had to sort of draaaaaaaag myself out of winter break last week.

Fiiiiiind my plan book.

Reorient myself to whiiiiiiiich students I’d be seeing.

Adjust my calendar to make up for the four extra weeks I’m spending this year on world dances because my pre-assessment revealed students with a woooooooeful lack of geographic orientation.

Get myself to school waaaaaaaay early on Monday for a Building Leadership Team meeting.

However…  the stage floor was gleaming, freshly polished by a vigilant custodian.  White boards clean & clear.  Colorful evidence on all the walls of dance elements we’ve already explored, countries we’ve visited, dances we’ve learned. And when the kiddos arrived, they went right to their places, like they’ve already learned something & are ready for more!

And as the week unfolded, there were some lovely moments…

“Alicia,” a 3rd grader who always comes into class with a mope, often with a comment from her teacher about how well or badly her day has gone so far.  Alicia of the habitually sour face glowered at her partner.  But as they practiced rearranging themselves in space (under, over, beside, between, in front, behind, around…), faster & faster… Alicia was smiling & laughing!  By the end of class, Alicia was, at least temporarily, a changed person, and her partner had had a good time too.

And “Maximo,” 4th grade, new to dance this year & fighting it all the way.  Really skillful at disrupting, interrupting, arguing, distracting, grandstanding…  it’s been hard to keep him in class.  As we worked this week on developing trust with a partner, Maximo stops to loudly declare, “This is gay!”  I sought him out the next morning to talk about it, taught him the next 2 activities we’d be doing to develop sensitivity with a partner, and he agreed to demonstrate them to the class with me…  and then executed them attentively & sensitively with his partner!  Great progress, even despite the brief incident of hiding in the curtains.

Meanwhile, most of the 1st graders can name 7 continents, 5th graders are showing an interest in the connection between countries & continents & students at all levels are begging to do their favorite things again.

We’re back, we’ve built a foundation, and there’s more to come!

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