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make your day dance

Entries Tagged as 'teaching'

Time — urgent vs. sustained

September 27th, 2009 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

I’ve had the opportunity to be thinking about time lately, both quantitatively & qualitatively — an opportunity that’s arisen from a drastic cut in the quantity of my instructional time this year.  Not surprisingly, I perceive this cut to be affecting the quality of instruction. To cut to the quick, and at the risk of […]

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New year, new challenge: learning about autism

September 17th, 2009 · 6 Comments · Autism, Uncategorized

Perhaps related to economic pressures, our student numbers jumped from 320 to 380 this September. Sixteen of our new students belong to two self-contained classrooms & are diagnosed as severely impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorders. I’m learning quickly & first-hand what that means, since I provide 30 minutes of instruction for 8 of the children […]

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Translating Writers Workshop

August 31st, 2009 · Comments Off · Uncategorized

Pedagogy changes constantly.  When I was a 5th-6th grade classroom teacher for a few years (15 years ago), the writing pedagogy sweeping through schools was characterized by 6 traits (content, voice, organization, word choice, fluency & conventions).  I was trained in teaching the traits & scoring writing samples using rubrics built on them. Nowadays, however, […]

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A new year

August 30th, 2009 · Comments Off · Uncategorized

As the start of a new school year approaches, it looms large. I write lists to clear my brain. Then I have lists, as well as an overloaded brain. Most ominous among my thoughts is “What am I going to teach and how?” In the largest sense.  How am I going to organize everything I […]

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Performance: Learning x 325

May 12th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Busy time of year… building toward the final performance. We’ve had small performances throughout the year — one class at a time, showing something at the end of a unit.  And we meant to have a performance last December, but it was stormed out. So the excitement is bubbling now.  Each day, students ask me, […]

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Classroom management: space vs. energy

April 16th, 2009 · Comments Off · Uncategorized

Spring break may still be on my mind, but it ends quickly. Immediately following spring break, we start choreographing dances for the End-of-Year Performance.  The assessments I did before spring break fulfill State requirements and provide data for evaluation of my own performance.  But the End-of-Year Performance is for parents, the staff, and especially the […]

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Gathering fresh ideas

March 24th, 2009 · Comments Off · Uncategorized

The ArtsTime Conference usurped all of last weekend, but it was worth it.  I need all the new ideas I can get, cause I get tired of talking to myself! I’m in at least my 12th year of teaching kindergarten through 5th graders, five days a week, 8-9 months per year. Figuring conservatively, at 6 […]

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Mid-year: What have we learned, and where do we go from here?

March 8th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

From September through December, we danced.  January was music and percussion month. This last Friday, we finished a month of theatre (2 sessions of 2 weeks each).  Having played with, discussed, mastered?, explored, and pursued theatre vocabulary and skills, we’ll return to dancing tomorrow. First & second graders have now developed skills of observation, sensory […]

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ArtsTime All the Time

March 3rd, 2009 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

If you live at the intersection of art and education, somewhere in Washington State, consider finding your way to Tukwila on March 20 & 21.  Perhaps Tukwila’s not where you thought to go for a refreshing break, but it’s the site of ArtsTime, a biennial professional development conference with an extensive menu of workshops in […]

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FAQ: Teaching dance in a public school

February 20th, 2009 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

I’m contacted from time to time about dancers who are interested in teaching in the public schools, wondering how to do it and how I started. Here’s an answer to one such inquiry, with hopes that it might help others who are wondering… Inquiry from a dancer, after visiting my classroom: I was unaware that […]

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