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  • I studied French, Spanish, and Education in college.  The only history classes that I took were History of the English Language and Alaska Native History.  I never, ever expected to teach history!  Because of the design of the Newcomers' classes, I quickly had to become a history teacher.  Imagine my surprise when I actually passed the Praxis for social studies on my first try!  I realized that I did, in fact, love history, but it's the stories of the people and the impact of one event or a series of events that are compelling.  I also had to find a way to connect with the students who did not speak English.  How do you do that?  Break it down, use powerful images, art, and music.  Now I can add dance and food to my bag of tricks to get the students more engaged.  I do appreciate the resources and will definitely share them with my classes and with my co-workers.  Art, literature, dance, and music reveal a great deal about our history and culture.  They are the great history tellers.  

  • Even though I'm a pitiful dances, I really liked doing the Charleston and the one step. It was nice to break out into dances that involved more personal expression and creativity. I also liked seeing the changes in fashion. Such a huge departure from things we've seen previously in terms of covering up. It's a relief to finally reach the 20th century. Such variety.
  • I am amazed at the very quick changes during this period of time.  Did changes in music inspire changes in fashion, etc, or did changes in fashion inspire music style?

    I have new respect for those who can dance the Charleston well!  I enjoyed the videos and recordings this afternoon, particularly hearing Bessie Smith's distinctive voice again.

  • The dancing continues to be the best part of each era. But suddenly I'm wondering what happened to the art? We discuss some popular artists, but don't see hardly any examples. It seems like some famous art pieces of the time could be included to strengthen the visual area of this class.

     If I was going to adapt this to teaching in my classes,   I would incorporate much more art. Art is a visual sign of the times. Just as we analze the clothing of the times, so also famous pieces of art could  be analyzed.

    My cousin's grandmother, named" Grandma Minnie", had a huge house with victorian type furniture in it. The ceilings were 20' plus, & the kitchen was also a monstrous room, with a black player piano in it! I loved going over there as a child to hear that piano, and I loved to watch it going over the bumps which made the music! It was like magic to me!!! Also I got to sleep in the huge screened in building, which was out aways from the house in the back yard. It contained only beds, mattresses, and pillows for sleeping in during the summer.That was like a giant slumber party always!!!

  • I enjoyed the exercise of matching the Indian Chief with the tribes, dates, and facts.  Moving forward to the Roaring 20s, it was an interesting period of time where we found out the real meaning of a Speak Easy was to get the patrons to speak softer so as not to draw attention to the loud drinking and partying going on.  Another interesting fact I learned was that one million immigrants came to America every year through Ellis Island.  During the Roaring 20s, women cut their hair shorter and they showed more skin in the dresses they wore.  In 1931, the Star Spangled Banner became our national anthem.  

  • The early 1900s are an incredible time.  The music and dances coming out of the roaring 20's is wonderful.  I've always taught the Progressive era more from a political angle, so it was a lot of fun to look at it in more of a social light.  Music and dance really seem to take off in a big way from here.

    The collaborative technique to introduce a subject was highly engaging and I do plan to use it with my students.

  • I really enjoyed the afternoon. The dances and the era information from 1900-1950's was great. I was surprised to see so many frequent changes take place in music, food and fashion. I was surprised to see the 1942 poster of the woman looking tough and ready to work. That was very impressive and something I have not seen since I have been alive. The best dance of the day was the Charleston, it was nice to see that you could have more space and be able to dance the way you wanted to, very refreshing and fun!!

  • Some aspects of this era seems so familiar, yet other aspects are so far removed. It's especially interesting to see how the rate of change increases so much. I feel like this part of American history was only somewhat accessible to me as a student because I could talk to my grandmother about her childhood experiences. My students don't necessarily have that kind of access to the past.
    I found the jazzy dances today more difficult, but I can see the connections to modern dance quite clearly. I'd bet several of my students could very easily do the jazzy dances.
  • I enjoyed learning about the dances for this time period. They are loser, more fun, can be done in groups and seems to be less pressure on having a partner. The different types of fashion between those who lived in the city versus those who were living on the ranges was interesting to see. I do find it interesting that the women seems to be mostly conservatiuve in their dress- arms covered, legs covered and necks covered. It seems to be almost overnight that the skin starts to show! I would be interested to see what prompted that big of a change. The lesson we did (I call the Coming to Consensus) was something I really see unsing in my class but \with different types of art periods and the artists from that particular time frame. I am actually really excited to work on these and get them ready when I start back in the fall.  

  • I enjoy dancing jazz with my wife and I think I would enjoy teaching my students some of the moves we learned today.  Some of the lessons on Jazz that I have done in the past has used some dancing at the end which I decided not to teach.  Maybe I will add some in this coming year. 

    It was interesting to see how fast clothing changed for women in such a short time span.  It's interesting to think about how similar it stayed for 100's of years and then when we hit the 20th century drastic changes occur. 

    I thought the one step and the foxtrot was a easy and fun dance.  It can be used with any form of jazz and it is quick to learn for young students. 

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