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  • So this is what the rest of the world was doing while I practiced the violin! 

    The dances are fun and not so constricting.  I think that students would enjoy these "non touching" dances more than the partner dances.  The steps are easier to accomplish as well when not so bound to the regimented partner patterns.  I really liked High Five Buddy as an ice breaker, mental refresher, and way to get to know others in a group in a totally nonthreatening way.  I will definitely use it.  The Twist was the dance of my junior high years.  I stopped practicing long enough to attend a few sock hops along the way.

    The Civil Rights portion was powerful and many of the photographs unfamiliar to me.  It was a tough time in our collective history.  We have a long way to go but this movement certainly caused eyes to be opened.

    I am one who loves modern art!  The modern arts museums are always on my list when visiting new places.  Pollock is a favorite.

    Grateful that Tuna Noodle Casserole was not served.

  • So now we start talking about the Baby Boomer generation and their contribution to humanity.  Harry Truman was inaugurated  , Cuban missile crisis 64' , One Nation Under God was added to the Pledge of Allegiance , Star Trek, JFK assassination and 3.5 million TVs were sold in 56' just to mention a few. This was a new age where everything was changing fast. A real eye opener was the fact that our Government created a Bureau of  Music and  then hired choreographers to create dances for our young people to dance to. The dances were designed to keep our teenagers apart while dancing. When you look at where we are now with some our dance moves , maybe it wasn't such a bad idea, except I just don't like being controlled by the Government. 

  • I'm going to get ahold of some music & try the high 5 warm up, next week when I'm teaching a class. It was a great ice breaker.

    The animal dances could easily be applied in classes. All are very good movement dances, to get kids dancing& moving.

    I want to do a "Show Kindness" theme this year. One activity I really liked, was the idea of making posters, then marching up & down the hallways, or playground  holding their signs. The Civil Rights pictures I could adapt to show photographs of  kindness & cruelty. I could also take photos of students showing  kindness.

     All of the activities we did are very adaptable to other areas, which is great!

     Thanks again for another awesome class!!!

  • My parents tell me about this era, but it's something that my students would only get from their grandparents. We've entered an age of ever accelerating change. The most shocking thing to me was the government funding these new dances in light of the rise of individualism in the art and a prevolence of questioning the status quo.
  • I am still shocked that the US government felt so threatened by freedom of expression that they decided to form a group to design acceptable dances.  Good grief!!  On the other hand, however, there were enough "rebels" during this period of time to defy that type of control of the populace.  It reminds me of "A Clockwork Orange" or "V for Vendetta" where the government was attaining too much power, and there were people who were able to "fight the Power".  Thank goodness for the rebels, otherwise, we'd still be doing the Monkey.  

  • Great morning with so many ideas I can use in my class.  The High 5 activity we started class with is a wonderful SEL activity to use at the beginning of the day.  It's a fun and positive way to begin you class.  Another activity I definitely want to use with my students is teaching them the Stroll.  I won't cover the 50's this year as I'll be teaching 5th grade, but it would make a super SEL activity.  I can see kids really getting into it.  The Civil Rights activity could easily be adapted to almost any time period.  It can also be used as language arts  activity in terms of vocabulary.  I can think of so many ways to employ an activity like that.

    A ah ha moment was learning that the government was involved in promoting new dances .  I had no idea, but it was far smarter then the usual reaction of trying to ban things.  Of course it makes me question what other movements they may have been behind.

  • I think High Five Buddy was a fun, non-threatening activity that could be useful for brain breaks, ice breakers, or just fun. It could work for classes that need team-building, or classes that get along. 

    I think that examining the Civil Rights pictures is a cool approach to incorporating history in class. Although it was provocative, it could be used to stimulate conversations that our students need to have. I think that after a class discussion, that it is important to have everybody write about it so everybody's voice can be heard. It could be modified easily to talk about a variety of subjects.

  • Images are so powerful. Seeing the photos from teh Civil Rights Movement cause quite a bit of emotions- sadness, anger, regret, thankfulness. Hearing about something has a different reaction for most people than when you see photos or video. Wew live in an age where information is fast and instant. Students have access to the world at their fingertips and so to break into that and show them history I think would make an incredible impact. I am looking forward to adding some music and dancing styles to this time period-Martin Luther King Jr.- would make a huge impact. I usually do a unit with Romare Bearden (juxtaposition collage) with a quote from MLK. Adding the sound bites to the lesson would be fabulous and make it more emotional to the students.  

  • The most memorable thing about the morning was a Stephanie Campbell quote in reference to underwear and padding relating back to the 16th century, “The bigger my junk, the more macho I am." 

    I love the High Five Buddy activity. I will do this the first day of school and then come back to it for Brain Breaks or SEL lessons.

    I'm starting to think about how to connect all these things to my year next year. I want to do the National History Day project, and I worry about time and having kids understand the timelines of American history. I think I need to pick out the enduring understandings I want to have with history and then, perhaps, teach the timeline aspect of history through the arts with the materials of this class. Yes. Coverage in an arts disguise!

    I like the Civil Rights Images Exploration, particularly because it is a technique one could use with other images from other eras. Maybe I'll steal that idea for Civil War images, although it may be difficult to find the positive and unity-type photos.

  • I really enjoyed the High Five Buddy and Animal Dances activities. I think the High Five Buddy would make a terrific activity for high schoolers during the first month of school. When I used to teach early morning orchestra classes I was always searching for effective brain breaks. These brain breaks seem silly, but they really get students to interact in a non-threatening manner. Orchestra kids oftentimes are very inward and cerebral. I think playing a game like this would really help loosen them up and I think could effectively translate to their music making. I am always encouraging kids to make eye contact with the conductor, with each other, move more, get their eyes out of their music. Games like High Five really encourage this type of communication. It would make a fabulous warmup to music making.

    On another note, I also enjoyed the civil rights sticky note activity. It's a great one for shy people like me. Good way to express yourself without being forced to talk. A music teacher could do a great activity with photographs such as these....of musical artists, composers, musical situations, instruments. Lots of possibilities.
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