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  • How to raise SBA scores:

    1. Teach kids to dance.

    2. Start each testing day with a dance activity.

    3. Dance for 10 minutes every hour or so on testing days.

  • I liked the way Robin tied the Westward Expansion and Pioneer Era to traditional family gatherings of today.  Society is made up of a diverse variety of "family" types and it's nice to see whatever family you belong to it's important to be included in community.  No matter how we evolve and change as a society, it's vital to have the choice to belong to a larger support group.  These simple dances (with added food as an incentive) provide an excellent way to connect.

  • I am totally going to do a play party/dance at my school!   The gears are already turning in my head.  I think it would be a HUGE success because I have so many involved parents and families.  I love all the social skills that square dancing and other dances can teach.  So many of our kids today haven't been exposed to or taught those critical social skills and this is a great way to incorporate them into their lives, besides, it's super fun!!!!!

  • I know first hand how wonderful Robin Hopper is.  She is a great story teller and I love to hear her tell the stories of history while including her guitar playing.  She makes it feel so real.  She really knows how to take you back.  She is my driving force right now (having shared a few of my classes with her the past two years) to pick up my guitar and refresh so I can bring historical songs to life for my kids.  The dances she taught are incredibly simple and easy to catch on to.  Kids LOVE Jump Jim Joe and as soon as they hear the music they know exactly what to do after one time of teaching it, even Kindergarten.  It's amazing!  Add this to my list of goals... Play Party Night.  I know my families would love and support a play party night.  I thoroughly enjoyed this portion of today.

  • The play parties and dances we did with Robin Hopper are activities that I could do tomorrow with my class.  I think they are a great connection to history but I would likely use them as more of a community building tool.  I am already thinking of next year when I am getting the troubled class that has been working its way through the grades.  These traditional barn dances are fun, positive and promote movement, which I think will suit this class well.  What a fun way to connect kids and give them a shared, unique and positive experience.

  • Excellent dances, love the back stories about barn-raising, courting, etc. I use these dances and play party games in my music room and the kids love them. I remember when the Amidons came here and gave their workshop; probably one of the best we've had. Also got great tips on teaching the children about dancing SAFELY. I also like the idea of having a community gathering, having parents and kids alike coming to dance. Curious to know if it would work in my school's neighborhood.

  • The music of the pioneer era is so familiar to me--growing up with a Southern family and a music teacher mother I really couldn't get away from those songs :)  We were the family that sang them in the car on road trips, as Robin said.  The songs tell such stories, ones that the kids can still identify with today (i.e. moving from one place to another, leaving family behind).  The dancing is a great way to do SEL with the kids, as it teaches manner and appreciation for everyone, not just for our friends.  I am very interested in doing a play party for my school this year.

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