I teach third
graders. My school is
in West Seattle, which is kind of a small community unto itself.
School enrollment is 353 students from K - 5, with 23.4% of
the students living in the neighborhood. Our ethnicity breakdown
is 25.1% Asian/Pacific Islander, 12.9% African American, 10.9%
Hispanic, 4.3% Native American and 46.9% White.
Total percentage of students on free & reduced lunch is
44.2%. Students not living with both parents are 44.9%.
19.8% of the students have limited English proficiency and
11.2% of the students are in Special Education services.
I have twenty-one
students, about half of them live in the neighborhood and the
other half is bused in. Nine
of my students are Anglo-Saxon, one is African American, two are
Euro-African American, three are Vietnamese, and one of each are
East Indian, Euro-Native American, Ethiopian, Chinese American,
Moroccan, and Korean -African American.
Of the bused in
students, six of them are bilingual at home but only two required
bilingual services at school.
Seven are on free & reduced lunch. Eleven of my
students come from one-parent homes and one requires special
education services. All
my students have parents who work outside the home with the
exception of six. My
students are very needy in terms of attention from me.
Nine of them lack focus and are a year behind academically,
thus most of the teaching are whole class lessons and teacher
directed. These students can hardly keep to their seats and talks
a lot. Small cooperative groupings took almost half of the year to
finally function independently.
I try to inspire my
students to respect diversity in our community, not only in who
they are, but how they learn.
Because I incorporate the theory of Multiple Intelligence
into my curriculum, my classroom is definitely student-centered.
Purpose or Vision
My goal is to engage my students' mind, body and spirit in
order for them to discover about themselves and to create through
imagination and ideas. My
immediate goal is to teach the elements of dance and ultimately
have my students create dance with variety movements related to
subject matters in their curriculum. My approach is to help them learn with kinesthetic
The objective is for my students to use their imagination
and practice sequencing skills through studying and understanding
plant growth cycle.
That my students see "Dance can be connected in some
way to everything in life because its elements are basic to all things that exist in
time and space. (Joyce P.196).
Hopefully, they will come to understand that being human
means you do not need to compartmentalize your brain nor your
the process, I also hope that they will develop a joy in learning.
Cooperation in working within a small group.
How to give and take in decision making and understand that
the group is as important as the individual.
I will group them by having them count off by
fives to form five groups. (i.e.5,10,15,20,25,5,10,1520,25,5………etc.)
Artistic Competencies: Dance elements
I will be using are: Body
(parts & moves), space (shapes, level, direction, size, place,
& pathway), and force (attack, weight, strength, & flow).
These elements are explained thoroughly in Joyce's book.
While we are planting our plants, observing, measuring and
describing, I will take about 30 minutes two to three times a week
to teach the elements of dance.
Using the questioning and challenge method to do crossovers
for variety as Joyce suggests in her book, First
Steps in Teaching Creative Dance
to Children. For example, "I see a branch stretched at a low
level, let me see a high level branch move in a different way. Can you show me a branch move in a different way at a
As the plants grow and change, I will ask them to use
movement to show me the steps so far for their own plants.
At the end of the plant cycle, I will divide them into five
groups and ask them to create a dance showing me the plant growth
cycle in sequence.
The only preparation I need physically is to push all the
desks toward the walls for the movement sessions.
However, I need to write out the dance element sequences
that I will be teaching so that I can keep the students engaged
constantly. I also
plan to teach body parts, moves, space and force in that order.
Students will be given a paper with pictures of plants
growing in various stages, ordered randomly.
They are to cut the pictures and glue them down in the
correct chronological order to demonstrate their understanding of
the plant growth cycle.
In their performance, I will observe their understanding of
the different body movement elements, their application of those
elements and their group cooperation as well as their enjoyment of
to write in a response journal, their observation of the process
of movement. For
example, they can response to the following questions:
What did they enjoy most?
What was most successful for them?
How did they improve in their interaction with other
members as the process continued?
What was easy and what was hard for them?
What made the successes happened in their small group and
what was the most challenging?
Did they overcome the difficulties and if so, how?
If not, do they have any suggestions as to the solutions?
Which of the processes would they choose to do again in the
Students will be given a checklist of cooperative learning
skills, which includes participating, encouraging, listening,
questioning, persuading, sharing, respecting, and helping, They
will evaluate themselves for two stages of the process, in the
beginning of group work and at the end of the presentation.
Evaluation scores are from 1 - 4, with 1 being the lowest
and 4 being the highest.
M. (1994). First steps in
teaching creative dance to children. Mountain View,
believes that teaching the elements of dance is foundational for
students in order for them to explore movement and creativity with
their bodies to the fullest.
She gives very clear language for teachers to use when
teaching these elements throughout her book.
Most useful are all
the short and
precise lesson plans, which are given in a logical sequence, and
can be implemented without much stress for the teacher.