Last week I met the 5th graders at Lingelbach Elementary for our first CBDP workshop together. Since the school assembly a week prior, this was the first opportunity for us to get to know each other better.
Double assembly (K-6, 300 participants)
We started out with a conversation about trying new things. The students shared stories from
Hesitant at first, and encouraged by their wonderful teachers, some students got up and tried the first few dance steps. They had their own unique take on them which I love to see, and so we started incorporating these moves into our choreography. Out of a group of 40, about 15-20 were early adopters. My message to the rest was that it is OK to sit it out until they were ready to give it a fair chance. Some were dancing in their seats 🙂
As our group size grew we moved from dancing in the cramped aisles of the auditorium to spreading out on the stage. By now I was beginning to witness the mini-transformations I so love to see in my workshops. The shy and hesitant students start expressing themselves, the closed off faces are smiling and laughing, and the guarded dance moves become bigger!
The educators want to bring in diverse programing to our schools and we all understand that learning happens with student engagement, and an important element of that is to make the program offering FUN for them! 🙂
45 mins later, here is result of our collaborative effort. We were learning with each other and from each other:
I am looking forward to my residency at the school and will do my best to spark their curiosity and imagination every week.
As a teaching artist I am constantly meeting new groups of students in different event settings. While the large sized assemblies allow for broader audience engagement, smaller workshop settings allow for more one-on-one interaction.
In both cases I hope to build a connection with my audience so that we can create the most conducive learning environment together.