Thursday, January 26, 2017

Get On Your Feet

Movement opportunities are essential in middle school, and I use an activity where, after working on their own to answer questions or gather ideas, students circulate through the room as music plays. Then, in musical chairs fashion, when the tune stops they must put a hand up, find a partner, and share their thinking.

We used this method at the end of reading class this morning, and with my new bluetooth speaker and iPhone, I was able to switch the song with alacrity in between sharing sessions. I started with a little Miles Davis Quintet, which the kids are used to, since I frequently use jazz to get them on their feet. My next choice? An early 70s pop song by the Cufflinks, called Tracy.

"What's my name?" I called as they shimmied through the room.

"Tracey!" they chorused.

Next up? Redemption Song by Bob Marley. It was obviously unfamiliar to most. "Yeah! Country music!" cried one student.

And finally we heard My Prerogative, which provided both an energetic groove and a vocabulary teaching moment.

When the bell rang the students left chattering happily after sharing several essay ideas with four other kids, but it might have been my intern who was most impressed.

"Wow!" he said, "Nice. Choice. Of music!"

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