Monday, July 12, 2010

Move, Create, Educate gets an Upgrade!

My Dear Readers,

After much thought, I have decided to upgrade this blog over to wordpress and combine it with my Maria's Movers website! I am really excited about it because I know you all will love it! It has been just over a year and the blog and website have been growing rapidly because of you! Yippie! It is simply easier for me to manage and update both sites together and this makes it more valuable to you as the readers! I thank you for reading and I hope that you will follow me to my new home!

You can check it out here and subscribe to my RSS feed here!

Much love,
Maria

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ballet Shoes


A few days ago I purchased new ballet shoes and I just had to share them with you! My other ones kept coming up in class, as the little ones would say "Miss Maria, your ballet shoes are falling apart" (haha) I guess that means it was time to get a new pair. I got a new style that I am so excited about! Well, at least I think they are new style. Have you seen them? I have worn them to teach for the past few days, and they have been amazing. They allow the foot to breath with mesh on the bottom and sides, really allow room for the arch and just all around look super cool! The girls of course noticed I got new ones and could not wait to touch them!


On another note, does anyone ever feel like they spend their entire class tying ballet slippers? I have for the past few weeks. My friend, Dena who is also a dance teacher told me about a little trick. She told me to have them tie the string in a knot (only single) and then cut the string off so there is just a little bit left over. Then once the girls get to class and have them on, tuck them inside the shoe. No bows needed! Has anyone ever tried this trick? Or do you have another trick that you do to keep the shoes tied? I would love to hear!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Heat Wave

This week in NYC it is supposed to be 99 degrees for 3 days in a row! The rest of the days will be a cool 94 degrees. Can you believe that? Since there will be such a heat wave I have been brainstorming about places we could visit in dance class that will make us cool.

-Perhaps we could build a sun, everyone could lay down in the circle with their feet in the middle and heads pointing out. We could move our arms really sharp in air. Like rays. This could be really fun, and quite silly!

- Maybe we could visit the beach. Move like waves, build sand castles with our bodies, and fly kites. What would your kite look like?

- It is also possible we could visit the pool. Putting on our very cool sunglasses and bathing suits (pretend of course) and practicing different jumps we would do into the pool. A turning jump, a X jump could be fun, really the possibilities are endless. We could also imagine we had a sprinkler that we were dancing through. Oh, I love the pool and the sprinkler and I am pretty sure all 3's and 4's do too!

Even though I would be just as happy sitting in front of the air conditioner this week. Dance class must go on! What will you do this week to keep cool? Keep your students cool? I would love to hear!




Saturday, July 3, 2010

Remembering the 4th of July Parade!

When I was in college I would venture back home to my parents house to live in the summertime. Since I live in a very small town with not much to do, I decided to keep busy by running my own summer dance program! Conveniently titled Maria's Summer Dance Explosion, kids from town would sign up to take a dance class with me once a week. I always had shirts made and for a few years we did the 4th of July parade! It was so much fun! This time of year is when I really remember the fun we had the most. I thought I would share with you some of the pictures that make me smile so big!

We decorated the float...
Traveling float...
Dancing in the street... (that's me leading a dance!)
My supportive and amazing family... (I could of never done it without them)
For 3 years we did the 4th of July parade. I can remember how tired we were putting everything together. We would all come home to collapse and finish off the celebration with a BBQ! I will never forget these fun times as we honor Independence day!

Does Independence Day bring back any specific memories for you? Have you ever been a part of a parade? I would love to hear! Happy 4th! :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's my 1 year Blogoversary!


Time to celebrate! Move. Create. Educate has been in the blogosphere for 1 year today! Can you believe that? When I started this blog one year ago, I never could of imagined how happy it would make me. I look forward to writing and to my surprise it's amazingly addicting! In this post, I thought I would recount the amazing people I have met and some of the career moves I have made all over just one years time because of network I have built on this blog!

First, So many great opportunities opened up for me this year. I honestly believe it is because of this blog. In January, I was hired at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan to run all of the movement and dance programs for the young families division. It is truthfully the best job in the world! I am so grateful to have it! And, just a few days ago I was accepted onto the Young Professionals Dance/NYC Advisory Board! How exciting, right? (more to come on this later!) These are just a few of the many things that are popping out of my head right now!

Second, I have made some amazing friends online along the way and I am so happy to call them friends. Nichelle, the inspiring voice behind Dance Advantage, Suzanne, the genius behind DanceStudioOwner.com, and Tiffany, the creative mind behind Dancing Branflakes. Also, the amazing Catherine behind 4dancers, and super talented Stacey behind Letters from Leaping Legs. I can't imagine my life without all of your ideas, generous comments, and most importantly your support! Thank you, Thank you. I can't say it enough. Thank you!

Last, I would like to thank you, my lovely readers. Thank you for all of your sweet comments and all of your support. You have no idea how much it is appreciated. I really blog from what I experience day in and day out as I am teaching. I love having a supportive place to share my ideas and be creative. I think it has given me more confidence in teaching my classes as well! Does anyone feel like blogging secures confidence? I certainly do!

Here's to another year of Moving, Creating, Educating and Blogging!

(p.s. in the coming weeks, Move. Create. Educate. will have a new look as I am combining my Maria's Movers website with this blog! The design looks fabulous so far and I can't wait for you all to see it! )


(p.p.s Do you tweet or facebook? Follow me on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook!)




Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Twins

Do you have twins in your dance class? Oh my goodness. This summer I have 2 sets of twins in my ballet class. It is quite the challenge for me because both sets are identical. It's hard for me to tell who's who without thinking really hard about it first and it's especially hard to tell who is who from the back! I will get the hang of it, hopefully next week I can call them out without thinking about it to much.

From what I have observed so far, twins like to stick together. Literally. Like glue. I try to say, "Miss Maria would love to see your very own dance" but it has not worked yet. I can imagine it's easy to get "stuck" to your sibling, especially if you look just like them. I can also imagine it's not easy to separate from them. I would just love the challenge of giving them some independence. Even though they are in the same class there has to be a way to separate them. Don't you think? At every new transition I always ask if one of them wants to come and sit by me. The answer, "I want to be with my sister."

Have you faced this challenge at all? I wonder if any of you fabulous teachers out there have any special tricks for getting twins to separate? Not separate like in another room, but separate as in "detach" from one another.

Oh, and if you have a trick to help with telling them apart, I would love to hear that too! Today I studied them closely and observed the detail of their features. That should help, right?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Egg Shakers

Usually before my ballet class starts families show up early. I try really hard to keep the dancers waiting outside the room. This way they don't get all wound up before I need to try to get them organized to start class. But this week, I had a 18-24 month ballet class (so much fun and a new experience for sure!). They just could not wait to come in and explore the room in their tiny pink tutus! So I let them in while we waited for everyone to show up. To give them something to do, I put out egg shakers. I turned on ballet music and we danced around the room with the shakers. Of course they put them in their mouth too (that's how they tell the shape of things when they are that little) but they absolutely loved them. I think I will continue to do this every week!

Do you let the students explore the room before class? Do you put something out for them to explore? Or do you let them in right when class starts? I would love to hear!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Teachers Learn Too...

This week was the beginning of my summer classes, which explains the lack of posts! (sad face) I haven't forgotten about you, I have just been busy educating and learning! After this week, I know I can solve problems, come up with ideas a split second before they come out of mouth, and remain professional even if the room gets chaotic. I learned a lot about myself this week, and I can't wait for a new week to start because I get to see the kids all over again. Do you ever have those weeks where you feel that you gained a tad more confidence in yourself as a teacher? Well, this was my week.



Speaking of Learning, I attended this really amazing event on Wednesday night called "Yoga on the Great Lawn" It was in Central Park in NYC. They invited 10,000 people on the lawn to take part in a free yoga class! They had music, and poetry, and even gave away free mats and bags. It was a great experience to be with all so many yogis. Unfortunately, right as the class was starting, it started to down pour and the Parks Department had to close the class for safety reasons. Maybe they will have one of these where you are? Just to be there was amazing and it made me feel good too!

(photo via Huffington Post)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Seriously Silly Songs

Have you ever seen these books by Sandra Boynton? I love them. It's a book and CD pair and they are seriously silly! I use them in almost all of my movement classes with young ones. My favorite are Barnyard dance (animal dance) and Loud and Quiet (see below), it's great to teach opposites with!
My other favorite part about these books is that in the back the songs are written out so you can play them on the piano! My pianist loves (loves!) to play the Dinosaur Round. I teach levels as she plays!
I find the books a reason to be silly, and you all know little kids LOVE to be silly! What silly songs do you use? I would love to hear!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Pancake Flip

This summer I am teaching a few private tap classes! I love it! Yesterday was our first meeting since the semester ended and we reviewed all the steps we had been learning in class. One step I find really fun and challenging for 8 year olds, and especially boys is barrel turns. They always ask to practice them. Are you wondering what a pancake has to do with barrel turns? Me too, but the imagery just came to me! Let me explain....

Rap your toe behind you, I call this "toast it"
"Flip the pancake" to the back, keeping the same foot in the air (now your facing the back)
Step the same foot down as you turn back to the front "plate it"
Step your other foot down to face the front "syrup it"

So here's the step- "Toast it, Flip it, Plate it, Syrup it!"

It really does work, we were getting dizzy doing so many barrel turns yesterday! If you teach tap you should try it!

Do you have special imagery that you use while teaching a challenging tap step? I would love to hear!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cones

The other day I was in target, and found these in the dollar section! Yahoooo! They have the neatest stuff in that section. Don't you think? I find a lot of stuff there! Anyway, I am planning summer classes today that will be in full swing next week. Here are some ideas I thought we could do with cones:

1) Make pathways to explore locomotor movements in. (ex: straight line, or curvey snake)
2) Leap over them, of course
3) Weaving (with a little prep and practice, I think 3 year olds could do it!)
4) Ice cream cones!
5) Funny shoes...
6) Microphones (I like to sing yeah... yeah... yeah!)
7) Very tall shape statues, use it as the base.

What about you? Do you use cones in your classes? I would love to hear your creative ideas!


Monday, June 14, 2010

House Of The Roses

Oh my goodness, I am inspired! About what? Go ahead, read on...

One of my good friends volunteers her time to House of the Roses. A description from their website explains that it is an "organization that offers homeless and at-risk children free weekly on-site dance workshops at partner outreach facilities, such as homeless shelters and community centers, throughout New York City."

Tonight, I attended their end of the year performance! I had to rush home and write about how inspiring and amazing the show was. Each center performed a dance I am sure they have been rehearsing for a long, long time. Before each group shared their dance, there was a video of the kids showing their favorite dance move or explaining what they love about dance and House of the Roses. Let's just say, kids just say it exactly the way it is! The theme was World Tour and all the dances were inspired by stories, art, and movement from each place. There was a penguin dance, Bollywood, caveman, and hip hop from brazil! It was so exciting to watch the kids having a blast! They are all such great dancers!

One of my favorite parts of the show opened with all the dance company volunteers dancing on stage and their voices became the music. What does house of roses mean to them? The one that stood out to me and said it best was, "if you do something for free, it is truly your passion" (so true, right?)

Please visit their website and follow them on Twitter @HouseoftheRoses. You will then love them just as much as I do.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Maria's Movers Ballet

More photos from ballet class...

Ribbon Dancing...
Partners...
Star hats...
My handy dandy spy glasses, looking for 1st position...
Our pretty ballerina dance, complete with roses and kisses

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Arabesque Love

I think that whenever these ballerinas hold flowers they will forever do an arabesque! Remember my post on using roses to teach arabesque? That's exactly what they are doing, and I didn't even prompt it, they just love to do them! This is a picture of our farewell class before summer. We had a really great class! Each of them wore their special tutus and we shared so many ideas and smiles. This picture just proves that I have the best job in the world!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hello and Goodbye Songs

I'm looking for exceptional"hello" and "goodbye" songs for movement and ballet class! Do you sing acapella in your classes or do you like to sing along with music? I will do either! Have any recommendations? I am teaching the smallest of age groups (starting at 18 months!) this summer, and it's important that I can sign one that I like and they will love too!

Please share your songs in the comments! I bet other readers would love new beginning and ending songs too! :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Creative Dance Music


Have you ever used these CD's from Eric Chappelle, Music for Creative Dance? I just ordered two of the volumes. I have a feeling I might need them this summer, since I will be teaching creative dance without a live pianist. Eeek! I think these CD's are fabulous, and always offer what I am looking for. I love them especially because, it's all instrumental and gives the students opportunity to see and feel the movement!



I also just ordered A Fantasy Garden Ballet Class I and II from Kimbo Educational. I was looking for some new music for ballet and this came highly recommended! I can't wait to start using it!

Have you found any great music lately? What is your favorite music to use?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pantomime: I Love To Dance

Today at New York City Ballet's Ballet for Young People I learned something amazing. One of the dancers in the company taught the audience pantomime! I learned a Pantomime for "I love to dance." Perfect, right? I am so excited because I was looking for something to "spice" up the reverence I teach to the littles. Actually, you could use this in every dance class.
Here is what it looks like:

I...
Love (palms together out front)
Then place them on your heart...
To Dance (roll your arms, starting at your waist)
all the way over your head!
Optional: you can add bows or curtseys at the end to signify the end of class. I'm so excited to try it! I know the kids will just love it!

Do you practice pantomime with your students? I would love to hear!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Talent Show

video

This is a video of one of my first year tap students at his school talent show. I put together this little combination for him, we had a few practice sessions, and as you will see, he brought the house down! I was so proud of him! :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Apollo

Have you ever been to the Apollo in Harlem, NYC? It was on my to do list, and last night I went to Amateur Night! It was a night dedicated to NYC public school teachers. A few of my friends from NYU auditioned their dance and it was selected! It was so amazing to witness.

If you have never been to amateur night, it is a little intense. The audience cheers if they like the performance, and boo's if they don't. If there are enough boo's then the "executioner" comes on stage and directs them off stage.

It was quite the scene. My friends left the stage with 10 seconds to go! (10 sec) They did a great job! I thought the idea to feature school teachers talents was brilliant. I hope they continue it every year!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ballet Celebrations

Today, I had two parents days during ballet class. It went pretty well, but I am learning the more I do parents days that they are such a challenge. I don't get nervous anymore, which I think is a good sign of growth but sometimes I feel like it's a lot of pressure. Sometimes I feel like it's so unpredictable, that it's scary. And sometimes I feel like I should just have fun. I did have a lot of fun, but with parents buzzing in the background and siblings crying on the side, it's hard to have full control as usual. The students get so distracted, and if you are 3, it's hard to focus to begin with. I tried many of my calming techniques, little quiet moments, mostly because I didn't want anyone to get hurt. I just couldn't seem to gain everyone's attention and engage them. I know I am not alone on this!

I would love to hear what you all do. If the kids are to little to be on a stage (2's and 3's) Do you have a parents day on the last day of class? Do you invite the parents in to see just a portion of the class? I prepped the students for the day, and no one freaked out (yay!), but I am thinking you can help me. I am sure my brilliant readers have creative ideas that I have never thought of!

Please share what you did this year for celebrations of dance. Did you have a parents day? A recital? A showing? Tell us the story of how it went, and if you learned anything from it. I can't wait to hear!

P.S. the photo are the pink carnations I gave the girls after class today. They are in the bag because it was a surprise and I was trying to be sneaky and make sure they didn't see them!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tappy Day!

I still have a few hours to wish you all a Happy National Tap Dance Day! I taught ballet and movement all day today to the babies, but I was surely thinking about tap dance while I was doing it! Did you do anything to celebrate today? I hope you went to class or tappy hour! (haha)

On thursday I have parents day for my tap classes! I will be sure to tell them about National Tap Dance Day! :)




Monday, May 24, 2010

Step Lively

As the school year comes to a close and summer is on it's way, can you believe I am already thinking about classes for summer and fall? Please tell me you are too? Yesterday was registration for fall classes at the JCC and one of the new classes I am offering has been on my mind! It's called "Step Lively", an entire creative movement class with a live musician! She plays the Saxophone (the saxophone!), but I plan on incorporating all types of instruments! Think about doing a dance to the sound of a sax, amazing right? I can't wait to develop the curriculum!

Here is the description I wrote:

Join Miss Maria on a dance adventure with live music! Boys and girls will travel under water, through space, and around the jungle to explore each place through movement. Dancers will discover directions, body parts, levels from high to low and movement qualities such as fast and slow. The live music will add an element of surprise and will be used to make dances come alive!


If you live in NYC and are 3 years old come join Step Lively!

My dear readers, have you ever tried a class like this? Have you worked with a live musician? I think experimenting with different instruments adds a whole other level to exploring movement. Don't you?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thank You Notes

Next week and the week after I am bombarded with parents days and end of the year celebrations. Woohoo! I like to give the kids something on the last day to remember me by. Since I have SO many students, it would get expensive to buy something for all of them. This is what I came up with! Thank you notes for a great year! It's just something little, but I know it will mean a lot to them. I did one for movement and one for tap. I am still working on the ballet ones since those are a little more special to me. I will post them next week!

Do you make or give anything to your students at the end of the year? I am sure you all have amazing ideas!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Circles

This semester, circles have saved my life. I usually start my class in a circle, but many times I go back to a circle in the middle of the class. I feel that circles are a way to bring the class back together and calm the excitement. With my 3 year olds, we start in a line and I tell them to hold hands, and then I hold the hands of the dancers on each end to connect the circle. I tell them "it's magic!" I overheard one of them saying " Miss Maria thinks it's magic, but we are just really good at making circles!" (haha!)

In tap class, I find circles work well with challenging classes. I made their combination in a circle and it keeps them focused, rather than looking in the mirror, looking out the window or distracting each other. I have more control then when they are in a line or coming across the floor.

Do you find that circles work well for you?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Exploring the Garden

This week, in ballet and creative movement we are celebrating the garden! Growing as different types of flowers, caterpillars to butterflies, ants, worms, and birds! My 4 year olds loved the idea saying "I wish we could visit the real garden!"

We have been doing the caterpillar to butterfly dance for a while in ballet class and they love it! Just this week many of them told me they are growing butterflies in their classrooms. Woah! I didn't even know I was connecting to curriculum, but it makes me so happy that I am! How great is it for them to see it happening and also make a dance about it using their bodies?!

Do you have a lesson in dance class that the kids tell you they are exploring at school? I would love to hear!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Headshot- Now and Then

I thought I would post this just for fun! Last week I had a photo shoot with my friend Kiasa and she took a few headshots. Thank you Kiasa!


What do you think? I am thinking I look a little sleepy! ;)


And in the spirit of recital season, I thought I would post this picture that my mom sent me a few weeks ago. I remember this moment clearly! Popcorn machine! Yep, that was the dance. I loved it! Look how happy I was. I estimate I was around 5 years old here.

Do you have a favorite recital dance you can remember? Can you sing the song and do the dance? It is so fun to think back!



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Little Helpers

Today in ballet, my 3 year olds became super helpful! It was all their idea. I am sure they get the idea from school. Every time we used a props or star spots, they offered to help me collect them! What a great idea, and a great lesson to incorporate into class. I will add it in from now on. I love when they come up with ideas that enrich the class! I love when they teach me things!

Now I must keep a rotating list of who collected what, when. I am happy to do it, all because they are happy to help!

Do you have little helpers? Star helpers, maybe? I would love to help, ... oh, I mean hear!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Table Cover Prop


Can a plastic table cover be a prop? Have you ever used them in dance class? I am thinking of trying it out but wanted to see if my fabulous readers have ever tried it? I remember going to a workshop with Ann Green Gilbert (total dance education guru) and she recommended cutting them into squares. She says they have a different feel and different look than a scarf and also make noise! I bet the kids would love them! Here's another idea! Use it in one piece to teach teamwork and explore different ways of moving underneath and around it! What do you think?

I would love to hear your ideas on plastic table cover props! (that sounds so silly to say) xo

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tap Combination

video

Check out this video of my tap dancers at Mark Morris. I have had a few of these students for 3 years of tap, a few of the others are teens and have just started this year. We have been working on an acapella phrase. I took my flip yesterday to video it and thought I would share it with you. At the end of the combination you will see our attempts at counter rhythm! (That's when everyone is doing a different step, but at the same time) So super fun to explore! Enjoy!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Asking Students for Help?

I need to tell you a story. I tried something today in class that worked! But, I need to know what you think...Here is the story:

I have about 5 boys in tap class and they are all around 9 years old. All great boys, but I have one boy who is a major disruption to the class. He makes noises, plays with the blinds, and gets really distracted very easily. I have tried to help him as much as I can, I have even had meetings with his mom to see what would be best for him. Somedays it seems that I alone cannot keep him under control. Today, he was making noises while I was listening to another students tap sounds, so I told one of the other boys that if he wanted to he could politely ask him to stop making the noise. He stopped! Another time later in the class, he couldn't stop his body from moving, so I asked the same student to politely (key word) ask him to get his body ready to start practicing our dance.

I am thinking maybe for this class I need a teachers helper? Someone that can help me keep everyone on track? What do you think? Have you ever used this tactic? It seemed to work today, but I don't know if it will continue to work or if it is even a good idea. Thoughts? I would love to hear!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Milkshake!

I found a milkshakes song from the CD, Songs for Wiggleworms and it's so fantastic! We pour milk, we pour cream (stretches to the side), we stir it all up (spin), and then we shake it up! Of course, we all pick our flavors, including the flavor "pink chocolate" (haha) Doesn't that sound delicious?! I love when we can make a dance with just about anything!

Do you do any silly songs that your students just LOVE? What do you make dances about? I would love to hear?

P.S. Don't forget to enter the Coloring pages giveaway from DanceStudioOwner.com!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Calm, Quiet Bodies

In the last few weeks, I have incorporated "calm, quiet bodies" into all of my classes. It's amazing, what a difference this makes. What I started to realize is that it is just as important for children to learn how to make their bodies calm, as it is for them to learn different ways to move their bodies. I call it "calm, quiet body" (I say both calm and quiet because I found that some children respond more to one word then the other) and we usually practice this after a high energy dance. It works really well at the end of class if the students are transitioning to another activity or are on their way home. They seem to be able to demonstrate this in their bodies more in a freeze dance, which I believe is in response to music and a short window of time to be still. When I ask them to make their bodies calm and quiet, it seems to be a bigger challenge. But, challenges are good! They make us stronger, happier, and more confident. Exactly what I want my students to be!

Do you have a version of calm, quiet bodies? I would love to hear!

P.S. Don't forget to enter the Coloring Pages Giveaway! (you have until this Friday, May 7th)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Coloring Pages Giveaway!


My dear readers, today is my very first giveaway! (Happy Dance!) Courtesy of Suzanne Gerety of DanceStudioOwner.com, I am offering 3 lucky winners a CD of Coloring pages! What are coloring pages you ask? They are lovely teaching tools to pass out to your students featuring different genres of dance. The CD includes 26 coloring pages that show the position or step, and then gives a description! (see below) It includes tap, ballet, and recital pictures for BOTH boys and girls! Isn't that fabulous?

To give you an honest review: I passed out first position to my 3 year old ballet dancers and here is what they said...

"I can do that position, see!"

"I can't wait to take it home and color it!"

"do you have more?"

"I think I will name her princess!" (haha)

These are a true testament on how lovely and educational these coloring pages are! Here is an example that I colored! I can't remember the last time I colored a picture! Bonus: Here is a link to download first position for free! http://www.dancestudioowner.com/public/252.cfm


For a chance to win, please visit DanceStudioOwner.com, (you will fall in love with all the helpful information on this site) and leave a comment below! 3 lucky winners will be chosen at random next Friday May 7th! I can not wait for you comments! Good Luck! :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Purple

Purple, (2nd to pink) the color that 3 year old little girls NEED to have! Yesterday, I taught an important lesson about using different colors. I usually allow the dancers to pick the colors that they want. If I run out of a certain color then they have to pick a color I have. I tell them that sometimes we don't always get the color we want. I find this works for me better than, "you get what you get, and you don't get upset." I always seem to have more upset children with that saying than just picking colors. So, I do it this way.

Yesterday I only had four purple ribbons, and they ALL wanted purple. Usually we can work it out, someone will share their purple and pick another color, but yesterday it was not the case. So we eliminated the purple. Then they wanted pink, the ribbons do not come in pink, so I said "what about red, it's close to pink" (haha) They looked at me like I was crazy!

It all worked out fine in the end, I told them we can still have the same amount of fun no matter what color we dance with. And we did, it was really supper fun! I am pretty sure they will forget about this lesson and want purple all over again next week, but at least I feel like I taught a life lesson with something as simple (big deal for them) as the color purple!

What about you? How do you handle colors? What works best for you? I would love to hear!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Animal Boogie

This week in my preschool classes I introduced this book, The Animal Boogie! It comes with a CD to dance to and does a really great job of introducing movement words such as shake, flap, leap, and swing. After we do the dance through the book, I ask the kids what their favorite animal was and if they can remember the word the animal moved too. It has a catchy tune too!

"shake, shake, boogie, woogie, oogie"

Barefoot Books has more books like this one, perhaps I will put them on my wish list! Have you tried this book in preschool? Have you tried any new books lately that the kids love?




Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Octopus

How many legs does an octopus have? 8 of course! Yesterday in creative movement we were dancing under the sea. We thought about all the animals we could be under the sea. Sharks, Lobsters, Mermaids, and Seahorse. I said "what about an octopus with 8 long legs?" One of the students said "But we only have 4 legs" Another had the idea, "we should find a partner and stand behind them, that will make 8 legs!" I was so excited that she thought of this. I told them all to find a partner, which could be tricky with 4 year olds, but they did it! How creative is this idea? She thought about how we could not be a TRUE octopus with 8 legs. We had to add 4 more limbs. I'm not sure I ever would of thought of this idea. Now I will forever use that idea when dancing under the sea! What about you?

Do your students ever surprise you or give you ideas to use in future classes?