Skip to main content

Posts

Independent

in·de·pend·ent
indəˈpendənt adjective:independent 1. free from outside control
2. not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence; capable of thinking or acting for oneself.
3. not connected with another or with each other; separate; not depending on something else for strength or effectiveness; freestanding.
noun:independent; plural noun: independents
1. an independent person or body
My final post from 2017, is one I am so excited about! And this excitement is not for any kind of ingenuity on my part, but simply for the pure celebration of  my students. 
I often mention that I try really hard to have my academy students, that dance with me in Jazz for 4 years, to not have to repeat a project in their student career. So initially I was going to attempt a cross curricular math project with my Jazz 4. However, I decided to follow the inspiration my students were giving me in that moment and go a different way. When I needed to be out for a day, I chose a song and gave it to our dance s…
Recent posts

Balletomane

bal·let·o·mane baˈledəˌmān noun: balletomane; plural noun: balletomanes; a ballet enthusiast
So I definitely consider myself a balletomane since a very young age! However, many of my fellow public school teachers would agree that this dance form can often be one of the hardest ones to convince the students of it's importance and the ability to enjoy it. 
I was doing ballet with 2 very different classes this last grading period:
1. Academy Ballet: students who actually CHOOSE to take ballet all year long and many repeat it each year
2. Dance 2-4: students that cover multiple genres of dance with ballet probably being their least favorite no matter how enthusiastic or creative I get
So, never making anything easy on myself, I decided to try 2 new different projects that were differentiated for the 2 types of classes. One was much more of a success than the other, but that is what I call life-long learning!
Every year in December, I am obligated by the ballet Gods (and the demands of my s…

Thanksgiving

Going to make a small post before my final one of the semester, which will be a wrap of some end-of-the-year projects. Since I just wrote recently, I thought I would take this time to reflect on what I am thankful for in this journey of dance education.

I am blessed to be in a district that fully supports, gives, and grows with Fine ArtsI am lucky to get to teach each day at a school that has such a wide-variety of dance courses that provides such a well-rounded dance education opportunity to our studentsI get to sit next to 3 of the most supportive dance ladies, that share my passion of dedication to our students, and have helped make our program thriveI have some preeeetttyyy supportive amazing IT staff on my campus that are always there for my requests at anytimeMy administration is so supportive of new ideas we have for bringing top-quality dance programming to Cedar RidgeI have access to so many things that others in my same title/position elsewhere do not, and I do not for one da…

Assess, evaluate, build

We have reached mid-semester and I am just so very thankful for how the year is progressing! A few years ago, I was blessed to be accepted into the NextGen pilot program and was given a bunch of technology and what I felt like was a huge spotlight. Life both at home preparing for and at school felt like I was constantly reinventing myself and my lessons. As the years have passed, I have become more settled, confident, and mindful of the technology in my classroom and I share this so that you know it may not always start out easy or natural, but if you give it a chance, you can reap the many rewards too!

Our 1st units all ended with 2 different types of assessments. Students in technique-based classes all performed a culminating combination that had both teacher and student choreography. We film the combinations as performed in small groups for the class. The following day, students watch the videos in class and use a Google Form to complete a self-evaluation. Next we take the video an…

5,6,7,8 New year and feeling great!

Welcome back blog readers! 2017 for Cedar Ridge HS dance has gotten off to a great start and I am already excited by the possibilities to come!

It's hard to believe the 1st 4 weeks have already flown by and yet as I write this blog I can't believe everything we have already done. Let's check it out!

WEEK 1
Sometimes when teachers are asked how they integrate technology into the classroom, they assume that the technology must enhance the student experience. But that couldn't be further from the truth. Technology infusion can also support the teacher. You deserve the streamlining, workload lessening, ease-of-process-magic that technology can give to you too!

This year we eased our department to an eye-catching 2 sided syllabus using the program called Canva. We inserted a QR code that lead to our department website, which also displayed our older more extensive syllabus for parents to read. Parents were required to sign a syllabus page that could be signed either digitall…

Our Changing Earth

As with most fine arts classrooms, the end of the year (or semester) is a great time to complete large projects. May ended with all of our technique based courses completing choreography units with corresponding projects. I love watching the classroom become such a student-centered learning environment and most importantly witnessing such creativity in their final products.

Dance 1-4 are survey courses in dance that study different styles of dance throughout the year. Therefore they have a little bit more freedom of style, yet they must fit within the guidelines of the rubric. Students in these courses had 2 written assignments that went along with their choreography. 1 was a "Choreography/Music Chart." This is where they learn and practice the skill of counting out the music and writing the corresponding dance steps. Even last year as NextGen with iPads we had them write it out on paper to turn in. This year I made it into a Google Doc and posted in classroom to share and …

Move to the Beat

So I am very excited to share this next post! It is a mini-issue focused on two music activities with two of my favorite people: my daughter and my former student-turned-student-teacher Veronica Boccardo!

Loopimal
Every year my daughter participates in the annual STEAM Fair at Pleasant Hill Elementary in Leander ISD. We engage in a discussion to find a topic that she is interested in researching and then we look for the way make sure we can encompass 1 or more of the STEAM elements in her process and product. As a teacher that strives for creativity and thrives on adding technology, I always help expose her to options of integrating technology into her lesson. Just like our students, they may not always know what is out there or how to use it, but as facilitators of learning we can help lead them both to it and through it.

In the past I have exposed her to Thinglink and Shadow Puppet. Both of which were so user friendly, my little smarty-pants was able to complete her project after a t…