Friday, April 24, 2009

Get Up and Get Moving - Throwdown Thursday

Teachers can really be sticklers about keeping students in their seats at all time. From the time the time they arrive to the time they leave, we are asking them to stay seated and be quite. As we all know this can be very hard for a middle school child to do. Students come to school every day with high energy, and that energy is often discourage in classrooms. For me, I love the energy and encourage it....but this energy needs to be channeled. Our solution? Dancing....why not?

In class I demonstrated to my students the mirror dance. This dance involves two students and some good music. Student number one will be asked to repeat all of the dance moves performed by student number two. This goes on for about a minute then we switch. Below are a couple of videos of this practice in action.





This simple practice has now been given it's on day of the week, Throwdown Thursday. Every Thursday students come to my classroom looking forward to this event, it has really taken on a life of it's own in my classroom. In addition to this exercise we also add stretching and jumping to our science lessons to get our blood flowing and get our brains working before we start learning. As for the students, they love it. It gives them an opportunity to get out of their seat and they are much more alert afterward.

This was originally posted on my class blog back in March, but after reading Mr. C and Lamshed's post today, I felt that it would be appropriate that I repost. In regards to Mr. C's comments on making school more enjoyable, you can totally tell a difference in my classroom from doing these normally insufficient and sometime silly things. By doing things as simple as playing music every morning and letting students select the music being played, it has really been a huge positive for my classroom environment. Bottom line is that things such as Tie Tuesday, Jersey Friday, Throwdown Thursday they are all simple to coordinate, kids enjoy these types of events, and it shows the kids that we care about them. When students see you enjoying school they enjoy it too and it becomes more meaningful.

Mr. McClung
mcclungsblog.blogspot.com

6 comments:

Wm Chamberlain said...

Even though I may not say this enough, I am continually amazed by everything you have taught me this year. It has been amazing so far!

Jarrod Lamshed said...

I really agree that we need to find things that keep school fun. If the kids want to be there, half the battle is won. If my class see this, they are going to want to be in your class!

Ali Colbeck said...

We do something similar in our class with a song called 'Casper Slide'. We are a double class of 60 year 6/7s and when it comes on the kids all get up and dance, but the fun really begins when kids from the surrounding classes start to head into our room and join in!
It is so nice just to stop sometimes and have a laugh together - something we sometimes forget when buried under testing and outcomes...

Matua Haami said...

What a great idea. I feel like doing some break dancing now.

John Strange said...

Great idea. Glad you shared it here. I hope my students are reading this and will remember to try things like this!

Thanks.

NZWaikato said...

I used to play a song to close the day at like three minutes before the bell went "the Distance" by Cake was a favourite way back when.