Posts Tagged ‘Nine Weeks’
I have had the most delightful last nine weeks with my FAW group of kids. They worked well and got along well (ok, for the most part) happily took part in helping me prepare for the show by constructing and building and even velcro-ing the pipe system for hanging the black curtains. And I have been sad to think that it was almost time for us to change groups, though I had definitely missed some of the other Drama oriented FAW kids and was looking forward to working with them again as well.
So I was really excited when our music teacher suggested that we work together on a project. She told me that in her music class she had played ragtime for the kids, and they had really enjoyed it. And when she explained to them how it worked during the silent film era, with the music as the background, they became very excited and had a great time creating little silent scenes to go with the music.
So that’s what we have decided to do. And in this way the current drama kids will not have to move over for another bunch, as we can incorporate them all into the drama/music class while adding another set of kids for this big project. We’ll have twice as many kids as usual, but we will also have two teachers and lots of material to work with. I’m really looking forward to getting started tomorrow!
We’ve been playing games these last nine weeks in my class. I decided that we needed some time to just play – I truly want to provide the students opportunities to relax and laughe with each other more, and practice important social skills things learning to take turns cooperatively and not make unpleasant comments about the choices others make. So we have been playing. And it has been good on so many levels. I think one of the best things we have accomplished is the way that the students are beginning to see that drama can be purely and completely just plain fun.
I have really enjoyed it and have been happy about the way the kids have begun to come out of their shells quite a bit hopefully learning that it is safe in my class to take a risk. That I will not allow any mean or mocking behavior.
It has not been perfect of course, and we do have our days when all we can get to is high point/low point and then a wild game of fruit, but in the past few weeks there has been some moments when each child has shown me just who they are, what they love and of course, how very talented they are…
At Glenforest this week my students and I embarked on a new unit for the next marking period:
improvisation. I’ve realized that the unit on Shakespeare, while ultimately rewarding, was not tthe way to start with kids who are just beginning their theatre education and will not begin with that unit next year. Halfway through the last nine weeks I found myself wishing I had started with improvisation in order for the students to begin to get to know me, me to get to know them, and for us to all to spend time playing together in a relaxed and casual environment.
So we embark on games for the next month and a half…we play together and giggle – how wonderful to hear them laugh and to see them learning to enjoy each other and to start to let their guards down. I have learned that quick changes and transitions in my class work well, and that is a difference from the way I thought at the beginning that everything must be done slowly and smoothly. This seems to be not the case, at least in my class, as if I give them too much time to ready themselves for a change there is often a complete loss of the direction toward what we were moving on to! So Quick Quick Quick I have begun to say, and nobody gets lost in the movement from one end of the room to another. We are off, and the sky’s the limit. Learning differences maybe, but these guys are quicker than the speed of light!
If I can harness that, we’ll have it made.
This week marks the end of the first marking period at school. We will hold our Renaissance Faire at the end of the week, and then we will move on. Tomorrow we survey the kids again and it will be interesting to discover who wants to come back to Drama again.
I have decided to work on improvisation and games for the next nine weeks. I want to spend some time getting to know the kids and working on their skills without the pressure of a performance hanging over their heads.
I expect it will be much more interesting for them. I know they will enjoy it.