Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dance Parties and Music in the Classroom

"Lose your blues, everybody cut footloose."

Dance Parties in the classroom?!  Absolutely!  Who doesn't love to "cut loose" every now and again to celebrate a good day or even make a bad day, better?  I myself, have been known to have DP's by myself, in my home, after a long day of work.  Why not share this "Brain Break" idea with your students?  Some of you may think that this will make it close to impossible to get the class back on track afterwards...It actually is not, as long as you lay down the "guidelines" beforehand.  I may use a DP as a reward or just to get out that extra energy on inside recess days.  Whatever the reason may be, students know that if they do get out of hand during or after, this will make me question whether we can handle another one or not.  My simple guidelines:

  • Stay in your bubble (they bend their elbows to their waistline and form an invisible circle around them)
  • Stay at your desk space
  • The only "talking" is singing along to the music
  • When music is done, get back to where we left off, and sillies turn off
Some "no fail" songs for the classroom:
  • Cha Cha Slide (This is great because they have to listen to the directions)
  • Sandstorm (the beat changes throughout the song which makes it quite interesting)
  • ABC, Jackson 5
  • Hokey Pokey (corny I know, but the kids still have fun with it)
  • Hand Jive (from Grease)
  • Footloose
Towards the middle of the school year, I start allowing students to make "song requests."  They write down the requests and place them in my mailbox.  I keep them in a spot near my computer and will pick from them when I choose.  I tell students that I will not play songs that I feel are inappropriate for the classroom.  This way, they understand why I don't play their song request.  Also, there are some songs that I need to check the lyrics of before I play them.  YouTube is a great resource for reviewing lyrics.

There are a few ways to have some songs prepared for when you do decide to have a DP:

Pandora : Some good kid-friendly stations are Kidz Bop Kids and Radio for Kids

Grooveshark:  This is great to make your own playlists and for instant access to specific songs.  (For Valentine's Day this past school year, I put together a V-Day list that played during our party)

There are two ways you can go about having a DP:

1. Follow the Leader (Pass a beach ball or some other object around the room and whoever has the ball is the dance leader, and we follow them!  This helps with really shy students that do better copying someone else)

2. Freestyle (Dance how you want!  Some students may just stand there and that's ok.  Don't single them out and just know they are enjoying it in their own way.)

I realized during my student teaching 4 years ago that I am not a Singing teacher, so instead I am a Dancing teacher.  It's fun for me and for the kids.  I think it really bonds us as a classroom and it certainly makes for some fun memories.  Remember to dance WITH your students and this will help some of them come out of their shells if shy!  

I would love to hear how some of you use DP's as a Brain Break in the classroom and any other song ideas for the classroom :)

No comments:

Post a Comment