Tap Video Choreography Project

Tap Video Choreography Project Click on the link to view an example!

So with the start of the new semester I wanted to introduce my new students to the technology aspect of my classroom.  I decided to start with tap.  This was the first time I had done that and it was actually a great success.  I usually start with Jazz or Hip Hop, but I think from here on out I’ll start with tap.   I think that there’s something about the fact that it’s not too difficult to do a shuffle, they get to wear dance shoes that are unisex, they don’t have to dress out, and our warm-up doesn’t require them do be in any type of uncomfortable positions.  They all had fun making sounds with their feet and working with their peers while I got them to create an edited video with a short piece of original  choreography they created using the movement I taught them.  =)  It really was a win win!!

So for one week I focused on a basic introduction to tap dance (brief history, shoe fitting, shoe discussion, warm-up) and I taught them how to do a shuffle.  The second week I taught them a few variations of the shuffle (shuffle hop, shuffle step, shuffle toe dig, shuffle ball change, etc…), and then broke them into groups and had them create a short phrase of movement using movements from the warm-up and shuffle variations.

The focus here though was to introduce the use of the iPads.  The end result would be that they record their phrase with iPad, edit it using iMovie and then AirDrop it for a grade.  We started off small though.  I recorded myself doing all the shuffle variations so they could use the videos as references when they were working in their groups.  I then had them practice recording their feet in class.  I gave them 2 days to record, and then we sat down as a class so they could edit their movie as I walked them thru the various tools in iMovie.

This project took 2 weeks total and every group turned in a project.  I’m including one of the videos submitted.  I was actually impressed with all of my groups.  For only working with them for a few days and then letting them work together to create a phrase they did pretty good I think.  Keep in mind I work in an inner city school where these kids come with no dance experience.  =)


Prezi Alternatives

So as I continue to research new ways to share out info to my students I came across this blog by Powtoon’s, which is a fun tool to use too.  Check out some creative ways to present information to your students, other than powerpoints and handouts!



21st Century Fluencies in the Arts

TDEA wiped me out!!  Sadly, I didn’t even have time to finish my first TDEA entry even though I did in fact sit down on Thursday to write it.  This year, I focused on taking classes that would help with my big technology push.  Can I say that it has paid off. As I sit at my dinning table, listening to my sweet sons play in the living room, my mind is totally overloaded with new information.  It’s now time to sit, reflect and figure out where to start.  So I’ll start with the first class I took at TDEA because the message has resonated most with me.

I accidentally sat in on a workshop title 21st Century Fluencies in the Arts. Initially I wasn’t planning on going to this workshop because I have already sat in PD meetings about 21st Century Skills at my school, and I simply wasn’t interested in another powerpoint talking about how I needed to implement these long list of skills in my teaching with little to no real examples of what that looks like in classroom like mine.

For those of you who need a reminder, like I did, here is a list of what 21st Century Skills are.

Learning Skills

  • Critical Thinking
  • Creative Thinking
  • Collaborating
  • Communicating

Literacy Skills

  • Information Literacy
  • Media Literacy
  • Technology Literacy

Life Skills

  • Flexibility
  • Initiative
  • Social Skills
  • Productivity
  • Leadership

– See more at: https://k12.thoughtfullearning.com/FAQ/what-are-21st-century-skills#sthash.JM10BddS.dpuf

Charles Aguillon, the Director of Fine Arts from Lake Travis ISD, stood in front of us.  He was a soft spoken man and although he wasn’t dressed like a Director of Fine Arts I was worried he may be one of those admin who was detached from what we do in the classroom and not really give us examples of how we can use this information in our classrooms.  But as soon as he started presenting I knew this was going to be different.

He began by defining 21st Century fluencies NOT skills.

  1. Solution Fluency
  2. Information Fluency
  3. Creativity Fluency
  4. Media Fluency
  5. Collaboration Fluency

He chose the word “fluency” instead of the popular word “skills” because as educators we should actually strive to help our students become fluent in these skills and argues that,  “students need to be able to use these skills smoothly, easily and readily.”  I couldn’t agree more.  I am always so surprised that my students lack the ability to use the technology they interact with daily in other ways beyond texting, kicking, snapping, facebooking, etc..

He also shared and discussed Web 2.0 Tools.  Now,  I have used some of these and so have you, but I didn’t know there was a name for them and he gave us a link to a toolbox with tons of Web 2.0 tools.  Web 2.0 tools are tools that live strictly online.  They are extremely user friendly and allow users more freedom to collaborate and communicate with each other quickly and easily.

I haven’t gone through the list yet, but below you will find the link.  During the presentation he highlighted the more popular ones, prezi.com, bitstrips.com, smore.com, and tagcrowd.com.  I have already used smore.com in my classes to preview what we would be learning in class, and yesterday I used 30boxes.com to create an online calendar for this month highlighting lesson plans, TEKS, Daily Objectives, and Demonstrations of Learnings.  What was really cool is that all I did was shared the calendar with my administrator and then I was done.  =)  So nice!!

I have already thought of a few ways I would like to use other ones.  I’ll post about them when I get my ideas more solidified.  =)

  • Dance history lessons.
  • Choreographer biography assignments.
  • Choreography motif development (what was your theme?)
  • Performance/Choreography Analysis
  • Dance on Film type projects

Web 2.0 Link:


Thanks to this presentation, when people ask me why I “need” a class set of iPads in my dance class I can better explain how students are not only learning 21st century skills but how they are becoming fluent in those skills because they are getting multiple opportunities to use them in various ways to create products that vary from basic informative posters and presentations all the way to short movie projects that require filming, editing, and the production of a polished final product that are shared via Web 2.0 tools.  This doesn’t even take into account the need to constantly collaborate, communicate, and evaluate along the way in order to ensure success.

Please share any ideas you may have in using these cool Web 2.0 tools and I’ll be sure to do the same!!!


TDEA Coming Up! Whoop Whoop!

So I’ve definitely slacked on this whole blogging thing, but in the new year it is my goal to do a much better job of writing more regularly.  It definitely helps that Dallas ISD is sending us to the TDEA (Texas Dance Educators Association) Convention this week!!  Whoopie!!  I’m super excited plus it gives me something to write about.

Last year was my first year attending and I must say that that trip totally transformed my perspective on myself.  Yes I grew as an educator, but really it was more about connecting with other educators and coming into my “own” if that makes any sense that was transforming.  It was after this convention that I knew I was ready to move forward from where I had been for the past 5 years.  Now, I am constantly looking for new ways to grow as an individual, a mother, a wife, a teacher, and a professional!  I am excited to see what new stuff I learn this year, and to have some time to reconnect with my peers and to meet new professionals!!

I will definitely post a couple of times during my time there to share some information learned!