Monday, December 9, 2013
Last Monday, I wrote about Drama Club, why I started it and the skills that I am working on with this group. Today I want to share a popular drama game called "What are you doing?"
One student starts the game by pantomiming an activity. Another student approaches the first student and says, "What are you doing?" The first student says a different activity and the second activity must then pantomime that action.
First student pretends to row a boat.
The second student walks up and says, "What are you doing?"
The first student says, "Painting a fence."
The second student pretends to paint a fence while thinking about a different action for the next student to act out.
Although adults and older teens can manage to take turns without a moderator, I have found that third through sixth graders need me to call on them so the actor is not mobbed.
This activity practices concentration, cooperation, and staying in character when you are not speaking.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
I've been experimenting with including coded messages with function tables. My students have an additional motivation to solve the math problem. I have an easy tool to check their work.
This is a free holiday version of my original product. All of the messages are non-religious winter song titles.
Click here to get Coded Messages: Holiday Version in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.
Click here to get Coded Messages: Holiday Version in my Teachers Notebook Store.
Click here to get Coded Messages: Holiday Version as a Google Doc.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
I teach in a diverse neighborhood and I adored this book about sixth grader Lucy Wu who must share her room with her visiting great aunt. Lucy wants to play basketball and her parents want her to go to Chinese school instead. The way that Wendy Wan-Long Shang handles the conflicts between generations and cultures is satisfying without being cliché.
I recommend this book for 9-12 year olds.
Monday, December 2, 2013
This fall I started an afterschool drama club. I had the idea for awhile, but what prompted me to set aside time to do it was the audition process at one of the local high schools. Plenty of students wanted to be in the musical, but they weren't considered good enough to be in the ensemble, so the director went with a musical with just a few parts.
This brought back memories of my own high school experience. I tried out with others and the director chose a production with only for parts. At the time, I got the message that acting wasn't for everybody. I wasn't good enough.
Now as an adult I wondered, where are students supposed to learn these skills? There aren't many drama programs in the public schools before high school. Do they just magically show up ready to act, or are these skills taught? I wanted to create a place where students could try out these skills without the pressure of competition. (Thus, no divas allowed.)
Fortunately, I my stepdaughter has had the opportunities at our church to learn to act. I have tried to be one of the helpful stage moms who helps with painting, costumes, and props. Over the last nine years, I have learned a set of skills I can teach elementary students that can spark their interest in drama. As you can see from the list below, they also help them in other areas.
Over the next few weeks, I plan to share some of the activities we have done and how I incorporate some of them into my regular classroom.
Face the audience
Stay in character even when you aren’t speaking!
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Yay! It's time for Currently December. I will try not to think about all I have to do for a little bit and indulge in this monthly blog party.
I am indulging in a quiet Sunday afternoon watching the Hallmark Movie Channel. Right now "The Lost Valentine" is on where Betty White plays a widow of a man missing in action for several decades.
I'm not ready to end my long weekend, so I'm hoping that the snow in the forecast will turn into a snow day or even just a delayed start.
I need to learn to say "no." I am feeling way overbooked this month.
My favorite tradition is Christmas Eve at our house. My stepdaughter always spends Christmas Day at her mom's, so Christmas Eve is our family celebration.
I'm heading over to Farley's blog to link up and find some other bloggers. Hope you join me.