December 6, 2012

Quick No Fluff Fillers


I know this sounds a little fluffy (and a little embarrassing) but hear me out.

Confession: I get a little stressed out teaching 5-11 year olds, 7.5 hours straight, 27 in a class, 1/2 for "lunch," taking care of a 2 year old and grad school homework at night. . .  it can get a little kooky for cocoa puffs around here.

The only cure for all this stress is to dance it out. 

Here's how it works,
I tell the kids we have 5 minutes for clean up, BUT if we can finish in 4 we can have a 1 minute dance party. I don't know why but this is the BEST thing ever. They scramble to clean up and fold their hands and be ready in their seat and then I walk over to the radio and take out my favorite mix, tell them they can have their dance party by their chair, no break dancing allowed. Most of the kids start to imitate my moves (which is pretty scary to see 27 second graders doing the robot like you), some have moves and rhythm which is so cute to see! It's these moments when a kid does an amazing moon walk or salsa that you start to see what your students are like at home. I definitely don't do this with every class, just once a day when I need it. Sounds selfish because it is!

So why is this no fluff? It's exercise, it's morale building, it's creating a classroom climate that you can live with, it's fighting teacher burn out! What could be more important then that?

Consequently, Stella and I have a dance party every single day AFTER SCHOOL in our kitchen that last way more then 1 minute. Stella let's me listen to country, but she LOVES Kesha, Alicia Keys (Girl on Fire), and Adele (Rumour Has It), Florence and the Machine (Dog Days) you get the idea . . . girly stuff. 

How do you relieve stress of our impossible schedules? Do you rock out in the art room?


Jen Carlisle said...

Your post makes me smile as the other day my husband came home to my 20 month old and me dancing in the kitchen and singing "chicken boullion." Gotta let that stress out and enjoy your life!

Barbara's Thought of the Day said...

this year I used Chris Biffle's suggestion (Whole Brain Teaching) and used the "one minute pretend nap" as a reward for an unusually rambunctious first grade class.
Of course it's necessary to build it up like it's something really fantastic...a ONE MINUTE Pretend the MIDDLE OF THE DAY.. How GREAT is That!
Kids worked for three weeks to earn that break. We dimmed the lights and they put their heads gently into their little arms down on the desk and were utterly silent as they tried to convince me they were really asleep.
Kids are so funny.

Phyl said...

Love it. I used to dance around the house with my baby all the time too, but, um, he's no baby any more and not here anyhow.

In the classroom, when I played music, I often told the kids that the music would stay on IF AND ONLY IF they danced when they had to leave their seat, say to go to the sink to wash hands, or to the pencil sharpener, or to fetch some material, or whatever. I'd play salsa music or Western swing, and they were so cute dancing their way to the recycle box or trash can!

Unknown said...

I love it! I do the same thing!

Jen said...

Dancing!!!!! My daughter and I would dance around our dining room table with the music blasting. Now with the iPhone and iTunes we dance whenever and wherever we want!!

Mrs. C said...

Love it! A retired colleague would do "silent disco dancing" with her class as a reward/stress release. They loved it!! I say do what ever works! :)

Barbara's Thought of the Day said...

The one minute silent disco sounds amazing...I can't wait to try it!