Tuesday was the first installment of this summer slide program at Fountain Hill and Marvine schools. Both sites have kids from several other schools so it is a polyglot of kids. The Marvine set at 9:30 had about 25 kids, some of whom I’ve worked with at Marvine last fall. It was interesting to see how some of them jumped in right away, comfortable with me, but also how one boy still had the issues that made him a real challenge before. That was a disappointment.
I hit Marvine at 9:30 and immediately head to Fountain Hill for a 10:45 session. The time does go by quickly.
The effort with this session is to partner with the teachers more intentionally. I was able to meet ahead of time to explain what I want to do, involve them in the process and have them work with the kids while I’m not meeting with them. I gave the teachers a thumb drive of some of my songs to use (now that CDs are no longer a useful tool in the classroom). I asked them to work on Down By the Bay rhyming exercises, using Tutti Tah as a class warm-up and to see if kids can memorize the moves and perhaps find classroom leaders for it.
We worked on reverse-memory of the Tutti Tah moves, to think backwards and see if that helps retention. It was a good way to see who is engaged and who comes out of their shells. I got lots of feedback.
We did Bear Hunt and I hope to have the kids come up with new situations, sounds and movements. Marvine came up with Michael Jackson’s Thriller and asked if the teachers could research his Moonwalk as a dance move. We played around with that for awhile. I made a point to take time at the end to reflect with the kids about what we had done. I should have asked the teachers to comment about what they liked. We have scheduled artist/teachers chats as we move through the month.
It’s important that the main idea for these sessions is to have fun so that the kids want to come to summer school for more. One teacher said that I was her favorite part of the sessions. We do have to prepare for a final “show” at the end of July so that the parents can see the energy and for us to document our efforts so that we can maintain and grow our funding sources (United Way is our benefactor for this series).
I’m off until two weeks from today. We’ll see what the kids retained when I return.