This was the third of four sessions at Marvine and Fountain Hill and it was interesting to gauge the progress of the kids (and teachers) now deeper into this process. I had a game plan to do:

1. Cat Came Back for a second week

2. New circle dance and sing along Little Sally Walker

3. More lyric work on Down by the Bay

4. Further work on Peanut Butter and Jelly with student leaders

5. Movement and scarves with Jimalong Josie

I led off with Cat Came Back at both schools and both the teachers and myself were pleasantly shocked to hear the kids recall and sing 90% of the chorus right off the bat. That was solid proof of the efficacy of this summer work. Remarkable.

I decided to get them up dancing next with a circle dance Little Sally Walker, a social dance/singalong that went over well, with the teachers dancing along. The ‘sing-along’ part wasn’t spectacular, but improved with repetition. We’ll see about that part next week. I took time to ask what they liked about the dance and one boy said, “every single person” got to play alone. That comment resonated with the teachers and me, to say the least. They liked the hip-shaking, too.

We did some more lyric and rhyming work with Down By the Bay. New verses: Cheetah needa spicy burrito and Fly licking a blueberry pie. I shared the verses from the other schools as well, and I hope to feature these for the family finale on the last Friday.

My work on leadership and retention continues with Peanut Butter and Jelly. I ask two boys and two girls to come up and lead their respective mates on the response, and then I reversed the roles. I did some time to work on getting them to learn the five ‘verses’ and movements, and that took some effort on their part, seeing how comfortable they were in the response. We’ll see next week how this goes.

I wanted to do some scarf and movement work so I got out Jimalong Josie from Playground and it was a good vehicle for dancing with scarves and coming up with new movements as well as the current cultural dances. The result was a wonderful display of color and joy. It was a visual delight.

Again, I asked the teachers what struck them today and they enjoyed the kids’ opportunity to be creative, the practice of things they’ve learned and the movement. And we all marveled at their retention from last week.

I’m also trying to figure out how to connect my recorded music with the kids and teachers since CD’s are a lost cause now. The thumb drive didn’t seem to work, but one teacher suggested a Google Doc with a gateway to the material. At least, that way my music can get to their computers for classroom play. I’m learning right along with everyone during this residency, and that’s the way it should be.