The Classrooms A Stage
Ever since I visited the Ron Clark Academy and saw the AMAZING teachers there use a stage to help transform their classrooms, I knew I just HAD TO HAVE ONE! Immediately upon arrival back here in Kentucky I started discussing plans with my husband and looking up all the different ways to build a stage. After seeing the teachers (and students) at RCA each have a stage in their classroom and use their imaginations to make learning come to life, I knew I had to have one. Teaching is acting. If you teach, you are acting. Like acting, your best performance will stem from tapping into your true emotions and connecting with your audience on an authentic level. But you are still crafting an act using speech, movement, and props — and laying it before a critical audience. Your highest hope isn’t that your students will approve, necessarily, but that they’ll be moved, or somehow changed intellectually and emotionally. If you ask your students to participate in class activities or discussions, they, too, are acting. They are pulling ideas and words out of themselves, choosing different tones or stances, and putting all of that on display for your approval. In addition to this stage, I would like to add that musical instruments be intertwined in this idea. I seen at RCA how morraccas, tambourines, and drums helped math students (even the lowest of performers) relate their beat to the content. It was so moving to watch this unfold and see the interaction with each other and the concepts come together through the use of their stage and instruments.
Music and Movement in Math
“Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents.” –Ludwig van Beethoven -Have you ever studied the benefits of moving while learning? Studies suggest that after 3 minutes of sitting in one place, your mind starts to wonder off and it becomes to harder to focus. 3 minutes! Let that sink in just for a minute. How many times do we subject our students to 3 minutes of sitting? That is every single day in my classroom. After witnessing Ron Clark using movements from dancing, music, and lights as a rewards and learning system, I am completely convinced that this is the way we should be getting our students engaged and involved in our lessons to retain what they need throughout their educational journey. No more dumping the info after they take their tests. This will help them retain content by applying songs and dance to the math lessons each day.
Green With Innovation Part 2
We are a very small k-12 school in one building. We are very limited with funds, and with that we as teachers must constantly think outside of the box for ways to fund our classroom. We may be a small school, however our class sizes are fairly large. When there is a larger amount of students in your classroom it makes it difficult to find resources and usually results in more out of pocket expense than normal. Last year we were blessed with the beginnings of this grant for our Agriculture Class. It was a HUGE reason that our class flourished and our kids were able to experience things I otherwise would not have been able to give them. This year, I want to expand on what we started last year. I would like to transform our outdoor classroom into an outdoor garden due to our very limited means of space on the hill. With this I will need a tiller to work the ground, and a high tunnel to protect the plants, as well as other tools needed to take care of our crops. This would be a tremendous help to us and furthering our Agriculture program at JCS.