I often ask new parents if they remember life before their baby. They pause, think about it and say, ‘No’. I guess when something’s as life-changing and consuming as having a child happens, it’s really hard to remember. Or maybe it’s the sleepless nights. Well, I can’t speak from experience yet but in a very tiny sense, I’m wanting to link it to ending my school week with a dance party. Basically, I can’t remember what I did every Friday at 5 past 3 before we did dance parties. Just a note, after the dance party, my students and I settle down as I pray for them.
Why do I highly recommend it?
A dance party is something you and your students can look forward to! If your students leave your classroom feeling happy, they will take that home with them. Happy kids = happy parents. It leaves you, the teacher, also in high spirits. Whatever challenges or struggles you faced in the past week, you and your students can join in just having fun and enjoying each other’s company.
One thing I really like about this is that it doesn’t require extra planning, just put some music on! Do it in the last 5 minutes of class and that’s all you need. Trust me, your curriculum will not suffer.
Make a selection of songs for your first four or so dance parties. Here are the songs my class started with:
Happy by Pharrell Williams
Everything is Awesome from The Lego Movie
The Nutbush (popular in Aussie weddings)
What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction
After that, you can make a roster for students’ choice. I let my students choose in pairs then I check the lyrics. Because they know I will always make sure there’s nothing inappropriate, the rostered pair will actually have a good discussion whether a song is appropriate or not before they come up to me with their suggestion.
Does it get old?
If your class does it every week, you might worry that the novelty can wear off. I was worried too! But my class has done a dance party almost every week and it never gets old. Why not? For all the reasons outlined above and also because of the variety in song choices and dance types. Some weeks, it’s just dance as you please, other weeks, I actually teach them a dance like the very easy square dancing that goes with The Nutbush. Other weeks, we view a ‘Just Dance’ video which has dance steps the students can copy.
Was this my original brilliant idea? No! I learnt it from Michael Linsin who has heaps of great classroom tips. How we do it in my class may be a little different (I don’t have a prize box) but the reasons are the same: to give students another reason to love being in our class and just because!
Ending your week with a dance party is easy and heaps of fun. Don’t miss out and try it this very Friday! You might decide to do it fortnightly at first. Your students will thank you for it.
How do you usually end your school week?
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