Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I haven't edited today's quota of lab reports yet,

but I have done about 7. Which is almost half of my daily goal. And I've met my goal every day so far. I'm actually hoping to finish all the remaining lab reports tonight, which is about 10 or 12 more, I believe. This blog-bribery thing really seems to work. I recommend it, teacher-procrastinators!

Alvin Ailey. The field trip was very disorganized. I thought all three grades were going at the same time, but it turned out I was taking the sixth graders to a morning show, and the other grades went to a later show. I would have been more pro-active about making sure I knew all the details of the trip if I'd known that I was totally and completely in charge. I had been running around dealing with this and that, a little irritated by not having more information, but I thought it was okay because I had spoken to one of the 8th grade teachers and she seemed to know the plan.

Regardless, the trip went well. We were a bit late as a result of some of the disorganization, but we didn't miss much. The kids were extremely well-behaved and polite. Most of them didn't know what to make of the dances. We saw Ailey II, not the original Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. They did three pieces, the first a very spare, sensual modern dance, the second evocative of a temple and ancient ritual, with mysterious lighting and tunic-like costumes, and the third a louder, more upbeat jazz piece, with some swing and other partner dancing integrated with ballet and jazz steps. There, I've now exhausted my ability to write intelligently about dance! I really liked the show, but it was a stretch for the kids. Someone from the theater came out between the pieces to talk about how a dance is put together, but I don't think she had much experience talking with kids, especially kids with little context for modern dance.

Anyway, the kids liked the third piece best and had little to say about the other two when I talked to them back at school. They didn't dislike the dance, I think they just kind of took it all in. It's partly our fault, for not having prepared them beforehand, but the last two weeks have been so scattered thanks to all the days off, we didn't really see it coming on the calendar until it was upon us. Next time I would like to give them a little more background, some things to think about while watching the show, some ideas about what they might be trying to do on stage, something to build thoughts and questions upon.


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