The real beauty was in the learning and through the process. It was palpable that these students grew and connected deeper as a community through this active learning. They were also able to articulate the connection of the dance to their learning of science standards.
The engagement was so apparent as well. It is no wonder that during arts integration and arts experiences we have almost no office discipline referrals over the last 3 years. The arts engage our students and in turn they are engaged in their learning. I truly wish we could teach this way every minute of the day. However, there are pressures to finish curriculums and meet testing benchmarks that push us away from this powerful learning tool. To have the complete freedom to develop a curriculum based from the bottom up around arts integration is a dream we hope to realize someday.
Today also made me think about who was engaged. Everyone! But at our school that means these arts integration experiences include a vast majority of students with little english skills, students with special learning needs, students impacted by poverty, homelessness and trauma. I have said many times, Arts Integration is the great classroom differentiation tool. Every student was involved with the same task, same learning goals and same activity that allowed them to develop meaning for themselves. Amazing.
So get your tissue boxes out and enjoy these dances.