A few years back, I came across a video made by the Gratidudes – two young men who were encouraging others to focus on the positives in our lives and to remember all that we have to be thankful for. Ever since then, I have wanted to create a video with my students to showcase our own Gratitude Dance. This year is finally my year to do this! The Ripplers this year are clearly a grateful bunch, and we set out to do exactly what Brad and Matty suggested:
If there was a fourth step, I bet it would be: film your gratitude fuelled dancing and share it. So, that’s exactly what we’ve done and in the process, I was able to accomplish a long-time goal.
My class is awesome! Absolutely awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I need to shout it out to the world,
We had such a fun time Friday afternoon at our school-wide dance celebration. There were so many great performances to watch within an atmosphere that oozed positivity and encouragement. It was an amazing afternoon – one that will stick out in our minds for a long time. We were the last student act of the day, and we were pumped to perform ….. because we had a little trick up our sleeve. I’ve decided to post the complete video here because truthfully, I could relive those 4 minutes a number of times over and over and I’d still be smiling ear to ear.
Now, unfortunately, the quality of video doesn’t quite do it complete justice, but I can assure you it was truly epic, and you know it’s been a great event when all you hear afterward is:
In fact, when it was over, a retired teacher in the audience approached our principal to say it was the best school dance event he’d seen in all his 35 years teaching. I’d have to agree. What made our contribution really special to me was the fact that the best parts of our dance were choreographed by the students and it was their idea to add the glow-sticks and turn out the lights. I’m so glad I listened to them. They were absolutely right.
This afternoon our entire school is involved in a Dance Celebration. Our contribution is based on the official “We Day Dance” that was promoted as part of the We Day Celebrations across Canada earlier this year. We Day is part of the Me to We campaign sponsored by Free the Children, a Canadian-based organization dedicated to improving the conditions that children around the world live and work under, largely due to poverty, lack of education, inadequate health care, and lack of local clean water. Their work has increased awareness around children’s rights as they diligently work to combat child labour practices, exploitation, and inaccessible education. Considering the work we are continuing to do around human rights and the impact of dominant culture on indigenous culture, we thought the dance would fit us perfectly!
The dance consists of 8 repeated motions that last 8 beats each. Once a full pattern is complete, you start again. To jazz it up a bit, students have also choreographed the opening sequence and 6 8-count dance patterns in the middle of the song. I have to say, they’ve made it look even better. Here’s a sneak peak at it. We’re the last act of the afternoon and we plan on knocking everyone’s socks off!
image: Dancing With The Stars (148/365) by Rafael Peñaloza released under a CC Attribution – Noncommercial – Share alike license
Our paperless Earth Day was a great success! Not to mention lots of fun. So fun, in fact, that we have unanimously decided to begin Paperless Thursdays from now until the end of the year. Who knows? Maybe it will turn into Paperless Tuesdays or Wednesdays as well.
We started the day with a little 4-corner soccer, and then wrapped up our time before recess watching a short youtube video about the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch (warning: may not be suitable for younger children) to learn more about how the ocean gyres are collecting garbage and the effects plastic is having on marine food chains.
After recess, we drew on our desks! Yep … no paper … no problem. It’s amazing what you can do with 3 packs of dry erase markers and a recycled baby blanket cut into 28 pieces. During this time, we continued to learn about time zones to partly prepare for our upcoming Skype meeting with students in Mr. Webb’s class in Melville, New Zealand next week (Shhh … they were also learning all about integers on our UTC [Coordinated Universal Time] number line, which is really math, but we’ll keep that a secret). Using the Smartboard we explored time zones all over the world and considered if anyone would be angry (other than our school for the long distance bill we’d accumulate) if we phoned these places from different local times in our town. Even though it was 11:00 am where we were, we figured people in Tokyo, Japan wouldn’t be too keen on receiving a call at 4:00 am, but if we waited until after dinner around 7:00pm our time, a phone call at noon in Tokyo would be better received.
After our litterless lunches it was our school’s Earth Day assembly. A few Ripplers presented what we have discovered about plastic oceans in the last few days and we had a chance to see what other classes have been up to during Earth Week as well. Keep your eyes open for more about our contribution to this afternoon in an upcoming post.
I know I learned more this Earth Day than I ever have and it gave me a chance to look at and assess my own commitment to make the Earth a better place now and for the future. This was largely due to the opportunity to participate in the Teaching Paperless pledge which prompted me to learn a lot about paper use, Zac Whyte and his Power of R presentation at our school about our local garbage and the impact we can make on the world, as well as the wonderful world wide web that provided countless articles and videos about ocean garbage.
What did your class do for Earth Day? We’d love to hear.
Exciting news, Division 2! The Ripple Effect has recently received its 1000th flag in our flag counter! Granted, many of those Canadian flags are us, but we know that many other individuals from Canada have visited here as well. Our class blog has been seen in 22 countries so far and the list just keeps on growing.
Not bad for 4 months of blogging! Hopefully, those numbers will keep increasing as our visitors come back to see what we’ve been up to and new ones find us. Have you checked lately to see which countries are visiting the most? If you click on the Flag Counter widget, it’ll show you the percentage of visitors from each country. It will tell you what country our most recent visitor came from and which flag is the newest. On that same page, if you click on the country name from the list, you’ll have instant access to quite a bit of information about that particular place. It’s quite an informative site.
Just imagine what our numbers could be by the end of the year. Any guesses?
image: 2008 Burlington Independence Day Fireworks by found_drama through Creative Commons