Back to school

Today was the first day back to school after a wonderful two-week break. I was surprised by how quickly the kids got back into the flow. I expected they would be tough to get moving after getting to goof off for so long.

The drama students are off and running with their “Executive Team” skits, and the art students got started either painting a drawer for themselves (at the high school), or making and decorating an art storage box (middle school). The hard work for me for the week was today: all the step-by-step instructions and explanations. The rest of the week should be a breeze as I mingle among my students: coaching, answering questions, and keeping students on task. As I progress through the year, I am trying more and more to create lessons that are student-directed.

We’ve begun the casting process for the high school play today too. I sent around a sign-up list, asking drama students to write their name and whether each wanted to be cast or crew (or both.) Everyone has to work on the play in some capacity. In a third column, I asked them to write if they had any special preferences (e.g. “number one jock” or “costumes/makeup”). Next, I’ve got to figure out how I want to proceed with casting the students who want to act. I may make a few notes about whom I think should be in what roles. I may have them do another read-through after picking their favorite roles, and using it as a casual audition. Unlike the last read-through, this time they’d be up on their feet acting the part (but with script in hand.) I might do this next week. If we need more people for the cast, I’ll have my students help me put together formal auditions for non-drama students at the high school.

There are still lots of decisions to make, and lessons to plan, but the semester’s off to a great start.

By Dawn Pedersen

Science advocate, web designer, educator, artist, and mommy.

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