Let Us Do The Dance of Joy!

Friday was the last day of the longest week of the year.  The first week back after the December recess is always tough.  No one is on their regular sleep schedule, teachers are beginning to freak out because the semester is ending, it is dark in the morning for the drive to work, and it is often dark in the late afternoon as you drive home.  By the time we get to Friday, we are all dragging. My daughters were suffering from the sleep schedule switch and the homework bonanza, and so I assumed that most of my students were as well.


As a surprise for my Friday morning advisory I brought in the family Wii game system and just one game: Just Dance.  The girls had received this from my niece’s wonderful boyfriend Pirc, and since its arrival in our house on Christmas Day we have had more fun with this game.  Totally infectious, you can’t help but move your feet. What better thing to do on a cold Friday at 8:10?

Everybody Dance Now

In my advisory of 12 kids, some have a hard time mixing in with the others. This game got everybody involved in one way of the other.  Two kids videotaped the fun with my iPod Nano (another great holiday gift) and everybody else was dancing! My neighbor to the west (our classrooms share a wall) was a few minutes late to advisory because she was in a meeting with administration, and she rushed in to find one advisee of hers in her room and Cyndi Lauper singing in my room (where the rest of her kids were just dancing).


The kids worked out the rules for sharing on the fly. Four controllers, you ceded the controller after each song, the person who “won” a round got to pick the next song, and even if you didn’t have a controller, you danced. Yes, you could go get a drink of water, yes you could step out side where it was cooler (24 dancing people heats up a room), and yes you could use my iPod.

Twenty minutes into advisory we got word that the Morning Ex (our three day a week school assembly) had been canceled. We needed to figure  out what to do with the entire grade for 40 minutes. Wait! No brainer!  But where?

We booked the small gym, solved projection problems, and, *snap*  all-class Just Dance.

The Dance of Joy

My face hurt from smiling. The class had SO MUCH FUN, they enjoyed each others’ company, applauded success, screamed for favorite songs, and were remarkably focused for the rest of the day.  I have three classes in a row at the end of the day on Friday.  I had a good class visual verbal activity (word webs of verb conjugations across the major tense variations – present, present perfect, present progressive, present perfect progressive and the past/future variants) but they were particularly happy and able to focus. I had more patience and students were great. – Even when the school nurse arrived in the last half hour of the last class to do lice checks.  – No lice and big smiles.

So tell me, where is the downside here?

“Now that we are so happy, let us do the dance of Joy!” – Balki on Perfect Strangers

(and my daughter reminds me) “Numfar, do the Dance of Joy.” (In the Pylea dimension, Lorne’s mother to his brother on Angel.)

Photo taken with my Palm Pre in low light and high motion.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. John Spencer says:

    I’m so jealous. Our school system is so rigid about Time on Task that if a teacher played the wii with students, they’d get a letter of correction.

    1. Kate Tabor says:

      I am so sorry!! – our assistant principal was in the small gym with us and was totally enjoying the entire thing. I am sure that we could find research that said this kind of physical activity helps kids focus during the Time On Task if we looked. I surely have anecdotal evidence to support it.

      No Fun = Good For Students (Seriously?)

      My niece is an LD teacher for 8th graders in a public school in the western Chicago suburbs. Lots of kids at risk and she loves her classroom Wii – and you can turn in into a IWB so they tell me.

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