Monday, April 22, 2013
I had this blog about halfway finished and it just disappeared off of my computer screen, like a thief in the night. Grr-rr. Anyway, I wanted to share what I worked on this weekend with you all. It is hard to be from this area and to be too happy with much, because of the flooding we are experiencing. It is pretty awful with the fact that we have had rain every day for about the last ten--and some of those rainfalls have been 4 inches and 5 inches. The Rock River was rising so fast yesterday that you could actually see it moving upward and out of its banks. I am wondering if it is going to break the big record that it set in 2010. The Mississippi is plaguing Davenport having filled the ball park and causing them to close major streets all over town.
Despite this, I had a wonderful weekend. I signed Mitchell and myself up for a workshop way back last fall. The topic was teaching content area information and literacy using theatre. It was a really top-notch training event. It lasted all day--I got done in time to work out at the pool before they closed for the evening. There were as many students at this workshop as adults which was something new to me--and it was a great idea. We began with a series of activities on building community. This is important, especially if you are going to do this hands-on active approach to instruction. Each activity moved from being only about "me" to involving others gradually.
The next things we did included making sculptures out of people. I have never done such a thing and it was fun and thought-provoking. That led into moving into instructional activities. They divided up chapters of a book amongst us--we were in teams of about 8. Each of us had to select 3 lines of the text that were the most important from the chapter. We shared those out and then made a group decision about which were the most important. Then it was our job to create a sculpture that could involve speaking and movement to present the three lines that we chose. These were very creative--with there being no way that a participant could not have the general message of the text with them to work with the others. Doing it was extremely meaningful as was watching the other presentations.
They provided a nice--and healthy--box lunch complete in compostable plastic trays that they collected. After lunch, we got to see some presentations by students the presenter worked with. A couple of her students shared some poetry that they had written and we moved on to doing some of our own creating. First, many of the group shared some of their big personal issues--from feminism to racism to cliques that mistreat others. They moved on to make sculptures to show their grief and then to alter those sculptures in a way to solve the problem. That was pretty moving.
We wrote a couple of poems using sensory descriptions--then we wrote another about "our people." We had to put them into balloons and blow them up and everyone int he room played balloon volleyball with no one keeping their own poem. The teams got back together, with each member holding a different balloon that we broke open and took the poems out. Again, we had to select parts of the poems that we wanted to use to create a presentation of "Our People." We did a rhythm with ours and added movements and phrases from the original poems. Some of these were absolutely amazing to watch. I cannot imagine any students not feeling proud of the outcome--their creation. There was something to hearing others use the lines you wrote in their presentation as well.
i am definitely going to use this material in my instruction--hopefully yet this year!
We had a really good service at church this week--and Sunday was my day to spend all of the time I wanted at the fitness center. Often, I am on a bit of a schedule with people needing me to be picked up and at home at a certain time. But on Sunday--wow!! I love leaving church and going to the fitness center to work out hard and then to have time for the hot tub and the sauna before I come home. It was totally relaxing in the end. My daughter and husband fixed a wonderful chicken enchilada casserole for dinner and all I had to do was enjoy it.
I wish all weekends went so well--it was wonderful...
This is a more clam week for me. I have no appointments on Tuesday or Wednesday. I am having two MRIs done on Thursday--my neck and my left shoulder. I saw the doctor who did the surgery on my neck--he's a great guy. I hope we can find out what is aggravating my shoulder and whether it is my neck (either C3 or C7) or my shoulder that is the source of my grief. I'm glad that he decided the MRI was the fast way to finding out what I need. (I often wonder when I am having an issue why they don't just do the MRI and take care of things, but they don't. It probably has something to do with insurance costs.)
I'm hoping for a good week--maybe dry by the end of the week. It's been raining again today.