Resident Early Elementary Teacher Laurel Bauer debuts on the Spark Blog with the following reflection on one of the times during our school year where we let Specialists call the shots, DASH Week. -Ed.
DASH week is a tradition at UCDS where the entire school celebrates days of arts, sciences, and humanities. Beginning on January 17th students spent the week experiencing, participating in, and practicing the art of being an audience member as they broadened their scope of the world that surrounds them. To celebrate this special week, we watched a rendition of the book Goin’ Someplace Special by Book It Theatre, we were visited by the Anzanga Marimba Ensemble, The Pacific Science Center, and ended the week with a one man show by Christian Swenson, human dance/voice/song improviser extraordinaire…
Performances, demonstrations, and plays give children the chance to fire up their imaginations and expose themselves to different cultures, history, music, and creative thinking.
With each show, students actively listened along, learning, singing, and moving their bodies. A theme that appeared across all of the performances was a willingness for students to join in and try something new!
One morning of DASH week we had the pleasure to experience a vibrant and impressive performance by the Anzanga Marimba Ensemble. Led by Sheree Seretse, she tells the students before they begin the performance, “If you can walk you can dance, and if you can talk you can sing.” With this prompting, it did not take but one song to inspire students and teachers alike to rise to their feet swaying and singing along to the joyful sounds and vibrations of the marimbas! Volunteers were invited to the stage as they stood in front of their peers and learned new and exciting dance moves and songs. By the end of the show, students were busy dancing throughout the room enjoying the company of their classmates while experiencing the live show.
During the Pacific Science Center presentation of Blood and Guts, the leaders looked to the audience to find “the strongest” student in the crowd to come lift a giant weight as part of a demonstration. They picked a Pre-Kindergarten girl, and her pig-tails bounced as she hopped onto the stage. With a huge smile she picked up the dumbbell straight over her head, and with a chuckle she said “Oh, it’s not even heavy!” She pumped it up and down as other volunteers ran across the stage demonstrating how a heart pumps blood through the body.
Each day of DASH, our children had the chance to experience new ideas, broadening their minds as they begin to see the world from a lens of their own. Participating in these events, while it may look different for each child, it is equally beneficial and important for their growth and knowledge of the world around them. Thanks UCDS for a week of trying new things and learning for the community!