In our second year, we anticipated the growth of LMDC's program and brought on 3 core members from the adult group to help with our weekly class. I am so thankful for their presence because it makes teaching this highly diverse group of students (ages 5-15) much easier!
In an effort to differentiate instruction, I split groups according to year of experience and skill level. By doing this, we are able to meet the needs of each student and focus on specific skills that need to be worked on in order to create a learning experience that specifically responds to the ability of the students.
Today's focus was on folk dance foot and arm positions. I split the students up into four groups, each group having a middle or high school student teacher's assistant and teacher. Groups were tasked with analyzing the images and imitating the shapes and positions of feet and arms. Older and 2nd year students helped teach the younger and first year students the positions, while teacher offered critique and facilitated interactions. Overall, it was time well spent as students collaborated with each other under the watchful eye of their mentor dance instructors. I hope to continue this type of instruction (collaborative vs. lecture style) as we move forward in the program.
The images below show the diagrams I used for instructing folk dance basics. If there are better ones out there, I'd love to hear about them! Link them in the comments section below!