This is a continuation of my last blog. Most of us have some form of a work nightmare. You know, you dream that you are at work and everything is crazy. Mine are different! I dream that I am acting in a play and I have learned the wrong lines for the play, I am dressed in the wrong costume and everyone is judging me. I guess my subconscious thinks we need to worry. Whatever.
This year, I am teaching at a fourth school in a different school system. Along with the usual aspects of creating a new program (or one that was limping around), I have memorized new passwords for a grading system, become acquainted with the school’s policies, checked out my classroom, met everyone and planned beginning lessons. If you are like I am, one of the best parts of a school year is ordering materials for the class. I have listed many of my most successful materials.
Postcards–These are tremendous little things. They come in black and white and color; they are inexpensive and sturdy. I use them to teach storytelling, tableau, movement, characterization, etc. When ever a student misses school and takes a trip, I ask them to mail a postcard to me.
Nanofictionary–This card game is such fun and upper elementary and middle school students enjoy it. It’s part of my storytelling unit. You can find it through Amazon.com
Plastic ball–I use an inexpensive medium sized ball in many exercises or games. One great exercise is “This is not a ball.” The students take turns coming up with other objects that the ball reminds them of.
CD player–Music plays in my classroom nearly every day. I love music of all kinds and collect movie soundtracks. Also, I try to keep abreast of the most popular music of the year. If it’s appropriate, we create dances and movement pieces to it.
Body Sox–These babies are tremendous! I learned about them in my graduate classes and I’ve used them for about twenty years now. If you want to teach the various parts of movement (definite/indefinite, press/float, light/heavy), I’d suggest purchasing some body sox. They are expensive, but perhaps over time, you could purchase several. Shy students really like them because they can try out certain movements without the other students observing them. Again, you can find these through Amazon.com.
Paper Masks–Obviously, there are many ways to use masks other than just to make them. Usually, we create them for our class plays. I suggest the ones from S&SWorldwide.com
Hopefully, the actor nightmare dreams are over for awhile. I hope these materials help you. I’d love to hear how you have used them, too!