STEAMed Magazine January 2016 - Page 30

THE FINDINGS Upon completion of the residency, 45% of students felt more positive about math and dance. From review of pre-assessments to post-assessments, there was a 13% increase in the students’ belief that dance can help teach them math and 71% of the students believe dance teaches you how to solve a problem. Throughout the residency, the teaching artists watched personalities blossom. Children who exhibited introvert traits (for example, those that were noticed in the research like smaller local movements) ended up confidently and fearlessly exhibiting global movements, more associated with extrovert traits. Students who exhibited nervous, jerky or high-strung tendencies at the beginning of the residency (suggesting neuroticism in their personalities) were able to exhibit calmer more relaxed movements by the end of the residency. DANCE IN THE CLASSROOM Dance education is reserved mostly for gym classes, however, it has the ability to be used as a valuable tool for educators: a door inside to students’ distinct personalities and a door outside to new thoughts, ideas or innovative thinking. For example, educators can use movement and dance to teach students how to wake up when their bodies are experiencing sleepiness or distraction. A simple stretch, moving to fasttempo music, flipping your head upside down, or standing on your toes are quick movement ideas to waking up a tired body. Using dance movement to connect with language and sequencing helps develop emotional intelligence and literacy skills. Arts for Learning, a groundbreaking literacy curriculum that blends the creativity and discipline of the arts with learning science to support student achievement in reading and writing and develop young people’s learning and life skills, is also bringing dance into Virginia classrooms. STEAMed Magazine 30 January 2016 Edition