The Valentine variety, that is! Although we were snowed out of our party on February 14, we celebrated heart-ily (ouch!) a week later. Snack, craft, games? Check, check, check.
What sets apart the Valentine party from our other classroom celebrations is the opening and reading of the valentine cards. It’s sweet to see their genuine thrill at the little sentiments and treats they receive. At one point, the classroom rung with shouts of “THANK YOU,” but what’s bad about that??!!
Sharp eyes will spy a green shamrock in the left corner. It may look like Valentine’s Day, but March is marching toward us, and I’m always ahead of the game. It’s kinda my thing.
She’s my thing too. Here’s hoping love blooms where and whenever you need it.
And it did. In spite of snow days and delayed openings, missed and shortened rehearsals and an ever-changing schedule, our second grade Multi Cultural Dance performance went on yesterday. Not exactly as planned, though.
This is the third year that our second graders have participated in a dance residency. It’s two weeks of rehearsals with Mrs. Joanna Pang Atkins, our artist in residence (a true professional if ever there was one). Each class learns a dance from another country, state or time period. The idea is then to perform it, in costume, twice – once for the rest of the school and teachers, and once for families. With a full run-through occurring the day before.
But you know what they say. The best laid plans….(are ruined due to snow??!!)
When our PTO organizer saw the forecast, which called for at least 10 inches of snow on the day of the first performance, almost certainly giving us another snow day or two, she leapt into action. And our run through turned into the full performance.
Many parents were able to rearrange their schedules to come two days earlier. Only a handful of students and teachers were able to see it, but those who were there enjoyed it. The second graders with speaking parts were tres professional, and each dance was unique and exciting. Our class did the French Minuet.
It was complicated and elegant, and required boys and girls to – GASP! – hold hands! I didn’t think second graders cared about such things, but evidently they do. But they soldiered on, and were magnifique!
I know Shirley would have agreed. Did you think she was just a tap dancer? No, she was a girl of all trades (or at least dances). Here she is in her minuet costume for the Heidi dream sequence. She may be gone, but will never be forgotten. At least not on my blog. Or in my heart.
RIP, Shirley. You will be missed.
I grew up in a city. Not THE city, my beloved Manhattan, but not too far away either. Jersey City, NJ – a place of few yards, asphalt playgrounds and alleyways. And in the 70s, in the city, you played outdoors. All day long. In the streets. My brothers played Wiffle Ball, Steal the Bacon and some game that involved a pink high bouncing ball and a wall. I jumped rope. And lip synced to the Grease soundtrack, but that’s not germane to this post.
So I know from jump roping. But I never saw someone jump rope like Mark Rothstein. Courtesy of our two committed physical education teachers, Mark spent an entire day at our school on Friday, performing his rope tricks and involving each and every student in a subsequent jump rope workshop.
Tres impressive. But much, much more impressive was his ability to have the entire school population, sitting in a darkened room, eating out of the palm of his hand for the duration. He was able to take the screams of excitement from over 300 students and in an instant turn them into the stunned silence of an enraptured audience. And he found a way to incorporate those oh-so-important-especially-in-these-times character words into his performance, including integrity, kindness and respect.
And so, yet again, the students in my school were given an experience, and not just a lesson. I. love. it. If you’re wondering, I did do some jumping. In my classroom, with my students, wearing heeled boots. And I did 10 nicely formed jumps in a row. Not too shabby. No photographic evidence exists. Just the way I like it.