Fridays are Creative Movement and Martial Arts classes for preschool and elementary students, respectively.
Today was Name that Road Ceremony where the carpool road is up for auction at the Gala and the winner’s student has a sign made with their name on it, hung for the entire school year. I was informed that I would sing “The Parish School Song.” Laurel Oak students were there early and I sat on stage and did a movement song with them. They loved tapping, wiggling, and shaking their body parts and many students raised their hands to suggest different movements. One student said, “Did you make up that song? I like it.” I told him, “I did. Thank you!” When Margaret, the Head of the School, arrived, she sang “I’m A Parish Kid Song.” I had not heard it and many of the students had, so they sang with her while I strummed my guitar. It is to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” I asked the students to teach me in music class next week.
Creative Movement classes are designed for students to get moving, increase spatial awareness, and body awareness. Some of the activities are designed in mind for certain students to help them regulate, work on balance, fill their sensory need, and to have fun. The Kangaroos and Busy-Bees imitated animals across the room, starting at the line to the other line. They made great horses sounds, frog hops, swimming dolphins, and tall giraffes to name a few. Then we held onto a red stretchy band and danced, stopped when the music stopped, and then danced again. They did well in waiting while stopped and then dancing all together. There was so much excitement in jumping up and down while holding the band! Their creativity emerged in Musical Plates. The music played and they danced hip hop, ballet, jumped around, ran, and moved, and then stood on a plate when the music stopped. All students were smiling and laughing and really listened to the music for their cues. We ended with a relaxation by laying on the floor and listening to the music. They focused on breathing and letting their bodies calm down after all that moving. Some students stated they felt good, calm, and relaxed.
The Labs came in with a slogan to our class: “Are you ready for Mart-ial Arts?” complete with punches as you said the words. Though two students needed reminders to follow my moves and to stay with the group, the class remembered the techniques and concepts that were taught a few weeks ago. The breathing is most effective for these students, though they do well with the punches, kicks, blocks, and kiais. When the raise their arms up drawing a circle over their heads while they breathe in and bring their hands down to their heart level and breathe out, you can hear the mind chatter slow down and their bodies become quiet. Sometimes we need a reminder to stop and breathe. It is helpful to breathe using our arms to bring in positive energy and release the worry.