I volunteer Saturday afternoons to help with an eduction program for children with Autism in New York’s Chinatown. It is run out of the Chinese Christian Herald Crusaders Church which is a subsidiary of the non profit organization Hope for New York. The organization strives to serve immigrant families by providing them with a community center to connect with one another and a variety of social services. Currently, there is work underway for a fundraiser in February, where proceeds will help support the center’s valuable activities throughout 2014.
For the event, I have choreographed three dances for my students to preform. The kids have enthusiastically spent the last three months practicing our pieces over and over. My dedication to this endeavor even went as far as to (embarrassingly) have Jay film me preforming the numbers in our apartment living room so that my students could practice them at home. I am excited to see the outcome of all their hard work.
Now the next phase to conquer are the costumes. The needs and abilities of my children vary from severe to moderate, and as such we have some students who want to take part but won’t be dancing as much as their peers. Therefore, I am creating simple, sensory minded costumes for them to wear on stage to make them an equally vital part of the performance. Each dance has a different costume and the first is bright, vibrant flowers for a hip hoppy, Cha Cha style piece. The best part is that each of our three costume styles will be created for less than $2.50 a piece. This is a fundraiser after all!
Continue reading “Teachable Moments: How to (cheaply) Make Large Flowers from Poster Board”
Check out those colors on the trees on our street! I have so enjoyed fall in the city, being from the west coast I am used to everything staying lush and green for the most part throughout each season. So watching the colors alter and fade as the months wear on has been wonderful to experience. They have also served as a bit of teachable inspiration.
On Saturday afternoons I help teach an autism education program in Chinatown with a group of some of the most exceptional teachers on the east coast, to an equally special group of students. I have been working hard to choreograph and rehearse three dances for them to preform at a fundraiser this coming February. It has been a challenge, but one that I am enjoying undertaking. After we tire them out with solid minutes of jiving and grooving we do a little art followed by some down time with games and centers.
Before Thanksgiving we tackled a fall art project that my friend Ryan found for us to do (This guy is going to be one stellar teacher. Anyone who can should hire him immediately). I am so used to using natural materials in my classroom for everything from art to science to math, but what I forgot when selecting this particular project was that I no longer live in a densely forested, organically lush corner of the world. Nonetheless Jay and I scoured the parks near our apartment to collect leaves for our tree Tree themed art project and had a whole lot of fun doing it.
Below I have included a description of our project. However, I forgot to snap a photo of the sample (which I sent home with a student) or any of the student’s finished products. This idea is in no way an original by us, so as such I borrowed a photo from another location to give you an example of what a completed wreath. The URL is on the image as to give credit where credit is due.
Continue reading “Teaching Moments: Leaf Wreaths and a Fall Walk Through Morningside Heights”