An original approach to learning in one school has common core math demonstrated with dance routines.
Students at the Momauguin Elementary School took to the dance floor Tuesday morning and wowed parents and teachers with choreographed moves designed to show their understanding of new Common Core State Standards.
Sound confusing? Allow the idea’s originator, physical education teacher Liz Franco-Spano, to explain:
“Students work on math during the dance program,” she said. “They are constantly working on measurements in all units, they are asked to stand apart from each other at different distances.”
Students from third through fifth grades formed patterns by using fractions. Division and multiplication prompted students to form even-numbered rows.
The end result was a series of dances set to songs ranging from Marcia Griffiths’ disco classic “Electric Boogie” to “Macarena,” the iconic Spanish dance song of the 1990s written by Los del Rio. Each grade performed three dances set to three different songs. Before each tune, the students took their cue from emcee and fifth-grader Sage Pappacoda.
“The song is about a woman of the same name,” Sage said about “Macarena,” during his introduction for fourth-grade dancers. “In 1996, a world record was set when a crowd of more than 50,000 danced the macarena at Yankee Stadium.”
Franco-Spano said part of the learning process also involved learning about the history of dances and the artists behind them. After delivering his cue, Sage then put aside his microphone and turned up the music. Inside a crowded school gymnasium, about 100 parents whipped out tablets and smartphones to catch the moment.
“I worked on this every day, every night,” Sage said about the production.
Fourth-grader Priya Patel said she loved the dances because it made learning division and multiplication tables more fun.
“We have to estimate how far apart one foot is,” she said about the spacing. “We’ve got 16 students and two rows of eight. It takes a lot of practice.”
Parent Lenore Berrios, whose daughter, Samantha, is in fifth grade, said Momauguin School always offers special programs and a unique learning experience for children.
“Really couldn’t ask for a better school,” she said.
Read more about Common Core State Standards
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