|Wonderful, goofy, creative, thoughtful fourth graders! :-)|
Today was the last day of the five-day residency with three classes of 4th graders. The first four days I experimented with Notice & Wonder. Today we had to finalize 8-beat patterns and had some reflection games to play to end the week. So, we were busy, and I felt that I would probably see interesting things in their final reflections in their residency journals. I decided to make sure that I followed up on yesterday's reflection lesson. And, instead of ending the final class with N&W we ended by dancing our dance patterns to music!
Before we practiced for the reflection games (doing our 4- or 8-beat patterns both congruently and reflected) I held conversations with each class about what it meant to reflect a dance pattern across a line of reflection. Here is a conversation that illustrates really well the kinds of things kids needed to consider, both in language and in their bodies:
Me: So tell me, what it is that has to change in the dancing? Give me specific examples of what has to change in the pattern if you are the reflection:
Kid 1: That your feet are doing the opposite.
Kid 2: It has to be congruent. Well, it doesn't have to be the exact same but it has to be very similar.
Me: So what is the thing that is different about the reflection when they do the dance?
Kid 3: If the reflection does its right, the other person has to do its left.
Me: So who is the reflection reacting to? Themselves or the original?
Kids: The original.
Me: So if the original puts his foot in the outside corner (away from the line), the reflection's foot is...
Kid 4: ...is on the inside.
Me: Hmmm. Why don't you guys stand up so we can watch this. So let's say that you're the original. Put your foot in the outside (away from the line) upper right corner. So the reflection puts his foot where?
Kids: On the outside...
Me: On the outside...?
Kids: Left corner.
Me: So what else needs to be different? Is it just feet? Raise your hand and tell me what else it could be.
Kid 5: Um, your like, body movement?
Me: Tell me more.
Kid 5: Like, so, say, this person twists this way (gesturing to the right) and the reflection turns to the left.
Me: Is there anything else that needs to be different?
Kid 6: For like diagonals, then they have to be facing each other? [positioning herself in the square]
Me: Oh! I see. So if you're the original, when you're doing a left diagonal [with feet split apart] so the reflection would have to do the...
Kids: Right diagonal.
Me: And the body is involved because it's turned...how far? How far has it been turned from front?
Kids; 45 (degrees).
TIME FOR GAMES!!
Me: Who wants to play "Reflected or NOT Reflected?!"
Mr C & 4th grader dance, when they finish there are audible gasps from the audience, like they've figured it out!
Okay...let's watch AGAIN! Was it reflected or not reflected?
Kid: It was reflected because when they turned their backs were facing each other.
Me: So if they're backs are facing each other, that has to mean what?
Kids: They're facing in the opposite direction.
Me: So, what was their intention, even though they didn't do it exactly the way they wanted, what was it?
Kid: She was reflecting because when she was diagonal, she did a right diagonal and the other person did a left diagonal.
Me: Was there anything else that you saw that told you it was a reflection?
Another kid: Um, the steps they were using when they stepped. So when C. stepped to the right, G. stepped to the left.
Me: Why did you not think it was reflected.
Kid: Because when they did a right diagonal, the other person did a right diagonal.
Me: What other evidence did you have to support your claim that it was not reflected?
Another kid: When they turned they turned the same way.
Me: Do you have a reason for why it was not reflected?
Kid: Because they were going the same way and when they, like, moved their feet together they did the same crosses.
Me: Oh, okay. So by "same cross" what makes the cross the same?
Kid: They used the same legs.
Me: Oooh. Surprise ending! What did you see?
Kid: When they, like, turned, they landed in the same place.
Me: They landed in the same place, but what did you notice about the turn?
Kid: They turned different.
Me: They turned in different...what?
Kids: They turned IN.
Me: Did one slide and the other jump? Or was it more like they turned in different directions?
Kids: Different directions.
Me: Did you see that pattern, you almost couldn't tell it was reflected? It was SNEAKY! And you didn't really know until the end! Give them some applause for the sneaky-ness!
Me: Now, who wants to play "Whoooooo's the reflection?!"
Kid: When they did the cross T. did the opposite way.
Me, to class: Any other ways to describe how T. was different?
Other kid: When D. turned to the right, I think, T. turned to his left.
Me: So who do you think the reflection is?
Me...so, why do you think it was S? What did you see or what did you notice about what he did?
Kid: When M. turned he faced that way and went to that corner and S went to that corner.
Me: So, they went to opposite corners.
Me; Okay. Who changed the pattern?
Me: And why do you think it was G.?
Kid: Because after he did a pattern and (his partner) A. followed...
Me: You saw him following along? Ohhh...
Another kid: Grant changed his body while A changed his body the other way so the bodies were the opposite.
Me: But how did you know it was G. specifically?
Third Kid: Because, for the last time I was glad you said it was the last time they would do it congruently because I didn't get to look at their diagonals. So, their diagonals...A's was a right diagonal I think, and G did a right diagonal.
Me: How many people noticed his first jump?
Me: Who do you think the reflection was?
Kid: H. because N turned the right direction and when H. saw that he turned the left direction.
Me: How many people agree (hands). Was there any other information?
Kid: In the beginning it was, when they did it congruently, it was right diagonal, left diagonal? And then H. went left diagonal, right diagonal.
Me: What do you think?
Kid: It was H.
Me: Who wants to give me a reason for why?
Kid 2: I think it was H. because on the second beat her feet went...when they did it congruently I memorized their feet positions and which corner their feet went and then I was watching that corner when they did the other one then that person would be the reflection.
A fun last day, and a fun week of learning with 4th graders! I will be puzzling over my "data" from this week. If you're interested in reading more about the Notice & Wonder experiment I've been running this week you can read each day's account here:
INTRO/DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4