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Ramsey International Fine Arts Center
Ramsey International Fine Arts Center

Ramsey ACE~Team:
Sarah Jacobs, ACE Instructor
Laura Grant, Team Leader
Nancy Kruse
Kathy Lara
Zoe Martinez

Year One: What does success look like?

Ramsey teachers tell us that ACE Dance:

Helps students develop critical thinking skills and synthesize academic ideas through dance-integrated lessons:
  • 6th grade math: improper fractions, mixed numbers, adding negative numbers (Zoe)
  • 3rd grade science: sound waves, vibration, frequency and amplitude (Laura)
  •  Spanish Fine Arts dance/music/language/culture: living skeletons and Día de los Muertos celebrations (Kathy)
  •  Kindergarten reading: pancake story and dance (Connie)
  • Autism music program: adding movement to songs (Connie)
  • 1st grade field trip preparation/reflection: what happens in a dance performance and how do we interpret it?  What is dance for?  Music, emotions, story, sculptures, etc. (Nancy)

Builds student confidence, personal focus, communication and expression:
  • “Are we going to the dance studio today?”  (daily question from Zoe’s 6th graders)
  • Movement transitions in the classroom - between activities, waiting in line (Nancy)
  •  Students increasingly feel comfortable with their bodies (Zoe)
  • Builds team-working skills  (Zoe)
  • Increase in students’ social skills: following directions, listening, personal space, responding to “stop”, turn-taking, patience (Connie)
  • Students have positive experience of touch, especially relating to the opposite sex  (Zoe)

Builds teacher confidence:
  •  “I wrote a successfully focused – and not overambitious - residency plan! I am learning what is necessary for a successful collaboration in the arts.” (Laura)
  •  “I got out of my comfort zone – out of my head and into my body” (Nancy)
  • “This has improved my own mental health.  I’m also using less music and movement CD’s and doing more teacher-directed lessons.  I now schedule the studio for dance 4 times a week!”  (Connie)

Brings a focus on dance and movement education to the entire school:

  • “Dance has come back to Ramsey!”  (Zoe)
  • There were several years without dance after the dance specialist position was cut, but in ’07-‘08: EVERY K, 1ST, 2ND, 4TH, 6TH, 7TH, and 8TH grade class, as well as one 3rd and one 5th grade class, worked with a professional dancer/teaching artist!

Team Goals for next year:
  • Tools for transitions!
  •  A common vocabulary among all staff – speak it across disciplines so kids are hearing the same message and understand that all the adults in the building are working together for them as students
  • Kathy: more ways to incorporate dance in class
  • Zoe: get kids out of their seats so they can then focus and learn better; dance and MN history
  • Collaboration between 1st grade and Spanish Fine Arts facilitated by Nancy/Kathy/Laura
  • Better documentation to share with other staff
  • Quicktime movies of lessons, exercises, games, etc. for other staff to use (put on the shared drive for all to access)