Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dancing Like a Star!

For my final lab I got the chance to teach a brand new system called iDance. It is like Dance Dance Revolution, just more advanced. All of the pads are wireless and the system gives the results of each pad after each dance. Every student is able to see what percentage of steps they got right, and which steps they were too late or too early on. Because there is more to the system, it is more appropriate for teaching, and it makes it easier and more interesting to learn how to use the system. There is a wireless remote that controls the system, and you can help the students by turning on a or a "ticking" sound for when each step should be done. Luckily I was able to put in time during class and outside of class to learn how to use the system properly before I had to teach.
The theme for my lesson was "dancing like a star". All the students had a chance to practice a testing song that they would be tested on in the next lesson. The goal was to get a 50% or higher on the easy setting of the song "The Message" in order to pass with the judges and go on to perform in a dance competition. For my first task I had all the students get a partner and get a peer practice sheet. On the sheet were the five cues given in the lesson and a rubric. While one person danced, the other student gave them a number from one to four on how well they performed each cue. After that they switched roles. This activity was done to help the students get to know the cues better as well as figure out what they needed to work on in order to pass the test. After that I had all the students get on a pad and practice "The Message" on the easiest setting. At certain parts during the song I paused and went over the next couple of steps for them and had them practice before turning the music back on. After that activity I wanted to play a few fun songs for the students and allow them to pick different levels of difficulty to see what they were could do with the game, but I did not have time in my lesson. I thought that allowing the students explore with the different songs and levels would keep them motivated and interested in the game, and want to learn more.
Overall it was a fun lesson and I really enjoyed teaching it. I found the new iDance system very interesting and I definitely like it a lot more then Dance Dance Revolution. It has more aspects to it and I think it is more user friendly. I think the students had a good time during the lesson as well. I think it would have been more fun for them if they were able to explore a little more with the game itself, but because it was something new, I think they found it interesting and exciting. It was also very cool to know that we were some of the first students to use this system to teach, and it will come in handy in the future to know how to use this system.

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