Tampa high school uses dance to teach Common Core - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa high school uses dance to teach Common Core

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One of the dancers on stage during the production of CInderella One of the dancers on stage during the production of CInderella
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

'Common Core' is a phrase you hear a lot about in the public school system these days. It's a set of standards designed to ensure all students graduate and prepare to enter college or the workforce.

At Blake High School, the Common Core instruction is taking on a different turn and twist, and a plie. When the curtain went up on the dance production of Cinderella at Blake recently, the dancers weren't the only ones who had to be on their toes. All of the students watching the production were learning.

“Whatever we do is not just separate, it's something that is always tied to the school to whatever we are doing in the classroom,” instructor Alebena Arnaudov said.

The dance instructors for the past 8 years have either staged a version of the classic Cinderella or the Nutcracker. But before the students even step into the auditorium to watch a single twist they have to read the history of the fairy tale first.

It's all part of Common Core learning. It's a visual enhancement of writing and reading skills.

Teacher Stephanie Post said “We want kids that are in all content areas to learn how to write in a common core style and what's important about common core is that it's analytical writing. It's really pulling evidence and commentary and making a claim about whatever you're writing about.”

Once they view the production put on solely by students at Blake, the English and reading students will then write an analysis of the performance, 1200 words. And it's strictly about what they saw, not what they researched before the production.

“When they view a performance, we're analyzing movements and we can relate what's the choreographer's intent and relate that when we're reading something, what is the main idea. what is the thesis. The students are finding evidence, both through the writing and then through the movement,” said Kelly Rayl-McCormick

Instructors say the other benefit for the students is their visit to Blake sometimes is the only opportunity or even the first opportunity, they get to see a live dance performance. So it's an all-around learning experience.

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