Educational materials in the K-5 Kids Koolkit embed dance’s big ideas through numerous creative tasks. It’s 245 interrelated “pieces” instill what is important to learn about dance-making. Clarifying charts help teachers clearly express core concepts that support student skills. They are layered with multiple ways to express the idea. Each layer adds more complexity to support student understanding and growth over time. Creative catalysts are what activate the core concepts in imaginative ways to build skills and meet standards.
Kids Koolkit: Catalysts for Creating Dance K-5 is organized around the 3-Step Choreographic Process and its main processes, devices, and structures. The Kids Koolkit acts like a book, but it is more like a “book in pieces” which you pull out and take straight into the classroom. (The textbook, Teaching Dance as Art in Education sparked these ways to activate the ideas presented in the book.)
Look at the images on the slider, noticing the teaching charts. Also note the catalysts, such as the poetic stanzas composed in a way that get kids making coherent dances before they know that they are using beginning-middle-ending or principles of design or a foundation structure! Notice the other catalysts that imbed dance’s main principles, processes. and structures.
This Kids Koolkit “book in pieces” even earned a Library of Congress ISBN: 978-0-9799419-7-9. The role of the 55-page Teacher’s Ideabook is to clarify core concepts and demonstrate how they interact. The Ideabook provides the insights that teachers appreciate to make it easier to articulate concepts, build student confidence, maximize learning, at the same time they engage kids in the creative process. Its insights about the “rules” and the “tools” of creative dance enliven learning and are proven to elevate teaching to a higher standard.
Another role of the Ideabook is to demonstrate how to maximize the use of materials over a long period of time. Look at the charts to see how they present the big idea simply on one side (for students) and more complexly on the other (teacher facilitation). On the back side are “teacher prompts” to pull from to offer new facets of understanding year after year and to reinforce previous aspects for retention. This enables teachers to deploy the materials that begin simply and grow more coherent over a long period of time to enrich student growth.
205 creative catalysts include “22 Ways to Vary a Phrase,” “Flip Side” movement cards, stanza book “Poetic Prompts to Choreograph,” and as a bonus– the big 4 ft x 3 ft interactive “Dance Elements Daisy.” 30 teaching charts besides the daisy which are inside the kit provide key concepts that support quality child development and NCAS standards:
Important charts in this kit are “The Process for Dance-Making” (7), “Tools to Use for Dance-Making” (15), “Beginning-Middle-Ending” (2), and “Foundation Structures” (6). The charts explain the key concepts. The creative catalysts activate those concepts in different, creative ways. Their integration creates a synergistic matrix for learning.
The addition of the Dance Elements Daisy to the kit makes creative dance flourish. Its emphasis on inventing original movement and exploring the dance elements is captivating. By creative problem-solving, emphasizing one key element, and using various other “mix and match” elements as creative catalysts, dance-making teaches the dance elements language of movement. This makes the process both informative and fun. Facilitating creative dance with the daisy provides the catalysts to build dances using all three steps of the choreographic process (NCAS): originating movement, organizing movement into dance, and editing and refining the final product.