Berkshires: Moving mathematically

Am I allowed to write a blog post in a different state if the landscape is still rich with green and hilly attempts at mountains and small towns that disappear into back roads? Hope so because the wifi is good and I'm feeling fully charged after cafe caffeine. I'm in Lenox, the town of Tanglewood fame with nearby Kripalu housing yogis and transformation-seekers, after spending the morning at New Marlborough Central School and the afternoon at Under Mountain Elementary in Sheffield, MA. The Berkshires are pristine, but if you veer off route 7 for long enough you'll find what's left of the milltowns that feel near and dear to downtown Springfield. I drive hard and thorough, using this Mass getaway as an opportunity to put some more miles on the bright red Camry without feeling too guilty about my carbon footprint.But what a day! In grad school, we have these dreamy classes where we imagine best case scenarios for artists working in schools with luxious amounts of time to co-plan with classroom teachers and walk around the spaces you'll be using before you even breathe in the same room as the children you'll be art-making with. And somehow, I got myself a gig that not only embraces this idea but is wanting to believe it is a necessary first step to good work. I found myself sharing a little table with little chairs (brightly colored and plastic) in the hallways of a rural school with about 80 kids in multi-age classrooms making explicit connections between math concepts and dance-making. Fractions became opportunities to split up classroom spaces while multiplication arrays became moving bodies row by row. All of this is in theory of course. Tomorrow we open the classroom doors and invite the kids in to jump around, think around, and mess it all up for us.I drove south a wee bit for the afternoon to actually teach, a one-time shot with a fourth grade class whose teacher gave me a rockstar introduction while handing over masking tape we would use to break her classroom into eighths. Teaching felt good after a morning of talking. The kids gave me oxygen and my pumping blood made me a happy mover. We explored 8 counts of music, making movements for 1/8 counts, 2/8 counts, 4/8 counts, and finally an 8/8 count movement. These fractions dances demand more but the time passed so quickly. How sweet it is to be wanting more though, right? And the tape is staying on the floor.