Fourth-grade tradition lives on during pandemic

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INDIANAPOLIS – Classrooms around the state are trying to find ways to make the end of the school year special from a distance.

COVID-19 put an annual North Grove Elementary tradition in jeopardy this year, but Jordan Johnson’s fourth-grade class saved it with style.

Here is the video to prove it.

“Everybody dance now!” goes the music as Mr. Johnson starts the video off in his backyard. You quickly see his students join him one by one in the video.

Every year, at the end of the year, his fourth-grade class records a jam session to celebrate.

“This is my fifth year having my own classroom and the fifth year that I have done a music video,” said Johnson.

He didn’t plan on making this a tradition but once word got out, every class wanted to make one. Taizen Nunokawa was especially excited. 

“I thought that we were going to be the first class not to be able to do it which is kind of sad for me,” said Taizen.

“One of the first days of e-learning and he was like, ‘what about the video? We’re not going to be able to do it,’ so honestly, Taizen definitely made me motivated to try and make it happen,” said Johnson.

With the help of students, their parents, and technology, Mr. Johnson was able to include every single student in the class.

“I said you know, show me a couple of dance moves from different angles like straight on and then from the side. Maybe up below and then if you can get me them lip syncing to ‘Everybody Dance Now’ and then have them be creative in a way,” said Johnson.

Taizen went above and beyond with his look-a-like turntable. He looked like the DJ playing music for the video.

“I put bottle caps, a frisbee, a plate and I used my brother’s Kindle,” said Taizen.

His role wasn’t his favorite, though. 

“I liked the part where there was the T-Rex,” said Taizen.

It’s been a difficult year but you couldn’t tell from this video. 

“You can have tons of negatives in a school year but they leave the year remembering the video and the positives and the fun and just being silly together,” said Johnson.

“It turned out to be really fun,” said Taizen with a smile.

Mr. Johnson said if this tradition can survive COVID-19, it can survive anything. 

As long as he’s teaching, he said you can expect a music video from his class at the end of the year. 

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