Ahhh... a new year, a new start after an extended maternity and a weird return to teaching. I am always so excited to start a new year full of hope and certainty that this year, this year, I'll get it right. I am changing a lot of things in my curriculum this year so I thought a change in my decor and rules were in order as well. I promise to post pictures as soon as I am able.
NEW RULES with a music twist are...
Respect all people, things and places
Only do your very best
Come in and line up singing or smiling
Keep yourself and others safe
I plan on using the music K-8 song "We Rock" as our entrance song this year and instead of verse 2 doing a rap of our rules. Not very "Kodaly" I know, but I don't care.
I am going to use a clip system like classroom teachers only I will use magnets on my filing cabinet by the door. Keeping with the ROCK theme, categories are
You've Gone Platinum!!! - your work demonstrates superieor musicianship skills
Super Star!! you are going above and beyond expectations
Rock On! you are doing exactly what you should be doing, thank you.
Oops- you made a mistake, you can turn it around
Join the Audience- sit and watch the class to see what you should be doing
Time to Practice More- schedule a time with Mrs R and your family for you to come in and practice what you should be doing.
Cancel the Concert- leave the classroom immediately to meet with the principal
Everyone will start on Rock On and have the opportunity to move up or down. I like having the opportunity to acknowledge those that do continually go above the call of duty. I like the analogy of cancel the concert. We will talk about how you can go straight to that if you are dangerous, just like if there was a fire at the concert, it would be cancelled immediately we wouldn't wait to go through all the other steps first.
I've always had a communication sheet that goes back to the classroom teacher. My classes are all back to back and rare is the time that I have to chat with teachers about how their class behaved. This year I am getting smart and eco friendly. Each teacher will get a ROCK chart inside a pocket protector that also has each student's name on it. After moving their magnet, students will also put a mark on their chart, which can be wiped clean for next class, because everyone gets a clean slate on a new day.
Downloads below... Please let me know what you think. I'm dying to know if I'm just talking to myself or if anyone actually reads my blog.
Mr. Owen, currently napping, has his first birthday party this weekend and has given me more joy and more to think about in a year than I ever thought possible. I've been reading a lot about how boys learn, how they play, and how they are different from girls in more than just the anatomical sense. I see things I have read play out in his need for speed, destruction, short breaks after play, and how much he love his momma :) I wonder if education, originally meant only for boys has left them behind.
I don't do a lot of sitting still in the music room, but because of space constraints I do a lot of "move like this" or very reigned in creative movement. Maybe we'll take it outside this year and let them run free. Like a good Kodaly teacher I pride myself on my transitions, but maybe my boys need more time to wind down and ease into those periods of concentration. Why is it my boys are always losing the right to play the instruments because they aren't using them appropriately. Maybe I can create some exploration centers where kids can make any sound with instruments, before being asked to make specific sounds. Seeing my son handle everything I know I need to make music a more tactile experience for my boys. I have manipulatives but mostly paper or felt. I think a lego rhythm activity is in order. Maybe some vocal development in sand or bags of finger paint.
I'm certainly not an expert on boys, but having Owen has given me a different perspective and as he grows so will my understanding.
Any tricks you use to help boys
I love Kindergarten! The work we do in Kindergarten sets the foundation for everything else they will learn. In one of my Kodaly classes, the teacher told us in Hungary they take their best and brightest, the most talented music teachers and let them teach Kindergarten. Not to mention Kinders love to move, sing, and play without abandon... and are so stinkin' cute you could gobble them up. So this summer I really tried to dedicate my time into strengthening my Kindergarten curriculum. I started with my I can statements, looked at what songs and actvitities are the absolute best ways to help students reach their goals, and threw out everything else. I also created a book of songs and activities for students to take home that will show parents exactly what we do in the music room and let them continue to make music at home. I posted the pdf of my book for your thoughts and ideas. If you would be interested in an editable copy for your own usage let me know.
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Ok, so those of you who know me, know that I am an admitted Pinterest
addict. I have seriously considered having my husband put a parental control on the site so I don't spend so much of my time pinning new ideas. Most of the time I pin anything that catches my attention, with the intention of going back and looking at the links when I have time. I first looked at the incredibox link last month on my ipad, and since of course it is flash based, (grumble grumble thank you for not working well with others apple ) it wouldn't play, and I dismissed it. Finally saw it on my laptop today and I am in love!
At first glance it is a cool music mixer a little bit like Groovy Jungle. My kids would have an amazing time creating their own a'ccappella arrangements.This little hipster looking dude pops up shirtless and you drag over an icon which not only gives him some sweet threads but also a beat, melody,harmony, or vocal effect. You can record your arrangements. Not only that, you can layer in parts, change parts in the middle of the recording, temporarily mute certain parts just by clicking a character.
As I was first using this as a fun toy, I thought of all of the teachable moments that could come from this website. We can dissect and isolate parts and see how they fit into the big picture. I can relate it back to our ostinatos on orff instruments and how they sound simple when they are alone but combined they create a complex and interesting sound. We can talk through compositional choices, like which sounds seem to fit together and why. Why can't you have all vocal effects?
I might have to get a bit campy and after the students create electronic versions, have them create an instrumental version with them play dressed up like the incredibox singers.
I am hoping an ipad app becomes available for this if anyone hears anything please let me know.
Have fun with incredibox, beware you may need to put a parental lock on it too it is so addicting.http://www.incredibox.com/en/#/application
Well, everyone else has a blog, so I figured it is high time I jumped on board. Smartboards, I-pads, Pintrest, Prezi...I love using technology to enhance learning and the lives of my K-5 music students. I'll be honest though, while I feel like a digital native, I don't speak the language in my classroom enough. Like many, I get bogged down by how much there is to teach and how little time.
I just calculated how much time I will spend with students next year. 36 hours! Only 18 for the half day kindergarten, and that does not include snow days, assemblies, field trips and the 5 minutes where I am waiting for my class to show up. Those 5 minutes spread across 72 lessons, by the way, adds up to a whopping 6 hours, that is 12 full class periods. Someone please check my math and tell me I am wrong because otherwise I might puke!
Armed with this information, I am now more committed than ever to making my instruction as purposeful as possible, which takes planning. This blog is meant to be a sounding board for new ideas, a personal push to try new technologies in music creation with my, and a platform on which to share student work. To hold myself accountable, I promise to blog and post a new technology that I have used on the 9th of each month. Hope you'll share your thoughts as well.