5 strategies for passing out “stuff” without losing your mind

5 strategies for passing out “stuff” without losing your mind

One challenge common among music teachers is the challenge of setting up classroom routines and procedures when you don’t see students very often.  Additionally, any given music class can have a variety of different teaching scenarios, like movement activities, instruments, games and even pencil and paper tasks that provide the need procedural reminders.  With that in mind, I’ve gotten in the habit of fitting my procedure of the moment to what my students present when I greet them at the door.     Here are some of the ways I get the things my students need for a given lesson into their hands as quickly as possible with minimal fuss.  “Singing Game” – Sometimes the long way is shortest.  Depending on the stability of the class and how they walk in the door, I’ve been known to pass out papers materials one at a time, calling each student up to the front to get their materials.  It may seem like that would take forever, but with little kids, it is often faster for me to do it, even one at a time than it would be to ask the students to help.  They like having my attention for a moment and I may even make a singing game out of it….. “Sarah, Sarah, come up and get your paper!” …. to some made up melody. “Assembly Line” – Every moment counts.  I don’t know about you, but I could sure use more time with my older students.  We have so much learning to do and so little time!  When I have papers (or materials) to pass out AND when I feel pressed for... read more
Refreshing, Reflecting and Rejoicing!

Refreshing, Reflecting and Rejoicing!

  This fall has been an absolute whirlwind!  A full teaching schedule plus the additional work of grad school has meant that I am busier than ever.  There are so many things to be grateful for!  My dad is healthy – In September we celebrated the one year anniversary of his stem cell transplant.  He is fine and dandy and the tether linking him to M.D. Anderson is getting longer all the time… In fact, other than some maintenance blood work, he doesn’t have to go back to the doctor until May which seems like a light year to us after all the time he has spent there over the last few years. My teaching situation is awesome!  – For those of you in less than ideal situations, know that things can change!  We get better at what we do.  Those professional circumstances that are a trial to us change.   Hang on!  Having taught in a variety of situations from awesome to hardly bearable, I know how to appreciate what is good and I am so very thankful! Babies! – My best friend and my cousin both had babies within 1 week of each other this summer.  This week I got to spend time with each of them.  I love being “Aunt” Bonnie!  Time off! – For the last week I’ve let my mind go blank!  It’s been perfect!  This week I’m picking up a project or two…. I’m spending time with friends and doing only what seems like fun including some time updating my blog.  I’m hoping to create a reserve of posts to see me through some... read more
Choir Music I Love – 2

Choir Music I Love – 2

Kusimama by Jim Papoulis is one of those choral pieces that is both challenging and really fun to sing.  I’ve had 5th graders at two different schools with various degrees of choral singing experience sing this piece very successfully and with great joy.  It is a great teaching piece and one that I love. It’s also a real crowd pleaser!  The piano part is basic enough that even I can play it when needed and the song is a perfect opportunity to incorporate percussion instruments. Kusimama Like this:Like... read more

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