3 things I LOVE about having a student teacher

3 things I LOVE about having a student teacher

It is so refreshing to have the chance to reflect about the WHY of what we do in music class! I truly enjoy talking “shop”.  Getting the chance to talk about what wonderful things go on in music  was the reason why I started blogging.  Having to slow down long enough to explain something is a REALLY good way to prune away extra stuff that is unnecessary and get to the heart of every instructional decision.  My student teacher asks good questions and in order to make sure that she is well equipped, I’ve got to give her really good answers…. I like the challenge because it makes me think and as a result, I’ve learned a lot!   2.  There are so many things that she can do better than me. Let’s face it…. It’s been 17 years since my last piano class and 18 years since my last theory class.  While I’ve continued to grow and learn and have improved in many ways,  after all that time in Kinder-5th grade there are some things I’ve simply forgotten.  It’s true that we loose what we don’t use!  It’s fantastic to have a chance to talk “music speak” with someone who actually remembers what a Neapolitan chord is……   3.   Another pair of hands and an extra voice is super nice. When I am teaching, she is an intuitive helper who is ready to step in and lend a hand, or reteach a learner in need of additional support.  Now that she is at the point in her student teaching when our roles are switched and she is the lead teacher,...
MATCH conference 2015 – See you there!

MATCH conference 2015 – See you there!

Let me encourage you to attend the MATCH 2015 conference! I am presenting a session about blogging as a music teacher and I would love to meet you. I think that this conference will be especially nice as MATCH provides a  variety of great course offerings like you would expect at TMEA  with the up close and personal experience you can only get when you are with a few of your favorite music teacher buddies. They have announced the entire line up of classes offered and there are going to be some really good ones.  If you get a chance to visit me, I’d love to have a chance to share with you all of the reasons why YOU would make an excellent blogger! For more information about the conference, please click HERE Please follow and like us:0 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...
Fermata Fridays Linky Party – From Wild To Mild Revisited!

Fermata Fridays Linky Party – From Wild To Mild Revisited!

I am excited to be joining the Fermata Fridays Linky Party hosted by organizedchaos.blogspot.com I found this oldie but goody blog post that I wrote a few years ago that seemed timely as we start our new school year. I hope you enjoy reading this reminders and I hope you have an amazing new school year!   If you’ve been teaching music for long, you’ve noticed that often, it’s those first few moments of each class where you and your students establish the success or failure of your lesson.  Snagging the attention of students as they come in is essential.  I currently teach classes that last 45 minutes.  I have a few students who depending on circumstances could take a full 30-45 minutes to finally transition into music class meaning that my entire class time COULD be spent with this student or that student actively sabotaging our learning …. UNLESS, I can peak their interest just long enough to if not fully engage them, then to at least transition them from active sabotage to interested observation. Learning how to read my students at the door is critical. I’ve got lessons that I am excited to share with my students, but if they don’t come in ready to receive them, then all my “good” teaching will fall on deaf ears and closed minds……. SO! The following paragraphs contain some of my every day practices as I am trying to increase the time my students spend on task. Practice #1 – greetings! I don’t ALWAYS get this accomplished, and boy, when I don’t I pay a huge price, but my lessons ALWAYS go better when I...
Tools for easily posting your TEKS and objectives! – FREE Download!

Tools for easily posting your TEKS and objectives! – FREE Download!

  I’m excited to say that this year I get to host a student teacher in my classroom and as I have prepared to work with her over the summer I have spent some time reflecting upon the things that I want to do better in my classroom. One of the many things that I would like to improve about my own practice of teaching is the habit of posting my objectives well…. I already have the habit of posting my activities and songs so that I can keep track of my lessons while I am setting up for the next class, but I can do better about being transparent and sharing my thinking about WHY I we are doing a particular song or activity. I also want to do a better job of helping my students ground their learning so that they improve in their recall of what they learned. There are LOTS of steps that help improve the outcome of those goals, but truly in many cases, the one way that I can ensure that I develop a good habit is by making it EASY!  The easier the better, even if that means that initially there is more work involved. With that in mind I have created “I can” statements using the updated music TEKS.  I tried to use a plain, clear font that would be easy to read.  I also wanted the cards to be a reasonable size, understanding that if I am going to get in the habit of using them, I have to make them a size that is small enough that I can post...
Three Things I’ve Learned This Summer

Three Things I’ve Learned This Summer

I’m excited to join the “Linky Party” hosted by Mrs. Miracle’s Music Room. What an excellent summer it has been!  Below you will find 3 things that I have learned this summer. Enjoy!     1.  Transitioning from a free blog to a hosted website is a GREAT idea!  I’ve been blogging at melodysoup.blogspot.com for a long time, but this summer I made the leap to transfer my blog to melodysoup.com.  I’m not entirely finished with the process, but so far, the transition has gone very well.  I’m hosting the site through GoDaddy.com and using WordPress.org as my editor.  I’ve been VERY happy with the customer service and the usability of WordPress..org.  If you are using a free blogging service and are considering purchasing a domain, I would definitely recommend using GoDaddy.com.     2. BookBuddy is AWESOME! Bookbuddy is an app that is very easy to use and a great way to set up your classroom library.  Stay tuned for an entire blog post dedicated to this app because it’s AWESOME!  If you would like to learn how I organize my library you can read the post HERE.       3.  Crochet is a great way to relax.  This summer I was able to crochet 3 different afghans.  Nothing is more relaxing than sitting in a beautiful summer vacation spot while listening to audio books and crocheting.  Two baby blankets and bedspread later I’ve got a go-to activity any time I want to zone out and relax.   Please follow and like us:0 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook...
The Collaborative To-Do list!  – Google Sheets to the Rescue

The Collaborative To-Do list! – Google Sheets to the Rescue

I am so blessed to work with an amazing, talented, steady, organized and hard working co-teacher. We have a great time working together! Like all successful partnerships we each bring strengths and weaknesses to the table. One of the things we have in common is that at least in our professional lives we are both morning people.  By the afternoon we are D-O-N-E done!   We are TIRED!  We are ready to go home!    When you are tired it’s REALLY REALLY hard to remember what important things need to be done.  Most of the time, nothing has to be finished as much as progress needs to be made each day.  All too often, at the end of the day we would find ourselves blanked out in front of our email with no task coming to mind.  Once in a while that’s fine, but ya’ll know that things go much better and mistakes are avoided when you can take the time to be methodical. Because we are partners we sometimes have the ability to divide tasks according to our interest and ability.  That works out great unless you can’t remember who is doing what, then you might end up doing the same thing twice….. At a previous school with a previous co-teacher we kept one entire whiteboard covered with an ongoing list….  The way our rooms were set up it meant that both of us could easily see our list at all times….  My current situation doesn’t really have a place like that…. BUT we have googledrive! Within our partnership we have been relying more and more on google...
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