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...
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...
Wonderful Wednesday – 5 things that made today wonderful

Wonderful Wednesday – 5 things that made today wonderful

1.  5th graders with determination and heart – Our 5th grade choir meets each Tuesday and Thursday.  This morning being Wednesday I wasn’t expecting any 5th graders in my room, but was surprised when one stopped by.  He wanted to know if he could join choir.  The deadline for joining choir was more than a week ago and he isn’t a new student.  Our choir is really wonderful and our students are well behaved and have a great time, BUT since we meet early in the morning, and because we work hard, choir is not for everyone, so we have a great turn-out, but we don’t usually have students begging to join….. So I asked him “Why do you want to join choir?”  I was expecting him to say something about our spring field trip and his friends which would have been a totally fine answer.  Instead He surprised me when he answered, “Well, I didn’t really sing too much in 3rd or 4th grade, but I’ve decided I that I want to make my parents proud.”    Needless to say, I handed the forms and told him that I would be happy to see him tomorrow morning. 2.  2nd graders who can play! – I love that magical time when a group of students in an ordinary class finally settle in together to truly PLAY a game.  When you see REAL play, all of the overly managed competitive, rough-housed, teacher dominated rather than facilitated stuff pales in comparison.  My 2nd graders have been working on playing the ETM version of “Oats Peas Beans and Barley Grow” since the beginning...
5 things to consider when dressing for school – clothing considerations for music teachers and anyone else who teaches

5 things to consider when dressing for school – clothing considerations for music teachers and anyone else who teaches

  Sometimes balancing the professional look of a teacher with the physical demands of the job itself is tricky. In my music class we run, hop, skip, jump, spin, roll and crawl, bend and reach.  Before and after school, I am painting, gluing, glittering, hauling, dusting and de-gunking. Hardly a day goes by when my clothes are free from the little gifts my students leave for me as they share their sneezy germs and lunch smeared hugs. And yet, because I am a teacher I am supposed to look nice….. Sometimes I do a better job than other when I’m dressing for school.  Personally my taste runs toward fancy, but when faced with the reality of what I do, I’m always at risk of dressing lazily.  Somewhere in the middle of fancy and lazy is my goal; what I would term, “realistic professional”….  Everyday I want to wear clothes that will facilitate my ability to do my job.  I’m not going to wear a suit, and even though I might wish the powers that be would allow the music teachers to dress like the gym teachers,  I’m going to quit trying to find clothes in the athletic department and see if I can find things in my closet that will fit my desire to look my best while allowing me to move as easily as if I were wearing gym clothes.  I’m pretty sure this is on my mind because I’m right in the middle of going through my closet, so I am more familiar now with the contents of my closet than I will be until next summer! One thing I...
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