BEST field trip ever!

BEST field trip ever!

These days I am VERY busy working full time while working to earn my Masters in Music Education through the online program at Kent State.  I am loving every minute of my time studying, but spending time on class work has kept me from blogging.   However, this weekend I got to spend my Saturday with my amazing crew of 5th grade choir members as we enjoyed our spring field trip to Moody Gardens.  It was really fun and was truly one of the most enjoyable field trips I’ve ever had.     I just had to share this video! My principal creates a vlog each week for our students.  This week’s episode is ALL about the 5th grade choir and our annual field trip to Moody Gardens.  I literally got teary eyed the first time I saw it because my students are just so sweet and I’m gonna miss them when they go to Jr. High.  If you enjoy this episode please be sure to subscribe to the vlog as it is really well done and a great idea for any school.   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...
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...
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...
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,...
3 good things!

3 good things!

 Since this is mine and my co-teachers 3rd year at our amazing school, the new has worn off and we have things figured out.  It is is amazing to be able to refer to our own work from the last two years and have the chance to refine rather than create from scratch.  We know how things work.  We know who to ask.  We know how we prefer to divide tasks and we know what we can do better.  If you have been at your school less than 3 years, just know that it will get better…. Even if you are doing fine, it’s soooooooooooooooooooooooo much easier year 3!  I promise!  This is my 3rd school and it’s when you finally get to year 3 that you finally start to breath.  I LOVE year 3! I don’t think that having a student teacher is right for everyone, but I’ve never had one before and I really enjoy it.  I like talking about how things are going and taking the time to figure out how to make things better.  Having someone to guide through the process of being a student teacher has already made me much more reflective in my practice and that is always a good thing, and another set of hands to get tasks done is awesome too!  Honestly, having an honest look at why I do things a particular way is rather refreshing. I don’t know how long I can keep it up, but truly I am more organized than ever this year.  Because of grad school I have less time than normal and since I have no...
New Stages and New Phases

New Stages and New Phases

So just when I thought my life couldn’t get any more exciting and wonderful…. it did!   1.  Back in May, I agreed to become a mentor for a student teacher!  Now ya’ll know, I’ve wanted to host a student teacher for quite a while and then one day, it happened… they asked me to be a collaborating teacher and I said YES!  So over the summer my student teacher and I were able to meet a couple of times and the conversation was real and it was good….  Today was the first day that my student teacher was on campus which is cool because today was our first “official” day back so she is getting the real deal of what it’s like to start school.    Even after just one day my favorite part of being a collaborating teacher is that I’m really having to unpack what I have been doing by habit for a while.   I hope there will be more things that I learn as a result of the process that I can share, but my biggest roadblock to sharing is also my biggest news….   2. I’m starting GRAD SCHOOL!!!!!  I will be working toward my Masters of Music Education at Kent State University through their online Music Education program.  I am equal parts elated and terrified as I haven’t been in school since before the turn of the century!  I know that I know how to work hard, I just don’t know think I can manage cloning, so I’ve tried to schedule some blogs for the upcoming fall, but if I go missing, you’ll know...
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