Being sick - the life of a teacher...Week 8

Well, this past week was one for the books! On Saturday night 10/20 the flu began for me and it wasn’t pretty! I ended up being out on Monday & Tuesday. I went back on Wednesday & Thursday but I’m not sure I should have and I ended up being out again on Friday. So I figured that this blog post would be a good time to talk about being gone and sub plan options.

A couple of years before I left Mohawk Trails in Carmel, IN I started video recording myself teaching lessons so that subs could play the video and just manage the class and start and pause the video! This was one of the best things I ever did, however, this only works when you know you are going to be gone and you have the time to make the videos! I still do it and now I have a collection of videos from last year that I can use even when I’m gone at the last minute! After this week, I realize that I need to have an emergency Sub Folder set up on my laptop at school on the desktop of the Sub login! I’m going to put some of the videos of basic activities that the kids are familiar with in the folder so when i’m out sick at the last minute I have some things that the sub has access to that can be done by anyone! For some reason, the music room tends to be intimidating by subs - I can’t imagine why!!

For Monday & Tuesday when I was out this past week I tapped into videos that I had used a few weeks ago when I was out for 1/2 day and 1st and 2nd graders got to do some review! Kindergarten got to do Imagine with creative movement since I had videos from last year that took students through the story and since I’ve already done it with them this year, they knew what to do!

We had an early release day on Wednesday this past week and we started something called “Hawk’s Nest” which is a time to pull students into small social communities together with mixed grades and then we did some “getting to know you” activities! It was a great experience and we will continue this process for all of the early release days! Because of Wednesday not being a regular day I scheduled to start new lessons on Thursday this past week! Here are the newest lessons that started Thursday and continued Friday via video when I was gone!

2nd grade has now started their music that they will perform at Barnes & Noble on December 1st! Our district has a fund raiser at Barnes & Noble every year and students perform all day long! 2nd grade will be performing the opening song for their program in February called “What Do Snowmen Do at Night?” This is the Dorian song for the performance! We will also be performing “Winter Fantasy” which is a partner song with “Jingle Bells” and then I’m still working on what our 3rd piece will be!

1st grade started working on “1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Once I Caught a Fish Alive” and “Little Fishes.” I wrote a melody for recorder for the traditional poem years ago and it’s worked for many years! We do a double circle partner mixer with it and get comfortable with the song and put the rhythm of the B section in our feet! This is a great time to compare beat versus rhythm because during the A section they are keeping the beat with a hand pattern with their partner! I will try and get some video of this next week as they get more comfortable with it!

Kindergarten started working on some Thanksgiving material with “Five Fat Turkeys.” I introduce the song by singing it and putting the 2 claps in at the rests! The kids join me on the claps and my Thursday classes did an amazing job knowing when to clap and not to clap! They even started singing quickly! I then passed out 4 different unpitched percussion instruments and we played during the claps. You can see a class doing this song by clicking on the video to the right!

I’m really looking forward to this coming week and hopefully having a 5 day week with active music making! Although, we do have to get through Halloween! The specials team is dressing up like teacher super heroes and this is the first time in about 28 years that I’ve dressed up at school so I’m really looking forward to it! I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween week!

Halloween Week...Week 9

Back at it...Week 7