In the Swing of Things - Week 4

This past week was our first 5 day week in Skokie! We started late due to construction and then we’ve had some holidays in the mix so this was the first full week we’ve had! It was a busy week but we got a lot accomplished at Madison! I’ve started working on my SLO and this week I prepped the poem that I’m using for 2nd grade! Last year I used my own improvisation rubric for 2nd grade to improvise to a simple poem, however, I didn’t end up with very concrete data! I will definitely continue to use my improvisation rubric throughout the year as I assess skills but I’m not using it for my SLO. For my 1st grade SLO last year I focused on simple rhythms - i.e. quarter note, 2 eighths, and quarter rest. Student did some dictation, notated a simple poem, created their own rhythm, and then performed their created rhythm. I used a rubric for the creating part. Since they knew NONE of those notes when I did the pretest I got some interesting forms of notation! It was wonderful - they were able to figure out that they needed something to show how many sounds were on the beat. We did show amazing growth so it was successful all around! I’ve decided to do the same thing this year for 1st AND 2nd grade, however, 2nd grade is going to do compound duple meter! That will be totally new to them and it has been a goal of mine for a long time to get to the literacy component of compound duple meter into my curriculum. 1st grade will be different this year because they do already know quarter note, 2 eighths, and rest but they have only read them - not written them or composed with them. I’m sure the pretests will look very different this year! Stay tuned…pretest is happening next week! I’ve included the actual assessment in the “Music Education Resources” page which you can find in the Menu of this website.

This week 2nd grade started the poem I wrote for the SLO. I wrote a poem because I needed a compound duple text that only had 1 syllable words in it! Since they haven’t been exposed to compound duple meter at all yet, I plan to only focus on the beat and the division of the beat when it comes to literacy. I am excited about the poem and I ended up creating an entire lesson including a melody and a B section and the melody is la-based pentatonic. I will be adding this piece/lesson/PowerPoint to my Teacher Pay Teacher store soon! In this first lesson this week we only got the A and B sections learned with speech and movement! It’s rough, but you can see the end result of the first 30 minute lesson in the video to right of this post!

1st grade was focused on singing voices this week and some more instrument exploration! Soundy came to visit (my snail puppet who helps me teach them to sing) and we learned that if you laugh at Soundy when he sings, he goes back in his shell and won’t come out again! We explored all 4 of our voices (speaking, whispering, shouting, singing) with the poem “Hickory Dickory Dock” and the next time I see them we will explore “Hickory Dickory Dock” on barred instruments! We will be starting their poem for the SLO at the next lesson as well! I want them to have played with the text before the pretest!

Kindergarten practiced their steady beats with “Tap the Beat” which is a lesson I got from the amazing Roger Sams! I put the beat in different places on my body while singing the song and the students copy my beat! After a few different ways to keep the beat I ask them for suggestions and we all practice the beat using the students’ suggestions! It’s a nice quick lesson that gives some good beat practice! Then we explored the space with “Highway #1” from Shenanigans! This is one of my favorite little people movement lessons! If you don’t know it, get your hands on it! It is on the album “Folk Dances of Terre Australis Vol. 3” is now available on iTunes! There is also a “Highway #2” which leaves the movement parts blank so you can make up your own or I also do that one with older students with hand drum patterns that they perform after they hear mine. The hand drum can be used as their ‘steering wheel’ as they ‘drive’ around the space!

So all in all it was a very productive week! Along with school work I’ve been working on my workshop notes for the Indianapolis Symphony Discovery Concert Workshop which is next Friday 10/5 and then again on January 21, 2019. I’m working on movement vocabulary to go with Holst’s “Jupiter” and a fun speech/UPP piece with the characters to Star Wars main theme! I’ve created many movement/Orff lessons from orchestral pieces being involved in leading these workshops and it is so rewarding!! Many of these orchestral listening maps, lessons, and pieces will be showing up on the TPT store so if that interests you, check it out!

I hope your school year is going smoothly! Happy Fall everyone!

SLO Prep - Week 5

Let the Exploration Begin - Week 3