Spring is finally here...weeks 29 & 30

Happy Spring everyone! I’m so grateful for some sunshine and things are finally starting to warm up a bit! The kids are still pretty restless as we have had so much rain and cold weather up until now, so hopefully they settle a little now that they will get more play time outside!

Things are actually lighting up a bit at Madison School as we approach the final leg of the school year! One more program (Kindergarten) to go on May 9th and then those are done! I’m in my final push to get the rest of my curriculum covered! There has been so much growth this year now that I’ve had them for 2 years! On May 3rd, District 69 will be hosting our 2nd annual “Family Cultural Night" which includes a Potluck dinner sponsored by our PLUS group and this year we will have many cultural learning opportunities! There will be tables with artifacts from many different cultures, performances from various cultures in the community, and folk dancing led by me and Megan Murphy (gds. 3-5 music teacher). It will be a great night! If you are in the Skokie area come join us on May 3rd from 5:30-8:00 P.M. at Edison School!

2nd grade has finished up “Riding in a Buggy” on instruments and most classes got it to a final in class performance of instruments with improvisation and the dance! The improvisation is my focus for this lesson as they create pathways in their movement for the B section (“To Market, To Market”) and follow their pathways “home”! We do the same on the instrument - we start at tonic and create a pathway on our instruments and then follow that pathway back home to tonic! They did an awesome job with this! You can see a video of one of my 2nd grade classes perform their final in class performance to the right of the post. After we finished “Riding in a Buggy” we started work on the folk dance “Sweets O May” from Step Lively. I’m focusing on some folk dances right now to prepare them for the Family Cultural Night on May 3rd!

1st grade finished up “Dozen New Laid Eggs” which gave them a partner mixer and time on barred instruments and improvisation experience! The B section is “1, 2, Tie My Shoe” and we put the numbers on the low part of our instruments and the words on the high part of our instrument and then switched them! We tried it loud and soft, and every way they could think of! This kept them focused on a small part of their instrument for their improvisation! We are now working on “Bubble, Bubble” which is a poem and B section that I found in Purposeful Pathways 1 and I set it to a lsm melody! They are getting a chance to work on quarter note and eighth note rhythms and improvise and compose with them as well as getting some barred instrument improvisation in! I added movement to help them feel the difference between the quarter notes and eighth notes and the rests. You can see a video of them doing the speech and movement on the video to the right of this post. They are truly becoming musicians!!

Kindergarten has started working on their assigned instruments for the program on May 9th! I’m so proud of them! Instruments are very motivating for my Kindergarteners and their behavior has been so good since we started working on specific parts. They are all very excited! I have taught movement with just about every song in the program but each student will have 1 song to move to in the actual program. So my job today (Sunday) is to assign all of those movement parts! (about 175 of them :) They are going to be so cute!

Hope weather is cooperating wherever you are and that your kiddos are cooperating as well! I’m just feeling so grateful for my students and for spring these days!

I THOUGHT spring was here...week 31

Before & After...Weeks 26, 27, & 28