The Heart of Winter & Program Season - Weeks 22 & 23

The last 2 weeks have been bustling at Madison School! The aftermath of the 2nd grade program and the anticipation of the 1st grade program have kept me hoppin’!! I’m also in the midst of writing (and teaching at the same time) the Kindergarten program and I have to say that this may be my best one yet! More information on that below in the Kindergarten paragraph!

2nd grade is now back into working on rhythms in compound duple meter so I can finish up my SLO with them! But it is also been a long standing goal to get my younger students reading compound duple rhythms! They are doing really well and it seems to be a no brainer for them! I approach it in the following way: When we have a quarter note as one sound on the beat it can divide into 2 eighth notes and now we have 2 sounds on the beat! Sometimes there are 3 sounds on the beat and when that happens we can no longer use a quarter note to show one sound on the beat so we have to add a dot to the quarter note so it is equal to 3 eighth notes and not 2. They accept that information pretty easily although I know they don’t all understand it! However, they ALL can perform the rhythms with rhythm words, syllables, and/or speech! Ahh - the beauty of Orff Schulwerk! So we are revisiting the piece I wrote back in the Fall for the SLO - “Leaves on the Ground” and next week we are keeping the same piece but changing the text to fit the current season - “Snow is Falling Down.”

1st grade is in full program mode right now! We are kind of doing run throughs as I teach their responsibilities for each piece. I changed my standard program process a little since we are short on time so each class is playing 1 piece on instruments and then 4 of the pieces have no instruments and I will accompany on piano! They have movement or a couple of other fun things to do during the non-instrument pieces like a body percussion storm! They love it! I’ll post video of it after the program! But if anyone is in the Skokie area on March 14th, we welcome more audience members at Madison School! 2 performances - 6:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. (performance will be about 30 minutes)

Kindergarten is working on program material which is actually just things I would be doing with them in my regular curriculum! But since they are so young, they need more time with the songs and the instruments! I’m actually tickled with myself and this program! They are doing the book The Fish Who Could Wish and I’ve been writing pieces about the things that the fish wishes for! The pieces have come pretty naturally and have allowed for some creative play for the kids! They are learning the songs so quickly and love them! I heard from parents this past week that they are singing them to adults at home and that just makes my heart happy! :) . The latest one I just wrote called “Too Small to Eat” is about the fish hoping to be too small to be noticed by the sharks! To the right of this post you can see a video of one of my classes learning to move through space as sharks while they learn the song! (which is why you hear more of me singing than them)

I’m really enjoying time with my students these days, especially Kindergarten! 1st grade is excited about their program too but not as crazy excited as Kindergarten is! Now if we could just get some hints of spring so I can stop stressing about what the weather will be like for my long commutes each day! I hope you are all having a wonderful school year as well!

March is here!!...Week 24

It's STILL cold...Weeks 20 & 21