Thursday, October 12, 2017

The First 6 Weeks of School

In the music room, I have students for 6 consecutive years. Rethinking and reinventing how to teach expectations at the beginning of the year can be a challenge since many students feel like they already know what to do....

I was brainstorming some ideas with my colleague from Rose Glen when she shared an idea about creating iMovie trailers to teach different routines. This was just the inspiration I needed! What could be better than not teaching expectations over and over again? Having the students do it themselves!

Although I was certain that this plan worked for me, I also needed to make sure it worked for my students. I chose to have my 5th graders be the "music room experts.  I found a fantastic iMovie trailer planning resource created by Tony Vincent that helped students focus their ideas, and plan the text and pictures/videos needed to complete their trailer. We finished by having a gallery walk of all the different videos that were created.

Did they turn out to be everything I dreamed of? No....not all of them (turns out it is really fun to show what NOT to do)....BUT students were engaged! They had fun! And everyone reviewed, discussed, and created something they were proud of. Check out of few of the videos I may be able to use for teachable moments that happen throughout the year:

The new year has started and we're already to a halt!

The objective is: I can problem solve when something goes wrong.

My class by this time has already been exploring: Explain Everything, Google Classroom, Showbie, Razzkids, Dreambox, Google Doc, etc. With this said, it does not make us any less frustrated when the iPad does not cooperate. At the beginning of this journey, I would drop everything I was doing to fix the problem. I would literally bring learning to a halt! 

I have changed my thinking on this. The truth is in life things do not always happen as planned. We have to adapt or modify those plans to continue our work and make progress. This is a lesson that can easily be applied to technology. When my students come to me during group instruction and ask to have their tech hiccup fixed, I turn them away. I remind them that they have to problem solve. 

We have discussed in class the various things we can do when my iPad in not working or is not charged. Our learning does not and should not STOP because of our iPads.