Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Introduce Yourself/ Line-Up Songs

Introduce Yourself!

Here are a couple of songs/chants Dr. H. blogged for introducing the class and a few line-up songs I have found:
Jump in, jump out, Introduce Yourself!
My name is: __________
Class: YEAH!
I have _______________(descriptor #1)
Class: YEAH!
And I ___________ (descriptor #2)
Class: YEAH!
All: Alright, Alright, Alright, Alright!

Strawberry Shortcake, Huckleberry Finn
When I say your Birth-month, Jump In!
January, (pause), February (pause), March (pause), etc.

Horses have a muzzle, pigs have a snout,
When I say your Birth-month, Jump Out!
December (pause), November (pause), October, (pause), etc.

Good morning, Friends,
Hello, and how are you?
We're fine, We're fine,
And I hope that you are too!

My name is _________, what's your name?
My name is ___________,
Class: Hello ___________!
His/Her name is ________, what's your name?
(Repeat for entire class)

Lining Up Songs:

(Chant “Cadence Style”)

Lining up is easy to do. (Children repeat)
When you take care of only you. (Children repeat)
Feet together, hands by your side. (Children repeat)
We’ve got spirit, we’ve got pride! (Children repeat)
Sound off! (Children repeat)
1, 2. (Children repeat)
3, 4. (Children repeat)
Bring it on down. (Children repeat)
1, 2, 3, 4. (Children repeat)
Out the door! (Children repeat)


Line Up Chant

1, 2 Listen and do
3, 4 Face the door
5, 6 Fingers on lips
7, 8 Line up straight
9, 10 Let's begin.


Tune: Doo Wah Ditty

Here we go just a walking down the hall
Singing doo wah ditty ditty dum ditty do
We're so quiet when we're walking down the hall
Singing doo wah ditty ditty dum ditty do
We LOOK GOOD (look good)
LOOK FINE (look fine)
See us walking in a line
Singing doo wah ditty ditty dum ditty do,
doo wah ditty ditty dum ditty do!


Tune: Gilligan's Island

My hands are tight behind my back
I am standing very tall
I am quietly looking straight ahead
I am ready for the hall!

Final Presentation Topic:

For my final presentation, I plan to teach a lesson to lower elementary students on the sciences of the water cycle, incorporating a fun video I found online, and a song as well. I was able to see this lesson in action when I was doing some observation hours with 1st graders last semester.

Should teachers be paid based on student performance? What makes an effective teacher?

Controversial Issue—Should teachers be paid based on student performance?  What makes an effective teacher?

Teachers should not be paid based on student performance. Some kids just don't get it, and for others, it just comes natural. If anything, teachers should be monitored based on student performance. Maybe some reform in their ways is necessary, going back to the tenure blog. If a teacher isn't doing enough to help students achieve, then what the heck are they doing in the classroom. An effective teacher is one who helps student help themselves. They help students take charge and harness their abilities and put them into positive efforts in the classroom. An effective teacher goes that extra mile to be sure the student is comprehending what is being taught. All too often we see teachers who are caring less and less and just passing the student on just to get them out of the class because they don't know how to be an effective teaching influence on that student. Which is so sad, to say the least! It is my plan and hope to become an effective teacher, helping students meeting and exceeding their fullest potential.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Teachers' Unions & Tenure

Controversial Issue—Teachers' Unions and tenure—are reforms needed?

Yes! Check out the website

Reforms ARE needed! Why? Because Teachers' Unions and tenure are keeping bad teacher in front of students.  As an education major, it's hard to say this, because both Teachers' Unions and tenure help good teachers keep their jobs when it comes to budget cuts and position cuts, etc. In small town schools, like the one I attended, and the ones I would like to teach in, you see the stereotypical crabby 80-year-old teacher, who has been there since the school was build, still teaching out of 40-year-old books, who won't do grades in the computer because it's 'the devil'... etc. Not to mention the fact that she's making a pile of money because she has worked at the same school for so long! Because of Teachers' Unions and tenure, she won't be replaced until she's six feet under. Things definitely need to change! Out-dated teachers should be replaced with newer teachers, with newer teaching methods! Otherwise, I can kiss my education degree goodbye...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Carl Orff

German composer and educator, Carl Orff developed a unique approach to music education. He defined the ideal music for children as "never alone, but connected with movement, dance, and speech--not to be listened to, meaningful only in active participation. Based on this, the Orff approach builds understanding of concepts and skills through connecting students with the music by experiencing it on all levels; including through speech/chants, movement, singing, drama, and by playing pitched and unpitched instruments, like the ones we worked with in class, we also discussed voice, body, and instrumental in general.) Orff's philosophy not only encourages children to experience music on all levels, but also at their own level of understanding. For instance, children are encouraged to learn in their natural environment of play. Improvisation (one of the NSME) is encouraged to allow children to explore the possibilities in music. His methods are great for classrooms today because students are seriously processing the information, sequentially learning it, absorbing it, and applying the knowledge they have acquired, instead of rushing through it, hardly absorbing it.

"Experience first, then participation." --Carl Orff

Elements of the Orff Approach
The Orff philosophy is a music education for the whole person. It is essentially an active music experiential approach. Orff encourages creativity through the student's natural responses to music.

1. Rhythm
Orff begins with rhythm because it is the most basic of all the elements. He teaches this through natural speech patterns. For the child, speaking, singing, music and movement are all naturally connected. The teacher then leads the students through their own creative process. By connecting speech patterns to the rhythms, the child can master whatever meter or rhythm is needed. This naturally also leads to body rhythm patterns and movement to the music. In class we used these methods, as well as pointer partners.

2. Melody
Melody is taught in the same way. Simple intervals grow out of the natural pitches from the words. These intervals combine to make a melody. This melody can later be put onto instruments. Orff said, "Experience first, then intellectualize." Only after the playing has been taught does the teaching of notation occur.

3. Improvisation
Part of the playing and experiencing which is essential to the Orff approach is the element of improvisation. As frightening as improvisation seems to be to adults, it is freeing to children. No rules! The teacher sets up boundaries in which the child can create his or her own rhythm, melody, or dance.

Example for rhythm
The student has 8 beats to create his or her own rhythm.

Examples for melody with singing
Using the notes from "do" to "sol" create a song

Example for melody using an Orff instrument
Set up the instrument in C Pentatonic. This enables the player to improvise without hitting a "wrong" note. The student has 8 beats to create his song.

Example for movement
The student has 16 beats to create some movement for a given piece of music or a given part of a story.

"Tell me, I forget... Show me, I remember... Involve me, I understand." --Carl Orff

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Extra-Curricular Activities & the Classroom

Coming from a small school, I was involved in year-round high school extra-curricular activities. It seemed I was out of school more than I was in school. Luckily, these were excused student activity absences. Now, we see kids getting out of school for sports, pep-rallies, and so on... Where do we find balance? You would think the administration would better regulate these things, but in a sports-driven society where the principal is also the co-activities director and the five-year-straight state champion one-act coach, you can see where issues arise. How do we achieve this balance? Does the responsibility then fall onto the teachers? Maybe since the kids are at all the games, maybe offer a few tie-ins... like how a certain event in history impacted a sport. Or maybe have them analyze some pep-band music? I'm not 100% sure on a solution, but we need to start somewhere!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Instrument Introduction

When is it developmentally appropriate to introduce the following instruments? Why? Recorder, xylophone, rhythm sticks, finger cymbals, kazoo--

Un-pitched percussion, which is percussion that does not have a tune/tone, like rhythm sticks and finger cymbals, do not require much hand-eye coordination, so they are developmentally appropriate to introduce at any age K-adult. Percussion that has a pitch, or pitched percussion, on the other hand, does require developed hand-eye coordination. Instruments like the xylophone are appropriate for mostly third grade and up. However, some highly developed 2nd graders may be able to handle pitched percussion. The recorder, which requires high levels of hand-eye coordination, should be introduced no earlier than third grade. As for kazoos, I think they are very basic instruments, not requiring much hand-eye coordination, nor gross motor skills, so they would be appropriate for the same ages as the un-pitched percussion, K-adult.