Music Saves Education

The glue that binds an educational community

More on the the building blocks….

on August 29, 2014

It’s the 3rd day of school and I’ve seen every grade level except the K’s.    At this stage I am molding a music room culture for the year so content from 1st to 5th grade for the first few classes is virtually identical.  Here’s my message board:photoOur art and PE teacher are in the same process, perhaps with a slightly different approach, but what makes our job wonderful is that the result is the same.  We are all upholding the same “pillars”;  Kindness, Community, Effort, and Knowledge.  Further, though our terms might be slightly different, we have similar versions of the Responsive Classroom questions that we use to “create rules”.  We ask: What does SAFE, KIND, and RESPONSIBLE look like?   Every step is (theoretically) based on this question.

Looking at the sloppy handwriting on my white board you can note how I reinforce the culture with our first day activities:
1.  Our first activity, “Dinah’s Dead”  is an easy movement piece/ chant  that gets kids ready do participate in a pressure free silly way.
2. We briefly discuss what Safe, Kind, and Respectful look and sound like.  We discuss the “no “I can’t”” policy.  I do an activity in which students ask an opposite gender to dance by using eye contact and whole-body listening.  Our school psychologist and occupational therapist have created a chart that specifies what “me thinking” vs “us thinking”  is as well.  This is particularly pertinent on the 2nd and 3rd grade levels and is a big part of our classroom culture discussion.
3.  We practice responsible/ safe movement and taking care of materials by moving through an “instrument museum”
4.  If we have time, we dance (In this case a dance called “Alabama Gal” and discuss how to move safely in the classroom.
5.  Assess our own behavior and talk about the “scale” our teachers have created:  4= no reminders   3= a few reminders   2= a bunch of reminders    1= TOO MANY REMINDERS!   Classroom teachers are informed of what the class earned and often put into place group rewards (NO FOOD!) such as extra recess time or a fun game or video.

More to come!  I will be checking in in a few days….stay tuned.

 

 


One response to “More on the the building blocks….

  1. Allison says:

    Yes, yes, yes! I love to see the skill building at all levels- social, emotional, physical, musical! So glad you’re where you are!

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