#etmooc Digital Story Telling Experiment: Animated GIF v. 2

Here’s a “prototype” gif for teaching students how to draw treble clefs, and learn the order of sharps and flats. Not perfect, but I think it has potential!

I know it is not a story per se, but I think it is a really interesting way to teach a concept like this!

I created this with the iPad app Moquu.

What other concepts or ideas could be taught using this kind of media?

EDIT: Here’s another one teaching intervals in the key of C!

Infographic: The Psychology of Music

Really great info graphic about the psychology of music!
I’m hesitant to link music education with academic success and social skills. One, they are correlations, that is they are linked, but one does not cause the other. There are a huge number of other social factors that impact these claims.
Two, music education does not exist to promote these other skills. I’m happy if my students perform well in their other classes, to be certain, but my purpose is a music educator is to teach students music. To teach them how to create and express through music is the highest calling of the music educator.
Great graphic, but many music ed folks cringe at the correlations as arguments for music education in schools!
The Psychology of Music

 

#etmooc Digital Story Telling Experiment: Animated GIF!

I haven’t ventured into creating my own content for an animated gif just yet (I’m still tossing around ideas), but I thought I’d try making a gif of an awesome video with music by the Zurich Chamber Orchestra.

I love this video because of how perfectly the staff syncs with the music and how the animators chose to highlight the drama of the music with the intensity of the rollercoaster.

If I was an animator as well as an educator, it would be awesome to animate student performances! Maybe make it an after concert project option? So many cool ways to go with this!

Anyway, here’s the gif! I had a really great time making it, and it was very easy!

I followed Jim Groom’s super easy to follow tutorial on making gifs using Open Source Software which can be found here!

Check out my other digital storytelling experiments here and here.

For all my other #etmooc (Educational Technology Massive Open Online Course) postings, check out my ETMOOC category here

Five Card Flickr Story: Many Paths

All of these images reminded me of taking a journey, and all of the new and invigorating experiences that come with that.

 I think it would be interesting to create a specific classroom version of this game. Maybe have students select photos around a certain topic specific theme and compile them into a database and then have students write their own stories based on the pictures they get or choose pictures that best represent a piece of music.

How would you implement this in your classroom to promote storytelling skills within music education?

Education Technology MOOC #etmooc

Jumping in a little late on this MOOC (massively online course)! I’ve attempted another in the past (a wonderful World Music in Coursera) and I’m currently taking a stab at a Philosophy course on Coursera (through the University of Edinburgh).

I’m thrilled to see what an MOOC that is directly related to my teaching will be like! Stay tuned for my posts!

 

30 Day Blog Challenge Day 2

Day 2: What do you believe is your greatest strength as a teacher?

What’s the saying about “man’s best-laid plans?” One of the best lessons I learned in Student Teaching was that a well-thought out lesson plan will sometimes go south. That half of your students will be on a trip. They aren’t picking up something as quickly as you hoped. You weren’t informed about a fire drill. Someone tries to throw a chair.

I think one of my biggest strengths as a teacher is my ability to adapt to unusual circumstances and be flexible in my teaching and planning. As a student teacher I worked with four very different cooperating teachers, and an ever-changing landscape of student interactions. Many days my plans were fine and I think I taught some great lessons during student teaching. But there were certainly times where things did not go according to plan.

It’s easy to get frustrated. To let the students talk until the bell, to play a simple game. Certainly better planning is needed, but in those moments, when my best-laid plans have been laid waste (even by a Kindergartener!), I find that I figure it out. I don’t know if it’s intuition, training, or sheer luck, but the teacher in me comes out. You find ways to make it work and meet the students where they are.

Is it always perfect? Of course not. During one of my supervisor observations I realized I had not properly pre-assessed the knowledge of a group of late elementary students and had to completely revise my plan, but I saw their frustration and didn’t try to charge forward with my plan. It seems like such a small thing, but I recognize now that it was an important moment in my teaching. I messed up, recognized it in the students, and fixed it on the spot.

So my greatest strength as a teacher right now is flexibility (and content knowledge, and pedagogy, and student relationships, and a bunch of other principle friendly lingo). Maybe one day my planning will catch up to my teaching, but until then, I know I can adapt and adjust to any situation those students can throw at me!

30 Day Blog Challenge Day 1

Day 1: How did you decide to become a teacher?

When I started college I was a pre-seminary student pursuing an undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance. During my sophomore year, I decided to drop the seminary certificate and pursue education as a career.

Photograph of The Boxcar Children books on a shelf.

I loved The Boxcar Children books as a kid! Will need to find a set before I have children of my own! Creative Commons License 2011, janielle23, http://www.flickr.com/photos/janellie23/5557021621/

I’ve always loved school. In elementary school I would have my father drive me to school early to get everything ready and make sure I was prepared for the day’s learning. I’ve always loved to read. We joke in my family that my mother once collapsed in the library while pregnant with me, and that I’ve loved to read ever since. I’ve always loved music. I remember standing and singing in my classes at my first elementary school and being told I had one of the best voices in the class.

But I’m not a teacher because I love school, because I love to read, or because I love music. I’m a teacher because I believe education is the place that I can best make a change in this world. Teaching is the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done, and I’ve only been a student teacher! There’s something incredible about making music with students and helping them find their voice and their song.

As a student teacher I worked at two different schools, with four different cooperating teachers, and with close to 700 students from grades K-12. I will never remember all of them. But I will remember that it was there that I discovered my love for teaching. It was not a chore to get up in the morning and drive 30 minutes to school with coffee in hand.

Instead, I greeted my students cheerfully (even at 7am!) and asked how their weekend was, or how the One-Act was coming along. I decided to become a teacher because I think I already was a teacher. When I wanted to be a pastor, I was drawn to the teaching aspects of the office.

Keep Calm and Teach On

Copyright 2012 Ashley Kipp at Simply Designing http://simplydesigning.blogspot.com/

As I wrote in my post, Teacher to Student, I have felt a great loss in my transition back to being a college student. I don’t receive the same fulfillment as I did during student teaching. But a bit of that spark comes back each time I browse the classifieds of districts I’m hoping to apply for, and I look forward to the day when I have students of my own again.

I guess I never did really decide to become a teacher. Instead, I chose a major and teaching found me along the way. I’ll never look back.

 

30 Day Teaching Challenge

30 Day Teaching Challenge

In an effort to keep myself thinking about teaching and in the teaching mindset, I’ve decided to start a 30-day teaching challenge starting tomorrow! Thanks to Julie at learningtoteach-julie.blogpsot.com I finally found a list that will work for my purposes here!

I might alter a few of the questions to be more applicable to my experience as a pre-service teacher, but I’m excited to explore some of my teaching experiences in depth!

Here are the prompts! I’ll see you tomorrow!

30-Day Reflection Challenge

Day 1: How did you decide to become a teacher?
Day 2: What do you believe is your greatest strength as a teacher?
Day 3: In which area do you think you can improve the most?
Day 4: What were you most worried about as you approached your first day as a teacher?
Day 5: How do you keep your classroom organized?
Day 6: What have you observed of other teachers that might work in your own classroom?
Day 7: How can you best promote responsibility in your students?
Day 8: How do you connect with your students?
Day 9: What do you want out of the “Staff Room”?
Day 10: Describe your ideal administrator.
Day 11: What do you think about the phrase: “Always teach like you are going to be observed?”
Day 12: What strategies do you use to keep up with grading?
Day 13: What helpful advice have you heard about dealing with parents?
Day 14: Who do you turn to for teaching advice and why?
Day 15: How would you describe yourself as a person and as a teacher?
Day 16: What is your biggest regret as an educator?
Day 17: What is the most important thing you have learned in school?
Day 18: What about education frustrates you the most?
Day 19: How would your coworkers describe you?
Day 20: Describe yourself during your first year of teaching and discuss how you have grown.
Day 21: What was your most enjoyable moment as a teacher?
Day 22: What did you encounter in your career which you did not expect?
Day 23: What aspects about education are you currently excited for?
Day 24: What part of teaching has been the easiest?
Day 25: How were you taught in school?
Day 26: What tools do you think are most important for professional development today?
Day 27: What is one thing you want to accomplish before you are done teaching?
Day 28: How do you create a classroom where every student feels included and valuable?
Day 29: What is your preferred learning style and how does it affect how you teach?
Day 30: What kind of teacher do you want to be in 10 years?

Happy Graduation, C: My experience with special education in musical ensembles

While student teaching, I met a wide variety of students from future music educators to students in Special Education. I’ve already written about one of those students in this post, and I’ve been thinking about another student, who I will refer to as C, a lot in the last few weeks.

C was in the Women’s Chorus at my second student teaching placement. She is a high school senior graduating in May. A very kind student who gave every ounce of effort she had in every rehearsal. C is wheel-chair bound and has limited muscle and breathing control. During most rehearsals, her para would write down the words to the piece of music we were working with and sometimes sing along.

C would rarely sing in rehearsal, but would sing out with joy at concert time. My first day of student teaching there was a concert day for the choir, and I noticed C’s voice and effort immediately.

As I worked with C and the other young ladies of the Women’s Chorus, I saw a great deal of progress in all the students. But C began to sing more often, trying her best to initiate each line with the rest of the choir, even if she was not able to sustain singing or match pitch.

On my last day of teaching, I sat with C and her Para, J, for a while and chatted about the time I had spent at the school. C will graduate from high school about when I will graduate from college.

Few students have impacted me and my outlook on teaching like this one girl with a big heart, and few students have convinced me of the vital role of special education in schools.

Not only did C have the awesome experience of learning and performing music with the choir, but the rest of the choir interacted with C on a daily basis. Furthermore, my experience in that classroom changed the way I teach and the way I interact with students at all ability levels.

I have an incredible opportunity as a music teacher to give students opportunities that their status in life, be it economic, academic, or even physical, often limit. All students involved (especially the student teacher) were edified and bettered by her presence in the classroom. Much could be said about inclusion/mainstreaming in our nations classrooms, but I will always strive to welcome students of all kinds into my ensembles and classrooms that they might discover this strange thing called music.

So, happy graduation C! Good luck with your last semester of high school, and I hope that you will find as much joy in life as you did on that stage during the winter concert.