Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Three Things I've Learned this Summer

Wow! I can't believe school is starting again in just about 3 weeks! In My district, teachers go back on August 17 for 2 days of professional development/ getting our rooms ready and then students join us on the 19th!  

For my first post in a long time (see reason why as the1st thing I have learned) I will be Linking up with Mrs. Miracle's Music Room to share 3 things I have learned this summer.  Be sure to click on over and see what other teachers have learned as well! Just click the picture OR the link above! It feels like summer just started but so much has happened! 

#1- I am having a Baby Boy in Early December! I found out I was pregnant right around the beginning of April and just found out last week at the anatomy scan that Baby Church is a boy! Brad and I are so excited. December will always be a whirlwind with Baby's B-day, Christmas, our Anniversary, and more but we are ready to take on the role of being parents.  I am trying to get the nursery mostly done before I go back to school but so far it is only half primed... I didn't feel well for about the first 4 months of the pregnancy so not much of anything got done but the past few weeks I have been starting to feel better and get more energy so I am getting much more excited- and much more motivated to do things I have been neglecting- such as this blog and TPT. I hope once baby boy arrives I will be able to at least keep up with short posts, and I hope to have my Sub guest post about what is happening in my classroom while I am away.  Feel free to leave tips on maternity leave below!

#2- I Need to be Busy with classes, workshops, etc. -Confession time: This summer has been a little bit of a struggle because I am not good at motivating myself (especially when I am not feeling well). I have always been a procrastinator at heart.  I have ben watching a LOT of Netflix. Classes like levels courses or content specific workshops really energize me and motivate me to keep working at home.  This year, however, the 1 workshop I attended wasn't until mid July and now I feel behind! I really need to get moving on yearplans, song lists, lesson planning and more.  Here is to 3 weeks of intense planning and reading! So excited to finish reading the book "Classroom Management for Art, Music, and PE teachers" and to get this school year planned and started! I miss my kiddos :)

#3- I really miss Hungary- 2 summers ago I went to the Kodaly institute in Kecskemet, Hungary and it was an amazing experience learning from some great Kodaly Masters for 3 weeks!  A group from Capital (where I got my undergrad degree and Masters with a Kodaly Emphasis) went again this year and I have been really sad I'm not there- they are there right now! Hopefully I can get back there again sometime.  While I couldn't fly across the ocean this summer, I did get a taste when I took a workshop at Capital a few weeks ago with Dr. Laszlo Nemes, the director of the Institute.  I learned so much about Kodaly in the Choral Classroom and I am so excited to bring some of those tidbits back to my 5th and 6th grade chorus classes this year.  One of the things that sticks out the most is to use folk songs and games as warm-ups/ introductions to new pieces. Teach the folk song and dance/ game first and then the arrangement or find a folk song with a fun hand-clap game that is in the same meter/ key/ language/ tone set etc. get students mentally prepared for the new piece of music you will be teaching.   I am working on some posts about the workshop that will go into much more detail so stay tuned!

Check out my blog posts on that amazing trip Here (overview and African Song), Here (Vocal Instruction Cues), Here (10 Elementary Ped goodies), Here (Games I learned in Musicanship), Here (Singing Games 1)and Here (Singing games 2).  There are even more if you keep clicking "new posts" from any of these links- these are just my favorites :)

What have you learned this summer?