Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Favorite Things

As 2018 wraps up, I thought I would write about my favorite things so far this school year.  So many things helped me become a better teacher and person.

Connections- Having lunch with 4th graders on Fridays and sending postcards home to students in any grade when they do something great have been great ways to connect with students at a new school this year.  I love spending time with kids outside of class time to really get to know them.

Tech Tool- What a great website for students to be able to complete a project or reflect on their learning by making a video.  My students (and I) LOVE this website.  Check out my full blogpost on Flipgrid HERE.

General Music Prop- I finally got a stretchy band from Bear Paw Creek and I have no idea why I waited so long! These bands are perfect for movement, form, and working together as a team.

Picture Book- Rock What Ya Got by Samantha Berger.  This is an adorable book. From the amazon description:
                  When a drawing of a little girl comes to life, she boldly declares 
                  that she doesn't want to be erased, or put into a picture that doesn't 
                  feel like her true self. Instead, she decides to speak up in a 
                  powerful way. And she has some words of advice: embrace what 
                  you have, love yourself, and "rock what ya got." 

Stay tuned for the first TUESDAY book club post of the year where I show how I use this book as a great lesson to tie in with The New Year, Resolutions, and more. Get the book from Amazon HERE

Middle Grade Book- The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden.  This book is a must read for any teacher.  Find out more about this book HERE

Praise for this wonderful book:

"With grace and heart and words masterfully woven, The Benefits of Being an Octopus captures the quiet and loud masks of domestic violence. Braden navigates the complexities of choice and power and the meaning of courage. And how sometimes together, we can find our voice and our strength." -- Elly Swartz, author of Finding Perfect and Smart Cookie 

"This wise book knows we can't always keep the people we love safe. But it also knows that courage and compassion can sometimes turn lives around. You will care so fiercely about Zoey -- the octopus-loving, truth-telling young heroine that you'll want to wrap all eight of your own arms around her." -- Anne Nesbet, author of California Book Award winner, Cloud, and Wallfish

"You are seen. You are heard. You are loved." In a perfect world, every child would know these three absolutes. Ann Braden shares this message with her readers in a funny, poignant story about Zoey, her siblings, their mother, and one very special teacher. An octopus might be the most clever creature, but it can't hold a candle (or eight) to Braden's masterfully constructed prose." –– K. A. Holt, author of House Arrest

Professional Development Book- #KidsDeserveIt and Leader In Me.  Both of these books have helped me grow as an educator so much.  Connecting to students and helping them to form habits that will make them amazing leaders. See this post on a little more about each of these books and how I have been using the tools learned in my classroom this year.

Book Used Most When Lesson PlanningFirst Steps in Music by John Feierabend.  This book has been a staple in my kindergarten planning this year.  Being at a new school (and only having taught KDG for one year at my previous school) the workout in this book and the sample lesson plans are amazing! My students love the vocal exploration, echo singing, solo singing, movement and more!

Teacher Shoes- ROTHY'S.  Wow are these shoes perfect for teaching! They have 4 styles- Flat, Point, Loafer, and Sneaker.  They are made from recycled water bottles, are washable, and of course- best of all- so comfortable wearing them to teach all day. I am so happy I discovered this shoe.

Favorite Music Ed Blogs- This is just a list, but these are 3 blogs that I frequently reference!

Organized Chaos
Mrs. Miracles Music Room
Make Moments Matter

Favorite Music Ed Podcasts- Love these podcasts as well! I listen sometimes on my way to work, and definitely during long nights at school (such as conferences).

Make Moments Matter
Music Teacher Coffee Talk
The Music Room

Looking ahead to 2019 I already have many books on my list like: Troublemakers by Carla Shalaby, The Teaching Text (You're Welcome) by Douglas J. Robertson, and The Whispers by Greg Howard.  I also have many workshops and conferences to look forward to- like the National Kodaly Conference in Columbus, Ohio and participating in the Link Up Concert with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and my 3rd Grades. When it comes to self-care and doing things for me, rather than my students, I look forward to performing again- reprising my high school role of Miss Jones in H2$ and most importantly, spending tons of time with my awesome family- Brad, Henry and Hazel. Stay tuned this week to see more about my teaching resolutions for this upcoming year, my #oneword, and more! 

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