Sunday, September 27, 2015


Lesson planning? 
 It's great to outline your lesson plans by the year, quarter, month, and week-which I do-but it's harder to get down to the brass tacks of the specific LESSON PLAN itself. How will this really work with 28 Kindergartners? How can I create a CENTER activity for 32 fourth graders? What will happen when I try to teach third graders about sixteenth notes?
 How do I make all of this happen?

It takes a bit of time teaching to understand how to really plan the specifics of your lessons and know what works for you. Depending on your educational background you might be coming at your lessons completely different from the way I do. I tend to be very direct. Taking Kodaly and Orff training classes has helped me learn to provide students the experience of the concept before I pound it into them.
But one thing I really believe that should be in every lesson is an Activity that enables students to internalize the concept.  I've learned to implement very concrete and easy to do activities that are based on the abilities of my students. I also try to have activities that will reach a diverse group of learners. Here's three ways to look at that idea;




So, one thing I've begun doing more and more is making these types of learning resources using my FINALE MUSIC PROGRAM. I print them out and then staple them in little booklets according to the overall unit plan. I use them for xylophones, keyboards and guitars. Here's an example of keyboard fingering for "Mary Had a Little Lamb". 
The students were so excited that they could play the song right away! 

Sometimes I put them into a power point and add in some cute graphics. This song is for my guitar students. "This Old Man".  I like adding in the chord diagrams too to help them remember their chords.

The reason I like these sheets is because the students can write on them. Copy from them, play them, sing them, share them and more. They can be used for assessments, Centers, substitute lessons and as part of the learning process.

I love my Finale music program. It's not very user friendly and I still don't know everything about it--but it has endless possibilities and is a must have for any composer. 
I'm able to make the big note versions of parts and export as graphics.
I can add in note names.
I can add in solfege.
I can just print the melody as a rhythmic pattern.  
I can also print out blank staffs for students to practice notation.

For me it's been a huge life savor in the classroom.

So consider your teaching style and what you like to do with your students.
Consider your students and how they learn.
Consider your time and what will be most effective over the course of a year's worth of teaching for you and learning for your students.
 If you're interested in using some things like this in your classroom, you can check out these things in my store.

CHORAL SONG "Come Along and Sing With Me" *ROUND *KODALY *

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