Friday, April 1, 2016

FERMATA FRIDAY: Music Month Ended with a Cheer!


I have spring break right in the Middle of March and so it's been difficult to hold a month long celebration. The week before spring break is filled with Read Across America Week activities, Assemblies, Concerts and "Crazy Kids". I decided not to compete with them, so I do my Music in our schools activities the last two weeks of the month. I'm very excited to report that is ended with a cheer from ME! Not because we are done-but because the activity I chose to do helped me feel better about the job I'm doing as the Music teacher at my school.
I made this set of FREE printables for teachers to use either as bulletin board decor or as activities.
I decided that I'd make a 'MUSIC IS COOL' quilt in the front hallway for everyone to see. I also decided that I was going to have the students make it.  I was able to get all of the cards printed and ready before I left for the break and made a plan on how and where I was going to put up our display.
After the break, when I told the kids about the "Music is Cool" quilt, they were so excited about making their own little square. The strings teacher jumped on board and had all of her students write something on a card too.
I figured I'd end up with 500 or so cards and divided up the butcher paper so I could fit the pieces on in rows. I just used a crayon to divide the quilt up.Then I hung the butcher paper over an existing bulletin board. During my 4th and 5th grade classes I sent responsible students down to the quilt and had them put a bunch of squares up.
Finally, I took one of my smaller 5th grade classes down and we finished it up as best as we could.
They were very proud of their work!
After I finished I grabbed my phone and snapped some pics.
As I was reading through the cards-I was very touched by what I was reading. Some of the ones that stood out to me were:   Music is Cool because . . .
"you have an awesome teacher you can learn a lot."

"you can learn new songs from around the world!"

"ti ti ta, ti ti ta I Like to Sing"
"You can make a lot of friends." 
"It's fun and you're learning a lot in music." 
"We can sing and express yourself." "We get to play instruments."
"Mrs. Hendrickson is the best because she has games."  
And a hats off to our band and strings teachers: "You get to learn different instruments and also a good learning opportunity. You get to learn the notes to play the song. I think every body should be in strings or band."
Then, one of the autism aides for a Kindergartner came up and said she wanted to find her student's card so she could show it to him. He'd had a melt down in class the day we were making the cards, but she'd told him he couldn't play the "Leprechaun" game until he finished his..
Then she found it...Down at the bottom right with the ORANGE STAFF LA LA LA
 the smile on Ian's face when he found his card was worth all of the word in getting the quilt made.
Here's some more:
"every song is a bit different. I like finding the beat."

Ha ha ...have to share the "Mrs. Hendrickson rocks!" They even spelled my name right!

A few minutes later someone else stopped me and said; "This is a really cool idea!" I agreed!
I was super happy that it had not been an overwhelming project for me to complete after hours, it had a TON of student engagement, and people were reading the cards!
Wow! I walked away from the "Music is Cool" quilt feeling pretty good about what my students are learning in music. And I'm grateful for the positive affect music has on the kids at our school. It was rewarding, it was WOW! I walked away with a bit more "Cheer" in my heart. Teaching is a tough job!
What will I do next year?
Please share your MIOSM activities with us-we'd love to hear them!

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