Well, now its time to teach! I spent my first week in the classroom this past week and had a blast. 2nd graders are pretty awesome.
Overall, things went fairly smoothly. We hit our daily learning objectives everyday so I feel like our planning is pretty on point. There was a little trouble with a worksheet I made on Friday, but Rachel saved the day by giving the kids the right kind of introduction to the activity and they managed pretty well. I'm definitely learning a lot about what 2nd graders are going to be able to do, and for the most part the answer has been at least as much as I expect, and often, more.
Rachel is a pro. She really knows how to reach the kids and I'm learning a lot from her. She has pretty good ideas about how she'd like to implement music into her class and I'm getting the hang of breaking things down into small workable units. I think so far that everything we've come up with, she would be able to incorporate into her classroom in the future without me there.
We also agreed that we stumbled upon doing a more "fun" activity the first time I came in the classroom to introduce me to the students. We did an activity where students had to say their first name rhythmically, to a beat, and then come up with a rhythmic gesture to go along with that. Bonus: I learned the kids names really quickly. The students picked it up very well and I think Rachel will continue to use this in the mornings as part of her community building. (I'll be interested to hear if this has a lasting impact on her classroom or not.)
I wrote a song about solving math problems for sometime in the future. I also created motions to go with it that emphasize the steps of solving a word problem, which Rachel told me her students struggle with. I'm planning to publish it under a creative commons license on my website at some point, thinking that maybe other teachers would like to use it. It will be available with MP3 recordings for classrooms that do not have access to a piano. Maybe Rachel can help me turn it into a smartboard thing... I'll update this blog and link to it once I have it up on my website.
We're planning a big animals unit where the kids will compose music. Somehow. Not totally sure how this one will work yet but it should be fun! Erika.