Tuesday, January 19, 2010

KIDS. They're squirrely.

There isn't a spell check for the title so hopefully I've spelled "squirrely" correctly. I mean, I don't suppose it is a real word anyway- but what do you think- one L or two?

We're learning about "fast" and "slow" today. (As exemplified by horses and tortoises!) The theme for this term is Saint Saens's Carnival of the Animals which is handy since pretty much everything I'm teaching has to do with animals anyway.

Classroom management wise Tuesday is my more challenging class. There are some clever boys and really probably what they should be doing is wrestling instead of coming to music class- but their parents have signed them up for music class and so here we are. And they're *clever* they can do what I ask them to and catch on to concepts *so* quickly, but only when they're paying enough attention to listen and not talk while I'm explaining.

The lesson plan on the board was helpful once again- and I was able to approach crashing into each other and being snarky in French with a quiet voice and lots of eye contact about 75% of the time. So...good?

It's the beginning of the class that is the hard part for me. They scramble up the stairs to the room and then take off their shoes in a jumble before sliding across the floor in their stocking feet and, you know, crashing into each other.

By the end of the lesson they're paying attention and doing excellent work. Case in point- I was going to bring up quarter and eighth notes again- but this time on the board to get them to associate the written with the spoken (which we've done a lot with using our rhythmic solfege)but then- they just started reading it straight away. So there we were- I was at the board and they were all clustered beneath my elbow (they're short) and I was scribbling and erasing as quickly as I could and calling on different kids to see if the could all read them and then having the whole class repeat each rhythm back to me three or four times while I kept a pulse so that they were saying the words in the correct time instead of just in the correct order. I had to rush off as soon as class was over so we didn't get *much* in to writing their own rhythms on the board- but MAN. That's totally what we're starting with next week.


Mom said...

congratulations! Sounds like the classroom management is definitely improving and your kids are learning. Is there some sort of "start the class" ritual/activity you can do? Something that takes the physical energy and transforms it into focus? (Dalcroze?) Sounds like you have that transformation later in the class - any idea what drives it and how you can channel it earlier in the class? Jujitsu management - my fave.

Anonymous said...

Those kids are SO lucky to have you introducing them at such an early age into the language of music. Great job!!! G&G