Music in the Classroom!

One thing that I noticed (and all my colleagues noticed) was the fact that the moment you walk through the door at RCA it is LOUD. Loud in a very good way. Music is blaring students are on drums and it is an eruption of energy.

In several of the classrooms teachers used music in their lessons and even changed the words to some popular songs.

I have always loved music and singing. I grew up singing solo’s in church, singing in the choir and was even in traveling groups during college. However, actually writing content based songs was a little baffling to me.

I am not sure where I found this information. However, as I was researching where to begin in the process of writing my own songs these are the steps I followed.

  1. Find a song – try looking at Radio Disney for some kid friendly pop songs.
  2. Print out the lyrics.
  3. Pick out the area of concentration – what words, concepts or skills do you want this song to reinforce?
  4. Count the syllables in each line and match the syllables with your content information.
  5. Sing through it to see if it sounds okay.

Here is my first ever song – Ocean Floor to the tune of Thunder by Imagine Dragons!

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To present this to students you have several options. You can sing acapela (not my forte – my nerves get the best of me). Or you can sing over the original, which I don’t suggest because of the kids singing the normal words. Or you can record your own version.

In order to present this to my students I used the Smule Karaokee App to record my own version of the song. I then played this so that the students could learn the song.

It is posted on my classroom website !

Since this time I have discovered anotehr science teacher who writes songs for his science class – Mr. Parr. He has an entire youtube channel of science songs.

I hope you found some good information in this post that you can use in your own classroom! Until next time!!

First Classroom Transformation! – Beach Day

To end our study of the ocean floor and the creatures that lie therein I decided to try a classroom transformation (this is where you make your classroom into a new place i.e. a beach, Jurassic Park, etc). At first I was a bit skeptical, because I had seen things like this done of youtube and on teacher blogs. However, I never thought I would buy into this “madness.” Especially to go through all the work for only one or two days! Ugh!

After trying classroom transformation – I am a firm believer that this brings magic into the classroom and definitely increases student engagement! If you want to see some of the awesome transformations that have inspired some of mine head over to Elementary Shenanigans!

Here’s what I did to transform my room into Isle de OCMS!

First, I told my students to bring a towel on the day of the transformation. I would not tell them why. I just told them to bring a towel. This automatically sparked their interest (Quicknote: if you are ever interested in doing this you may want to specify – BEACH towel or else you end up getting dish towels and so forth).

Next, I gathered all of my beach stuff from my house – beach umbrella, boogie boards, spare beach towels, sand buckets etc.

Then I set out to transform the room. I moved all of my desks behind my back lab table and then set to decorate everything.

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On my board I wrote “Welcome to Isle de OCCCMEEESS” and I explained to the students what to do. As they came in I had ocean waves and beach music playing. It is amazing what sound can do to create an ambiance.

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Students then traveled around to several beach themed stations to go over information about the ocean floor!

The first station was called BEACHED! – For this station students had to dig in the sand to find different ocean creatures that had washed ashore. They then had to put them back in the zone where they belonged.

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The next station was called SEA CREATURE FEATURE. At this station students investigated different sea creatures and had to think of adjectives that would describe them. I had mollusks, sea horses, sea urchins and other preserved creatures for them to look at and feel.

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CUP CASTLES was the third stations. This is where students had the opportunity to build sand castles. Each cup had either a word, definition or picture on it. Students had to match the word to its definition and picture in order to build each castle.

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Students then had the opportunity to relax on the READING BEACH and read about their chosen sea creature.

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The last station was the BOOM GAME. This is an awesome game you can use with any set of task cards. It can be found on Teachers Pay Teachers by Rachel Lynnette  – BOOM GAME FREEBIE!

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This was an amazing day for me and my students. They were 100% engaged in the activities, even students who normally cause issues did great! If you are apprehensive, I suggest trying it at least once!! Here are a few pics of my students in action:

 

 

RCA!!!

Back in October I was fortunate enough to be sent to Ron Clark Academy for professional development. I have wanted to go here for years, so to say I was excited was an understatement. I went to all of my teacher youtube sites and gleaned information about their experience.

Now I know what they mean when they say you have to go there! Wow!

Since I have been back I have been implementing a few of the things that I learned while I was there. Including music, classroom transformations and some technology resources. My students have really noticed a change in me and my energy in the classroom.

My main take-away was getting back to why I began this work – to share my love of learning with students and to make this process fun. I remember being in their shoes and just waiting for a teacher to pull out something spectacular. Sad to say this was a rarity, and that is not what I want for my students!

Over the next few days I am going to post about some of the strategies I am implementing in the classroom. Hope you enjoy!

Post-Planning 2017

I really feel like this year I was able to use my time wisely during post-planning. Normally I come back to school throughout the summer to set things up. This will not be the case this year. My bulletin boards are almost all done and I have lots of things ready.

I will be revamping things over the summer and creating products for TpT (along with settling into being a mom and working on my graduate degree). However, the stress of setting up the classroom is not there 🙂

My First Teacher VLOG!! (and a classroom tour)

So in February I discovered teacher vlogs. I had been watching some professional development type videos on youtube by people like Laura Candler and 4mula Fun, but I discovered something really neat when I stumbled upon teacher vlogs.

I decided a while ago, before some unexpected things happened, that I would try my hand at creating a vlog. I am still very new to this arena, but here is my first vlog and classroom tour for 2016/2017!

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Feild Day 2017!

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We had a blast at field day this year. The weather was absolutely perfect! It wasn’t too hot or too cold. Last year, I remember it being very cold and we had to beg students to compete in the water games. Thankfully that was not the case this year.