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Jazz Appreciation and Music in our Schools

_81202840_classroom.jpgMy children are very musical and I give all the credit to their music teachers.  I tried to learn to play an instrument several times; I even pursued it as an adult.  Yes, I enrolled in a “Community Adult Education” piano course. I thought maybe I needed a different instrument.  Surely, if my own children can learn to play the trumpet, cello, flute, piccolo, and the piano, I certainly would be able as well.  I found a clarinet on ebay and was excited to learn. However, it turned into an expensive duck call! Why couldn’t I learn to play an instrument? I began reflecting on my own music education or better yet, my lack of music education.  I remember learning to play the recorder.  I was actually very good!  Then I moved to another state that lacked funding for music education.  My “music class” was watching a once-a-week production on our closed caption tv.  We sang along with a bouncing ball! I love music, I appreciate music, I just can’t play music.  So why all these music musings?  Simply put, teachers are an integral part in music education! 

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National Encourage a Young Writer Day

Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 11.24.06 AM.pngReading and writing go hand in hand!  This month we celebrate libraries and today we celebrate National Encourage a Young Writer Day. What a great month for readers and writers!

According to the American Library Association website, “School Library Month (SLM) is the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) celebration of school librarians and their programs. First celebrated in 1985 (as School Library Media Month; the name was changed to School Library Month in 2010), every April school librarians are encouraged to create activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student’s educational career.”  This years’ theme is Libraries Transform. As we dig deeper, this statement is true regardless of which library you use: public, school, or even an online library.  You have access to information that can transform your life. You are able to visit far away places, learn new skills or information, which allows you to escape from the mundane tasks of daily life. How can you encourage students and allow books and writing to transform their lives?

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Reading and Writing Group Projects

Blog_Picture_Week_1.pngAs I begin the 4th Quarter, it becomes even more challenging to engage my students! What can I do to make learning fun for my readers? I have researched the idea of interest based novel studies. For my purposes I decided to call my reading groups, book clubs in hopes to encourage reading in the remaining days of school.  Spring fever is NOT allowed in my reading groups!

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Gearing up for Testing

iStock_000003621931Small.jpgThis is a two part series on getting ready for end of year testing. Today we will focus on preparation and tips, next week will we focus on some of my favorite after testing activities.

When you think of year end testing, it seems too far away to think about.  However, the testing window will be opening soon. Just this week, our district assessment team announced our testing dates.  Aaaugh….

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National Grammar Day Ideas

Little-Asian-Girl-With-Computer.jpgNational Grammar Day is a great way to get students excited about writing! Students often spend much of their time texting that they often forget the importance of apostrophes, punctuation, and the art of writing. Today we will discuss contractions, punctuation, and online writing tools.

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STEM Integration- Celebrate National Inventor’s Day

desk-912577_1920.jpgToday we will be discussing STEM and the process of implementing it into your teaching. Many schools are using STEM to enrich their students. STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. This is not a program that is implemented in schools, but a philosophy based on problem-solving. By doing STEM activities, you are promoting problem-solving skills. These components are vital to teaching 21st century skills that  involve your child’s ability to cooperate, collaborate, and communicate. You can build these skills and teach STEM through everyday activities. National Inventor’s Day is celebrated on February 11th. We will brainstorm ways to get ready! These activities are meant to be simple, yet exciting to your preschool all the way to your high school students. Students will learn that by working together through their answers it promotes life-long learning and leadership.

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