I am one of the worst when it comes to putting something down and then not being able to find it again. In my music classroom, it was usually the CD remote. It would be right under my nose and I wouldn't see it, but excited students would. They'd run up en masse to be the first one to grab it and hand it to me. Of course, that would start arguments. I also used a Whole Brain Teaching  scoreboard to help with classroom management. There were generally kids who wanted to put the tally marks up as well. AND, those who wanted to clean the room even though it was my rule that students were responsible for their own messes...... So.... At the start of the second semester, after the holiday break, I decided to establish student jobs. Because I wanted to make sure each student had at least one chance to do a job, I established 3-4, depending on the activity. I started with Student Conductor, who would be the basic eyes for the class, help direct singing, or run errands. The remote issu...
We all like breaks. I took a mini-hiatus from blogging to devote more time to my CASA kiddos. It's beautiful and emotional all at the same time.  But for you teachers, especially if you're a public school teacher, the break was pretty much needed for your physical and mental health. I hope you were able to take advantage of the healing a break can give you. Unfortunately, next week begins a new year and for most of you, the end to your winter break. And darn it! I have to say it again, it brings a lot of the unknown. COVID decided to mutate again into Omicron. Political issues might not have been addressed. Your kids who need SEL might need to be re-triaged. You have to be ready with your "bring it! I got this!" face. Pooh on that. It's tough enough to return from a break without all this other stuff facing you. Now, more than ever, you mustn't STRESS about turning cartwheels lesson plans. You need to review. But you need not go into crazy detail and start com...
Change Sings by Amanda Gorman   As teachers, we know how important it is to provide opportunities for social-emotional learning and development in a child the fact that they can make a difference in the world. One young lady has done that and has inspired adults, and this book can inspire kids as well. Amanda Gorman is not only the youngest poet who has recited her poem at the U.S. inauguration but is also the first youth Poet Laureate in the United States. She was raised by a single mom who was an English teacher and has revealed she has an auditory processing disorder and speech disorder. To practice her speech development, she sang.  Your students with various abilities can probably relate to the struggles of overcoming speech issues.  But to the book..... The illustrations by Loren Long are fabulous. Gorman refers to singing often. Another great aspect of the book that is unique to music is Long's use of musical instruments in the illustrations and the mentioning of diversity b...