Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Music Everywhere

During September's LEARNING IMPROVEMENT DAY, elementary music teachers were challenged to spend a day focusing upon the integration of mathematics and mathematical concepts into their instruction. As musicians, we all know that a natural connection exists. As educators, it was important to actually identify current connections. For example, Nancy Nole shared a collection of songs she compiled/wrote with a "math" focus, including:

Add These Numbers
Recognize Doubles
The Dollar Song
Five Pennies Make a Nickel
Donna Knudson shared with me a video of a recent 4th-grade program she directed, "On Fire With Math." Songs included:
40 Performing Bananas
Shula (a franctions song)
Washington Rondo (a song comparing math and musical patterns)
With all PSD K-5 students following the same content schedule in the newly adopted Growing with Mathematics series, teachers can count on topics of study such as:
Identifying and Creating Patterns (Kinder)
Modeling one-half and one-fourth (First grade)
Using Patterns to Explore Number Relationships (Third grade)
Relating Fractions and Ratios to Music (Fifth grade)
being taught during the same week for a given grade level throughout the district. Knowing the topic of study in the general classroom, music teachers can connect musical skills such as knowing patterns of sound and silence, reading rhythmic phrases, or identifying musical notation such as measures and time signatures with some of the mathematics instruction taking place in the general eeucation classroom. How interdisciplinary!
Elementary music teachers maintain that music instruction touches all the content areas. Some are just "closer fits" than others. We are committed to music education as an important "stand alone" curriculum, but want to demonstrate how interdisciplinary our approach can be. Take a look at the "Music Everywhere" bulletin board display posted outside the music room at Brouillet Elementary above. Melanie Florian and Heather Provencio show that MUSIC instruction can integrate math, language arts, science, reading and culture.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

School Board Meeting Performance

To honor Veterans, students from RHS ROTC, Aylen Junior High Falconaires and Firgrove Elementary 5th/6th grade Choir performed at a recent PSD School Board meeting. Following a posting of the colors and pledge of allegiance, Joyce Larsen led the male chorus in a beautiful rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner." Shortly thereafter, Danielle Boley directed from the piano, as a select group from Firgrove's 80 member intermediate grades choir sang, "You're a Grand Old Flag" to the delight of the entire audience.

It was a great evening to honor both Veterans and student musicians.

In addition, Kathy Gustafson was recognized by the board for her honor as the Valley Region's Educator of the Year.

Here you see the Falconaires working hard and playing hard. They were treated to ice cream at Dairy Queen following their performance. It looks as if Joyce was receiving some royal treatment as well!

Let's Get Bloggin'

I committed to a monthly newsletter and did it for a month. Not very impressive. I then announced to elementary music teachers that I'd be creating a blog. That was a few weeks ago. I can no longer wait for everything to line up perfectly. I'm just going to start "blogging!"

Welcome to a new way to collaborate and communicate! Blogging is a way to stay in touch, chat with each other via the internet, post pictures and comments, etc. I hope to use this blog to communicate with Puyallup K-12 music teachers, and encourage you to respond to my postings, and create postings of your own.

Please check-in periodically. Watch for new postings, or catch up by reading the old ones. Each month, the blog will archive automatically. This is a great place to find all communications (without having to open your groupwise trash!)