Wow, I can’t believe how busy this summer was. This is my first post since the end of June! Unfortunately, blogging became one of my lower priorities, and I had to force myself to do the things that needed done immediately. [image credit] 1
I’m back in the classroom now, and I’m hoping to start another blog soon to ‘chronicle the journey back’ after eight years at the district level: my expectations, surprises, joys, etc. In another week or so, I think I’ll have my groove going and will be able to start that.
One thing I do notice is how quickly the day flies. I see 10 music classes of students a day– grades 3-5 for 30 minutes, and grades K-2 for 25 minutes. I’m grateful to have that much time with them, as I know other specialists don’t get that much. When it comes to preparing and teaching, though, that time flies by so quickly.
First observation- very few classrooms in general (not just mine) are arranged to allow adequate instructional time with technology. I need to really think how I can best RE-arrange my room to facilitate using a computer as a learning tool (I have one desktop in my classroom). Knowing that many schools were built at least 15-30 years ago (or even longer ago than that!), I know there wasn’t even a glimmer in anyone’s eye to consider classroom design for instructional technology. My internet drop is in the farthest corner of the class. Can I make it work? Sure.
I’m not whining… not at all. Now is the time to be creative and innovative.
Will I use technology to teach EVERYTHING? No. More importantly… should I? I don’t think so. If the instructional technology does not elevate or enhance how and what the students need to learn, I’m not going to use it for the sake of using technology. Example: students will accompany themselves while they sing– if we’re learning to play the xylophone and sing, it’s best to use actually play the xylophone. And I DO have enough of those for every student! However, I can share some online links for enrichment and further study for my students to view later.
So, I’m putting on my thinking cap about what I can do with my kids in 25-30 minutes that is relevant, meaningful, part of the district curriculum– and uses technology to enhance and elevate the lessons I teach.
1 Marc Smith. “Time flies in Leiden.” Marc Smith’s photostream. 10 September 2007. 26 August 2009. http://www.flickr.com/photos/marc_smith/1356589634/