Goodnight, Irene

Well, I’m sitting under a blanket on the sofa, waiting for hurricane Irene to arrive here in Pennsylvania.  All of the lawn furniture has been stacked and put away, batteries bought, gas tanks filled, emergency kit ready… a canvas bag of protein drinks, water crackers and granola bars, band aides, soap, toilet paper, matches, candles and cash.

Before this all started I made my lesson plans for the first week of school.  We are on a 4 day cycle and are supposed to have a 4 day week, but before the district shut down the servers our super sent out a message that said that our schools may be used as evacuation centers, and that there is a possibility that power will be off for several days, in which case the first day of school will not be Monday.

Whenever it may be, here’s the plan:

I made my seating charts last week.  When the kids come in I’ll ask them to stay in line until I tell them which seat is theirs. Following the seating chart I’ve made for each class,  I’ll call each name and tell them where to sit.  This will save tons of trouble through the year, since no one will be scrambling for the seat they want.  They’ll just have to take the seat they’ve been given.  Also, I’ll do my assessments right on this (large) chart.  (17×11).

Next I’ll make sure that each student has their music folder and that their name , grade and class is on it.  If they are 5th graders, I will return their listening log from last year to them.  (It took me an hour to go through them and redistribute them into their new classes.)  If they are 4th graders I will issue them a listening log.  (It’s one of those yellow composition notebooks.)

Rules.  1.  Use good manners.  2.  Pay attention.  3.  Follow directions.  4.  Do your best.  Each rule will be discussed for its in-depth meaning.  (Using good manners means showing respect and treating other people the way you want to be treated.  Pay attention…look at me and I'[ll know that you are.  Follow directions…the first time,and until I give a different direction.  Do your best just means that you’re already following the other directions and participating.)  A review cartoon will be presented via projector:

She really does kind of look like me.  Thanks to Kristen Lukow for the “Queen of the Music Room.”

Singing:  The third graders ands the first graders will have to start learning their warm ups…everyone else already knows them.

The intermediate students will then learn “School is Back in Session” from the newest Music K-8 magazine.

The primary students, after  singing through several  books (  )  will review “Pete the Cat” from last year.  After we read the book while listening to the recording I have the kids line up behind me. I am Pete, and they have to do whatever I do. We listen to the story, but whenever Pete sings I move the line forward doing various dance moves. Then, with kids who are slightly older, I might let some of them be Pete.   Next, there is a new Pete the Cat book about the first day of school called Pete the Cat: Rocking In My School Shoes (Eric Litwin and James Dean). We’ll read and listen to that together.

I wanted to finish with my intermediates by introducing my kid blogging idea, but I’m still waiting for permission from my principal to pursue that.                         ( )

I can, however, show them the video that I’ll be asking them to respond to:

With my little guys, I may,k time permitting, give them a brief introduction to Bach by showing them his “portrait” from Lives of the Composers, having the repeat his name several times, and the showing them


Have a great first week back!




2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer Castro
    Aug 29, 2011 @ 21:09:02

    So many great ideas right here in your blog. I did a similar video to your goanimate but I did it on xtranormal. However, I would love to hear more about your listening logs and I am fascinated by the Pantene commercial. I am sure my 4th and/or 5th graders would really connect to the that message. Bravo to you for finding something like that and using it.


  2. Jane Rivera
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 05:37:13

    Hi Jennifer,
    I will have to take a look at xtranormal. Yesterday was our first day, and the kids loved the animation. They kept asking to see it again.

    You should check out the music k-8 mailing list on Someone on the list found the Pantene video, and honestly, I get so many good ideas from there that I don’t have to be original, lol. The kids really enjoyed it. I just received permission to go ahead and start my kid blog, so the next step will be to have them watch it again and write about it.

    Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

    Heading over to xtranormal now….


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