March 20-23, The Week in a Nutshell


Welcome, student teacher, Rebecca Weber!  Rebecca spent Tuesday and Wednesday observing and getting the lay of the land, and began teach ing some of my plans on Thursday and Friday.  On Monday she will begin implementing her own lesson plans.

2nd Grade

I’m not allowed to post pictures of our second grade program, but Rebecca graciously consented to model some of our Muppet “costumes” so that I could show you what they wore:

Becca the Grouch

Our art teacher. Tamrah Gross, designed mini garbage can lids for our Oscar the Grouches, made of paper plates and tin foil.

Becca the Frog

Our Kermit the Frogs wore these felt collars, also designed by Tamrah.

Becca Waldorf

We had several Waldorfs and Statlers, (the old guys who make snide remarks from the peanut gallery.)  they each had a mustache on a stick to hold in front of their faces.

Miss Becca

Tamrah fashioned little snouts for our Miss Piggies  out of egg cartons and elastic bands.  Dollar store tiaras completed the look.


Finally, our Ernies wore shower caps and had rubber duckies to squeak.  A few stepped forward to blow bubbles while the others were speaking about tubby time.  Towels, robes and scrub brushes were also in evidence.

As for the program itself. everything went fine, although it was quite an emotional evening for me.  We had all of the kids gather in the 2nd grade pod so that we could line them up.  My principal came down to talk to them, and told them that they had an opportunity to give me a gift that no one else could ever give me: a last, great program.  They did as he asked, and I’m very proud of them.  If you ever get the opportunity to work for Jim Moczydlowski, take it.  There’s no one better.  Better hurry, though.  I’m thinking retirement is also in his not too distant future.

3rd Grade

The 3rd graders are in the midst of working on their level 3 test, which consists of using B, A and G to play “Au Claire de la Lune”.  We also started them on a new note: E.  So far we haven’t given them any new music to read.  Their homework is to practice being able to sustain a good tone on E, and to work on playing G to E, A to E and B to E, putting all fingers down in the right place simultaneously, so that we don’t hear a lot of grace notes when they play.  From what I heard, just practicing that much will keep them busy.  We also introduced E on the staff by using Artie Almeida’s “Recorder Hike” from “Recorder Classroom Magazine”, published by Plank Road.  If you’ve not yet run across it, you really should give it some consideration.  It involves fun rhythms to “hike” to, and finding B, A, G or E on their recorder when they see it on the staff.

While Rebecca began testing near the end of class, they worked on an untimed BAGE Mad Minute, (from Denise Gagne’s “Recorder Resource” Kit #1), and also had a double-sided “Find the Instrument” hidden picture page to work on.

4th Grade

Because their state science test will be coming up in a couple of weeks, 4th grade viewed “The Magic School Bus in the Haunted Mansion” (review…they’ve seen it before), and filled out a worksheet that has a word bank at the bottom.  Words included vibration, sound waves bouncing,(echo), big vibration, (loud), tiny vibration, (soft), fast vibration, (high pitched), and slow vibration, (low pitched).

5th Grade

The 5th graders reviewed “Presto Largo” from a previous year.  Thanks to my bunny, Presto, and my turtle, Largo, they easily remembered what the terms mean.  A new song for them was “Forte Piano”.  I copied the notated music to this short song so that they could actually see the dynamic markings in the music.  Before listening, we read through the song, so that we cold discuss, introduction, repeat, and coda, as well as forte, piano, fortissimo, pianissimo and crescendo.  It goes quickly when you listen to it.  After listening either I or Rebecca taught the song by rote, and then used the dynamic markings in our sight-reading exercise for today, “Oh How Lovely is the Evening”.

“Oh How Lovely is the Evening”, a round.

To teach this we began with the rhythm, easiest patterns first.  That would be the last 6 notes:  du du du du du du. (Dotted quarter notes).  The next easiest pattern is du da di.  (Triple eighth notes). Finally we read du di du di, (quarter, eighth), then put them all together.  (I have to say, Rebecca was impressed with how well they read.)  Reading through the rhythm, though, was the easy part.  Next we did some hand sign exercises, reading hand signs up and down the scale through la, alternating do with each scale degree, and finally  reading random pitches.  We reviewed that do, mi and sol are, in this case space notes, re, fa and la are line notes.  Then we read the melody s l o w l y with no rhythm.  A few times through, and we were ready to try and read tones and rhythm simultaneously.  The problem  was that the kids were starting to wear thin on this, so I knew that I needed to wrap it up for this week, and come back to it next week.  I quickly taught the words by rote and had the students apply the dynamic markings.  Next week we’ll review, and try it as a round.  (Unless Rebecca decides to go in a different direction….it’ll be her ball game to play).

Thanks for reading!  Talk to you soon.



Jane Rivera, March. 23, 2012, All Rights Reserved


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: