Sunday, 18 October 2015

Sunday Sketches, MADD, and some music

by Ed Emberley
I told my faithful readers about the thumbprint kit we bought for one of our granddaughters at the new Lee Valley store in Almonte: New store in Almonte: L.G. Lee and Sons. I love Mr. Lee. This isn't an ad. He's just a wonderful employer!
 I couldn't tell you about it, since it was a 'Close Eyes' for Josee! It reminded me of the art lessons I'd done with my students.
It's a nice kit,
with teeny stamp pads of primary colours!

It began, as it usually does, with a book that inspired me. I don't know where my original book is, I must have left it in my last classroom in 2006. I had to quit, what with my depression issues.

Josee's art inspired me to do a drawing. Finally! I could only find black, blue and red ink pads in town –we scoured the town. I thought I would supplement my colours by using thumb-shaped ovals and see where it took me!

Sketch club
I shall have to send it to the grandkids!

I taught grades JK to 8, and loved teaching all of the subjects. My favourite was MADD: Music, Art, Dance and Drama. In talking to my granddaughter, we found she isn't getting ANY music lessons in grades 2 or 3 at her school. I was shocked. Someone needs to speak to the principal!  If I lived closer, I'd go volunteer in the school...

When I took my B.A. in ECE at Ryerson, one requisite was to learn a new instrument. I learned the autoharp.Other student teachers learned the recorder or my best friend, the kids' Aunt Betty, learned the ukulele. It really made music fun. 

We used to write songs in the class. It was so much fun!

The grade 3 curriculum, for example, is clear. It says:
Using the critical analysis process will enable students to: 
 • respond knowledgeably and sensitively to their own and others’ dance, drama, music, and visual art works;
 • make connections between their own experiences and works in the arts, between different art forms, and between art works and the lives of people and communities around the world
 • perceive and interpret how the elements of each art form contribute to meaning in dance, drama, music, and visual art works;
 • develop, share, and justify an informed personal point of view about works in the arts;
 • demonstrate awareness of and appreciation for the importance of dance, drama, music, and visual arts in society;
 • demonstrate appreciation appropriately as audience members in formal and informal settings (e.g., peer performances in the classroom; excursions to arts institutions, galleries, concert halls, theatres).

I wrote a music review guide for the kids. My core French teacher, a good buddy, put it into French for me.
PDF file

en francais!

My principals always demanded I submit a first term overarching lesson plan, which highlighted which topics we were uncovering. I ensured that my year-long plan included all strands of all of the teaching subjects: MADD, Language Arts, Mathematics, Health and Physical Education, Science, History and Geography and Social Studies, like Election Units. I actually taught Social Studies to student teachers at uOttawa in 2003 or so. It was a challenge, let me tell you!
That, and the day book, kept me organized.

Here is the class song we wrote, practiced and performed. I taught the kids how to use the videocamera and how to make an iMovie. 

Justice, one of my handsome kids in the class, a shy underachiever whom a couple of entitled white girls exploited, wrote this on the xylophone during a Music workshop with a pro. Then there was Masi, a child who fled civil war in his country to come to Canada. He was a wonderful boy, despite his difficult past.
One of my favourite students wrote this!
We had fabulous instruments
and had a grand time!

We also created a video on cooperative learning: "I disagree with that answer!" I tried to have the kids learn how to do a video at the same time we were teaching how to 'disagree agreeably'. The students had so much fun, I appointed another student to play me.
I once put up these pieces on a US-based site, to sell them. It didn't go well. Everyone wants a cheap, Word document, despite it taking me hours to create it!

More teaching ideas:


Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

I love the fingerprint art kit, our granddaughter would love it. There is a new Lee Valley store in Kingston that we haven't visited yet. Same granddaughter loves music but I'm not sure how much they get in schools anymore. She takes drum lessons and has something that will record her singing/talking and add different effects. For Thanksgiving she recorded us the turkey song she had learned at school. Lots of fun.

EG CameraGirl said...

It seems a crime that your granddaughter isn't receiving any music instruction! School certainly is different these days!

Saskia said...

Happy Sunday! Smiles, Saskia :)

Christine said...

Lovely piece for SS Jenn! You were clearly a wonderful teacher, lucky kids to have you. Shocking gr 2 and 3 have no music classes, awful.

Red said...

That's pretty involved stuff for grade threes ,but I know developing programs to fit the program is what counts. I agree that music and arts are a very important part of a school program. Now this old teacher did not have much background in the arts area.

William Kendall said...

I could not imagine teaching kids... I guess that's just me.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Music is essential part of learning!!! As you know, my niece, The Maestro, only truly found a place in life due to her music (having multiple disability). She is now helping in school education through Drake Music. This Article may be of interest to you. (That's Maestro at bottom - Amy Moar.) Great pointers here Jenn, and love your fingerprinties! YAM xx

Jane Lazenby ~ Artist said...

love the fingerprint activities and your picture. Fun times to create with the grands!! Happy Sunday to you!!

stefanie stark said...

I love your colorful happy picture!

Neesie said...

What an interesting post Jennifer,
The insight into exactly what teaching is about and your video's.
I think the fingerprint book is fantastic. There will be fun times ahead!
Enjoy ;D

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

No wonder you are such a creative grandmother when the girls are there! You are all lucky!