And so it begins!!

Well tomorrow is the day that I launch myself into moving further towards being a facilitator of learning instead of a teacher.  I think I have been moving towards this unconsciously in tiny increments for years but tomorrow is when I consciously start the shift!!

I asked my students last term what they wanted to learn in classroom music this semester.  I had some really great responses.  Some of them were direct responses to topics we have covered already in class, such as learn more about garage band, how to read music, creating our own ‘OKGO’ clip.

From these responses I collated them into some Project topics.  After some online research I came up with a couple of what I think could be fantastic topics which have a real audience – What’s In A Jingle – creating a jingle for a local business, including a brief given to the students by the business owner.  And creating a Radio Show for residents at our Aged Care facility to listen too during their recreation time.  But I felt that these might be too much too soon and that I should spend this term getting them used to the new learning environment and teaching them how to be collaborative learners. The topics I have come up with for tomorrow are Creating a Parody of a known song, Our own version of an OKGO clip (junk instrument construction), A cartoon soundtrack and Learn an instrument/Be a rock band.

My biggest problem has been deciding how to run these – do I split the class into small groups, each approaching a different project topic?  Or do I pick a project topic and we work on it as a whole class group?  My ‘gut instincts’ tell me go with the latter, but part of me thinks I feel that because it will be more like how I always teach!  So I have decided to go in tomorrow and ask the kids what they want to do and see what they say.  I have two Year7 classes and am fully aware I could end up doing completely different things in each class – which I will be honest – is terrifying!!!

Regardless of which option each class chooses hopefully by the end of tomorrows class they will have created a ‘web’ of what they already know of the topic, what they need to learn, and general ideas about how they might approach the topic.  If time is on my side, I would love them to also start on a timeline plan, including assigning roles.

So stay tuned, I will try and document the highs and lows as we go 🙂


Starting the shift

I am participating in a fantastic professional development opportunity called Teaching Learning in the 21C Century via NMIT University.  Lots of like minded educators all on a similar journey.  After realising that I am already well on my way to ‘becoming a learner’ I thought I would jump in the deep in and try something different in my Year 7 Music Classroom.  Sooo at the end of last term I asked them what they wanted to learn.

Here is an image of their ideas…well there will be when I can work out how to get the pic from my evernote account!! Stay tuned!!

The next step which I am right in the middle of is collating all these ideas into some projects and creating relevant instructions and resources.  I am hoping to use a new classroom wikispace I have created as ‘ground control’ for this shift.  I guess I am doing what loads of teachers have been doing for years – Project or Inquiry Based Learning, but it is new to me! I am constantly trying to make sure that what I cover in class is relevant and engaging for my students whilst at the same time teaching them concepts that they need to learn.  But this approach I am going to try is I hope the first step to me starting to step back from being The Teacher and towards becoming The Facilitator of learning.

I am still thinking through the logistics of how I am going to run several project options at the same time.  I am considering introducing a flipped classroom approach as well…maybe some Prezi’s on the wikispace that cover concepts such as copyright, appropriation in music, tips for writing lyrics etc with a quiz (will probably use ) at the end to prove they watched it!! I love the idea of them doing this at home so that they can ask questions in class.

In many ways the idea of changing my classroom from one where I am the teacher with 24 students all doing relatively the same thing is overwhelmingly frightening but I know I need to try this, and if it is a disaster, so be it.  We will discuss what did work, what didn’t work and try again.


Hello World

Hi! and Welcome to my blog! I must admit that I never thought creating a blog ‘was me’ but here I am!! I am a Secondary teacher in country Victoria, Australia with a passion for changing how I teach or should I say becoming a 21st Century learner.  I have spent hours searching the internet for what other people are doing in their classroom, specifically their music classroom’s and I have found lots of useful bits and pieces but felt that maybe the next step in my learning journey was to share what I am trying in my classes.  I love ICT and the changes it has brought to my classroom in such a relatively short amount of time.  4 Years ago I had to ask a IT technician for help in setting up an interactive whiteboard!! 12 months later I hyperventilated when the school I was at didn’t have an interactive whiteboard..I started to wonder how I had taught without one!  I look back now and realise that was the beginning of my 21st Century learning journey.  Now I reward myself with ‘twitter time’!! So here we go on my Journey to Learn 🙂

Hello world!

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