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 🙂

 

2 thoughts on “And so it begins!!

  1. So looking forward to following the journey …. Regardless of what happens, it is what you learn along the way and what you do with that learning, that makes the difference. Trust your students, trust yourself and remember that failure is just another step for learning! And have fun!

  2. Hi Bec,

    At my school, we set up a matrix system a few years ago, so after getting students through some basic rhythm knowledge they were allowed to branch out and learn some rock instruments at their own pace. They could then bring that into playing in a band on a simple song at the end of semester. The difficult thing with it is having all the learning resources prepared so students can just grab stuff as they need it. We ended up putting all the resources we made ourselves onto USB’s for each student. It actually freed us up to work individually with students working at their own pace in differentiated parts of the curriculum. It’s hard work to start off with but if you have a collection of resources on-hand it’s also exciting and keeps you on your toes! For us, I guess we now explore letting go even more, or at least providing a bit more flexibility. Making sure that core-skills and knowledge are covered still seems important to me in the initial stages of learning and making sure it culminates in some sort of “connecting the dots” at the end.

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