The time has come: I am finished with student teaching! My time at Shawnee Mission East High School, Indian Hills Middle School and Delaware Ridge Elementary School was an amazing opportunity to learn and grow as a teacher.
Last week, the 4th graders at Delaware Ridge Elementary put on their very first music program. Our theme was “Journey to Kansas”, an informance about the immigrant groups who have settled in Kansas over the years.
This performance included ribbon dancing, Orff Ensemble, world drumming, singing in spanish, student speaking roles and folk dancing.
Below is a link to a PDF document containing my Student Teaching Portfolio during my time at Shawnee Mission East High School, Indian Hills Middle School, and Delaware Ridge Elementary School. This contains Entries 1-6 for the K-State College of Education.
This week was mostly spent preparing for the 4th grade program on Thursday. The 4th graders performed their show “Journey to Kansas”, musical selections from the nations who have settled in Kansas. Check out the program below that I designed for the occasion!
The other grades spent a lot of time learning about Native American music. The K-2 grades worked on creating their own powow, which was really cool, with drummers and dancers. The 5th graders learned about the stories behind music like Go My Son and the Canoe Song. We are working to find a deeper meaning in the words of a song to create a meaningful conversation.
This week was my last full week with the kids because of Thanksgiving break. I will miss them all very dearly because I have learned so much from them. I feel like elementary music is a great career path for me becasue I love dancing, children’s literature and, of course, the fun songs!
3rd Grade, Recorder
During this lesson, I watched myself for the pacing of my lesson. I felt pretty good about my pacing while I was teaching the recorder. I had strict expectations that were not harsh, but I expected a lot from the students and would not move on until the students were doing what I wanted. When there was free playing on the recorder, talking or off-task, I redirected the behavior so that the lesson would continue on a path of effectiveness.
I used a lot of echoing and provided feedback about tone, technique and rhythmic accuracy. I felt it was important to model what I expected and provide feedback when the students did well or when they could improve. I was quick to diagnose issues and quick to provide feedback. As soon as the concept has been performed to my liking, I move on to bigger and better things. The kids just want to play music and the quicker that I can teach them how to play a song, the better!
This week was a great week! I had the opportunity to work with the 4th and 5th graders on their Veteran’s Day program, had a formal observation and taught most of the lessons at DRE. I still love working with the elementary kids, especially the K-2 age group. Their activities put my musical skills to the test because I never know what concept the kids will quiz me on. If I’m not on the top of my game, I can lose a classroom in a blink of an eye. Luckily that didn’t happen, but one day, I was on the verge!
I don’t really have a lot to say about the week besides that it was a great one!
In this class, I addressed musicality through movement and dance. We were polishing the Kinderpolka and started with chunks of the dance. Through this, I addressed some behaviors I did not like with words like “Friends, let’s get our bodies under control” or showing them exaggerated examples of things I didn’t want to see (throwing themselves on the floor, using their partner incorrectly).
Once we got to dancing together, I sang the directions without music to allow them to practice at a slower tempo while we learned a new skill. We eventually added music, to which I also sang directions to.
I felt like I was addressing musicality because the students kept a steady beat, moved with their bodies in control and they got through the dance completely.
After watching this video, I was really impressed with my classroom management. I feel like I have grown closer with the K-2 students than the 3-5 students, which has helped me with my management with the younger grades.
I re-directed students who were off-task very well and kept students engaged by calling out their names if they were spacing out or tying their shoes (a newly learned skill). Generally the students respect me enough to fix the behavior the first time. When I had an altercation with a student, I took him aside while the other kids were working and talked to him about making choices that help make him successful in music class.
I was impressed with myself with this group. I feel comfortable with this grade level, but I would like to improve my management with the older grades.
1st Grade (Afternoon)
During this class, I was watching for improvement in my verbal communication. I recorded back-to-back classes so I could see improvement (or at least, that was the goal).
In my first video, I was tripping over my words a little bit because it was a new lesson. In true 1st grade fashion, I was also surprised by some of their comments. I need to work on how I phrase questions because they always seem to find a loophole in my words and get me off-track.
The second class was much better because I was seasoned in the lesson and I was ready to get the de-railed train of thought back on track. I have adopted a lot of the verbage that my cooperating teacher uses, which has helped in the transition with the kids getting used to my teaching style.
On a positive time, my enunciation, diction and volume are wonderful. The kids can hear me and I’m not boring, which really helps in the classroom!
Things have improved since my high school placement, but there is always room for more improvement.
2nd grade class
During this lesson, I observed my body language throughout the class. I noticed that I am getting better at eye contact with the students and continuously changing proximity to the students. I like to walk around the students because it allows me to see what they are doing and how they act in the classroom.
One egregious thing I noticed during this video was my horrendous posture. The day before this video, I had thrown my back out which was a contributing factor but I also need to continue to have better posture, especially with standing up straight. I will keep working on this aspect of body language!