Here in Nashville it’s always Music City USA but this weekend it’s Music City Super Sized! The CMA Fest is going on this weekend and just down the road is Bonnarroo! Someone on Facebook asked the question, “How many visitors can Middle Tennessee hold?” Apparently A LOT! I’m not a country music fan (or a music person in general! NPR is on in my car all the time. The fiancee’ always asks me if I know the song on the radio and is usually shocked at how much music I don’t know!) but on Wednesday, we got a last minute invite to the CMT awards with BOX SEATS! Yeah, in a luxury suite for a major awards show! Well you can’t pass that up, right?! No. I put on my best tight cowboy jeans and headed down to the show. It was a lot of fun!! The show was great and so was seeing all of the behind the scenes. We sat in a box just to the left of the stage, about 10 rows behind the stars! Journey closed the show with Rascall Flatts. I know, right?! JOURNEY! I never thought I would see Journey perform live but they brought the house down! And last night we attended the Nashville In Harmony concert which as incredibly powerful and moving. The entire show’s message was about ending bullying and discrimination. There was moving and powerful music and powerful words spoken from local teens about bullying and our silence on the issue.
Now, onto some school work. For the past two days, I’ve been attending a workshop featuring Kim Sutton from Creative Mathematics. My school actually paid for me to go to this workshop! I know, shocking!!! It is also shocking that this workshop was fabulous, fantastic, amazing! I am usually disappointed in workshops because they tend to repeat a lot of what I already know or do and just slap a fancy name on it. Mrs. Sutton, however, taught me a ton of information that I didn’t know. I will definitely be better at teaching math after these two days! And lucky for you, I’m going to share some of my highlights with you!
My first take away was musical. As I said earlier, I’m not a big music person. In my classroom we sing our morning songs, we have a clean up song and an afternoon song. After attending this workshop, I will be revamping my musical selections. Get ready…this is mind blowing…here’s the wind-up….and the pitch…According to Eric Jensen’s research, music imprints instructional messages into the human braing 90% faster than any other learning strategy. 90% is HUGE folks! Ok, let’s breathe! Instead of calling out numbers to make or add, how about setting random numbers to music?! And to differentiate that activity, how but making the songs faster and slower! And even more “screech to a halt” research about music. How many of us have been told to use classical music in our classrooms? And how many of us have a nice classical selection playing as students enter? That would be me for sure. Guess what?! WRONG!! Research says we need to play high energy music for 1 minute in the mornings to get our students fired up for the day. Research says classical music slows us down and calms us. That’s not what we want in the mornings! And how about this?! We all know about fluency in reading and literacy, and we all are learning that the Common Core standards now include addition and subtraction fluency for kindergarten. Math fluency?! FOR SURE! How about fluency music?! I know, right!? This is some powerful music information that is flowing from Music City USA!
So I have already been working on compiling some new plalists for the IPod touch. Here some of my playlists and songs! Please comment and share other ideas for songs you use or might use in your classroom!
My IPod playlists have been created and music has been added! I can’t wait to get back to school to use my new music!
The workshop aslo provided TONS of ideas, resources and games for teaching the new Common Core Standards! I will be blogging about these in more detail at later dates but I want to share some highlights for me:
1. Unifx cubes on fingers to introduce/assess 1-1 correspondence in Kindergarten. They have to have this skill before they can count, compare, add, subtract, etc. This is a simple and quick way to see if they get it!
2. Folding paper: I say hamburger fold for the short fold and hot dog fold for the long fold. What if we used math volcabulary, instead? The short fold or the long fold instead of hot dog and hamburger fold. Vocabulary was one of the key components of this workshop. I need to do a better job of using math words when teaching my students instead of names. In fact, it’s a great time to start using analogies: for example, “Please fold your paper on the short fold, like a hot dog!” POWERFUL! So powerful, in fact, that I have been inspired to create vocabulary cards as my first product over at Teacher’s Pay Teachers! Stay tuned for that!
3. Resrouces and tools! This was huge for me. HUGE! There are 5 resources that we learned how to make at this workshop that I will be making and using in my classroom. They are: response board, mirror, walk the line pointers, flippin numbers cards and elastic cord bracelets. All of these would be included in a student math tool kit. The tool kit would be a ziploc bag holding these tools. Each child would have one to keep in their chair pocket for use when needed. The repsonse boards and mirrors are mind blowing! And when you see how I make them, you’re world will be rocked! Here’s the tease: I am going to make these over the weekend and post them for Monday Made It and Classroom DIY! So…you’ll have to check back on Monday to see what I created and how I did it. And to get a freebie! Check out both below and tell them I sent ya!
Sorry for the VERY long post but there was so much to share from this workshop. And there’s so much more to go. I can’t wait to use all that I learned with my students and share it with you all!!!!!!
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