Author Archives: Janine

Metacognition and Student Reporters

These ideas can be used in any class, or any subject, but arose as a solution to a specialist situation. Specialist teachers have such limited time with students—and so many students—that getting an overview of students’ learning becomes a perpetual … Continue reading

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Children Need to Play

I’m sure that I’m mostly preaching to the choir here, but more and more research is coming out with a clear message about childhood: Children learn through play. This is how human beings are programmed to learn. And yet, more … Continue reading

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Change: How do I get there?

I’m trying something very new and experimental in my classes this year. It’s wonderful, discouraging, overwhelming, eye-opening, frustrating and amazing all at once. As teachers, we want the best for our children. We are visionaries, and we want to be … Continue reading

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Google Forms as Exit Slips

Here’s an idea for people who are fortunate enough to have computer access. If you are in a one-to-one school, or even if you have a class set of iPads, this is something to try! Instead of a paper exit … Continue reading

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Setting up a Sound Exploration Station

Every music teacher knows how much students just want to experiment (make lots of noise) when they come into a room full of instruments. As people, this probably drives us crazy, but as teachers, we should rejoice in the enthusiasm … Continue reading

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Teaching with Halloween Songs

Although I’ve found myself acknowledging fewer holidays in my classes over the years, many students are still looking to make connections to some of the more popular holidays. Halloween is one. Last year I wrote about a silly song you … Continue reading

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Making Mistakes

I recently dedicated some time to closing some of the 86 tabs I had open, and I finally had a chance to read an Edutopia article that I’d opened long ago. As inquiry teachers, and certainly as music teachers as … Continue reading

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Composition and Notation, Part II: Moving to Traditional Notation

If you haven’t read Part I, have a look there first. At some point, the graphic notation will start to prove difficult. Students who are making more conscious, precise decisions about dynamics, pitch, and rhythm will need an equally precise … Continue reading

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Composition and Notation, Part I: Don’t Sweat the Small Staff

I used to get very frustrated trying to teach notation or getting students to accurately notate their compositions on the staff. But I’ve changed, and so can you!* Don’t get bogged down with notating compositions. It kills the creative flow. … Continue reading

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Tweet Your Learning

A great “exit ticket” for older students: At the end of class, give your students a few minutes to tweet a summary of the lesson (in 140 characters or less) using a designated hashtag, like #<CLASSNAMEdate> or #<schoolabbreviation>music<date>. Encourage them … Continue reading

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