Category Archives: Whole class activity

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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Singing Games

I’ve just had a refreshing return to my roots! Today was the last day of a three-day Kodály course with Dr. James Cuskelly. It’s been fifteen years since I was really focused on the Kodály Method, but it was just … Continue reading

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Part II: Using Socratic Questioning in Music

(This post follows on with examples of how Socratic questioning might move an inquiry forward in Music class. If you haven’t read it yet, start with Part I: The Framework to get an overview of the method.) Socratic questioning provides … Continue reading

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Socratic Questioning (Part I: The Framework)

Socrates was one of the founders of Western philosophy, and is often credited for saying that true knowledge is knowing that you know nothing. His method of elenchus involves breaking down a problem into a series of questions. In contrast … Continue reading

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Settling In

I have been in schools before where the classroom teacher quietly leads their class, single file, to Music. But more often than not, my classes now come running in, still engrossed in the conversation they had started on their way … Continue reading

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Do the Locomotion

I went through a big overhaul of my curriculum recently, digging deep into cooperative groups, more creative composition, and authentically student-led inquiry. I was well into it, however, when I stopped to reflect and realized that movement—which had once been … Continue reading

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An Inquiry Into…the Instruments

Nearly everyone does a unit on the instruments of the orchestra, but there are as many approaches as there are music teachers. I’ve probably approached it in ten different ways in as many years within my own program. In my first … Continue reading

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A Halloween Tone Poem

My last post catered to those who are trying to teach to a classroom full of tiny pirates and princesses. If you want to give a nod to Halloween, but you are fortunate enough to have classes that aren’t bouncing … Continue reading

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Halloween Fun

Halloween as a fun, dress-up, skeleton-filled holiday is a pretty American phenomenon, but I’ve found that many international schools embrace the fun side of it as well. (Others, bear in mind, find Halloween to be a negative thing, so you’ll … Continue reading

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The First Day of School, continued

Once the kids have moved around and talked a bit, they can get settled in pretty quickly. So next I like to make an old-fashioned circle on the carpet and do some large group bonding—again, with the idea of getting … Continue reading

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