Tag Archives: inquiry

Exploring Musical Expression using Carnival of the Animals

One of the most important concepts we teach is communication through music, or what we might call musical expression. Music, I emphasize to my students, is not just here to entertain you or fill the silence at the grocery store. … 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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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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10 Fun Formative Assessments

Here are some creative formative assessments for this beautiful Friday! Get children using their critical thinking skills to synthesize their knowledge and apply what they have learned. These ideas can be used in any subject. Students design an ad (for a … Continue reading

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Inquiry into Pitch

I’ve just started a sound exploration unit in Grade 2, focusing on pitch (and later, duration and dynamics). Last week was an introduction week, where the students tried singing from graphic notation. What began as the same up-and-down siren sound … Continue reading

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Time to Invest in Post-Its

After a number of years in PYP, most teachers lose track of how many Post-Its they have used: in workshops, in meetings, and hopefully also in class. I used to roll my eyes when those little yellow packs would come … Continue reading

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Encouraging Critical Thinking in Music Class, Part I

Critical thinking. This skill, highly valued by educators and continuously devalued by policymakers, is core to PYP or any other high quality education. The IB Mission Statement refers to an understanding that different people can be “right” in different ways. … Continue reading

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Halloween listening (in any subject)

Yes, Halloween is very North American, but it seems that the tradition of costumes, candy, and spooky things is seeping into many other places as well. And if you want to weave a bit of Halloween fun into your lessons … Continue reading

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Questions and Student Inquiry

Today I just want to share an article I read. I’m not a huge fan of Alfie Kohn in general, but I think what he has written about getting down to truly essential questions, and encouraging thoughtful questioning from students, … Continue reading

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Getting started with (or checking in on) inquiry

When I first started working with PYP, I was beyond overwhelmed. I came with a lot of knowledge and ideas, and now I had to do everything a whole new way. I didn’t need convincing; obviously it was a great … Continue reading

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