A teacher new to PYP asked me recently, “How do you do inquiry in a specialist class?” I remember how confused and overwhelmed I was when I first landed in a PYP school. I was the only music teacher there,
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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,