Teaching Assignment: Song Teaching Reflection

REFLECTION
Musicianship: 5, My musicianship skills throughout the activity were consistent and strong. I kept my group in the right keep when transitioning to accompanying them on the piano, kept a steady rhythm, and demonstrated singing the song accurately each time. When I accompanying the group on the piano, I played the correct progressions that made sense to the song.
Leadership: 5, I had total confidence while teaching this lesson. I started my lesson with an instant welcome and direction to follow, and lead them through a lesson by my promptings and actions. I also instilled that confidence in my group members by allowing them to help create actions to the song, answering questions, an ensuring that they had the song down before adding accompaniment.
Preparation: 5, My preparation for this lesson consisted of more detailed thinking and outlining compared to previous lessons. I came prepared knowing how I would start my lesson, what questions I wanted to ask, what movements I wanted to use, and ultimately how I was going to take the group from point A to B. Even if things did not go necessarily to plan, or took longer then expected, I was still prepared in sequencing my lesson to accommodate these obstacles.
Facilitating the Experience: 9.5, There were several positives to my facilitating the experience, along with a couple things that I can always improve on! I created my lesson plan centered on grabbing their attention right from the start, and would use guided questions to help further the experience. I followed my lesson plan almost exactly, and taught it at a nice pace. One of my biggest faults is asking the questions that I should never need or want to answer to. For example, “Do we want to that?” or “can everyone stand up?” I also had the little hiccups with forgetting a rhythm of a line when call and repeating, but regrouped and continued on. The lesson was designed from beginning to end, where the group would be able to perform the song and actions without my help. This plan was executed very smoothly.
Further Reflecting: Overall, I felt really good about this song teaching assignment! Preparation is key in any lesson planning, and I took the steps needed to ensure I knew how I wanted to teach my group. I felt that I picked an appropriate and catchy song, where my group would be able to master and perform both singing and actions. I believe I demonstrated the ability to keep my group engaged and involved from beginning to end, while each demonstrated a strong ability to listen and learn. The biggest goal that I have for my next teaching lesson would be to stay away from proposing those questions that do not need an answer to. I also want to not use so many words when giving directions, but keep to clear and concise directions. I think this will be way more effective, and I can then focus more on the engagement and progress of my group.
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Assignment #6: Patterned Dance/Folk Dance Reflection

 

PLAN


Understanding: Song selection – “Cotton-Eye Joe,” Folk Dance

Statement: Students will perform and changes motions to a phrase of the music through a social folk dance.

Concepts/Ideas being learned: phrasing, social engagement/Cues from instructor, following and repeating directions, attentive listening, rhythmic patterns, coordinated movements

*I can learn a set of movements, and perform them with their appropriate phrasing to music.

Materials: Plan (outline), students, music, classroom

Weikart Language Prompts:

* Say and watch, say and move-without music using palms, listen to music- think of movements, move-with music

Outline: (Starting 1 Eight Count in, facing in towards circle)

*step right together, right close, tap right front together, tap left front together

*Circle (with hands up touching partners) around right 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

*walk forward 2, 3, tap, walk back 2, 3, close

*jump right, jump left, circle 2, 3, 4

Assessment: I am watching for students to be able to change motions with the musical phrases, with fluid, simple transitions.

REFLECTION


Musicianship: 5, I created a folk dance that followed a clear, 8-beat pattern. The song picked had a steady tempo, and moves were demonstrated and perform to a consistent beat.

Leadership: 5, When giving directions to my peers, I extensively engaged through my eye contact and body language to teach my dance. I fostered a positive and uplifting environment for my peers to learn the dance, repeat it a couple times, and then work together in the final product. I suggested inclusion through my facial expressions and energy.

Preparation: 5, I thoroughly prepared for this activity by listening to and familiarizing myself with the musical selection, creating a chart demonstrating each 8-beat movement, and practicing each set of moves before the activity to ensure the transitions between the dance were appropriately choreographed and made sense.

Facilitating the Experience: 9, Throughout the facilitated activity, I used several Weikart language prompts in order to teach and learn the dance. I kept my peers engaged from beginning to end, as I paced the lesson in a reasonable timing, and used inviting facial and body expressions. I faltered a couple times in forgetting the next steps to my sequenced pattern, solely because I was focus on watching and making sure everyone else picked up the choreography. Nevertheless, I kept going and made sure to acknowledge my mistake!

After watching the recorded video of me teaching, overall I feel good about my execution! I tried to create a patterned folk dance that captured the unique energy that the song had, and furthermore have fun with my group while dancing! My preparation for this activity consisted of physically practicing the folk dance, practicing the verbiage I would use for transitions, and then charting out my movements. There were a couple setbacks that I did not take into consideration necessarily, that I feel like caught me off guard of my usual comfort with teaching. First, I felt like I wasn’t able to draw as much energy and enthusiasm as I had pictured from my peers. While this was not a detrimental factor, I felt the lesson dragged a little bit, and I should have brought the lesson back and regrouped. Secondly, my peers did not pick up the choreography as fast as I envisioned. This may be due to how I introduced the dance, and therefore if I were to redo this lesson, it would be taught differently. Ultimately, I felt like it was a successful lesson, and most importantly I had fun planning it!

Assignment #5: Folk Dance Teaching

PLAN


Understanding: Song selection – “Cotton-Eye Joe,” Folk Dance

Statement: Students will perform and changes motions to a phrase of the music through a social folk dance.

Concepts/Ideas being learned: phrasing, social engagement/Cues from instructor, following and repeating directions, attentive listening, rhythmic patterns, coordinated movements

*I can learn a set of movements, and perform them with their appropriate phrasing to music.

Materials: Plan (outline), students, music, classroom

Weikart Language Prompts:

* Say and watch, say and move-without music, listen to music- think of movements, move-with music

Outline: (Starting 1 Eight Count in, facing in towards circle)

*step right together, right close, tap right front together, tap left front together

*Circle (with hands up touching partners) around right 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

*walk forward 2, 3, tap, walk back 2, 3, close

*jump right, jump left, circle 2, 3, 4

Assessment: I am watching for students to be able to change motions with the musical phrases, with fluid, simple transitions.

Coordinated Movements Teaching Reflection/Video

Musicianship: 5, I kept a consistent beat throughout the entire piece, and performed a sequence of movements that were natural and fitting to the catchy music. The song that I picked had an appropriate tempo, where each movement was assigned to a new phrase.

Leadership: 5, My body language and facial expressions were engaging and clear during the entire activity. I kept eye contact with each student participating in the activity, and stirred a sense of energy through my movements.

Preparation: 5, I thoroughly prepared for this lesson before teaching this activity to my peers by practicing and familiarizing myself with the music, writing out an outline for my activity, and making sure I had all the materials I needed to proceed with the activity smoothly.

Facilitating the Experience: 10, I engaged with my students right from the start (although cut off in the video), by simply saying “do as I do.” I paced the lesson at a reasonable pace where students were able to grasp each move, and therefore I was able to assess if learning occurred. My gestures were clear to suggest a change in movement, as I guided them through the sequence of steps from beginning to end.

Overall, I felt really good about my teaching experience. I picked a song that was not only recognizable, but that carried a spunky, steady beat. I also tried to integrate unique, yet engaging moves into the sequential pattern that followed the order of movements. One thing I really tried to focus on was keeping each student engaged and involved from beginning to end. I believe that I demonstrated this through my facial expressions, and efforts to signal a change in the movements. As I watch back the video, during the complex movements, there were some students who did not pick up the movements as fast as I thought or saw, and so next time I need to be more cognizant in the little details, and further alter my plans if needed. One goal that I want to set for myself for the future is to allow myself to be in the moment of music making. When I am teaching, I tend to get stuck on making sure I do everything right, whether it be giving clear and concise directions, engaging with students, etc., but I forget to engage myself in the moment where I can reflect on myself, and how I am experiencing and enjoying the musical activity as well!

Assignment #4: Children Moving Videos

Video #1:

The children and adults in this video were filled with the purest form of exuberant joy! The movements in this video were a whole body experience; whether they could keep the steady beat or not, generally everyone was on their feet  jumping and moving around to the music! It is apparent that the younger children seemed to follow what the older children were doing, who were in many cases performing a call and response with the adults. The energy just radiated in that video, as everyone participated and continually moved in one way or another. The little boy on the drum did a remarkable job keeping a steady beat, which may seem simple, but can be challenging with people singing and clapping to the beat of their own drum.

Video #2:

My body just feel alive after watching this video! The little girl and boy in the video seemed to be challenging each other in a break dancing competition, and clearly the crowd had a favorite! To “challenge” someone in this kind of dance is to go face to face with another person, where you try to out do and impress the other challenger with one’s dancing abilities! I think the people were so excited not only because of how young and small this little girl was compared to the boy, but also she was doing things that most people can’t do!

Video #3a & b:

In these two videos, a toddler is “leading” adults with choreography to a song. It is very apparent that the adults mimicking the toddler’s movements have better coordination and use of their motor skills than the toddler. With that said, it is neat to see how innately the toddlers’ can hear and feel the energy of the music, and move to it. The two toddlers do not seem to have a full sense of control with their body, especially the first toddler. The second toddler on the other hand seemed to be more balanced and in control of her movements!

Video #4a & b:

In these two videos, a group of second graders and fourth graders are square dancing! One of the biggest differences that I saw between the two ages was the interaction and awareness that the kids had one with another. The second graders all dressed in those fun outfits were able to pick up the gist of what was happening and what to do, but did not seem as comfortable with their movements with their partner(s). On the other hand, the fourth graders were more aware of their surroundings and their interaction with the movements and their partner. This factor may be because of the age difference, and the skills further developed with one’s motor skills versus the others. The maturity level and social skills have also developed more in the older kids than younger ones.

Video #5a, b, & c:

I loved how these three videos took me back to my childhood days, where making up songs and creating clapping games were the coolest things to do! As I watched these videos, I caught myself singing their chants in my head! I felt like I was able to pick up on all three of these clapping hand beats. Each child in the video took a different approach at explaining and teaching the song. For example, in the first video with the Dr. Pepper handshake, the two girls simply demonstrated the hand clap. On the other side, in the last video, the girl takes her audience step by step through the movements, and then pieces it all together! Each of the children seemed comfortable sharing their musical abilities. Whether or not they used formal terms to explain terms regarding their musicianship, each child was able to successfully teach their clap, even if they were being silly at times!

Video #6:

I chose this video of two young acrobatic dancers competing on a show, to show the incredible abilities that they possess, especially at such a young age! The balance and coordination is seamless between the two, where they really rely on one another! It is incredible to also see how flexible they are, and how they can move and use their body through so many acrobatic tricks!

Assignment #2: Coordinated Movement to Music

PLAN


Understanding: Song selection – “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Justin Timberlake, Karaoke Version, 2016.

Statement: Students will perform and understand sequenced coordinated movements by watching and mirroring the teacher.

Concepts/Ideas being learned: Social Engagement/Cues from instructor, Following and repeating Directions, attentive listening, rhythmic patterns, coordinated movements

*I can perform a sequence of coordinated movements to a song by watching and following the instructor’s pattern.

Materials: Plan (outline), students, music, chairs, classroom

Prompt: “Watch and do as I do”

Outline: (Starting 2 Eight Counts in)

*Single Coordinated

16 foot taps, 16 thigh pats, 16 face pats, 16 head taps

*Single Alternative

16 snaps, 16 thigh pats, 16 punches, 16 shoulder taps, 16 shrugs

*Double Coordinated

8 peek a boos, 8 cross the knees, 8 feet switches, 8 feet to knees

*Complex

8 shoulder, cross, head snap, 8 eyes, ears, mouth, nose

*Single Coordinated

16 thigh pats, 16 foot taps

Assessment: I am watching for students to stay engaged in the musical activity by copying each rhythmic pattern performed and simultaneously doing it.

Professional Development Activity Reflection

This semester, I had the opportunity to attend an Arizona Orff’s Association Workshop on February 25th, 2017. This workshop was under the direction of Jim Solomon, who put on a remarkable workshop about music education with children. Jim Solomon was absolutely intriguing, as he not only offered valuable information, personal experiences, and tools to use as future educators, but allowed many hands-on opportunities throughout the session to help us experience what a lesson plan might look like in an elementary classroom setting. This workshop was neat to also see the interaction and engagement that occurred between the several music teachers that were in attendance. Everyones’ input and questions were valued by Jim, as he applied them to real life situations. One concept that really intrigued my interest was the idea of directive listening. In a classroom setting, the ability to listening and validating a child’s learning through directive commands and responses is something that I did not recognize or give a label to before this conference! When working with children, and as a future music educator, we have the ability to open their minds and the expand the horizons of learning. Although I do not plan on working in an elementary setting, after attending this  workshop, I have several new tools and activities under my belt that I will utilize in the future!

Whitney