Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Technology Withdrawal

Technology is a wonderful thing.  I am what my husband calls a "button-pusher"--someone who enjoys playing around with technology, figuring out how to do new things with it all the time.  At my last school, I was fortunate to have a laptop, projector, document camera, ActiveSlate,  iPod, and sound dock in my room.  I was getting pretty good a powerpoints and online lessons, and even smartboard activities with the slate.  I was in technology teacher heaven!

Then I moved.  My new school has a desktop computer, a stereo with CD changer, and.....um......that's it.  Oh wait, there's an overhead projector--as in, transparencies.   Okay, so I taught forever with less than that, right?  I can do this, right? ........ <crickets>.........  I never knew how dependent I had become on all my "toys" until I didn't have them any more!  Wow.  I have had to dig deep into my toolbox of teaching tricks to remember how to engage and excite students.  Some things have been great, others not so much.  I've had my share of failed lesson plans this year, but I think I'm starting to get in my groove (finally!).  I also found a projector no one was using and hooked it up in my room.   I spent Saturday rearranging my classroom to start fresh after the break, and I'm kind of excited! The district is issuing laptops to teachers this year, and I am scheduled to get mine on December 10--yippee!  I think I will be able to update this blog more often then, too.

So I'm looking for ideas now.  I have four sections of 5th grade general music, one 6th grade choir of 22, and one 7th/8th grade choir of 41 (mixed).  What are your favorite lessons, songs, sightreading materials, and games for this age group?  This is new territory for me, so I need all the help I can get!

Please, leave a comment and share your collective wisdom!

1 comment:

Erin said...

I found that the peel and stick magnets were amazing for my magnetic chalkboard. I made a rhythm matching/concentration game that was pretty successful with my students. Treble Clef Baseball went well, too. You tape up a baseball diamond (square green paper) on the board and make four magnetic batters for each team. I used electrical or masking tape to make a staff on the board and had five or six foam circles with magnets on the back as my easily moveable notes. Each student comes up and says if they want a single, double, triple, or home run. A single is one note, double two, triple three, and home run spells a four or five letter word. The trick is that no matter what they choose, they only get 30 seconds to figure it out. If the student gets the answer right, their batter moves the appropriate number of bases and anyone already on a base moves that number as well (ex - one player on 2nd, batter gets a single then now there's one player on 1st, one on 3rd). Once a player crosses home plate, the team gets a point. If the students gets it wrong, their team gets a strike (or out) and the other team gets a chance to steal for a point. My kids (3rd through 6th grade) really enjoy this game for reviewing the treble clef!