Monday, January 25, 2010

Welcome Spring 2010!

We had a two lovely groups today at one of our favorite schools...A few new students as well, which is always wonderful because it adds a freshness to the class. And LOTS of new creativity!

So much fun with the castanets!
We giggled nearly the whole time! What fun!
We are making lasting impressions, memories and most of all, a difference in the lives of these children and their families. It's a wonderful feeling, to be apart of something so special and life changing!

More to come!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Week # 13 Welcome Back/Finishing of the Fall Semester

Bryann assisted me by showing the cards of 'Legato' and 'Staccato' to the children as we learned about long notes and short notes from the Hosted CD. One of our Kindermusik parents happened to come in for a sneak peek of the class and was able to observe and enjoy our time together.

During our circle time,
we could feel everyone's excitement
to be back in Kindermusik again
after the long holiday season.

And of course, we also felt good to be back together, and in the swing of things.

Stay Tuned for Spring Semester...!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Week # 12 Harmony Merry Christmas! (last week before break)

~ In every art beginners must start with models of those who have practiced the same art before them. And it is not only a matter of looking at the drawings, paintings, musical compositions, and poems that have been and are being created; it is a matter of being drawn into the individual work of art, of realizing that it has been made by a real human being, and trying to discover the secret of its creation. ~

Ruth Witman

Week # 11 St M

Bryann prepares to lead the children in a few activities...

In the picture above, she is redirecting the children to listen to the activity on the guided CD.
The children always enjoy their musical story time... especially when Bryann reads to them.

Here, Bryann takes time to pause the CD with the remote and uses this opportunity to *freeze* with the children. This is a great moment of re-direction for both teacher and each student.
Taking a moment to breathe and talk about the class...

Timely Tips for Teaching:
*Find another way to get the children to sit on their music spots other than "Sit on your music spot, please" (over and over and over)

*Pretend the music spot is magical. Talk about it like it's a good place to sit (adjust tone of voice to be happy when you talk about it)

*Encourage listening by giving them listening ears (pretend to hand them out!)

* Allow them to explore their instruments before each activity

*Don't be afraid to pause the CD before or during an activity to regroup

"A teacher who can arouse a feeling for one single good action, for one single good poem, accomplishes more than he who fills our memory with rows and rows of natural objects, classified with name and form." -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Week # 11 One on One

Today, Bryann taught from "Around the Farm" lesson 3-4 hosted CD, for me, in preparation for teaching it on her own for the following day at St M. She taught the entire lesson without looking at the teacher's guide for reference for each activity.

Bryann verbally encouraged the "imaginary students" and sang with each of them. I observed her from afar, and took a seat, sitting outside of the circle. Her theatrical ability really shines through during our practice time. (in class as well!) She has no problem with acting!

She showed lots of excitement while practice teaching, today. She is loosening up more and learning to have fun as a teacher and with the children.

I also noted that Bryann's transitions are much easier and smoother when using the guided hosted CD. There's something to that!

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." -- Benjamin Franklin

Week #11 Harmony Getting Ready for Christmas!

The greatest sign of a success for a to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist." -- Maria Montessori

Monday, January 4, 2010

Week #10 Harmony and St M

This week at St M, we used the hosted CD for Around the Farm 1-2 unit. Bryann assisted me in class while I took three children to the restroom. Bryann still came to class on time and participated even though she wasn't feeling too well physically.

After class, we talked about disciplining with a firm voice, which enforces firm re-direction to their attention. And finally, backing our words up in a gentle way, reassuring them that we still love them, but they must obey the rules.
"The great end of education is to discipline rather than to furnish the mind; to train it to the use of its own powers rather than to fill it with the accumulation of others."
-- Tyron Edwards

Ex "Michael, put the green car in your pocket or give it to me. You have a choice."
(use a firm voice and expect an immediate result)

Ex: "I know you want to play with your car right now, but thank you for putting it in your pocket for safe keeping"
(redirect him and show empathy in your tone of voice, body language and words)

Ex: "Henry did you know I brought some other wonderful instruments to play with?"
(focus on the positive aspect and redirect in that way.)

On Monday, we had fun at Harmony with all of the children. At the end of class, they taught a song they had been learning about Indians and Pilgrams. We ended up creating a circle dance as we sang the words to the new song.

"Learning is finding out what we already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, and teachers." -- Richard Bach

Week # 10 Training One on One/Bryann's First Guitar lesson

" Sometimes you want to give up guitar, you'll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it,you're gonna be rewarded"
-- Jimi Hendrix

Week # 9 St. M/ Lessons We Learn

We all take time to sing hello to each other at the beginning of each class together.
We use props and instruments to create a steady beat which is helpful for children as they learn to "feel" the music.
Dancing is always a fun component during class time and gives the children an opportunity to express themselves through movement and music play.
Here we are, discussing the many dynamics that took place during this week's class.
It's rained nearly every Wednesday this month and the children are high with pent up energy. But, we are plugging along and still having fun. I'm convinced that sometimes we have these days to really zero in on how to handle certain situations. So, I will list a few of them below:

*How to handle the children when they scream and forget to use their inside voices
*How to handle a child getting upset because his feelings are hurt or he doesn't get his way
*Dealing with hurt feelings as teachers if the children decide to say something or do something to make us feel bad ex "I don't want to sit by you."

We realize that the children are indeed delicate and so are their emotions, but it is our job to guide them along with care.

Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction.

-Annie Sullivan

Week #9 Training One on One

This week's one on one training went really well as you can see. We took this week to review and practice teaching with the hosted CD. Which means that there is a lady on the CD that guides each activity. It essentially guides the class along and is fairly easy to follow if you have all the instruments and props needed to conduct the class.

We enjoyed dancing to Kindermusik's bluegrass song, "Sourwood Mountain". What better way to spend our time than dancing to a bluegrass fiddle?

"There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them."
~Vicki Baum

Week #8 Training One on One

This week, we worked more with the manual and actually reading through an entire lesson. We acted out one of the lessons with the guided CD. I wanted Bryann to know that it is possible to pick and choose which activities that may best fit a specific group of children vs. following the manual straight through.

Even though it is good to know how to teach from the manual, sometimes the art of being flexible during each moment of teaching is key to masterful leading in a group. Sometimes the flow of activities may change last minute depending on the group's energy level. And a good teacher will know and recognize the need for a change of pace if the situation arises.