Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy Music In Our Schools Month!

I love this month!  I love creating an atmosphere in our building that is celebrating music all month long!  I'm curious what others do to celebrate?  Here's what's happening this month in my building:

1.  Announcements:  We have a C.A.R.E.S. model to our daily morning announcements.  Each day is a different focus on the following words, but this month will have a music theme added to it: 
                  *Cooperate (Mondays)
                  *Appreciate (Tuesdays)
                  *Respect (Wednesdays)
                  *Empathy (Thursdays)
                  *Success (Fridays)

2.  Trivia Contest:  This is something that I did with a colleague of mine in a different building years back that I have carried on to this building.  It is a school-wide trivia contest that is a weekly thing in the month of March.  Monday the new question is revealed, along with the previous week's winners.  I typically choose 2 winners per grade level and the win a very simple prize like a toy instrument that I usually can find either through Oriental Trading or a local Party Supply story like Party City.  Questions are along the lines of "How many keys are there on a full-size piano?" or "I am known as the 'King of Rock 'n' Roll'.  Who am I?"  The first question this week is, "What is the most sung song in the United States?"  The last week is the Stevenson Mystery Musician.  I have some talented staff who at one point have played an instrument!  So, why not share that talent with the building?  So I record the person playing their instrument and then the kids have to guess which teacher or staff member played that instrument.

3.  Journaling:  I have each grade do a grade-level appropriate writing assignment for me. 
  • Kindergarten actually colors a music note to decorate my room with.
  • 1st writes down their favorite song and draws a picture to go with it.
  • 2nd grade actually does a performance this month, so no writing for them!
  • 3rd grade writes a journal entry to focus to respond to the question "What would the world be like without music?"  This is an AMAZING writing assignment.  I LOVE reading their responses every year.
  • 4th grade writes about what music means to them.

4.  I Love Music Because...:  I am going to be recording kids sharing a sentence or two about why they love music.  This will then be aired on the broadcast each week.

5.  Display:  Lastly, I have a calendar of "This Day In Music History..." displayed outside my classroom that I also did with my colleage at a previous building.  Everyone in the school loves reading it each year and it's a great way to start conversations about music with kids and staff.