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  • Writer's pictureMs. McKinnon

...and we're off!

What a fantastic first four days it's been around the music room. We've had so much fun, smiles, laughs, wiggles, and of course music. These first few weeks we are focusing heavily on learning procedures and expectations so we can set ourselves up for a smooth and successful year.

1st through 5th grade classes are using something called Pointkeeper. If your child attended Riverbend last year, they may remember Mrs. Danziger using this same system but consider it version 2.0. Every class there are four goals students are working to achieve: Enter, Listen, Participate, and Exit. From the moment they wait in the hallway to enter the music room our minds and bodies are preparing to earn that first point. Sometimes we have "off" days and may only get 3 and that's okay! We know where we could have done better and use that to set a goal for next time. Students are reflecting on their choices as a team and using that accountability to score themselves accordingly.

Our class mascot, Benjamin T. Bear, with our scorecard.

Expectations help us know how to do our job. They help draw the boundaries of a classroom so we are free to relax, have fun, learn, and make memories together. 2nd-5th grade students discussed with partners why these four things matter and came up with fabulous reasons! It was a treat getting to snoop on their discussions and find out what these expectations mean to each of them. It totally changes a classroom when students take ownership and I'm proud to say we're off to a strong start.

Curve ball alert! The kiddos didn't know they were going to have a test the very first day! We put our first expectation to the test with different unpitched percussion instruments such as egg shakers, castanets, tambourines, woodblocks, and maracas to copy rhythmic patterns and practice starting and stopping as an ensemble. I'm thrilled to say they did beautifully. :) We've learned the "Say Hello" song to reinforce this as well and boy, it's been a blast hyping, crawling, sneaking, and even roaring around the room together. Lastly is the "SoLaMi" game. It's a matter of singing melodic patterns with our voices and hands unless you hear the dreaded solami! Ears better be sharp because they've got to try and earn more points than I can!

Be sure to check back regularly for updates about what we're working on in class, pictures, and important announcements.

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