Wow! Today was an amazing day! We had 5 students in our FMEC camp and they were wonderful. I was really impressed from the beginning with their willingness to jump in, to make a genuine effort, and to work toward improvement.
On the first day, we worked with recorders and first I taught a brief lesson on recorders using some rhythms on boxes and some movement. Each student then had to reteach the exact same lesson with a slight twist. They did a really great job. Each of them had a unique style that worked for them and they all did a really nice job getting the students involved in the lesson. One student even had the students contributing actively by creating an ostinato. We then took that ostinato and she continued the lesson using the unique ostinato from that student. She then provided other students with opportunities to contribute in similar ways. Another student asked us about our feelings when we were associating them with tempo. It was a great take on my lesson and she used stomping (visual) as well as modeling (aural & visual) to get us to change tempo. I was just really impressed with these students.
Tomorrow, they are supposed to bring in their own lesson. I can’t wait to see what they do! They are supposed to follow up from the lesson they taught today. We talked a bit about scaffolding today and we have encouraged them to use scaffolding for this lesson.
I have also recommended that they include the following items in their lesson:
- A great hook at the beginning of the lesson (my hook tomorrow will be to hand them a card that says “behaved” or “misbehaved” on it.) They will then have to act that way during the lesson!
- Interaction -the lessons must include a wealth of interaction from the students. Active, not passive.
- Visual Aids & Vision – Today the students had a few visual aids including finger charts on the board and physical modeling
- Clear and tangible GOALS for the lesson
- Eye contact & use of student names – this was really challenging for some of the students today. I think that tomorrow, we will draw our names on the boxes so that the students can remember one another’s names
- Less Talking and More Music!
- A successful Ending! – This was somewhat difficult for some of the students as well. They really wanted to end with reminders for the next class, etc.
Overall, however, today was a very successful day! Tomorrow, their lessons will be 15 minutes long. One student had a lesson that was much too long for us, so he will definitely need to work to bring it down. Another student had a lesson that was much too short. So pacing is another thing that we will work on.
Classroom Management is the big topic for tomorrow. I am really excited for the behaved and misbehaved students for the lesson. This will give us a great experience with managing difficult students. We briefly touched upon proximity and pacing today (two huge helps for classroom management) and tomorrow, we will touch upon clear expectations, seat changes, and an active classroom. I can’t wait!