Wednesday, February 17, 2010

snow days... what to do?

Here are some thoughts about snowdays:

Just because we are not in school with students, don't forget to keep your mind fresh! Take this as an opportunity to become well planned, organized, and prepared for the rest of your placement. This will be increasingly important after snowdays for one important reason. Your students are now on different stages of your plans. You have some students whom you have taught your first and second lesson to, while you have others you have yet to see. Get the schedule out, take a look at where you are, make a note as to what has been done each day, what needs to be done, and what could be eliminated in order to get your schedule back to a manageable gameplan.

It is often a very overwhelming thing to take over your general music placement's full schedule. Add to that the scatteredness that snowdays cause, and you may find yourself staring at a class to which you have just realized has "already done that" and you have no game plan.

Also, even though many of your planning sources are at school, there are things you can look at via the internet or past course work to aid in your planning. Dig out your methods notebook. Find plans you enjoyed watching or teaching. Go to the WVDE website or THIS BLOG to see the WVContent Standards and guides to assist you in planning. Search for lesson plan formats that may fit your needs more efficiently. Search for lessons on line (although, often this is hard). Go to various websites for sources and listen to recordings.. IE...New England Dancing Masters has a great website with many of the sources your placement teacher may have. You may get inspired for a lesson after listening to the recordings.

Contrary to public opinion.....most teachers do utilize, at least a portion of their snowdays, preparing, organizing and getting prepared for what lies ahead. You should do the same!

Finally, if you do find a lesson that you want to teach from an alternate source, make sure you cite where it came from. There is nothing more embarrassing for a student teacher than to teach a lesson that has actually come from your placement teacher, via another/former student. Remember, most of us have hosted 382 at one point or another, so if you get a lesson from a friend and turn it in, make sure you know where it comes from. IT'S OK to borrow, group plan, and share lessons with peers!!! Afterall, that is what your placement teachers have done for years... Imitation is one of the stages of learning in this placement. Just make sure to give credit where credit is due. It's a great way to learn! It will also help you in the future if you ever want to present that lesson publically. You must reference the source in order to present/publish any material.

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