Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Coffee Dilemma

Coffee - I love it and many of my friends, colleagues and family members do to. In fact, it seems like we may be addicted. And yet, I, even though I drink so much of it, seem to never have enough energy to get done what I would like to get done.

The Coffee Dilemma!

As I go through my day, tired and in need of a boost, I don't give my body what it really needs - a quick power nap, a small rest, water... Instead, I head for another cup of coffee.

Do I really think the more I drink the more awake and productive I become?

It seems as though education over the past years has also become a victim to the Coffee Dilemma! The only difference is that they are not feeding our schools more coffee. They keep feeding our kids more and more of the material that is being tested (specifically math and reading) at the expense of other core subjects... Why? Because that is what is tested!

Are math and reading important? Of course! I am a firm believer in the traditional 3 Rs. Students need balance, though. That's for another blog.

So, if feeding our kids more and more and more of the tested material is the "Coffee", then what is the "Water"? You guessed it...the ARTS!

Who is going to do it? Who is going to be the first one to step in, take that jump and say let's try less of this and more of this? Who's going to have the guts to see it through long enough to see results?

The studies have been done, the results say it loud and clear: the arts help students achieve! And yes, that also includes achieving higher test scores. For more info on studies, visit http://aep-arts.org/resources/research.htm

It could start with us...we are here right now - interested teachers and parents, caring for the education of our children to become better people, more intelligent people, more well-rounded people.

Coffee? I may start my increased water intake tomorrow and see what happens...

(For now, I'll stop this rant. Blogging is still new to me. I guess I'm testing the waters...)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Getting Started with Music Integration

The first thing you want to do in your classroom is to show your students and fellow teachers that music is important to you and that you value its presence in your classroom. To make this happen is very simple. Make a music center in your room. This is something that can be done quickly and is very effective. For example, if you simply make a small center sign and put a couple of music related materials in it, you have made a statement that you value music whether it be for complex content or exploration.

What can go into a music center? ANYTHING musical. Here are some ideas of thing you may have around your house, can borrow from a friend or music teacher or purchase, if you are so inclined:
~small musical instruments
~books about music
~story books that center around music
~staff paper and pencils
~keyboards (with headphones)
~tape recorder
~small radio
~musical toys (even baby or toddler toys work)

So - don't hesitate! Kids love music and they will gravitate to a music center as a means to be creative and explore! For more on this topic, see the Music Integration Articles button on the left.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Another Return?

It is always in the back of my mind to work on the website and get ideas out, but time gets away from me... As I look at what is here, I am a bit embarrassed. Especially when I think that I had more posts (with comments) that I accidentally deleted. So, for anyone who is reading, please send me a note or email and let me know if there is something you would like to hear about. I am open to your thoughts which will in turn motivate me to keep the website fresh.

That's all for now... more to come!