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Showing posts from March, 2016

Orff Instrument Playing Rubric

Rubric for Barred Orff Instruments
Unwilling or unable to complete the tasks.
Examples would be:

an autistic child who becomes so overwhelmed with sensory input that they cannot rotate instruments or even begin to complete the tasks of the lessonan emotionally disturbed child, who had a run-in with another student prior to music class, attends to the goings on in the room, but chooses to sit in the reflection chair for the duration of the lesson Children who receive a "U" assessment are children I don't hold responsible for their failure to complete the tasks assessed.

Rotation: student sometimes rotates through the instruments smoothly
Rhythm: student does not play the expected rhythm
Pitch: Notes not accurate
Improvisation: student not yet playing at the right time, ending the right time, beginning on tonic note, ending on tonic note, keeping the intended rhythm, or stopping when the pattern is over
Citizenship: Student needs frequent reminders of behavior expectati…

Dialing it Back

I have gone from teaching children, aged 3-13, of affluent, professional parents to children, aged 5-9, of mostly poor and working class  parents. Significant numbers of my new parent cohort struggle with addiction. Some are or have been incarcerated. Many of my current students were born addicted to heroin. Some suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Some students just never got enough love.

My Kindergarten classes are closest to being at grade level. Two of them are doing nearly as well as my affluent kids were. Grades 1, 2, and 3 are on roughly the same curriculum.

It's frustrating.

Guilt and shame just don't work. You can't say,
"You should be able to walk into a room and sit down without yelling."
"You should be able to pass papers and sit in chairs."
"You should be able to tie your shoes."

What good do such statements make?


Nobody has taken the time to show these children how to tie their shoes. Third graders walk around with untied la…

Playing a known song on Orff instruments

I'm going to post my lesson plans in the next few months. My goal is to post them all, but I probably cannot do more than one or two per month. My goal is to apply some of the lessons I'm learning through experience and reading Classroom Instruction That Works as part of my building's professional development. 
With this lesson, I'm reinforcing what we did last week, deepening the singing skills that are ongoing in our classroom, and introducing the playing of a known song on the Orff instruments. 
Though my students are developing normally, they are beginners in my Orff/Kodaly classroom. Therefore, Grade 1, 2, and 3 learn First Grade curriculum. The following is my current lesson plan.
Opening Song: [Goal: to establish good singing, a group musical effort, and practice good diction.] Grade 1 and 2: {new} Humuhumunukunukuapawa'a: Music K8 Volume 17 #5 Grade 3: {repeat} Hart Times Come Again No More by Stephen Foster            Students really responded to this song las…