Yesterday, my faculty advisor came to observe and his suggestion for what I should work on was: “take risks.”
So today, I decided to do just that and try a group work/peer teaching activity, which the students sometimes struggle with and, therefore, is also difficult to manage.
Over the course of my unit so far, we have been learning a lot of new music terms like dynamics, tempo, call and response, rhyme, lyrics, etc. As today was basically the half way point, I had the students in small groups of 3-5. Each group was assigned one of the music definitions that they were in charge of ‘teaching’ to the class.
It got a bit noisy while the small groups were deciding on their strategies to teach their concept, but, as my co-op reiterates, productive noise is okay. I was very impressed with how well the groups worked together and explained their topics in front of their classmates (especially because it was an end-of-day lesson). It showed me that the students really were paying attention while I was teaching my lessons previously. Such a rewarding experience to see a group of 8 and 9 year olds leading the class in a song that you usually lead!
I hope that this activity today was a good bridge into tomorrow’s lesson, which introduces my unit summative assessment and culminating activity (students will be in the same small groups and are tasked with creating their own beat with instruments, as well as incorporating one of the music elements we’ve learned into their beat, which they will perform for the class). Now I know that these groups of students are capable of working well together and are grasping the material, so I am excited to see what they can produce!