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Archive for September 11th, 2009

Music work stations

During back-to-school workshops, teachers from art, music, and P.E. often attend our training on work stations. Often, I’m pleasantly surprised by the creativity of these folks and how they adapt work stations to match their special subjects!

Jennifer Bartos, the music teacher at Ford Elementary School in Denver, CO., came to my after-school session and shared what she’s been trying in her classroom with music stations. I LOVE it! She does things a little differently, because she has many classes each day with lots of different students. But she makes it work for her! Here are a few of the stations she is using with her 3rd-5th graders on the stage in the auditorium, nonetheless!

Students read and play music here using a variety of instruments

Students read and play music here using a variety of instruments

Students read music and play the bells at this station

Students read music and play the bells at this station

Students also play the Boomwhackers (why didn't they have these when I was in school?)

Students also play the Boomwhackers (why didn't they have these when I was in school?)

Kids compose music using the last 4 digits of their phone number and play it on the xylophone

Kids compose music using the last 4 digits of their phone number and play it on the xylophone

A computer station is used to teach about the musical staff

A computer station is used to teach about the musical staff

There is an emphasis on learning music vocabulary too

There is an emphasis on learning music vocabulary too

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It is so good to be back in classrooms again! All summer I worked around the U.S. with teachers, but the kids were off for the summer. Last week our schools were open, so I got to go to a few of my favorite rooms to work with the students (and their teachers). I visited a few math classes and introduced our first math station in one classroom. We taught a game to the whole class (very throroughly), had two students show the rest of the class how to play, and then had all kids play with partners as their first math station. More to follow in the next few weeks.

The secret is to introduce each station well, one at a time, to be sure students understand the routine and can work independently. Take something you’ve taught well, and then have students do it with a partner. The teacher isn’t working with small groups. She is walking around the room, checking in and observing students at work.

Two students model how to play the game, Close to 100, for the rest of the class

Two students model how to play the game, Close to 100, for the rest of the class

 

Directions written with the class on how to play this game

Directions written with the class on how to play this game

All students play in pairs around the room

All students play in pairs around the room

Jamila checks in with partners as they work at their first math station

Jamila checks in with partners as they work at their first math station

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