Monday, February 27, 2012

Classroom blog as a communication tool....

I have been exploring the use of both a personal education blog to communicate ideas I come across with my fellow music educators as well as a blog for my classroom to communicate day to day happenings.  I have found the classroom blog to be an extremely effective communication tool.  I am able to post pictures, videos, links to advocacy resources, and much more in a short amount of time.  My goal is that parents get an inside glance at the overwhelming amount of material that we cover throughout the year.

There are so many user friendly blog sites to utilize these days so my advice to you is pour a cup of tea and just start experimenting with one that speaks to you!  I had a sixth grade student comment the other day to his class, "Did you see what those first and second graders can do?  I saw it on the music blog!!"  This alone made my day and my blogging project worth it.....

Keep me posted with your blogs and online communication tools/ideas @

Monday, February 13, 2012

Could a postcard bring a bit of confidence, happiness, and music advocacy?

At a recent professional development, a fellow music teacher mentioned that she sends out postcards to students as an outlet for positive communication. Well, I loved the idea and jumped online to get started.  I created postcards utilizing a fun pre-made design and added a music advocacy quote.  It's the best of both worlds, music advocacy for the parents (and kiddos too...) and a positive note for the student.  As specials teachers, we have so many kids that making personal connections with every single one can be a bit of a challenge.    These postcards are one more way to tackle this!

Hop online to any print/paper website and design away.  The pricing for mine wasn't bad at all and I am excited to see results!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Incorporating video segments into your lesson plans for improved student learning....

I've been checking out professional development courses lately that have been challenging teachers to incorporate video segments into their lesson plans to improve student learning and student memory.  Of course, I immediately want to tackle yet another project, however, as a lot of teachers say, I just need a bit more time!  
At a recent staff meeting, a teacher showed a video completed by two students incorporating information they had previously learned about the Bill of Rights using the online resource  I was hooked! The teacher was able to assess student understanding of the subject matter, and I bet the students will remember the key points to the lesson for a long time to come due to the creative outlet!  
The ability to quickly and effectively utilize this tool has motivated me to quit waiting for the right time and just start creating!  Check out the video above for more of my ideas, then go to and create one for yourself...It's as easy as the slogan says, "if you can can make movies!"