Do you TED?

We had a snow-cation last week with three consecutive snow days. I don’t typically like missing that much school but I did enjoy the way I was able to play catch up with my PLN/PD resources. I caught up on 200+ blog posts on my reader and found an array of resources to share. (I’m sure my colleagues just loved having two or three “check this out” emails from me upon return yesterday.)

I also watched a good handful of TED talks both sitting on the couch and while running on the treadmill. I am in love with these talks. It has provided an intellectual stimulation that fits with my fast-moving brain. Snippets of inspiration or innovation that keep my mind swirling with possibilities. The vast array of topics allows me to explore a variety of ideas some of which are in my wheelhouse and some of which are not, but I find help me access new ideas in a positive way.

TED is not new. The talks have been around for several years and are exploding globally through TEDx events. If you have not “TED’d”, I highly recommend it. They are free via their website, YouTube, or my favorite, the iPad app.

To get you started, here is a talk I watched last week that reminded me to stay on the sunny side of life, no matter what the situation.

If you don’t TED, you should; you’ll be glad you did!

23 Things

This year our school is embarking on self-paced technology professional development!! This is very exciting for me because I would love for all of my colleagues to share in the amazing things that technology can do to transform instruction, student engagement, and student achievement. (I will not spend this post waxing poetic.)

Our fabulous technology coordinator, has brought the 23 Things program to our building. A lot of the “things” are familiar to me, but a few are not, so I’m excited to find new adventures. I’m also thrilled to be available to my peers for 1:1 mentorship as needed. So much of my instruction does not use technology (at the K-4 level we focus more on traditional creation of music/dance) that to see it burst out in core content classrooms would be fantastic.

To my peers, YOU CAN DO THIS! I BELIEVE IN YOU! I WILL NOT GIVE UP ON YOU! (yes, I’m shouting this at you!)

(consider this week 1 and 2 for me!)

Every Good Boy Does Fine

Every child who has ever played recorder or had music in third grade or taken a piano lesson has uttered the phrase, “Every Good Boy Does Fine”. Each January, my third graders learn this phrase (with an added “on the line”) and FACE (face in the space). Then they write their own mnemonic devices to help them remember the names of treble clef notes. (Highlights from this year include: Emotional Girls Buy Donuts Fast and Elegant Grapes Break During Fights)

An element of fun was added this year by using our tech lab to play a variety of awesome online games for treble clef. My heartfelt thanks to the developers out there creating some really cool stuff to make third grade fun.

The links we used today were:

http://pedaplus.com/flash/treblebeg.html

http://pedaplus.com/flash/treble.html

http://www.purposegames.com/game/2594

http://courses.wcupa.edu/frichmon/usetech/musicalflashcards/tcnotes.html

http://www.classicsforkids.com/games/notename/notename.html

They started to become aware of their understanding and now we can build strategies for them to practice. When the recorders arrive in February, we should be set to go!