Saturday, October 22, 2011

Komen "Race for the Cure" 2011

As promised, I ran the Komen "Race for the Cure" 5K in honor of my friend Jayne today.  In August, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She's been in the hospital all week; her last chemo treatment was the worst yet.  She has three more to go and then radiation treatments will begin.  Today, I ran for Jayne.

My sister, Paulette, ran the race with me in honor of our mutual friend Ann.  Ann recently finished her chemo and is moving on to the next step in her course of treatment.

I've run this race 4 or 5 times, but I have never plastered someone's photo on my back and carried them with me during the race - until today.  This time, it hit much closer to home.  Five thousand people united for a cause.  It was pretty cool!!

My race bib

My timing chip

Soul Sisters - Dee Dee and Paulette

We love you Jayne and Ann!!!!

Until next time...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fifty Nifty United States

Today was flag-raising at Chets Creek Elementary.  This is the only time we can get the entire student body and our faculty all in the same place at the same time.  The ceremony usually includes our safety patrols, my principal and me.  I am in charge of running the sound and playing the pre-show and exit music.  Today, however, I thought it would be fun to include one of my classes performing a song.

At the beginning of the year, Mrs. Rossignol asked me to teach "Fifty Nifty United States" to all third grade students hoping that it would support their curriculum, help them learn the names of our 50 states and also provide us with a performance piece for their third grade musical in the spring.  Miss Lipsky's class embraced this song and ran with it!

Mrs. Tamburrino with Miss Lipsky's class

The song is listed in the fifth grade "Music Connection" textbook, but they didn't seem to mind that it was two grade levels ahead of them.  I divided the song into three sections because it's wordy and the tempo is rather upbeat.  Sometimes it takes four rehearsals to master it, but this class did it in three.  I saw no reason not to showcase their efforts, so I cleared the performance today with my principal and let them do their thing.  Enjoy!!

I heartily congratulate them on their efforts!!  My sister, Denise, would be very proud!!

Until next time...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

MENC is now NAfME

I always get a little nervous when organizations change their branding.  I don't like it when companies change their products' packaging any more than I like it when grocery stores move things around on the shelves so that it creates a new traffic pattern for their shoppers in the hopes that they will buy more than planned on this particular shopping trip.  It frustrates me; REALLY frustrates me.

As of this year, Music Educators National Conference has a new name.  We are now the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).  Our organization has been around for 104 years.  It seems that only recently, our former name has become a problem.  The association's original name, "Music Supervisors National Conference," became "Music Educators National Conference" (MENC) in 1998.  Since that time, as music educators have had to address policy-makers, they were "spend[ing] too much precious time explaining why our initials did not match our name."  Hence the reason for our organization's re-branding.

Michael Butera, NAfME executive director, said, "National Association for Music Education says exactly what the Association stands for -- an organization for music education for everyone, an association that supports music teachers and the profession of music education, a group that isn't inward-looking and static but outward-reaching and forward-thinking."  (Teaching Music: October 2011, Volume 19, Number 2; Page 13).

Because of the name change, the executive board felt it was necessary to lay out a Long-Term Strategic Plan that encompassed four overarching strategic directions:  1. Advocacy 2. Serving the profession and the music educator 3. Research 4. Organizational vitality.

"Music is a universal expression of the human spirit, a basic human need," the Preamble states.  "It allows us to communicate our deepest ideas and feelings, to explore and preserve our cultural heritages, and to celebrate the realms of emotion, imagination, and creativity that result in new knowledge, skills, and understanding.  Every individual should be guaranteed the opportunity to learn music and to share in musical experiences."  (Teaching Music:  October 2011, Volume 19, Number 2; Page 12).

With that position statement, I heartily agree.  No one should be denied the opportunity to make music, to listen to music, to enjoy music and to experience that 'stirring of the soul' that music provides for us.  It is part of our humanity.

Until next time...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Preparing for the Komen

4-mile training run completed
Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's that time of year again.  The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  For the past several years, my sister has asked me to run the Susan G. Komen "Race for the Cure" with her.  This is a 5K run that takes place in downtown Jacksonville.  This year, the race will be held on Saturday, October 22nd at 9:00 a.m. at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds.

I've never run for anyone in particular. However, this year, I will don my pink wig and run in honor of one of my dearest friends on the planet.  Jayne was diagnosed with breast cancer back in August.  She just completed her 4th round of chemo last week.  I made her a promise and I intend to keep my word to her.

Today I completed a 4-mile training run.  The weather was brisk and I ran my best personal time yet.  I am hoping for cool weather on the 22nd.  (It's much easier to take the Acosta Bridge when the humidity levels are lower.)

Stay tuned for race photos...

Exit Tickets

The Exit Ticket

The Exit Ticket (sometimes called an exit slip) is being used in the music room this year to ensure that the students in my classroom are leaving with an understanding of the concept that was presented during the lesson.  I am currently implementing the Exit Ticket in grades 1-5.  My Exit Ticket was designed to accommodate answers to ten "Essential Questions" that will be asked throughout the course of the year in each of these grade levels.  The questions are content-specific for each grade level and are proving to be a very useful tracking tool as my students work towards mastery of the content.

Essential Question #1:  The photo above shows the seating diagram for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.  My 4th and 5th graders are preparing for a field study to attend a "live" performance in November and will be well-acquainted with the seating plan for the orchestra by that time.  On the back of the yellow sheet, there is a blank seating diagram.

Their first assignment was to fill out the blank side by using the pictures of the instrument families on the front side of the paper.  I allotted 15 minutes for this "Essential Question" and most of them were able to complete the task in that amount of time.  They were allowed to use the "Instrument Family" posters in my classroom as a resource.  Some were able to complete the assigment from their chairs; others needed to use the posters on the wall to complete the assignment.  It was a good indicator of who knew their "instrument families" and was an excellent opportunity for review.

If all goes as planned, I will have a portfolio of student work for 1200 students at the conclusion of this school year.  Unprecedented? I'm not sure, but I will do my best to see that this method of accountability is met with perseverence and due diligence on my part.  I am hoping for 80% mastery across the board.  Please stay tuned.

Until next time...