Sunday, June 3, 2012

Arts Integration - Math/Music

Each spring, I teach a lesson in first grade using a simple rhyme entitled, "Cobbler, Cobbler."  When you mention the word "cobbler" in the south, everyone's mind automatically moves toward apple, peach and blackberry cobbler.  It's a southern tradition, especially in the summertime.

However, this "cobbler" is different.  The "cobbler" in this lesson refers to a vocation, not a dessert. Most elementary-aged students don't have a clue what an old-fashioned cobbler does and I get to teach a social studies lesson in addition to an integrated math and music lesson.

The following video provides a peak into my classroom as I scaffold a lesson from the bottom up.  I lay the foundation beginning with pitch-matching; then add the steady beat. Next, I teach the rhyme, layer in the melody and then we apply the learning in the back of the classroom using play money at the cobbler's shop.

This is one of my favorite lessons to teach each year and the students enjoy the opportunity to show off their math skills in music class.

Many thanks to Mrs. Foster's first grade class and to Mr. Trey Vollmer of Vollmer Video for his work on this project.

Until next time...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Let's Sing, America!

Last fall, one of my third grade teachers approached me and asked if we could find a musical that aligned with the social studies curriculum in third grade.  I told her I would certainly try.  She wanted one with patriotic songs in it and I was ready to produce something new.

After researching our options, we settled on one entitled, "Let's Sing, America!" It included folk songs and patriotic songs every kid in America should know.  The dialogue also included fun facts about our national symbols (the Statue of Liberty, the bald eagle, the flag, etc.)  Last week, 215 third graders presented "Let's Sing, America!" to the student body during the school day and again in the evening for their families.  It was a smashing success!!!

Understand that I have produced many musicals over the years, but this one was something special. Since the performances last week, parents have stopped me in the grocery store, at a pool party and at a swim meet to tell me how much they enjoyed the performances.  I have heard nothing but compliments and accolades from folks young and old.  My office has been inundated with hand-written thank you notes from students.  I opened my mailbox at home today and there were two postcards from school signed by 72 students and their teachers thanking me for my help with their production. So many people worked on the production and I am grateful to each and every one.  It was truly a collaborative effort and I couldn't be happier with the results.

Until next time...