Saturday, September 6, 2014

First Week of School

I just finished my first week at my new school….and it was GREAT!  It was such a joy to teach, everyday just flew by!  For this first week, I made it my priority to create lessons that would allow my students to experience the joy of playing and making music together while also allowing me to model the expectations of my classroom.  I also did some preparatory games and activities and was pleasantly surprised to find that most of my groups already have a good, solid foundation of music skills!

I struggled with deciding how I wanted my students to enter and whether or not I wanted them to sit in the circle in any particular way.  I settled on having them enter and follow me in a circle while I sang the first song and then once everyone was in I just started the game by having them do what I was doing.  In the past, I’ve always enjoyed greeting everyone at the door, but I kinda wanted something new and I wanted my first impression to the students to be that the music making begins as soon as they enter the room.  I think my students enjoyed “getting down to business” right away and several of the classroom teachers stopped me in the hall throughout the week to tell me how much fun it looked!

So far, I am also loving my schedule!  I see students in Kindergarten through 3rd grade twice a week for thirty minutes (winds up being more like twenty-five minutes) and students in 4th-6th twice a week for an hour.  In another week or two, the band and strings teachers will create their instrumental lessons schedule and the amount of time I see students in 4th-6th grade will change.  I have been used to teaching half hour lessons and so I made a few small tweaks to the lesson template I have been using and so far it has worked well in terms of lesson layout for my younger students.  Having hour long classes with the older students is new to me, so I tried a couple different combinations of activities this week, but I think I am settled on a template that I will use.  Here’s an example of a first grade lesson I will teach next week:

And here's a fourth grade lesson:

What are you teaching next week?  Do you have a template or layout for activities that you typically follow when planning for your lessons?  Leave me a comment and tell me all about it!  I will send everyone who comments on this post a free editable file of the templates that I use!

Hope you have a fantastic weekend! 



  1. I love your clear lesson plans. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much for reading! Hope you had a great first week of school!

  2. I love your template. Email me please :)

    Do you have any games that your older kids really enjoy?

    1. Thanks for reading Angela!

      Yes, I do have several "go-to" games for my older students that they always enjoy: Chickens and Hens, Bingo, Queen Alexandra (although I also play this with my younger students), and Al Citron are what I think of first. Any particular concepts you'd like the song/game to have? When I send you the template I'll also send you the game directions.

      Have a great week!