Three years ago, I had a “light bulb moment” that occurred after a parent observed me teach a lesson. During the lesson, the third grade students learned to identify songs in a major key (bright and happy) versus those in a minor key (sad and dark). A week later, the parent informed me that she and her daughter had become obsessed with identifying the keys of the songs they heard on the radio. The lesson had transformed how they listened and talked about music. Wow! I wanted this to occur with all of my students and their families.
I first had to figure out the best means for inspiring conversations about music in the home. It took me sometime to realize that the answer was right in front of me. The students in kindergarten and first grade at Woodlake Elementary complete a “Math Mania” calendar each month. For each day on the calendar, the students are asked to solve math problems. Now that is a “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” idea!
Using the “Math Mania” as inspiration, I created a calendar of questions and/or tasks that would encourage conversations about music in the home. From instrument identification to music history, the calendars cover a wide range of musical topics that can be easily researched online. I now attach a copy of my monthly calendar on my school webpage. It can also be downloaded for free on my Teachers Pay Teachers store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Stompnchat.
I would love to hear from you about how the calendar has stimulated conversations about music in your home. Please share your stories on my Facebook page: Kelly Stomps 2016 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year. Happy chatting!