The secret to my success…

What a promising title, and how disappointing you may find my definition of success, dear reader. My success is in reading an article, an academic, albeit anecdotal, article about the value of music (in the context of music education) past the hour of 8:30 p.m. without falling asleep. I had a cup of coffee, which worked its magic and kept me up and at ’em. If drinking coffee is my ticket to productivity at night, I’m going for it and hoping the exercise I’m squeezing in every day will help me sleep in spite of it.

This week’s grad school assignment was reading said article and summarizing and responding to it. I hope my response (which is written, though the summary remains to be written because that is currently still not my highest gifting) is not too informal. It’s organized into paragraphs that pertain to points in the article, but they contain personal responses to what I was reading and how it made me think about the things I am currently doing in my classroom. THIS kind of work (and reading) is invigorating to me, and knowing that on this end, I am determined to have a cup of coffee on hand whenever I endeavor to read and write. The same article proved impossible to read earlier this week because it was so hard to catch on to…or so I thought. I think reading it (as a pdf) on a tablet was part of the problem–it didn’t fit the size of the screen well. Also, tonight I started by making an outline of the headings and sub-headings, which I filled in as I read with details. I also “cheated” a bit by reading the author’s summary before the meat of his article. That gave me some questions to answer in the body of the text. I figure, if he’s going to the trouble to break down his own work into an organized summary, I might as well save some effort and know what’s coming. The introduction did not accomplish that, so I read it last. HA.

In other news, which was oddly related to the article, I went to a workshop at Simpson that was one of the best I’ve been to. For once it was not a very active one (though we were invited to lay down on the floor in a variety of fashions throughout the day), which usually goes a long way to make me want to implement new activities only to forget them later because the notes were incomplete and my note taking was inhibited by my participation. Lillie Feierabend presented on Multiple Intelligences in the Music Classroom. I loved it because it was an awareness of what already exists in our content if we are but willing to be thoughtful about our process and implementation. I needed to hear a couple things especially, regarding the Phylis Weikart philosophy of “Separate, Simplify, Facilitate”–how we are to break down the movement and even the learning in our teaching to make it accessible to all, yes ALL, learners. It was riveting.

Of course, being the weathered workshop attender, I did not waste precious room in my purse stuffing in a notebook (I did bring a sock to knit on, which I did not in favor of talking with friends and colleagues!), so all of my notes are squeezed into margins. Oops. At least I had a handful of pens. I also did not manage to walk past the display of West Music materials. Oops. I picked up a lovely book called “Somewhere In the Ocean” which is to the tune of Over in the Meadow and has great illustrations, vocabulary words, and potential for use in my classroom. Sigh. If only my inspiration on a night like this lasted through the week with all of its challenges.

I have knitted through the gussets of the two socks currently on the needles! This is a big accomplishment because the heel flap and gusset can turn me off of knitting for the bulk of a night. It requires paying attention, which is not the name of the knitting game.

In other news, the Hawkeyes beat the Cyclones in their football game today. It would have been handily, but the fourth quarter proved to be a little worrisome. Yikes. At least this season, which looks to be a long one, has the ever-coveted “W” next to the biggest in-state rivalry in our state. (says me, if you were wondering)

I should probably turn my attention to bed or the summary portion of the assignment. I’m just glad my Sunday won’t look like a whole bunch of homework like it did last week. Heyo! I can enjoy these fall temps once again. Or think about MI in my music room and go re-write some of my plans. Heh. Yeah, might do that too. 

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