Where do I start with middle school?

Anything related to teaching grades 5-8 not covered in our other forums.
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Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:24 am

Where do I start with middle school?

Post by DiannePQ »

I am a science teacher at a small private school but I minored in music (and have taken Orff Level 1) and finally convinced my administration last year to let me also teach music to elementary students because there had been no music classes at the school for years. It was such a success that now I have been gifted with middle school students as well (!). I am not sure how to plan for my older students. I had worked with elementary aged kids in a variety of musical settings before I took this job so feel comfortable with planning lessons. Some of the middle school students have only been in this private school and may have little musical knowledge. Others have transferred in from public school. I have a collection of classroom percussion and pitched instruments, 3 octaves of handchimes, but no drums. I am making individual NP percussion instrument kits for students to use to decrease the need for disinfecting. I will have a TV to display video but not an interactive whiteboard (and I may lose my new classroom to increased enrollment and be back on a cart).

I appreciate any suggestions you can offer for working with these older students during this challenging year, especially on where to start. We are beginning our year F2F with spaced out classrooms, but I would not be surprised to be remote at some point during the year. The numbers in our state are not good.

I cross posted this on the email list as well. Thanks in advance.
Dianne Palmer-Quay

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Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:52 pm

Re: Where do I start with middle school?

Post by musiclady »

Please share if they come to you or if you have to go to classrooms. Huge difference. And, are your middle school grades 5-8 or 7-9 or ???

Best things that worked for me.

Research and report on their favorite musicians. Bonus to present it in Google Slides/Keynote/Powerpoint.
Viewed 7 Brides for 7 Brothers. Students developed their own log dance and performed for teacher.
Write a new ending to a well known musical. (Lion King, etc). The students then had to act it out.
MK8 idea bank has sound and science unit (Look for Patty Oeste) with worksheets and would work in my area for up to Grade 7.
Interview n person or by telephone...someone like a parent, friend or grandparent. Written report or audio.
Foley is awesome. (Sound effects). You can get tons of mileage out of this one.
Guitars are a way to cover singing indirectly.

I'll share more ideas later.

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Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 12:11 am

Re: Where do I start with middle school?

Post by gdarrah1 »

I posted what I'm doing with my students (k-8) this year under lesson plans as I'm happy to share what I'm doing. I'm teaching virtually and only have one day a week with my students.
Last year when Covid hit we studied composers. This fall when it continued I decided to have each child create a stand up Orchestra. Each week we study a new instrument of the Orchestra and mount our colored and cut out player in our Orchestra. You can find the Orchestra particulars on
the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Website. I will usually assign a fairly easy assignment each week that correlates in some way with the instrument/lesson for the week. I'm happy to share my lesson plans. I know that every person teaches differently and may not be comfortable with the way I do things.

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