Thursday, April 24, 2008

I am Not a One Trick Pony

Somehow I think some of the people I work with have gotten the wrong impression of me. I am not only a computer teacher. I am a teacher. My job description currently is teaching K-5 music, K-5 computers, Gifted Education, and a couple days a week I teach a class of Grade 3's. I have interests in combining different disciplines, such as Art and Music or Math and Writing. I am learning about the 6 Traits of Effective Writing. I am studying "Reading Power" which is another method of teaching Reading Skills to students. I just incorporate computers and the Internet into these different disciplines.

Yesterday I taught a lesson on abstract painter Kandinsky. I had a great song about him on a CD, (Thanks to Rachel at Wind and Tide schools - so I put the words on the overhead, and sung it with the kids. I typed up the activity sheet on the computer and printed off for the class. I found paintings of Kandinsky on the Internet, so my students could see his various works (we didn't have any of his works in books in the library). The students then had to say:

1.) What geometric shapes they saw in Kandinsky's work
2.) What these shapes look like they might be in the real world
3.) What kinds of sounds or music would be associated with these kinds of objects

One of my students noted a set of crossed lines that looked like a tic-tac-toe game. She said the sound associated with this would be someone singing "I'm-a-gonna-wiiiinnn" in a teasing voice. Another student said some crooked rectangles looked like a group of buildings . He said the sounds you would hear would be phones ringning, people talking, elevators going ding, and someone saying "you're fired!"

I then uploaded this worksheet to my class website, with a short description of the lesson (two - three sentences). This is for parents to read, and students to download if/when they lose their homework. That way they don't show up with their work not done the next day.

This lesson was a great success. It is not unlike the lessons taught by the teachers I had growing up, except that I found ways to seamlessly and painlessly introduce a lot of enriching media into my lesson. That is how I see the future of teaching. I see all teachers being multi-media teachers - we just need to tap into what is on the internet to bring stuff into our classes; we need to share it with our students, their parents, and our community.

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