It's here! It's here! My favorite month of the year!
March is my favorite month for a few reasons... First, and most importantly, my BIRTHDAY is in March- and I'm still young enough to be excited when my birthday rolls around. This year I'm looking forward to traveling to Florida for a family wedding that happens to fall on my birthday weekend. I am definitely looking forward to a nice warm respite from snowy Maryland.
The second reason I love March is because it includes the start of Spring. In like a lion, out like a lamb... As much as I have enjoyed having some relaxing time to myself on these snow days, I am so ready for some spring weather. I have half marathon coming up at the end of the month and would really like to get out on the trail to run without slipping and making a fool of myself!
And of course, the third reason why I love March:
This year I am starting a new tradition at one of my schools: a MIOSM sing-along. I am so excited to introduce this to my students! As we begin a stressful season of standardized PARCC testing, I wanted to make sure that my students had something positive and low-pressure to look forward to. Our sing-along is NOT a performance! It is a community event where the whole school will get together to share in the joy of making music.
Actually, because of the size of our student body, we had to split it up into two assemblies... one for PreK through 1st grade, and one for 2nd through 5th. So it's not quite an "all school" sing-along as I'd hoped... but the good thing is that it allowed me to tailor my song selections to the two age levels.
What it will look like:
For each sing-along, all the students will gather in our cafetorium and sit the same way they would for a performance or assembly. I am preparing powerpoint slideshows with the lyrics to the songs for each sing-along. These will be projected on our large screen in the front of the room. Therefore, our sing-along meets cross-curricular standards by promoting literacy. (See? Reading is fun!)
How are we preparing in general music class:
I selected the songs for our sing-along to cover a wide variety of musical styles. Many of the songs were suggested by NAfME as part of their "largest concert" repertoire. My kids love the idea that schools all around the country are learning these same songs in their music classes.
Since we just switched this year to Spotlight on Music for our curriculum, I also used this as an opportunity to showcase some of the fun new songs in each grade's book. I included one song from each grade level in the sing-along.
How we are incorporating the theme:
The national theme for MIOSM this year is "Music Makes Me _____!" I decided to incorporate that in a few ways. I ordered these stickers from the NAfME website... I got enough for each student to wear one to the assembly. I plan to put the stickers in each classroom teacher's mailbox a few days before the sing-along so that they can put them on right before. I figure it will help get them excited for it!
The other thing that I am really excited about is a video I am working on:
I asked my students to respond to the prompt "Music makes me ___" and write their answers on index cards. Next week I am going to film them reading their answers in a short, inspirational video. I will play this video during the sing-along for the whole school to see!
Here are some of the fantastic responses I have gotten so far:
I can't wait to see how it all comes together!