I’ve taught with a Kodály influence for a couple of years. I think my style was Kodály meets Feierabend meets Stouffer. My student teaching experiences were 5th grade and older. So my first year out of school, when I was thrown into a classroom as a maternity sub for a full year, in an Orff based program, I was extremely thankful to have the GamePlan curriculum to get me through the year. While it was great, I definitely not the program for me. I constantly felt like I didn’t know what I was doing, not because I didn’t get it, but because my experience with Orff until then had been the overview in my methods classes.
A year later, with several mixed age classes and preschool classes, I had to change up a lot of what I was doing, and really couldn’t run many of the lessons I had used the year before for a variety of reasons, so I turned to a Kodály style. I had taken a Kodály methods class in college – one specifically on the methods. So I made my way through what I knew and called it good. And it worked for me.
This summer, I took my first levels class. So there are definitely things I want to change. And although I’m not officially a “newbie”, I feel like a newbie in that now I’ve had official Kodály levels training.
So I invite you to spend the year with me as I blog about my tests, trials, and experimentation as I alter my teaching style.
So let’s get to the first few things I’m going to change!
1. More dancing – I’ve always been afraid of folk dancing. Last year, it was my teaching goal to incorporate more and the kids loved it. I will definitely be doing more, and trying stuff out with the younger kids. I have played a lot of games with them, but I always think I don’t dance enough with the lower elementary grades.
2. Year long plans – I’ve never sat down in August and said “This is where we need to be in June.” I’ve had goals, things I want the kids to know, concepts for the year, but never mapped out the whole thing! I am going to map it all out for my K, 1 and choir classes this year. I’m sure there will have to be adjustments, and I’m pretty sure that some things will change as we get to our performing schedule, but I will be trying my hardest!
3. Scripted lessons for K – Joy really stressed trying a story as a template for the Kindergarten lessons. Put all elements of the lesson into a story, and use the story as transitions from activity to activity. The idea of course, is that to keep yourself on the story, you need to write it all out! I will be trying it out this year – in color coded fashion, of course – and seeing where it takes me. I will definitely share some with you! One of the things that’s great for me at my Lutheran school, is that I have a lot of the Kindergarteners before they get to Kindergarten! Having a preschool to set up the concepts, and get to know the kids is awesome, and it makes the beginning of the year a snap.
I hope to blog once a week about how it’s going, my ideas, successes and failures, so I will see you next week!