Teacher Ideas, Virtual Teaching

Online Lessons

This year I am teaching students all the ways you possibly could.  I am doing in-person instruction, online synchronous, and online asynchronous learning.  Needless to say trying to get my curriculum to align to all these different mediums of teaching is challenging.  I need to keep myself and my student’s learning organized in a way that works for all of us.  There are many great ways to present your online lessons to your students, my way is only one of them.  Try out some different things and see what works for you before you change anything for your students.  

You don’t want to fall into the rabbit hole of seeing something cool and then trying it out and your students are left with a different looking lesson every week.  I tried the Bitmoji thing for my open house, and I didn’t like it because I was too worried about how everything looked and I wasn’t focusing on the actual content I was creating.  So, I kept it simple and basically created a choice board for my students.  My administration wanted around 30 minutes of content for the students to do.  I did not want to just make a 30 minute video for them to watch, or even smaller videos just to edit together into 1 large 30 minute thing.  I wanted to give students the opportunity to explore their own learning and have some different ways of getting their music.  

I settled on 6 different categories that my students could choose from:

  • Lesson A – curriculum based
  • Song – sing/move along to a short song
  • Lesson B – curriculum based, may be tied to A or stand on it’s own
  • Rhythm – echoing rhythms or rhythm composition
  • Movement – movement songs/dances they can do in their seat
  • Steady Beat – fun songs to keep the beat to or finger plays
Screenshot of One of My Videos

These all range in ways the students interact with them.  Some are videos, some are slides presentations, and some are assignments they have to do and submit.  I use google for everything so it is easy to integrate and send things to my students.  Our district uses Schoology for it’s learning platform, but because I do it all on google it wouldn’t matter to me what platform we use because I would still just upload it.

Rhythm Review Slide Presentation
Lines and Spaces Assignment

This agenda is just a slide presentation that I then share with the students so they can “view” it.  This allows them to click on the links but not edit the document.  By using the same agenda each week and even the same looking agenda for each grade level the students get used to it and are able to navigate it easily.  I put the links onto the pictures that way even my Kindergarteners can use the agenda with ease.  

Most of the time I am using songs/activites for at least 2 weeks in a row.  This helps with my organization because I don’t have to always change the links every week and have new videos each week.  The “Lesson” portions are the ones that change the most frequent, but even those are usually building upon each other.  For example one week we may sing Old Brass Wagon and do some movement, but then the next week we would review the song and talk about the Low So that happens in the melody.

I had a student email me a few weeks ago telling me that the songs were the same from the previous week, and maybe I hadn’t updated it.  I emailed the student back saying that yes in fact they were supposed to be the same.  I told them that if we were in person we would be doing the same songs multiple music days in a row, sometimes even for multiple weeks, because it is good practice.  I even made the comparison that when you learn addition in Math you don’t just do addition for that one day and never do it again, you keep practicing it because it will help you with other math facts down the road.  Teaching my students about spiraling curriculum is very amusing.

You can check out one of my “live” agendas below to see some of the things I’m having the students do.  I picked one that had mostly videos to go with it because you wouldn’t have permission to see the assignments on Schoology.  If you want to know more about editing videos to get them to look like mine check out my other blog post : ClipChamp…FREE Video Editing!!!

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