Sunday, August 11, 2013

Join Chorus!

School starts this week - ahhh! It seems like it always sneaks up on me, even though I've been in my room several times throughout the summer. Still getting everything up and running - then, I'll take you through a room tour.

This post, however, is all about chorus. I originally taught 5th & 6th grade chorus. However, as more students have come into the district and class sizes are becoming smaller to better assist students, my schedule became too full. Now, I am just responsible for the 5th grade choristers. This is still no easy task. I start with these students in September, with 3 concerts throughout the year (December, March & May). I only see them twice every 6 days from 2:30-3:05. This is especially difficult during the winter and early out days because I don't get the end of the day and the letter days get messed up with missed days.

Behavior & attendance is also an issue. Chorus & band are during the end of the day. If the students choose to participate, they miss their last recess. This isn't a battle until the sun comes out and it gets warmer in April and May. Suddenly, I have students who "forgot" or just don't show up at all. They do get feedback on their progress, but our district is trying to move away from stamping a letter grade on everything.

In the past, I have spoken with each 5th grade class individually and occasionally in the hallways, as well as a letter I send home. This year, however, I'm changing it up! I recently saw some awesome chorus templates from Beth at I loved the pamphlet idea and the "cutting lines" and "keep...return to" spots. This seemed extra helpful. I immediately emailed her and asked about purchasing the template. She was extremely nice and glad that her ideas are helping other teachers. However, the program she used (Adobe Reader, maybe?) wasn't compatible with my laptop. She suggested just finding a basic template I liked on Microsoft Word and imput the things I liked and change the things I didn't like. So, off I went!

Here is what I ended up with:

Hopefully, this will work better for communication with the students and parents. I will also be coming up with a better attendance and rubric system in the next week or so. What ideas & suggestions do you have for chorus? What has worked or needed to be changed?

1 comment:

  1. I like this committment/contract you make with the students and parents. I would like this as a parent!