Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Learning and Creating

Music Classes.....exploring the orchestra
Second and Third Grade music class is enjoying an iPad app called Piano Carnival as I project it on to the SmartBoard.  Piano Carnival is a narrative that accompanies Saint-Saen's Carnival of the Animals. Attached to each page of this story is a video of the appropriate piece of music as well as additional drawings AND a movie of those drawings being created in Photoshop!  SOOOO cool!
What really impressed me was the website for educators ) that is linked in the "grown ups" area. This site has lesson plans and activities to accompany the book AND Common Core Standards are listed that apply to each lesson! 
There are many ways to use this app with your classroom. Project on a SmartBoard, just use your iPad to present the story, or put on a classroom set of iPads for individual use. Another great thing about this app is that it is FREE!  Check it out music educators!
We are talking about the Instruments of the Orchestra in Kindergarten and First Grade.  Students have listened to and watched the classic story of Peter and the Wolf ( Петя и волк, Petya i volk in Russian)by Sergei Prokofiev
Peter and he Wolf was written in 1936, capturing the personality of each character with their own special instrumental sound.
Prokofiev actually visited the Disney studio when Disney was creating his animated version, released in 1946.
We enjoyed the Disney version very much!  The Russian film by Susie Templeton provides a great contrast to the animated version.  
Another great resource is the video of Peter and the Wolf with characters created by Chuck Jones, starring Kirstie Alley and Lloyd Bridges.  It's a unique approach to the story.  The added bonus to this DVD is an introduction to the instruments of the orchestra as well as a game.  There are 25 different combinations in the game to match instrument sounds with animals.
We have also watched the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra perform the piece, which gives great visuals of the musicians playing the instruments.  Of course, the Jim Gamble puppet version is a favorite as well.  Each version is a little different from the other in style, setting, and even characters.  Students compare and contrast those differences in our discussions.
Technology Classes....blending skill with creativity!
Younger students got creative while practicing our navigation and mouse skills this month with Easter egg decorating from the ABCya site. Each student had their own style, it was amazing to see!  
We have been creating Interactive Google Drawings in technology for Grades 4-5-6 these past few weeks.  The students were given a topic to research, depending upon their last name.  Countries of Asia, Symbols of South Dakota, Horse Breeds and Towns in South Dakota were the topics.  We learned how to use the tools of Google Draw, and how to link a photo or graphic to more content to tell more about it.  The content could be a video, a website, or the students' own Google document with information that was gathered.  Click on the photo below to see Olivia Lyon's Interactive Google Drawing.  She created her own slide show for South Korea.  When you get to the actual page, click on each country's photo to see the link to explore!
 Countries of Asia
Second and Third graders have been using their skills to create word clouds.  Since we are studying the instruments of orchestra in music, we created designs using the various families of instruments, printed them out, and they are now on display in the music room.  
This project was not only fun, but integrated many different subject areas:  technology, music, spelling, art and design, and math (did you wonder why some words are bigger than others??).
All students continue to work on their typing skills regularly with TTL4 and online typing games.  One of the students' favorite games is "Words Per Minute."  A cool feature of the game is the tally of best scores for the day.  The competitive side of typists comes out when we play!