Saturday, January 31, 2015

Announcing! A Chromatic Hand Sign Chart specifically for use with S-Cubed Middle School Sight Singing Program!

I just presented the S-Cubed Middle School Sight Singing program for beginners at Georgia Music Educator's Association to my peers in my own state!  It was great to see my colleagues, and I am grateful for their support.  While the program is now being used all over the world, I originally designed the program specifically for the teachers in Georgia to help with their experience at Large Group Performance Evaluation.  Many of them are already using the program, and I got to meet them in person.  I am so happy that people are finding the program fun and useful.

I  recently partnered with my TPT colleague Dancing Crayon.  She is an enormously talented clip artist, and I am grateful that she agreed to create the chart below that is designed specifically for use with S-Cubed!  You can print it out and post it in your room to help your children.  That's what I'll be doing!



Click here to go to the new Chromatic Hand Sign Chart Designed for S-Cubed! Middle School Sight Singing Program for Beginners!

Thank you for continuing to support S-Cubed Middle School Sight Singing Program for Beginners!
Make sure to visit my store to learn about my other sight singing products and bundles!

Always use #scubed and #sightsinging when referring to S-Cubed!

Have a great weekend!


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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Assessment: Using Peer Tutoring in S-Cubed

My beginners are currently in Lesson 20 of S-Cubed Middle School Sight Singing Program.  

At the end of Lesson 18, I give an important assessment in which the students have to determine the first pitch of a sight singing example and then name all of the subsequent notes that include skips and steps.

If they fail the test, I require them to come to peer tutoring in order to be allowed to attend our adjudicated festival.  I post a list in the room of the students who didn't pass.  When I announce the list, I don't embarrass the children.  I simply say, "I didn't teach this well enough.  I need you to come to get some extra help.  Once you understand, I mark you off, and you get to come with us to the festival.  My goal is for you to understand."  

It's a great "checks and balances" system.  Some of the children understand, but they simply made a careless error.  Others need more time.  I teach over 300 students, and I usually have about 20 who need the extra help.

During our school day, we have a 20 minute period of what I view as "wasted time".   Homeroom.  During that time, students are arriving, or eating breakfast or sitting in a classroom waiting for first period to start.  Most of them arrive early, since I don't have a homeroom, I grab the time and use it.  I ask my 8th graders and my 7th graders who are doing well to come and help the 6th graders and struggling 7th graders.  

Sometimes kids can teach it better than we can.

Once my peer tutors have determined that the children understand, they are sent to me to "pass them off".  

This process is so rewarding.  The peer-tutors feels special, and the bond created between them is awesome.  6th graders look up to the older children, and the older kids enjoy being role models for them. 

It's also very important to take the time to catch them up at this moment.  If we do not, they will check out, and you will become more dependent on your "little Mozart" children.

We need them ALL to learn.

During this process, when I have the one-on-one "check off" with them, I emphasize the importance of working at your own pace during "Chaos".  It is critical for them to feel ok about that.  It's so easy for them to get intimidated by the "Little Mozart" children who are speeding through the examples.  

Speaking of which....for your "Little Mozart" children, or once you've finished teaching all of the sight singing techniques using the Complete S-Cubed Bundle, I recommend using Sight Reading Factory.  





 The "ease of execution" and multitude of examples is awesome.  You can pick so many different levels.  It is a great value as well.  For under $30, I have purchased unlimited examples for a year.

Where in YOUR schedule could you fit in some peer-tutoring?

It's worth it!


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