Friday, February 6, 2015

Cabin Fever In The Classroom? Try These Couple of Ideas

#1. Have a poster contest in your classroom.

  1. Have the class choose a topic, and create a schedule for completion.
  2. Divide the class into teams. Each student will create a poster and the team will collaborate on literary quality and artistic merits.
  3. Give step-by-step instructions on the planning, artistic process and finishing the product during specified periods in class with the resources and materials provided.
  4. Have the class decide how the posters will be judged and by whom. (Teachers? Peers from another class? Someone in the community?)
  5. Have the class design the display for all the posters.
Of course, teacher is the guiding force behind the process.

#2. Play 'Name That Tune' with Classical Music.

  1. Let the class know the name of the composer of the day, and play that music low in the background during classtime, taking turns with the 'Big Three' Composers during the course of the week. That would be Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. In the last five minutes of the class (or of the day) highlight ten seconds of the three most famous pieces of the composer listened to that day. For example, Bach: Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, Brandenburg Concerto #2, and Toccata and Fugue in D minor; Mozart: Alla Turca, Symphony No. 40, 1st Movement Allegro, Eine Kleine Nochtmusik; Beethoven: Ninth Symphony Ode To Joy, Fur Elise, Moonlight Sonata. Post a play list where the students can see it all week
  2. At the end of the week of the inital listening (maybe a Fun Friday or somesuch), have a 15 minute exercise when the class is divided into teams; each team hears an initial ten seconds of one of the composer's pieces of music that has been in the background all week and occasionally the teacher may chose one of the other selections, and the selected spokesperson of the team calls out the name of the piece. If right, a point. If wrong, the next team can steal the point and have a new selection. The musical selections may or may not always be the preeminent ones, but don't make it too hard. If another team interrupts or yells out the answer, the point is given to the designated team. The teams should go through two or three cycles before the Lightning Round. This is when the team has only 5 seconds to listen to one of the top three selections and 5 seconds to answer and if they cannot, immediately the next team has a chance, and the next team, etc., until the correct answer. Every team should have a chance to compete in the Lightning Round.
After three weeks of playing Name That Tune: Classical Music, the class can have a Grand Championship, combining all three composers in the pattern leading up to the Lightning Round, computing points. 
J. S. Bach


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