MEMT 500 Seminar: Student Teaching Home

Post your Week Seven Journal:

(1) What I learned this past week, listed in enumerated key words or phrases;
(2) My concerns this past week, listed in enumerated key words or phrases; and
(3) Further thoughts about my student teaching this past week (prose).

You may want to write and save your journal entry first in your word processing program and then paste into the box below.

"Spring Break! I had an interview"

Jenny Elliott,
Apr 1 2002, Monday 9:05 CST

"Spring Break"

Jenny Elliott,
Apr 1 2002, Monday 9:04 CST

"1. -Some of the elem. music teachers in my district are applying for a
$250 grant. They are going after some really stupid stuff. Before
discussing the grant some of the teachers were complaining about some of
the stuff they don't have in their music room and that they would like to
get it. Next we discussed what they would like to suggest they were
applying for and it had nothing to do with what they just complained about
that they would like to have. It didn't make any sense to me or my
-Many kids like to help out the kids who have special needs. They do
start losing interest in helping, though, when the child with special
needs always waits for their help and won't try anything on their own
unless someone else is pushing them in the direction they need to go.

2. -My biggest concern is finding a job. I know of several opportunities
but finding the one that fits into Willy's and my lifestyle is quite

3. Kids are rotten the week before Spring Break. I am so glad that my
teacher had created BINGO games for us to play the day before break
started. This excited the kids because they love to play, but it also
allowed us to have an easy day and prevented us from starting a knew
rotation that would have to be finished after we come back from break.
That would be annoying!!!!"

Andrea Herrman,
Mar 18 2002, Monday 11:17 CST

"I learned this week that non-conventional approaches to presenting
materials can be the best way to teach basic concepts. I have a choir
(the bottom choir) who has no clue how to read music. So I tried
reverting back to counting and clapping rhythms off of a worksheet. We
did fine until we got to eighth note rhythms. Yikes. So I used a lesson
from Sara Wedel’s book, presenting “Stomp!” and allowing the kids to
create their own rhythmic composition using only rhythms from a worksheet
of rhythms I created. So far the exercise has been successful. I have
seen leadership from unsuspected sources. One kid has even volunteered to
help the struggling groups. The challenge will be making the kids notate
their compositions.

My concern for the week was that these kids could not read simple
rhythms. This is a prime example of how the high school teacher should
try to have more control over the feeder program. My understanding is
that the middle school vocal music teacher doesn’t even have a degree in
music, and due to lack-luster performances by the middle school choirs the
numbers have dropped drastically (especially with male students). In
fact, there were only two boys who tried out for freshman choir next
year. I even witnessed this individual rehearsing a group. Pretty scary
conducting and rehearsal techniques.

My thoughts this week primarily focuses on feeder programs and how the
high school music teachers can control who is hired. I know all
interviews I have been through have been team interviews with at least one
representative from the music department. So, can I as the high school
teacher have say in hiring or firing of feeder schoolteachers? I
certainly hope so. My cooperating teacher is acting as though he does not
have a say.

With the question of poor instruction at previous levels in mind, I am a
little worried about trying to build or maintain a quality program if I
have to spend so much time with basics. When most of the time should used
to present more complex concepts"

Dan Brinkley,
Mar 17 2002, Sunday 5:20 CST

"I learned that some seventh graders are able to realize the intrinsic
value of playing well due to hard work. Others tend to goof off more. I
realized that it is not just the high school from my home town that has a
pathetic amount of electives allowed for their students.

I am concerned about uninformed fellow teachers that think they know how a
rehearsal should be conducted.

The developmental differences between seventh graders and eighth graders
can be quite striking. When I read the student comments from the playing
tests, I was immediately able to tell whether they had been written by a
seventh grader or eighth grader."

joseph klassen,
Mar 16 2002, Saturday 5:29 CST

"I learned:
-Tornado drills ruin a whole class period, and then one of your first
grades is behind, and you have to figure out what to leave out or add to
catch everyone up to one another. The same is said for Spring break.
-"Work days" are thrilling. (saracasm) It is nice to recieve these
days, because it gives you a chance to switch gears, and clean your room up,
and get organized.

-Am i going to be able to handle my first first grade musical. I'm
sure I can, but there is a small voice in me saying "Your gonna lose, and
you'll shoot your eye out." Its okay I'll buck up and crush these little

Other thoughts:
-I just want everyone to know that thinkgs are really going my way
lately. I've sub-leased my apartment for the summer, I have a job interview
in Portland, OR (along with a job and interview fair to attend), I am
handling being a teacher very well, My car and computer haven't broke down
for a while (knock on wood), and I look good. I am a having a great time
this semester with the job hunt, anticipation to move, and especiallly being
a "teacher". yippee"

Sara K. Bradstreet,
Mar 15 2002, Friday 2:18 CST

"I learned
-that putting a concert together is a lot of work. There are so many
things to think about. We are putting together a Music in our schools
month concert with 3 other schools, it has been crazy.
- Kids really like to preform, many students said they wanted a speaking
part in the upcoming 1st and 2nd grade program. I thought more of them
would be nervous about it. They also like to do what we learned for thier
homeroom teacher. They are so excited!
I am concerned:
- That the 4th grade choir has had only 3 rehearsals to prepare for the
MIOSM concert. I hope they are ready. I also hope they do not forget
everything over spring break because we have one rehearsal and then the
concert the week after break.

I am very excited about the upcoming concerts and to work more with the

Shannon L. Williams,
Mar 15 2002, Friday 10:03 CST

"What I learned:
-Concerts are a lot of fun, and the community really enjoys them.
-Kids are awfully stir crazy right before a break.
-Recorders really can get on your nerves!!!
My concerns:
-At the high school and middle school level I am not having too many
-I am concerned though about the amount of information we receive about
students with special needs. I have been giving weekly quizzes on basic
theory for 4th grade recorders and a few students have done incredibly
poorly. I just found out now three weeks into the process that these
students have learning disabilities and problems with reading. No wonder
they aren't doing well on my written quizzes. If only I had known, I could
have made some sort of adaptation. Why are music teachers considered
unworthy of this valuable information??? Anyway, that is basically my only
concern, and I guess I'll have to take the initiative to find out more
about all of the students I teach k-12.

Am I glad it is spring break! It is a much needed one!"

Tori Koehn,
Mar 14 2002, Thursday 9:35 CST


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