Disclaimer: WordPress tells me I originally drafted this post on September 7th, so in the spirit of being productive this evening I will add a few touches and updates and keep the rest as it originally was written.  Nothing like a classroom tour post one third of the way through the school year!

The bulletin board outside our teaching space.

 

Happy back to school season everyone! We hope your start to the 2017/2018 school year has been inspiring and exciting so far!

Like every educator we know, we’ve worked hard throughout our summer break to collect, prep and plan for this school year and we are excited to show off our work here on the blog.  I am particularly excited about my new position at my new school. I am still teaching dance, but I’ve added music to the repertoire as well! I have decided to leave middle school for a while and have put down some roots at an adorable, beautiful elementary school (K-5).

My teaching space is temporary for this year as we await a brand new portable, so a cozy, “homemade” dance studio has been created for me.  Our district facilities team did an amazing job putting up a temporary wall between the gym and the gym’s stage, so my classroom is essentially a walled in stage, but it works for us! I have amazing, massive studio mirrors arriving soon, which will be the grande finishing touch.

 

The teaching space I created for my K-5 students.

Because I also teach music this year I’ve managed to store some smaller instruments in bins and on shelves.  In addition to instruments, I’ve been working on creating some music based manipulatives/games for us to use in our “smaller than usual” work space.

We will be using the smaller instruments this year because of storage struggles.  I’m excited to see how creative we can get with what we have!

 

Our class set of ribbons have been a hit in primary so far this year.
The Kindergarten students are slowly working on writing a shape/movement based book, complete with rhyming verses. This is the Lyrical Wall we have been keeping track of various rhyming words on; however, it just fell down last week (mid November) so I will have to make us a new one.

 

 

We haven’t used this bin of lego/notation manipulatives yet, but we are just beginning our learning about music notes and their names/meanings, so I am sure this fun manipulative will make its first appearance soon! (This lego/notation idea is not my own. You can find the amazing Mrs. KIng, and American music teacher/blogger, and all her work HERE.)
I drew various music notes on plain labels and stuck them to the lego blocks.
This was my September music/dance mini library, but it has since grown quite a bit! I promise I will do a “book walk” on the blog of all the amazing text resources I’ve found in the last few months (hopefully I’ll get to this before winter break!)

A few other amazing things we have in the studio to infuse our daily lessons and fun include:

  • a Party Rocker Max (complete with disco ball…the students LOVE it!)
  • a rolling cork/chalk board
  • mini chalk boards, markers and erasers
  • a parachute
  • a sensory music bin (I will do a whole post on music/dance based adaptations that are working for us…soon)
    Early in October I arrived to school to a closed studio door. I could hear some kind of construction going on inside, but after weeks of not having mirrors I had kind of grown used to teaching dance without them, so I didn’t expect them to greet me when I opened the door. I did a legit happy dance when I walked in to see a facilities man installing the mirrors for me! My principal knew they were coming, but she kept it a surprise. What a lucky teacher I am!
    After five years of teaching I finally have a space to call “my own” in a school that I truly love. I am home in this place and SO happy about it!

    Stay turned for more posts coming up in the next few weeks about what we’ve been up to in this temporary-for-one-year music and dance studio space!