The Science of Music

My transition from the end of the school year into summer has been focused on the common theme of sound science. One of my favorite topics! During the last two weeks of school, I offered to cover the unit from the third grade science curriculum on sound. Exactly one week after my students’ last day of school, I was teaching a 21+ crowd at the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Social Science event on the theme “Science of Music.” Continue reading

Class Dojo

Class Dojo is a behavior management system that tracks behavior, motivates students, and instantly connects with parents.  It’s very simple, but very effective.  I feel compelled to share my experience with Class Dojo with all teachers now, as it has changed my life as a teacher in the few weeks since I came across it while perusing the iTunes app store.

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This week, third grade was studying the solar system in science.  I decided that this would be a good opportunity to introduce them to Gustav Holst’s composition, The Planets.  After a short introduction to each of the Roman gods who the planets are named after, I played the first movement and asked the students to try to guess which planet the music was describing.  In every class, the first student I called on answered correctly with Mars.  And in every class, students were able to name off all of the right clues that led them to that answer — lots of brass, drums, “makes me feel like marching,” etc.  They enjoyed it so much that some students requested that they try a movement every day and then have a listening test at the end! Continue reading