Coding Music Instrument Apps in Hopscotch

Why should we bring coding into the music room?

Because not only is it cross curricular and ticking the STEAM methodology of teaching, it is also asking our students to think about the fundamentals of music. What is it we need to consider when making an instrument? Pitch, melody, and/or beat, rhythm, tempo and tone colour.

hopscotchThe best iPad app I found for coding music is Hopscotch. While it does not have as much scope as the Scratch coding program on a computer, it still gives enough scope to create both a melodic and percussion musical instrument and an authentic unit of work covering these objectives:

Knowledge: Musical instruments are invented and designed to play the pitch, melody, and/or beat, rhythm, tempo, tone colour.

Skills: Code a music instrument which, when tapped, changes its look in some shape or form and includes more than one sound/tone/note.

Summative Task 1:

Play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star together as a class, each student playing on a correctly coded melodic instrument matching the Boomwhacker notes and colours.

Boomwhacker Piano

https://c.gethopscotch.com/p/xy3g0pu9q

Boomwhacker Spin Piano Note Names

https://c.gethopscotch.com/p/xyxy4anpx

Summative Task 2:

In groups, arrange a composition to perform a simple song using your own coded musical instrument app in an iPad Band.

Hot Cross Buns_4 part arrangement_Sample

class_snapshot

Here is an example from my students.

Check out some Hopscotch instrument apps my students have created and yours can too!

Piano and Percussion App

Tap the squares to play the piano, tap the circles to play percussion/abstract sounds (N.B. this project is best played in the iPad app as it does not play so well in a web browser due to its complexity)

https://c.gethopscotch.com/p/xvtzpj372

 

Sound Effects Pad App

IMG_1289

Tap the emoji images to play the abstract percussion sounds (plays fine in a browser)

https://c.gethopscotch.com/p/xstfaq6r6

Drag to Play App

IMG_1287

Drag the parrot on top of images to play sounds (plays fine in a browser)

https://c.gethopscotch.com/p/xtt56eofh

folder_download_100Purchase this Unit of Work from my

Music Room Tech series

Includes:

  • IB Unit of Inquiry
  • Australian Curriculum links
  • Step by step visual instructions
  • Charts
  • Scores
  • Arrangement worksheets

What is Hopscotch?

Hopscotch is a coding app designed for students to learn to code by creating their own games.

Website: www.gethopscotch.com

It uses a simple jigsaw puzzle method of dragging blocks of code into the window to create an instruction for your character to do, eg move or play a sound.

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It has multiple coding fundamentals including, conditionals, variables, loops and many more.

Hopscotch works with an online account, students need a username and a password, but they do not need to put in an email address.

While it is online, you can choose to publish your work in the Hopscotch community or just keep them as drafts.

As drafts, students can not share their project with you, you will need to view it on their iPad.

My students publish their work, copy the weblink, and send me a message in Showbie with the link for me to view. I can then save their project as a draft to my account.

Have a go at coding instruments in your music classroom.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

 

 

folder_download_100Purchase this Unit of Work from my

Music Room Tech series

Includes:

  • IB Unit of Inquiry
  • Australian Curriculum links
  • Step by step visual instructions
  • Charts
  • Scores
  • Arrangement worksheets

Create your own MIDI musical instrument with Scratch and the Makey Makey

STEMvsSTEAM-GIRL

Coding is the new buzz word in primary education with many schools starting to teach it with the emphasis on teaching STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

It is also possible to add in the Arts, with new research showing  that teaching STEAM (STEM + the Arts) projects significantly impact learning.

Intrigued by this, I attended a workshop on coding in the classroom run by Stephanie Kriewaldt @stephkrie to see if I could add coding into my music classroom.

I was introduced to a computer and web-based program called Scratch, which is a simple coding program for use with students as young as Grade 3.

Percussion_codeit_bells_cropped

MaKeyMaKey_kit

We were also shown the Makey Makey Invention kit, invented to be used as a fun, electronic circuit MIDI controller using conductive materials as the triggers for computer games.

Seeing the Makey Makey attached to fruit and controlling a very simple piano coded in Scratch (the fruit being the piano keys), I came away from this workshop enthused to write a 10 week unit of work for my Grade 6/7’s titled

SC_Makey Makey_FC_smallScratch Coding for the Music Room: Makey Makey Edition

as it would fit perfectly with their IB PYP classroom Unit of Inquiry on inventions.

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I started by creating some projects in Scratch myself, connecting them with the Makey Makey, setting up stations around the room for students to investigate.

 

See the slideshow below.

We also talked about virtual instruments coded for use on iPad’s and computers and discussed how MIDI instruments are played.

Check out my Scratch  Percussion with Metronome project 

 

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I created a Scratch tutorial for my students to learn to code music sounds into scratch. Then sent them off on the summative assessment task to invent their own musical instrument, by coding a virtual instrument in Scratch and then inventing their own MIDI instrument to play their virtual Scratch instrument using the Makey Makey.

The result was fantastic, my students were extremely proud of their work, so much so that they wanted to share their projects with their parents and the school community on Graduation night. Below is a slideshow of my student’s projects:

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Scratch Coding for the Music Room: Makey Makey Edition

is part of my Music Room Tech series with Bushfire Press. It includes everything you need to teach, including tutorials, scratch project files and more.

View my introduction video below.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

 

Scratch Coding for the Music Room- Makey Makey Edition

Part 2: Planning IB PYP in the Specialist / Single Subject Classroom 2014 Overview

I have had some great feedback on my initial post about specialist/single subject music planning in an IB school. Apologies for not writing this one sooner.

This post is a wrap up of my programming in my 3rd year of teaching in an IB school. Please note I still see myself on a learning journey in my IB planning and each year I change it slightly as I begin to understand the inquiry method better, through professional conversations with people in my workplace and at conferences.

In 2014 I continued to plan linked UOI only where I saw an authentic link and the rest of my program was covered by the Stand Alone UOI running over the whole year.

There are units that went well and units that didn’t, as I’m sure occurs in your classroom too.

2014 was the first year I took part in Exhibition.

While there wasn’t an authentic link with the Central Idea or Lines of Inquiry, I helped my students to create one of their presentation pieces to show their learning over the Exhibition.

Music-Room-Book-7_COVERTo show what the students had learnt through Exhibition they rewrote the lyrics of the song Putting It Out There to reflect their understanding of the CI & LOI. The they arranged, played  and recorded all parts of the song into GarageBand, presenting this at their exhibition stalls on their iPads. We used an app called Explain Everything to create a Digital Portfolio, where the parents were able to read the lyrics, see a screen shot of their GarageBand project and play the song at the same time. The song is from Fairbairn, Leehy & O’Mara, 2011, Music Room: A developmental classroom music program, Book 7 –Upper Primary, Bushfire Press   

Here is an example of the project. 

IMG_0969

To learn more about Digital Portfolios view my Digital Portfolios blog post.

My units are available for download below. Feel free to use them as a basis to help you plan.

A step by step guide to the Exhibition project is in the pipeline for publishing with Bushfire Press, stay tuned.

I will follow this post in a few weeks with a wrap up of 2015.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

 


WLPS Reception PYP Music Overview 2014

WLPS Reception PYP Music Overview 2014

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WLPS_Music_UOI_dynamics_Reception2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_Pitch_Reception2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_Recycling_Reception2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_Tempo_Reception2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_WordsAndActions_Reception2014


 

WLPS Music Year 1 Overview 2014_Page_1

WLPS Music Year 1 Overview 2014

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WLPS_Music_UOI_Beat&Rhyth_Y1&2_2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_dynamics_Y1&2_2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_FormTexTonCol_Y1_2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_Pitch&Mel_Y1&2_2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_tempo_Y1&2_2014


WLPS Music 2 Overview 2014_Page_1

WLPS Music 2 Overview 2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_Families_Y2_2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_FormTexTonCol_Y2_2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_MusicSymbols_Y2_2014


WLPS Music 3_4_5 Overview 2014

WLPS Music 3_4_5 Overview 2014

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WLPS_Music_UOI_dynamicsTemp&Form_4_5

WLPS_Music_UOI_Eras_yr345_2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_Pitch&Mel&Har_4_5


WLPS Music 6_7 Overview 2014

WLPS Music 6_7 Overview 2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_Beat&Rhyth&tempo_6_7_2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_BodyMusic_6_7_2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_dynamicsToneColour_6_7_2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_ExpressYourself_6_7_2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_Form & Style_6_7_2014

WLPS_Music_UOI_Pitch&Mel&Har_6_7_2014

Digital Portfolios: Assessment in the iPad Classroom

digport_cover_400In 2015 I have been presenting this workshop around Australia and New Zealand receiving great feedback from those who
have attended.

At the beginning of October 2015 I launched the above title as the first in my series of Virtual PD publications. It is 90 Minutes of accredited Professional development containing video tutorials, step by step instructions on creating Digital Portfolios using Explain Everything, Book Creator, GarageBand, iMovie, Dropbox and QR Codes. All extra resources needed to complete the same examples are provided on a USB.

Below you can view the introduction video and read all about creating Digital Portfolios.

Being a primary/elementary teacher, the examples I use are straight from my classroom with real examples from my students. While the examples are music and at a primary/elementary grade level, having taught as a primary classroom teacher, I believe you can take the same structure and apply it to other subjects and grade levels too.

 

 

Digital Portfolios grew out of the following two needs:

The need in my music classroom to gather evidence of student work that I could assess after class and provide for parent viewing.

For gathering evidence I found in the lower grades that Book Creator was the perfect app for students to write, take photos, audio record and video record in, and now we can even insert the GarageBand songs we create as well. This gives myself as a music teacher a perfect way to gather evidence in a performance based subject. The evidence I gather I can view directly after the lesson and then later to assess for mid year and final year grades.

One of the best outcomes and feedback I’ve had from using Book Creator, is being able to provide parents with comprehensive evidence as to why their child has been given a certain grade.

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The a request from a teacher to display my Year 6/7’s music projects at their IB Exhibition

To achieve this request I looked at the apps on the student iPad’s and found that Explain Everything allowed the students to display on 1 screen:

  • a pages document showing their rewritten song lyrics
  • a screenshot of their GarageBand arrangement
  • the GarageBand sound file to play their recording for people to listen to

IMG_0969What this iPad set up in Explain Everything also allowed the students to do was have an interactive display on their Exhibition stall, where parents could play and listen to the student’s song.

This project started me on a journey to implement Digital Portfolios for all my classes.

So what are Digital Portfolios? 

Digital portfolios, electronic portfolios or e-portfolios, are the latest trend in education. They are a way of collating or presenting digital work samples.

The positive outcomes of Digital Portfolios:

  • all work samples and files can be placed in one spot for assessment and viewing accessibility
  • students have different modes available to them for creating/collecting work samples; word processing, photos, images, audio & video recording
  • they provide the opportunity for assessment samples to include not only written samples but also visual performances of their work or skills in the subject areas that require demonstration of skills (such as The Arts, Physical Education and Science)
  • students with learning difficulties can engage better in their assessment opportunities due to the multiple options available to them
  • sharing files via email or apps such as dropbox and google drive means that not only can the teacher and school have access to them but parents can also have access
  • they provide students the opportunity to increase their technology skills in every subject area
  • they provide educators a wider scope for integration of general capabilities across the curriculum

Digital Portfolios have different uses in the classroom. They can be used for formative and summative assessment and to present work.

Formative Assessment Digital Portfolio

To collate and show the student’s progressive learning throughout the unit of work.

This is used to inform your teaching and planning for subsequent lessons.

Summative Assessment Digital Portfolio

A collection of work samples and files for students to be assessed by, at the end of a unit of work, against the learning outcome and curriculum used. This often results in a final mark for reporting.

Presenting Work to an Audience

Digital Portfolios are a great way of presenting work for display or sharing with parents.

Collating work into one app by sharing files into the one presentation allows for easy sharing of the entire project without the audience having to move between multiple apps.

The types of work samples you can gather are

  • written/word processed work
  • photos
  • screenshots
  • audio
  • video

There are many ways teachers and students can create digital Portfolios. Here are some apps that are available.

Collect/Collate Files

Class Management (LMS) Apps

Presentation Apps

When using the presentation type of apps in the classroom there are 3 different types of Digital Portfolios.

Individual Portfolios

In a 1 to 1 device or BYOD classroom, students create individual portfolios of their work. If you have shared devices, e.g. 1 between 2 or 3 students, it is still possible to do individual portfolios. Pair students up to work always on the same iPad. Some activities allow for working together on the same task, e.g. videoing each other. Alternately have 2 tasks on the go, i.e. one student on the iPad; one student performing another set task.

Group Portfolios

Use the portfolio method to share and record group work, e.g. group compositions.

Class Portfolios

Instead of students creating individual portfolios for a project, the teacher can create a class portfolio for a specific activity or a summative task with a sample of work from each student on each page/slide.

In My Classroom digital portfolios have transformed the way I gather evidence. They have also made assessment and reporting so much easier as I can review the work samples multiple times. Another positive outcome to gathering work samples in this way has been when parents have questioned their child’s semester grade. In this instance I have been able to email them the Digital Portfolio for them to view and my assessment along with it, the parents really appreciated it as it gave them an insight into their child’s development.

If you would like to learn more about how to create Digital Portfolios in your classroom go to my Music Room Tech page at Bushfire Press.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

10 things I love about using iPad’s in my classroom

Introducing one-to-one iPad’s into classrooms has become one of the hottest topics of conversation. I thought I would share with you the benefits I see of this new form of technology in schools. The 10 things I love about using iPad’s in my classroom is written through the lens of the Learner Profiles from International Baccalaureate (IB), in the context of the Primary Years Program (PYP).

In my teaching and research I see iPad’s developing students to be…

inquirer

Iquirers

  • They are able to ask and present questions verbally and in written form (Siri, search engines, word processing, voice recording apps eg notability)
  • with one-to-one devices students are able to be independent in their learning, not only working in working by themselves instead of sharing devices/computers, but teachers are able to tailor the use of apps and activities to cater for individual needs. This provides excellent opportunity for differentiation in learning. For example iPad’s give students the opportunity to watch a video, listen to text or read text and then respond through a video diary (iMovie), voice recording (Garage Band), word processing (Pages) or even just presenting dot points or observation/key words (Visual Poetry).
  • students are quicker to engage with technology and don’t give up as easily on tasks set using iPad’s

thinkerThinkers

  • They use what they know to research, create, write & publish
  • They use their prior knowledge to link with new; technology, information, and understanding how to use universal & content specific apps
  • they make decisions on content they view and create

communicator

Communicators

  • follow directions eg. how to use an app
  • express ideas in more than one mode; visual (art, photo, video) , aural (video, voice recording), written (word processing, note taking, visual poetry)
  • work together with others eg one group creating sound in Garage Band while another group works in iMovie and then merging the 2 projects for final presentation

knowledgeableKnowledgeable

  • explore; locally using note taking apps, videoing or voice recording interviews, viewing local websites or globally using the internet or You Tube
  • use a range of disciplines to get an in-depth understanding (viewing, reading, listening, interviewing)

risktaker

Risk takers

  • iPad’s enable students to make mistakes, there is always the ‘back’ or ‘undo’ function
  • they encourage students to explore and do or present things in new ways (written, video, image, oral)

principled

Principled

  • the opportunity to learn how to act with integrity and honesty in their use of iPad’s (publishing content, social media, taking photo’s and video)
  • the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions and use of the device, accepting any consequences that come along with misuse

caring

Caring

  • the opportunity to show responsibility for an expensive piece of equipment
  • the opportunity to act thoughtfully using blogs and social media in critiquing peers work (Edmodo, Social media, Instagram)

openminded

Open minded

  • listening to, viewing and commenting on other’s work (Edmodo, Web browsers, Youtube, blogs)
  • accepting that you can present information in a variety of ways (written, oral, visual)
  • acknowledging that you can look at things and interpret different meanings or points of view (eg Youtube, music)

balanced

Balanced

  • understanding that not all your time and all your learning should be spent on the iPad
  • being organised and using time wisely (organisation apps eg calendars, time logs, timers)

reflectiveReflective

  • about their learning (blogs, video diaries, written diaries, Edmodo, social media)
  • thinking about how things could have been done better eg. could we use a different app

Using iPad’s in my classroom has enriched and diversified my teaching program. I believe they are definitely a fantastic tool if used to their full potential in catering for students needs.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

Combining Garage Band & iMovie in the Music Classroom

midi keyboard setupOn a student free day last year my son inspired me to combine Garage Band and iMovie as a fun way to fill a rainy day spent inside.

It started off as any normal day teaching Oscar his piano lesson until he decided he wanted to record the song he was practicing ‘Icecream’ in Music for Little Mozarts Book 2 (we have a KeyControl 49 XT MIDI controller keyboard attached to my iPad though a camera connection kit and played through the Apple App Garage Band) .

So we had a few practices and then hit record, thankfully for a 6 year old he has a pretty good understanding and grasp of beat because it took only 2 to trys and we had a recording of him playing the melody we were happy with.

I then taught him how to add himself singing the song with the audio recorder and then showed him how to add loops in.  I can not claim to have helped him choose because as any mother of a 6 year old will tell you, you are not allowed to offer suggestions… “MUUUUMMMM I can do it myself!”

This is the result of what he composed: oscar garage band song

  • Classical Grand Oscar played & recorded himself on the keyboard
  • Kit & Elec Guitar are loops he chose fom Garage band library
  • The Audio Recorder is him singing

Now he was quite chuffed with his result but oh no it wasn’t finished there… now we had to do the music video so I sent him to to organise his props & dressups and to practice performing, by now his little sister, Natalia, had joined in the fun and Oscar decided she was to be his backup singer.

I filmed them performing and then Oscar helped me design his music video using iMovie and this is the result

*The Icecream Rap by Oscar

(*he wanted to call his arrangement “The Icecream Rap”. The original is ‘Icecream’ from Music for Little Mozarts by Barden, Kowalchyk & Lancaster (c) MCMXCIX Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.).

I have just started a project similar to this in my music classroom this week and it is working really well.  I won’t show you the outcome as I don’t want to post images of my students online and you get the idea from what Oscar & I did. The project is based on Bushfire Press’s Music Room: a developmental classroom music program, Book 6 Module 3 Pacific Harmonies Lesson 4.

I have split my Year 6/7 class (of 18) into 2 groups, one is creating video & still shots for the opening credits of a Hawaiian movie using iMovie, the 2nd group will record the background music in Garage Band. They will be using a backing track supplied by Bushfire Press and then adding their own recordings; a glockenspiel harmony, bongo beat and instrumental/non-instrumental sound effects and maybe some loops already available in Garage Band.

This is part of their IB PYP Unit of Inquiry into performance and will be shown at their end of year concert. What is fantastic about this is that all students are actively engaged in a project and those that are not all that enthusiastic about music are enjoying being part of the project in another way.

I hope this inspires you to not only use Garage Band in your music classroom but combine it with iMovie to broaden the classroom experience.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

Planning IB PYP in the Specialist / Single Subject Classroom

With no prior experience with teaching in an IB PYP school, starting out last year in my new school as the Classroom Music Teacher was quite a daunting experience.  I was truly blessed though to have great support in my Principal and other staff members who encouraged me to teach my music program from my previous school and try and link in to the class UOI’s where I could.

As I do in any situation I set about trying to impress as much as I could and link as often as I could to the classroom UOI which I thought would be the best PYP inquiry teaching.

What I found though was the skills/techniques I wanted to teach the children were not being done chronologically/developmentally as I tried to focus too much on the OUI taught in the classroom.  I was a little frustrated with this and didn’t understand how I could honour my discipline of teaching musicianship and authentically link to the PYP units being taught.

At the beginning of this year I went to the 3 day course “Making the PYP Happen in the Classroom”.  This was my first experience of IB PYP Professional Development and yes at the start I was completely overwhelmed by the whole thing.

While I learnt an incredible amount about how to teach using the PYP inquiry method my biggest question still wasn’t answered:

How can I teach classroom music in an IB school, using the inquiry methodologies to AUTHENTICALLY link to the class UOI and at the same time HONOUR my developmental curriculum.

This answer came 3 months later at an Arts Workshop for Single Subject Teachers presented by Theo Mandziy (Coordinator of Primary Single Subject Programme and Visual Arts teacher, Australian International School, Singapore)

At this workshop I realised I was focusing too much on the ‘UOI’ and not on the skill development of the children because I mistook linking with the classroom to be more important than the skill set I was teaching.

I was focusing on the topic/theme/idea eg using an indigenous song and then singing, dancing or playing instruments to it, rather than focusing on the skills & techniques and using my language during my lesson to link into the “concepts” being taught.

Theo presented 3 ways of planning:

  1. Specialist Driven UOI

This may be a wonderful concept & idea but Theo said it is very hard to pull off, especially if you are only part time.  This is where the Specialist subject teacher/s plan the UOI and the classroom teacher links in with it.

  1. Link with a class UOI

Specialist teachers don’t need to link with every UOI, as long as you find at least one UOI to link with in the year that is suffice.  To find this UOI look for authentic and purposeful links to the work in both classrooms, which allows you to honour the discipline that you are teaching.

You can write your own UOI that links with it or even take a line of inquiry from the classroom UOI.

The best way to link in is with the PYP Concepts being taught. Here the key is ensuring the language (key words/ideas) used in both class settings is the same or similar.

These links can be done before, during or after the class UOI is taught.  For example this year I have linked with the Year 6/7 OUI on Ancient Civilisations by teaching my Ancient Celtic Music unit before the class did theirs and this worked fine.

  1. Stand Alone OUI

Single subject teachers don’t need to teach all 6 transdisciplinary themes because it is unrealistic & not authentic to the disciplines being taught.  So while we need to teach 6 UOI over the whole year it may be more appropriate to teach from certain themes eg. “How we express ourselves”.

Our Stand Alone Units may also be taught throughout the whole year with no fixed start or end date.  For example you may use Musical Elements as your UOI.  Beat for example can be taught all year round as you refer to it along the way.

How have I now implemented this in my classroom?

I have since revamped my program have a look at my example overview from my Reception (5 yr olds) class:

IB PYP Single Subject Overview plannerview a pdf version here: IB PYP Single Subject Overview planner

I have 6 UOI, 4 year long ones & 2 that link to the classroom UOI.

To honour my discipline, I still use my developmental curriculum ‘The Interactive Music Room: A developmental classroom music program for interactive whiteboard, Book 1- beginning primary’ which I have adapted from ‘Music Room: A developmental classroom music program, Book 1 – Beginning Primary’.

However while this resource has been written with inquiry learning in mind, I always add other resources to this to enhance the UOI being taught and bring personal meaning to the students learning.

In the future I will post a blog on how I present and display this in my lessons.

I am and will be constantly looking at how I can better improve this.  And in no way do I believe I have conquered this task of a 100% answer to my initial question, on how to authentically plan a PYP UOI as a specialist/single subject teacher.  But I do believe I am now on the right path, or at least on the verge!

For me I have loved (and will continue to) the chase of aspiring to plan in the most effective and authentic way in a PYP school.  I am becoming a better teacher for it and can’t wait to see the results.

How has it changed me as a teacher?

The skills, techniques, activities, songs and instruments haven’t changed.  It has been the vocabulary I use when teaching which has changed as I focus more on the way I deliver information to the children to keep the lines of inquiry at the forefront of my lessons.

My questions to other PYP specialist/single subject teachers out there are: How do you plan?  What has worked for you in your school?  How do you link to the classroom UOI while staying true to your discipline?

Read part 2 in this series showing the overview of my 2014 planning.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl