Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hearing Voices

School began Monday at my school. Excitement was high from both teachers and students. I'm going to like this class!

IWB Challenge #1.

During Math the first day, I introduced my Skip Counting Songs Notebook page during the course of the lesson. Students couldn't wait for their turn to move the magnifying lens over the number of the counting song they wanted to sing. By clicking on the corresponding number, the mp3 file would play and the sing-a-long would begin. They would've sang all period if I'd have let them. I promised there would be a song or two everyday and they could choose which ones it would be. They were happy and so was I.

Through the years, I've used music to help students remember important concepts. By teaching skip counting songs, my students succceed more quickly when it's time to recognize counting patterns and memorize their multiplication facts.

Here's the creation information. Last week I recorded myself singing the songs I've used in class for years while accompanying myself on the piano. The ditties came from various sources - a really old Melody House record album, workshop jewels, and original melodies from a former teacher. Playing by ear enabled me to pitch them in a comfortable singing range. My college voice professor told me I sang like a 9 year old. He was right, but little did he know I would be teaching 8 & 9 year olds someday and that skill would come in handy!

You should have seen my living room last Friday afternoon! Microphone on the piano, wires strung across to the footstool where my laptop sat with Audacity cued up and ready to record. After a little practice I was ready to save each file. Then it was a simple step (after downloading and installing the lame encoder file) to convert each one to an mp3. To make my Notebook page, I added a little clipart at the top and inserted the numbers in individual windows. I attached each "big number" to its corresponding sound file by clicking on the insert menu.

In past years, I would sing acapella and teach the students the songs by rote. Now it's a simple click on a number, the music begins, and students can sing along while I write the counting sequence on the Notebook page using my AirLiner wireless slate.

Inserting my voice into Notebook was a snap. I'm already planning my next project!


IC Jones said...

Dear Lori
I am so glad I finally got to read your post... I love music too and I was long know to teach vocabulary singing (I am a language teacher), to allow students to concentrate on the sound of the language.
We are still on holiday here in England but I hopefully will be catching up with you all very soon. I did do a watered-down version of the IWB challenge with Jess last April and the related posts on my blog may be of interest to you. It is called My Languages and it is at http://isabellejones.blogspot.com , just scroll down for my "the IWB is back" post or check out the IWB label on the right. I also have a lot of links to IWB sites (delicious tags list on the right)Just click to get a list...
Again, Thanks for sharing your ideas!


Tina said...

Hi Lori! SOunds like a great activity. Can imagine how excited the kids were/are. I am teaching 12 - 1 year olds German, but I actualy htink I might try some song sound files - it has given me some ideas - thanks!
am doing the Challnge too, if you are interested, my BLOG is:
Thanks for sharing.
Tina Wilkinson

Tom Barrett said...

Congratulations for completing the first of the seven challenges - perhaps we will get to hear your singing voice!

Well done and I look forward to reading your future challenge posts.

Susan said...

Nicely done! Smart to start so early in the year. I've found if I get them signing early then we can sing together all year. If I wait a bit and try to introduce it later, some will feel self-conscious.

Now I'm a tech teacher and haven't managed to fit music in at all. :( I can think of ways, but I see them once per week for 40 minutes, so other things get in our way.

Danny Nicholson said...

congrats on completing Challenge 1 :)