Why NOW is the Best Time to Reflect on Your Curriculum
I know, I know. You just made it through 36 weeks of teaching. And I know that the last two are the most difficult (for both you and the kids). Time to soak up the sun, sleep in, catch up on house projects, and spend some quality time with the family. And NO SCHOOLWORK until August. Ahhh, summer.
However, the beginning of summer is the best time of year to reflect on your curriculum and scope and sequence.
"Why?" you ask? The answer is simple: it is fresh in your mind.
You can remember where your students ended and what concepts they were strong in and which ones they needed more practice with. You know what you want to change for next year. You know where you need to start and what to review next year. So before you drink too much lemonade (or too many mimosas), write it all down!
Curriculum doesn’t officially get changed every summer, I realize. However, you can update your scope and sequence easily, as this can change from year to year. A scope and sequence is simply a summary of what is to be taught and in what order it is to be taught. For me, it also helps to write down when it is to be taught as well. I used to do this by month, but I’ve found quarters work better.
I know that much of my first quarter in second grade will be reviewing placement of sol-la-mi on the staff and because I’m working on this now (as opposed to in August) I can even remember the songs that we used, the games that we used, and how my students responded to instruction when they were first graders. BAM, not only do I have the beginning of my scope and sequence, but I also have my first four weeks of lesson plans done. This makes August a lot easier.
Reflecting and WRITING DOWN my ideas now also helps me to improve my instruction... to make it simpler, more efficient, and (most importantly) keep the pace of my class moving. Little downtime means more learning, fewer behavior issues, more “fun,” and MORE MUSIC. This also helps keep my end goal in mind. If I didn’t like where my students were and how they were performing at the end of this past year, I can identify how I can change to help them meet my expectations.
I’ll say it again… WRITE IT DOWN.
Your mind is constantly working and storing information, but it is amazing how much can be lost over the summer (summer loss happens to teachers as well as students). So yes, take some time to relax and enjoy your summer, but in the meantime, take some action to improve your music class.