Circumstances Beyond Our Control
Man, it's been a week, huh?
I started off with continuing final preparations for our impending (but obviously now cancelled) adjudication. On Wednesday, I flew down to Mobile, AL to attend the Southern Region ACDA conference. By Thursday, the decision to cancel CPA was made, as well as cut ACDA short. States in our surrounding area made the decision to close all schools, and finally, South Carolina made the decision to close as well.
Oh, and I forgot to mention: I started exhibiting flu-like symptoms on Saturday. Don't worry, I tested positive for Flu A-coronavirus free as far as I'm aware of. The nurse that called me to deliver the news laughed and said "I bet you've never been so relieved to hear you have the flu."
Adapting for students with no internet access at home
So, I've been fighting through the brain fog to work on gathering some plans to get started. Originally, I had this cool idea to adapt a music bingo idea I saw online into a plan for my students without internet access. But the brain fog won over, and I ended up slightly modifying my Chorus Creativity Project so that they could still work on something over this time period, and upload it when they happen to go somewhere with wi-fi, or return back to school.
Once that was taken care of, I started planning for online teaching.
This is the letter I sent out to my students via Google Classroom and Instagram yesterday to let them know what was going on.
There are still so many things to consider. Will we actually go back to school after our planned three weeks off? (I just saw that Kansas cancelled for the rest of the school year!) If we go back, will we still have spring concerts?
I have a whole list of ideas, but I'm very consciously only rolling out a few at a time to see what works for my students, and also be considerate of the amount of time it takes for them to complete assignments.
My district has asked us to have work prepared beginning tomorrow (3/17) and lasting through the end of March. Our last week off is spring break, so no work that week. Students should be able to do our assignments in about 30 minutes, slightly shorter than our regular class period of 50 minutes.
What I'm starting with:
1. Daily Melodic Dictation (post coming on this later this evening)
2. Sight Singing practice through Sight Reading Factory (e-mail them for free student accounts right now!)
I'm using melodic dictation as a replacement for my normal bell work questions. Ideally, I would hope they could complete these in less than 10 minutes, sight reading for 5-10 minutes, and then I can add in repertoire practice, or a fun project to build on. But, I'm going to hold off on adding more to my assignment list.
1. I want to make sure what I'm currently assigning them is reasonable and doesn't take forever
2. I want to make sure I have enough time during our "office hours" to provide feedback for what I'm assigning
3. I don't want to make myself miserable while I'm still a little brain fogged from the flu.
My goal (should we be out for longer than originally planned) is to simulate a model and structure that my students are used to working with in my classes everyday.
Coming Together (Virtually)
I have to say, seeing how the music education world has come together to support one another through sharing of ideas, creating and distributing free materials, has been awe-inspiring. The burden is a lot lighter when we aren't carrying it alone. You have shown me through your comments on social media that even though it sucks that we can't be in school with our kids right now...it's going to be alright.