Musical Passion: High School Music Class Abuzz with Enthusiasm

Band (Grade 9 – 12)

The new academic school year has just begun, but the large amount of student activity and enthusiasm for learning is already clearly visible in the SIS hallways. I see happy faces and smiles from the High School students every time they enter the school and into their varied lessons.

This motivated approach for student learning can also be seen in the Music class room. This year, the large High School Music group is very enthusiastic about learning more about different elements of music. Students in High School Band have already revealed multiple talents and skills in the subject of Music. There are those students, who like to play an instrument and those who prefer to sing. In the class, there are new students to the subject and students who have been a member of the class in the past. This variation of the class adds to the overall enthusiasm of the group and further helps to enable positive student learning to take place.

At the beginning of this year, students were given the opportunity to choose what musical instruments they wished to learn for one year. During the process, the Music teacher coached, guided and directed student choices. In the last three weeks, students have learned how to prepare their instruments before playing them. They have also learned basic techniques for playing the instrument and reading the notation. After the students have all mastered their instrument, they will join their peers and learn to play various songs together as a group. I can’t wait to see how much progress the students will make during this semester and I look forward to their first music performance in November.

Explore resources for engaging high school students in music education at NAfME.

Scientific Wonder: Channeling Student Enthusiasm in Science Exploration

The 8th grade science students have recently finished their introductory unit on living things.  They have been learning about the qualifications that make things alive, classification systems, taxonomy, and evolutionary history.  The learning has involved several kinesthetic activities including a tag game. In this activity, students became organisms and resources, with each organism trying to attain the resources all living things need to survive. 

7th Grade has been working on their introductory unit on cells. They have studied what cells are, the cell theory, how the microscope works, how parts of a cell work, and how cells work together in an organism. The learning has involved several activities where students used the hand lens and microscope to compare black and white newspaper photographs, plant and animal cells. Students are now taking their prior knowledge of cells and are studying the main chemical compounds that are important in cells and how these compounds move into and out of cells.

The 6th grade students have been working on their introduction to Earth Science section of the year. They have previously studied the main parts of the Earth system, the effects of constructive and destructive forces, and the features of Earth’s crust, mantle, and core. The learning has involved several activities where students define system by exploring how objects interact between spheres and modeled some of the destructive forces that wear down Earth’s landscape. Now students are taking their prior knowledge of Earth system and are studying the features of topography and the main types of landforms. 

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