About Flynx

Tim Tuck lives in Maitland, South Australia, with his wife, two cats, and a goldfish pond with an untraceable leak in it. He teaches Reception-12 music, drama and IT at the local area (rec-12) school and spends entirely too much time on his iPad and Windows 7 computer writing, scoring (music that is) and designing. When he's not busy on a new musical, teaching, or tidying his office, Tim freelances for Maverick Musicals, editing scores and trying to fathom what went wrong with the website code he wrote nearly a decade ago. He's also written extensively for Blake Education and Pascal Press, including the popular 'Ready-To-Go-Music' series, several computing 'Go Guides' (Word, Excel and Internet), the 'Best-of-the-Web' guides for primary schools and teacher resource books for SOSE, science, English and Civics. Oh, and he’s just finished a new series of Interactive Whiteboard programs on handwriting of all things. As anyone who might have seen his own handwritingwould say, ah, the sweet irony of it all! He won a NEiTA (National Excellence in Teaching Award) in 2003 for leadership in schools and an 'SA Great' award for contributions to the Arts. He was the SA State nominee for the AITSL Inspirational Teacher of the Year in 2010 (but not inspirational enough to win it). He’d really like to be able to play the trombone better than he does.

Okeanos Ocean Explorer

The Okeanos Explorer is a US federally funded research ship, assigned to ‘systematically explore our largely unknown ocean for the purpose of discovery and the advancement of knowledge’.

There’s a live feed happening between April 27 and May 19, 2017 where the ship will collect information about deepwater areas in the Pacific.

During that time the team will conduct remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives in areas including the American Samoa, Kingman Reef and the Palmyra Atoll Units of the Pacific

The NOAA Okeanos Explorer website has live feeds, background information and a huge education section with photographs, charts and lesson plans for different age groups. The project has an excellent webinar too:

Relevant XKCD Comic

Rainbow Tone Rows

My Year 6 music class experimented with serialism and tone-rows but using a diatonic scale (A B C D E F G) rather than a chromatic one (ie with all the semitones).

I used the phrase ‘Rainbow Tone Row’ to link in with out use of BoomWhackers.

Although this does somewhat negate serialsims goal of removing the influence of key from compositions, it allowed for easier composition and the use of our decidedly diatonic glockenspiels and BoomWhackers.

I demonstrated the technique on the board and then had students perform. The methods on the sheet (including writing the tune a third higher) are not authentically serialistic but the aim was to provide the students with readily accessible composing techniques. After students had tried their hand at writing and performing their (own diatonic) tone rows, we chose one student’s piece to perform using the performance grid. The class divided into four groups, with each group ‘soloing’ and performing with others.

Downloads

    

Extension

A quick search of YouTube will turn up many videos on serialism.

Advanced students may like to try composing the chromatic scale. There are lots of resources around but mostly aimed at secondary students. This 12 tone serialsim worksheet at TES.com might be useful.

Australian Curriculum links

  • Explore dynamics and expression, using aural skills to identify and perform rhythm and pitch patterns (ACAMUM088)
  • Develop technical and expressive skills in singing and playing instruments with understanding of rhythm, pitch and form in a range of pieces, including in music from the community (ACAMUM089)
  • Rehearse and perform music including music they have composed by improvising, sourcing and arranging ideas and making decisions to engage an audience (ACAMUM090)

ACARA COPYRIGHT

© Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) 2010 to present, unless otherwise indicated. This material was downloaded from the Australian Curriculum website (Website) (accessed [7/5/2017]) and was modified. The material is licensed under CC BY 4.0. Version updates are tracked on the Curriculum version history page of the Australian Curriculum website.

ACARA does not endorse any product that uses the Australian Curriculum or make any representations as to the quality of such products. Any product that uses material published on this website should not be taken to be affiliated with ACARA or have the sponsorship or approval of ACARA. It is up to each person to make their own assessment of the product, taking into account matters including, but not limited to, the version number and the degree to which the materials align with the content descriptions (where relevant). Where there is a claim of alignment, it is important to check that the materials align with the content descriptions (endorsed by all education Ministers), not the elaborations (examples provided by ACARA).

 

 

New Australian Readers’ Theatre series published.

Yay! Blake Education’s new ‘Australian Readers’ Theatre’ series has arrived from the printers! It’s been great fun working as series consultant with editor Vanessa Barker and publisher Lynn Dickinson and to have six plays included alongside those of the talented Sandie Eldridge, Catherine Bauer and Elizabeth Klein. It’s a great series (all photo-copiable) with lots of Australian humour and drama. No primary school should be without a copy!

 From the Blake website:

“A Reader’s Theatre performance is a dramatic reading without the need for stage actions, or elaborate sets and costumes. It provides teachers with an opportunity to stage a play without the challenges that come with designing and building sets and creating costumes.

Each book in this series contains 10 photocopiable Reader’s Theatre plays written by Australian authors covering a wide variety of genres. Each play has ACARA curriculum links and Teacher’s Notes with information about:
  • the script’s plot, characters and setting
  • introducing the play – main topic, characters, ideas
  • vocabulary discussion and list of tricky words
  • interpreting the story
  • rehearsal and stage movement
  • performance and staging ideas
  • post-play review

Photocopiable assessment checklists for pre-performance, peer evaluation and oral performance assessments are included, as well as two worksheets for each play.”

Book Cover - Australian Readers Theatre Lower Primary

Book Cover – Australian Readers Theatre Lower Primary

Australian Readers’ Theatre – Lower Primary

Book Cover - Australian Readers Theatre Middle Primary

Book Cover – Australian Readers Theatre Middle Primary

Australian Readers’ Theatre – Middle Primary

Book Cover - Australian Readers Theatre Upper Primary

Book Cover – Australian Readers Theatre Upper Primary

Australian Readers’ Theatre – Upper Primary

Red Beach School New Zealand Compass Rose Performance

A big shout out to Jill McTeigue and the students of Red Beach School. Loved your photos from Compass Rose! Your sets and costumes look gorgeous and I hope you had a great time putting it on!

One lovely touch; Red Beach borrowed our original prop ‘Compass’ (to the right in the featured photograph) and it appeared in their school’s production. What a wonderful sharing across the ocean!

 

Emergency Radio Drama Unit

This year’s theme for World Radio Day was ‘Radio In Time of Emergency‘.

I developed this drama unit for Year 5 & 6 around that theme with a focus on improvised dialogue, characterisation and structure.

The lesson sequence is based on the 5Es teaching model, familiar to many teachers from working with the Primary Connections science modules. I find the structure admirably suited to drama units with its Engage / Explore / Explain / Elaborate / Evaluate cycle.

The full unit plan with Australian Curriculum outcomes and a pdf of Emeregency Scenario cards can be downloaded below.

Lesson sequence

Focus

 

Lesson content

Engage

  • Develops shared norms
  • Determines readiness for learning
  • Establishes learning goals
  • Emergency radio samples: Hindenberg, Nepal, aircraft landing.
  • Emergency / disaster photos. Improvise a radio broadcast as the different scenes appear.
  • Mime using different radios – hand-held, walkie talkies etc.

Explore

  • Prompts inquiry
  • Structures inquiry
  • Maintains session momentum
  • Emergency situation cards: short scenarios of amusing emergencies.
  • In groups, leader improvises the scene as the rest of group mimes the action.
  • Swap: group mimes as a ‘reporter’ improvises the narration of the action.

Explain

  • Presents new content
  • Develops language and literacy
  • Strengthens connections
  •  World Radio Day: discuss the themes.
  • Share the World Radio Day UN video.
  • In groups, respond to the themes – create a short scene demonstrating each. Emphasis on serious responses.
  • Hot-seating: journalist, refugee, radio broadcaster.

Elaborate Facilitates substantive conversation

  • Cultivates higher order thinking
  • Groups select a scenario for broadcast eg. Nepal earthquake, bushfire, refugee, bomb threat, flooding.
  • Students develop a script. Characters include broadcaster (DJ), reporter, ‘involved civilian’.
  • Recording of script, editing with sound effects, music, voiceovers.

Evaluate

  • Assesses performance against standards
  •   Facilitates student self assessment
  • ‘Braodcast’ of radio programmes.

Resources

Unit OutlineEmergency Scenario Cards 
Drama - 56DK Unit 1 - Emergency RadioEmergency Cards

 

The Ghost of Tom

Ghost Pic 1The ‘Ghost of Tom’ (or ‘Ghost of John’) is a perennial Halloween favourite and no wonder. It’s (a little bit) spooky, has a ghost, a ghost lyric (oo-oo-oo), is a round and can be accompanied by just two notes.

This version is in Am, making it easy to perform on tuned percussion instruments (no sharps or flats).

The range for vocalists is a bit of a stretch, you might have to lower some parts down an octave.

Below are the resources I’m using with my music students.

  1. A simple grid notation accompaniment with just three patterns: A-G-A, C-B-C and E-D-E. JP children will quickly learn these and older students with limited music experience will also cope.
    Ghost Of Tom Simple Percussion Chart
  2. The four lines written in notation. Use this for older students. Give them the choice of which lines to play (beginners can do the last two).
    More capable students can play all four.
    Have You Seen the Ghost of Tom – Percussion Chart
  3. An audio accompaniment with vocals. It’s just 90bpm, so a good speed to play along with. It has a two bar intro and then the song is sung once. The song begins again but this time as a round. Part two begins at bar 11, part 3 at bar 13 and part 4 at bar 17. Each entry is marked with a cymbal. It finishes with a two bar ending.
  4. A simple score of the song.
    Ghost of Tom Score
  5. Vocal sheet (with alternative verse).
    Have You Seen the Ghost Of Tom – Lyrics

ResourcesGhost Pic 2

Ghost of Tom Thumbnail - Simple Percussion Ghost of Tom Thumbnail - score

Ghost of Tom Thumbnail - Percussion Ghost of Tom Thumbnail - Lyrics

mp3_icon

 

Sync Music Playlists – collapsing all

When I sync my iTunes playlists with my iPad or iPhone, the playlists are – by default – all expanded.

Collapsing these, all scrolling to the bottom can be quite frustrating and time consuming.

However…

Clicking with Ctrl + Down Arrow on any of the expand / collapse triangles will collapse all the playlists.

ctrl down

Brilliant!

SunSmart Training

SunSmart SiteIt’s the summer term here in Australia, which means students have to wear hats during playtime at school.

The SunSmart site came up while researching ideas for ‘No Hat/ No Play’ signs for our schoolyard.

After a quick registration, I completed the online teacher training. It’s pretty basic – quizzes, animations, text to read – but provides a good reminder of why we need policies in schools around shade, UV exposure, sunscreen and skin cancer.

You receive a nice certificate at the end and your choice of resources, including picture books, lesson plans and posters.

Highly recommended for all educators (and students and parents!)