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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Assesses performance against standards
- Facilitates student self assessment
- ‘Braodcast’ of radio programmes.
It’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!)
“Music Mind Games” (Michiko Yurko, Warner Bros Publications) is an outstanding resource for any music educator, especially so if you’re planning on teaching any aspect of music theory.
With its emphasis on cooperative learning, hands-on games and ‘joyful learning’ the simple, focused and fun games can be used to teach everything from the basic music alphabet through to advanced triad building and interval recognition.
A simple resource mentioned is the alphabet note pack. These are typically small square cards printed with the letters A-G and available in a variety of colours. Michiko utilises them for a variety of games, including ‘Snake’ where students simply place them in order from A to G to learn the musical alphabet. I’m using them for recorder lessons, sight-reading and composition activities.
The attached resource is a printable pdf of cards. Each A4 sheet has six note squares. The 100mm cards are big enough for small hands to manipulate and make efficient use of space on the page when printing. Note that the seven letter alphabets “wrap around” to the following sheet. Printing off the seven pages will give you six complete musical alphabets.
Music Alphabet Cards
Printing hint: Print out at 100%. You’ll lose a little of the cutting lines on the left, top and bottom margins but the cards will only require four cuts to create your cards.
Of course, if you don’t want to make your own, you can purchase them from the Music Mind Games website.
I’ve been using the Lego Movie Maker app with our students for a while now.
The app is free (yipee!) and although it’s a bit clunky in places it’s proven a real hit with children from ages 6-14.
If you do any stop motion animation on the iPad or iPhone give it a go. And feel free to download the manual I put together for our school.
Lego Moviemaker Manual
I saw the Socrative student polling app demonstrated at the Music Ednet ‘Daytime‘ music conference.
Socrative is free (basic use) and consists of a teacher module where quizzes, questionnaires and resource materials are assembled and a class module where students logon (via the website or app) to take part in the poll.
Our demonstration had us answering questions about our music-technology abilities and our involvement in courses focusing on scoring for movies.
The app worked flawlessly, updating voting / scoring in real time.
Once home I tried out the teacher app (on iPad) and found it to be easy to use if perhaps a little bare-bones.
Socrative should prove useful in any curriculum area and could be used to gain student feedback, test basic concepts or administer assessment tasks.
The app provides a range of reports and the option for responses to remain anonymous. The help facilities are impressive, with a free pdf manual to make operation and quiz creation painless. Personally I liked the idea of the ‘Space Race’ the best; students are placed in teams which compete to race across the screen. Huge fun!
First term is program writing term. With existing courses in desperate need of alignment, I used the information on the Australian Curriculum site to create a short, easy to read summaries of the relevant Music Skills & Knowledge and Drama Skills & Knowledge. The summaries are in pdf format; contact me for the editable Word documents.
R-8 Drama Skills & Knowledge
R-6 Music Skills & Knowledge
For all you iDoceo users out there, version 3 is available for download and it looks like a beauty.
There’s a bunch of iPad classroom organisation / mark-books / programs out there but I’ve stuck with iDoceo because:
- It’s fully featured – I’m still finding things it can do and experimenting with the possibilities.
- It’s easy to navigate around – essential for in-classroom use.
- It’s been updated regularly – the developers are not sitting on their laurels!
But for me, the killer part is – and has always been – the rich multimedia capture. As a Science / Drama / Music teacher I need the ability to record video, audio and take photos. iDoceo delivers this in spades, and (hi-hip-hooray!) has expanded this in the latest update.
Now we’ve got a fully fledged media organiser!
Yep, tap the Resources icon and you can see a complete list of all the photos, videos and photos you’ve taken or imported. You can filter by classes, diary or students and use the buttons to erase, move, copy or add. You can use the built in Web Server to upload / download resources, a huge time saver. You can also open the resources directly into a wide range of other apps (EverNote, DropBox, Edmodo, Google Drive and more). Brilliant!
There’s more of course. (List of what’s new in version 3.1)
- New timeline
- Diary / planner manipulation
- Link from files on your iPad
- Bulletin board enhancements – zoom in and out
- Quick backup options
- Improved seating plan reports
- New calculations – rank, compare
- Improved editing flow – less screen tapping!
So if you’re iDoceo user, backup up installation and download this. If you’re not an iDoceo user, you’re missing out on a brilliant classroom resource.
PS Just a suggestion to iDoceo though – change the icon. A blackboard and chalk metaphor? In 2014?
The Three Pigs is a wonderfully rich starting point for a technology and design unit. Students can investigate house plans, material strength, hinges and how they work, cooking utensils, wolf-trap making and lots more!
Here’s the unit sheet for the Year 2 topic I taught, complete with simple rubric and parental explanation.
Technology Plan: The Three Pigs (Word docx)
We’ve just updated our bullying policy and needed to change our classroom posters to reflect this. The first two original posters here have been altered to include more cyber-bullying aspects. The third poster was redesigned completely to better follow the more responsive policy of conflict resolution we’ve adopted and show the cyclical (as opposed to linear) nature of the issue.
2014 Bullying Posters(2Mb)
What Is Bullying?
What Do We Do With Bullies
Bullying: What Can You Do?