Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"March" from the Nutcracker

As a young girl, I watched in wonderment when our family would attend a performance of "The Nutcracker Ballet."  I absolutely loved the music, dancing, costumes, and scenery!  And now... I get to teach it to my students!  It has become one of my favorite units to teach.

This year, I focused on teaching the Nutcracker to second grade.  After reading the story of the Nutcracker and talking about it's origins, we watched and listened to some of the most famous pieces, including the "March."  The students got so excited when they recognized this piece:

Next, we listened to the song again and discovered it's form.  Second grade classes have been talking a lot about form this year, so they figured it out very quickly!  After studying the varying sections, the students learned that this is called Rondo Form (when the A section - or refrain - alternates with contrasting themes). 

The students were then introduced to our new movement prop, Mr. Stretchy Band!
Using a lesson plan from Artie Almeida's "Parachutes and Ribbons and Scarves, Oh My!" we used Mr. Stretchy to move to the various sections of the March.  During the A sections, students used the stretchy band to form a circle and marched to the music.
During the contrasting sections, the students stopped marching and faced the middle of the circle.  Holding the stretchy band above their heads, they listened as I called out different colors. When their color was called, they had to run under the stretchy band and quickly switch places with somebody else.  Of course, they thought this was so much fun! 
 Learning while having fun... my favorite combination! ツ

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sticky Note Evaluations

After our third graders performed their musical, "Jingle All the Way," they got to watch the video of their performance during music class!  The students then evaluated themselves by reflecting on their performance (one of our Georgia Music Performance Standards).  Each student was given 3 sticky notes and asked to write about their strengths, their weaknesses, and their favorite memory of the musical.  Most of them really gave it a lot of thought and were very honest about the things they thought they did well and what they thought could have used more work. 

I loved hearing about their favorite memories!  Many students enjoyed the funny dialogue and complimented some of the characters on their memorable lines.  There were several students who proclaimed, "Mrs. Eggleston, I can't think of a favorite memory - I loved the whole thing!"  Of course, that was very heart-warming to hear!

"My weakness was watching Mrs. Eggleston.  P.S. The director."  ツ
"My weakness is smiling while I'm singing."
"My favorite part of the play was when Santa found his jingle."
"My memory was making my costume."
"Being brave"

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Jingle All the Way!

The HSES third graders presented their Christmas musical, "Jingle All the Way," on Thursday and they did a fabulous job!!  I was so proud of their hard work and they got MANY wonderful compliments on the production.  It is so rewarding to see my students up on stage performing so well and singing so beautifully after many weeks of rehearsing!  And how cute did they look in their adorable costumes?!  ツ

These musicals would not happen without the help our incredibly talented art teacher, Mrs. Carter.  She designed the backdrop and had the students create the houses, snowmen, trees, and adorable elves!  Check out some pictures of their fantastic performance:



HSES Chorus 2012

I was privileged to have such a talented chorus this year!  They were always so excited to sing each week and were constantly asking to be challenged!  I found myself continually adding to our repertoire because they learned everything so quickly.  Although it was a small group, they had a beautiful sound and we had so much fun together!  Here are a few pictures from our performance at the HSES Empty Bowls Dinner.  You can find out more information about Empty Bowls here.

(photos courtesty of Debbie Butler)