Before entering this classroom my purpose was to see the difference from a music class compared to a regular kindergarten class. I wanted to observer her lesson plan and see how she handles the kids with a different activity. This observation was very different compared to the other ones I have done. I usually sit down in a classroom and just take notes on what’s happening but this teacher, Mrs. Wineski, had me involved the second I walked in. I could have observed a 3rd grade music class but I picked kindergarten instead because I was more curious on how the younger kids reacted when there is music involved.
I feel like the younger they are the more excited they get for things. The kids in this specific class have music once a week on Wednesday mornings. This classroom had 16 children in it, which I think is a good amount so everyone gets enough equal attention. The larger the class the less they get noticed and have one on one time with the teacher. Music in this school has changed drastically since I went there. Starting with the fact there is no actual classroom for music anymore it is now “traveling music. ” They said there weren’t enough classrooms for music to have its own, so now the teacher has her cart she wheels around all day.
On the cart she has her keyboard, computer, work sheets, posters she temporarily hangs up with magnets and instruments the kids use like; tambourines, drum sticks, and triangles. On the computer she had music videos the kids get to watch if they had time at the end of class and if they were well behaved. To be honest I don’t think I am a fan of this concept. The kids don’t get a change of scenery and they’re stuck in the same classroom all day, especially since they’re so young. The room they are in now though, is very colorful and alive.
It is separated into sections and in each one they do different activities through out their day. As soon as she arrives in the classroom each time she told me that she starts the morning by singing each of their names and have them sing back to her. She does this as an exercise to get them worked up and catches all their attention. The lesson I was able to witness was adorable. She had a very high pitch voice, very hyper, and had the personality of a kid. The theme for this entire month is Halloween and she says each time they meet they do something different related to the season/holiday coming up.
When I was there they played dress up in a box of costumes she brought in. They were set up in groups of 4 but they had the opportunity to pick which they wanted to be. She had witches and warlocks, Disney princesses, animals, and super heroes. After they got dressed they sang songs and danced in a circle as a whole group, then they separated into what costumes they were in and made up a little skit using drum sticks. All the kids participated and once the skit was made up they had to put on a little show.
By the time each group presented all the kids basically forgot what they made up and just banged the sticks on the ground and giggled at each other. Mrs. Wineski never put them down for forgetting, she clapped and enjoyed each one equally with a warm smile. The goal of this activity was to use their imaginations and to have an open mind. Also, they used group work so working with one another is a big step in developmental learning. The students loved every second of music class. Of course because they are so young at times they got side tracked but over the entire lesson Mrs.
Wineski did with them she captured all of their attention. I lucked out with observing a tame group of kids. No one had to be put in “time out” or talked to. The younger the kids I always thought it was easier to get them interested and into the lesson but Mrs. Wineski showed that it was harder than that. She had the entire class time scheduled out and planned far in advance. She has only been a teacher for 4 years so, she said everything she does she is still an experiment; how confortable she feels doing it and how the kids enjoy it.
When I said that as soon as I met Mrs. Wineski she had me participating I wasn’t kidding. We both wore witches hats and she had me playing with them. I gained some useful knowledge that will come with me when I pursue becoming a teacher. First would be patience, and a whole lot of it. She was cool, calm, and collect. Many teachers I’ve come across aren’t like that. They seem almost uncaring and just there for a paycheck. Those are the teachers who should not have a job like this because teaching is much more than that.
You impact the children’s lives and help shape who they grow up to be. I also learned that the crazier the lesson is the more fun they will have. Don’t stick to basic and boring and don’t be afraid to try something different. So, I went in looking to just compare and contrast music vs. a regular kindergarten day and I ended up completely doing something different. I saw how music is really important for all kids. They need it in their life for many reasons. I observed how the teacher interacts with the students and how much fun teaching could be if you love your job.