Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Shhh...Artists and Musicians are Reading

Whenever I get stuck on a blog theme, I always go back to #learningisjoyful.  Why?  Because I believe/advocate/promote/inspire/encourage/demand joyful learning experiences for students. What makes #learningisjoyful such an easy tag line?   For me, it's because joyful learning experiences can happen anywhere and anytime the learner is engaged in something that sparks joy!

Independent reading time can be and should be a joyful experience for students!  This year, I have been encouraging all of the special area teachers in my building to add intentional reading time to their programs. It's been my goal to help them appreciate that reading either to students or allowing time for students to read independently does not take away from art, music, and physical education classes but can actually enhance their program.  The feedback so far has been great - take a look:

Ms. Axel - Elementary Art Teacher 

At clean-up time, I have been using the books that comprise my personal collection of art books (picture books, biographies, books that deal with feelings) and this has enriched the art program.  The students do not rush their work but instead of finding something to do if there is 5 minutes left in class, my student know that they can select an art book and read!

Mr. Allen, General Music and Band Teacher 

By reading books about Marian Anderson, Leontyne Price, and Duke Ellington, my students have learned about famous musicians struggles and triumphs.  Additionally they have discovered famous music venues such as the The Cotton Club, Carnegie Hall, La Scala Opera, The Lincoln Memorial, and Constitution Hall.

Mrs. Green - General Music and Orchestra Teacher
I have found that reading to the students at the start of a general music class sets the tone of the lesson.  It is usually a calmer and more thoughtful lesson after reading.

Mrs. Prill - General Music and Chorus Teacher

I love to read stories and children's books about musicians.
It helps introduce them to different genres that I also follow up with videos and of course music!  The best was when I was sharing information about trombones and jazz and the students told me about a book that our art teacher Mr. Sumner had just read to them - Trombone Shorty! Another favorite of mine is Opera Cat, it really opens the students up to learning about opera.

Mr. Sumner  - Elementary Art Teacher
Benefits of reading - It opens your life up so that you can experience history of the world.  Everything that has ever existed, every though, every dream, every big moment, you can read about and dream your own dream.  In some case even visit some of these places or visit through the internet.

I read to my students in my elementary art class because I LOVE reading picture books, secondly because of the great illustrators that capture the feeling of the authors.  Authors give the world a gift that we should always cherish.

How have you spread the love of reading in your school?  Please share some of your #learningisjoyful reading experiences!  

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