2014 in Review

I know that I am 3-4 days late, but the stomach flu will do that to you. 2014 was a big year for me. I began blogging about my teaching experiences in October of 2013. The spring of 2014 is where that began to pick up as our professional learning community looked into curriculum and assessment and I began my Masters of Music Education program at VanderCook College of Music. Here is a review of all I posted over this past year:

Vertical Teaching – October 10, 2013
While I know this isn’t part of 2014, it is the only post on this blog that occurred before 2014, and it is a pretty critical part of several of the posts that followed! I discussed the vertical nature of our professional learning community: 5 teachers that teach lessons and rehearse instrumental music groups in grades 6-12 across three secondary schools.

Standards-Based Grading, Learning, and Reporting
This has been a central theme of this blog as our PLC works to transitions our work to a standards-based model. Posts included:

Assessment
Another central theme to this blog that ties into our work around the standards-based model is assessment. Posts included:

Professional Development
I work hard to use this blog as a reflection tool after professional development experiences. It provides a means for me to recall and, hopefully, better ingrain what I learned through those experiences. Here is the PD I reflected on in 2014:

  • Iowa Bandmasters Association 2014 Conference – May 25
    • Standards-Based Grading
    • Collaborative Listening
    • Young Conductors Project
    • Defining Your Marching Band’s Look
    • Conducting with Purpose
    • Music Learning = Life Learning
    • SmartMusic
    • Conducting Beyond the Notes
  • Professional Learning Communities At Work Institute – June 25
    • Building the Solid Foundation
    • Building the Collaborative Culture
    • Keys to Effective Leadership
    • Raising the Bar and Closing the Gap
    • Feedback: The Breakfast of Champions
    • Raising Questions and Finding Answers in Our Grading Practices
    • Kid by Kid, Skill by Skill
  • Midwest Clinic 2014 – December 23
    • Play Alto Sax with the Big Phat Band… NOW!
    • High School Rehearsal Lab: Woodland College Park Wind Ensemble with Dr. Robert Carnochan
    • Coverting to Digital: Our 1st Year as a 1:1 Music Department
    • Sound Fundamentals – Daily Ensemble Training for Ideal Tone, Intonation, and Blend
    • Literature and Concert Programming: Improving Student Learning through the Music
    • Building and Maintaining Quality Band Programs in the Context of Current Educational Realities
    • Concerts & Exhibits

VanderCook College of Music
I began pursuing my Masters of Music Education from VanderCook College of Music during the summer of 2014. I have taken several MECA (continuing ed) credits already, and will begin the first of two residency summers in 2015. Here are my posts about VanderCook:

Developing the Successful Jazz Ensemble – June 30
I spent a week on VanderCook’s campus with Mike Steinel, Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at North Texas, studying jazz methods. This post highlights a lot of what we discussed in the course. As a PLC, we will be implementing several different components from this class over this year and the next.

Teaching Music in a Common Core World
This course was HUGE for me. Several posts detail the learning I did around a wide variety of topics:

I learned a great deal about teacher evaluation, student growth, the Common Core, the Iowa Core, and standards-based grading through this class. Much of what I learned I am working to implement into my classroom as we head into the next semester. I can’t wait to see what my first residency summer at VanderCook has to offer!

Other Posts
There are only a few posts from 2014 that didn’t really fall into a category:

Takadimi and Solfège – Tools for Teaching Music – April 13
Our PLC uses takadimi and solfège to teach rhythmic and tonal literacy. This post explains how both tools function and how we implement them in our teaching.

Iowa’s New Start Date – December 13
Our governor has asked the Department of Education to begin enforcing a 1983 law requiring that school districts begin classes no earlier than the week which contains September 1st. Prior to this request, school districts in our state have stared as early as August 11 and as late as after Labor Day.

As you can see, 2014 was quite a busy year! Between standards-based, assessment, and VanderCook, I did a lot of learning! Throw in getting married and moving to Ames, and it gets a bit chaotic! I have another post in the works about my thoughts on curriculum that have been rolling around over Christmas Break. I am also taking two more MECA classes at VanderCook this spring: Band Arranging and Recording Techniques. It looks like my first summer residency will include classes like: Instructional Design, Percussion Methods, Woodwind Techniques I (flute and clarinet), Jazz Arranging, Symphonic Band, Choir, and Jazz Band. I am looking forward to what 2015 brings!

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One thought on “2014 in Review

  1. Pingback: Masters of Music Education | Adjusting the Sails

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