It’s been a heck of a week. Spirit week + Full Moon + Week before break = complete and wonderful chaos. It hasn’t left me much room to breathe much less make sure my lesson plans and materials are all in order. As we move into break around here I know I’ll be thinking about ways to finish out the year with my students and a full year using this amazing new Quaver curriculum. So I turn to their new customizable lessons feature for creative guidance and perfect organization!
I’ve been using the Quaver Curriculum since September with some great results. The students have really taken to the new activities, songs, and overall cheery and positive feel to the program. I’ve mostly been using it organically lesson by lesson to see how it works and occasionally adding my own materials to it but not imputting them straight into the lesson. The lessons have been great, but as I go on with the year I started to want to put my materials straight into the lesson slide show itself. With the new Customize button I can now do that!
This button is a complete new lifesaver, especially since I can be very OCD when it comes to being organized and I always felt very weird trying to put together plans that involved other materials and figure out how to manuever from one thing to the next. Now I can put everything in one place. This button allows me to be anywhere and lesson plan as long as I have Wi-fi. I’ve lesson planned on a plane, I’ve lesson planned while excercising, I’ve even lesson planned while backstage waiting for my cue for a play. It has come in pretty handy!
When I click on the button, it shows me all the screens for that lesson I can work with.
My schedule is very difference from that of a normal music teacher so I actually get to lessons at different times of the year compared to a normal teacher. The Remove slide feature has been a big help at taking away holiday themed songs and slides, especially when a Thanksgiving song pops up in January! It is also great for when you do not want to be jumping around from slide to slide and require a very sleek and flowing presentation tool for your lesson. You can also move slides around, I sometimes take a few extended activities that would fit perfect into my lesson and slide them up a little further looking closely at quick activities that would be great ways to start the class, or I could take a longer activity and slide it closer to the bottom of the lesson saving the best for last.
My main reason for talking about this fancy Customize button is the New Screen feature.
Isn’t it pretty? This allows me to add in content I’ve created before on my own into my presentation tool allowing my entire lesson to be in one organized place helping with lesson flow and really overall class management.
- With the YouTube button I can add in video from my playlists I’ve already built ( Find my playlists here.) Just like with Safeshare.TV, Quaver cuts out the comments and extra videos allowing the user to just see the video you want them to see. I use a lot of video examples for instrument examples, orchestra performance, and I have a large list of Movement Break videos that students dance too if we have an extra minute or two at the end of class. I put those video straight into my lesson so I do not have to go searching through YouTube!
- The Audio button, I do a lot of recording in class, and saving the MP3s straight to my computer or Dropbox allows me to put those examples straight into a lesson. It turns them into a listening activity for the class come the next period.
- I think Document is my most used. My district is pro Responsive Classroom which asks teachers to have a morning message up on the board for the students every morning. I write mine in word and put them into every lesson I do via the Documents feature.
- Web Link lets me take websites that I already use on a regular basis (let’s face it, TI:ME Teacher of the Year, I use a lot of websites as tools to help me teach!) and links them straight into my Quaver lesson. My favorite two links I’ve put into lessons so far are Incredibox and Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra .
- I have TWO more large shows to get done before the end of the year and a big project with my 5th graders! (We are working on the Commercial Project!) The Checklist makes me never forget if I have something to say or announce. Lately I’ve been using it as a reminder of what songs I will be practicing with my students that week!
All of this can be found inside the rocking Quaver Music Curriculum. If you use Quaver, what kinds of things do you do to Customize your lessons? How do you make a tool like this your very own?