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Monday, August 5, 2019


I officially head back to school next week and I've been working through my summer to-do list.

Copies of books/resources for students: CHECK
Design and order T-shirts, stickers, etc: CHECK
Choose/purchase music: CHECK
Edit disclosures/handbook: Not done
Purchase extra strings/rosin/supplies: Not done
Team Building games: CHECK


I wrote a resource called '5 lessons to motivate and inspire' where I gave some ideas for some fun team-building games.  An orchestra class should definitely be working as team.  I went to a session at the ASTA conference about a program in New York with a teacher who seated students randomly at every concert.  They were never seated by ability.  Students found out their seats just before playing in the concert.  It was so interesting to hear about the results.  The students worked better as a team.  They took on greater personal responsibility to learn their parts and perform well.  Students had ownership of their own playing as well as the group's performance.  There was greater cooperation with students helping each other.  Students bonded with each other and created a true team spirit.

I really want this kind of cooperation and ownership in my classes.  I'd like to experiment with different seating arrangements.  I'll also work on ownership by using the '5 lessons' and seeking to build teamwork skills.  I recently went and bought some supplies for some teamwork activities to use during the first week of school.  Here are a couple more ideas that were not included in the book:

See instructions about how to play:

I went to WalMart and bought a bunch of skinny, inexpensive wooden dowels.  I will have students divide up into teams for 6-8 people and do the helium stick challenge.

Teams have to work together to get their ping pong ball to the other side of the room using the pieces.  I can't afford to purchase that game, so I made my own version using pool noodles and marbles from the dollar store:

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