I can't wait to go to school tomorrow. My 1st period English I class has crafted a playlist. We've decided to always rev up our mornings together. Normally on Fridays, they come to class early and enjoy some pick-up music that I like to play. My tastes vary. I love Madonna and have every one of her songs (the part of me that is still stuck in eighth grade), but I also like the Black-Eyes Peas. Selena Gomez, Cold Play and other upbeat dancy pop music as well as music that surprises my students, Led Zeppelin and Nine Inch Nails. I will admit that I have also purchased Miley Cyrus (I accidentally typed Cylie Myrus, which tells you how much I am actually paying attention to these singers) single and it wasn't because I have an 8 year old daughter.
After reading the article Happy Birthday I-Pod featured in the New York Times with my class, I asked them what they thought about creating a class playlist. They were excited and I was surprised with their choices including Peter who loves Selena Gomez and any or her songs will do, Andrew who wants a Spice Girls song, G who prefers Coldplay and my girls who requested Tyga. Students introduced me to new groups and singers carefully making sure that I find clean version. This creation allowed some additional insight into their lives.
This week I'm also going to try out a new idea that I have been thinking about with my second period class. They struggle with getting prepared and ready to go. I am going to craft a playlist with them and I will play it during passing time and 1 minute into our class period to allow them time to get their material together. I am hoping this will encourage them to get to their seats and get their materials faster.
When I was a intern at a school in Hawthorne, Florida, the eighth grade teacher has an amazing collection of classical records which he used to start class and inspire writing. His kids responded well. I used to integrate music more frequently and it's a practice that I have lost and hope to regain this week. In the world of I-Pods, students walk alone shutting out the world. Our shared listening experience in the morning is one way to foster community and enjoy our time.