Ashley Maeshiro (Saturday, 12 December 2020 01:37)
At Mililani-Ike this week, I taught my last lesson in my tiri-tiri unit for grade 2, and I also taught one day of grade K. My tiri-tiri unit lesson went generally well. It was very assessment based,
so the students performed individually for most of the class. Lauren helped me utilize the breakout room function on Webex for me to help two of my focus students that had not turned in the
post-assessment yet. The first ten minutes of class was dedicated to helping the students get started on their post-assessment, or make corrections. I decided to do this because many of the students
did not turn in their post-assessment. For my focus class, I emailed their homeroom teacher asking her to remind them to turn it in and I commented on each student’s assignment reminding them to turn
it in, but many of them still did not do it. Even after class this week, some students did not complete the post-assessment. On the bright side, many students did make corrections and resubmitted the
assignment, and some did turn it in after class this week.
At both Mililani-Ike and Highlands, I am finding that I am having a difficult time judging whether or not I should press on with a lesson, or switch to a different activity. I always feel conflicted
because I want the students to learn whatever I am teaching, so I feel the need to stay on the activity until the objective is met. At the same, I also feel like it may not be useful for me to drag
out an activity if the students are tuning out or getting bored. This is also coupled with me having a hard time reading the students. I often cannot tell the difference between the students being
tired, bored or confused.
Ashley Maeshiro (Saturday, 12 December 2020 01:36)
I went to Highlands on Monday and Friday this week. On Monday, I taught period 2 beginning band and period 3 beginning choir. For the beginning band class, I started class by having the students do
echo patterns with me on their mouthpieces. I would play a 4-beat pattern on my trumpet mouthpiece a few times, then have the students try it with me a few times. For the first few patterns, I had
the students just buzz on mute, and then I started having the students unmute and buzz the pattern individually. I was surprised to learn that the students were actually struggling a lot, and did not
really know what to do. I have a hard time getting the students to tell me when they do not understand something. The students often do not express that they need help until I call on them to do
things individually. I feel like I express to them that I want them to tell me if they don’t understand something, but when I ask the class as a whole if they are doing okay, they give a thumbs up or
head nod even if they do not understand. I feel like I’m not sure what else to do other than be encouraging and constantly remind them that it’s okay to make mistakes or not understand something
because they are learning something new.
We then went into practicing the Highland’s 4-Step Process through two exercises that I created on MusScore. I did the same activities with period 4 beginning band students on Friday when I was
observed. I decided to try the same mouthpiece warm-up activity with period 4, just to see how they would do. If the students struggled with the echo patterns, my back-up plan was to write down the
notation for the patterns, and go through the 4-Step Process on them. The students in period 4 were able to catch onto the echo patterns a lot better than period 2, so I decided to keep everything by
rote. When we got to the full band exercises, we just went through the 4-Step Process with a few students performing each step individually just to check if they knew what to do.
I thought the lesson went okay. I felt like the pacing of the lesson was dragging a bit, and it was mostly due to me calling on people to play things individually. Although I think that this made the
lesson drag, I think that it is important to hear the students play because it is honestly impossible to really assess how they are doing with them on mute. After the lesson, Clement and I debriefed
about how it went. Clement has been very open and encouraging for me to just try whatever I want to. Although I’m glad to have the opportunity to do this, the idea that I may be doing something
completely different than what Clement is doing makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. When we debriefed, Clement told me that the half note and half rest rhythms are more challenging for the students
than whole notes or quarter notes because they need more control and concentration to perform it. I did not realize that the students would have difficulty with this, so I explained that I thought
that having multiple longer note values in a row may be difficult for the students to play because they may have trouble with sustaining. He said that quarter notes are more difficult because
learning to tongue and start the note is more difficult than sustaining. He also said that if during a normal school year with students in-person, they would just be starting to play whole notes on
their instrument. I was quite confused by this, because what I am currently having the students do is ahead of what the students would be doing under ideal circumstances. In my opinion, the students
were struggling with the whole notes in the exercises because they were unable to sustain the sound for four beats. Clement then said that he worked on whole notes with the students last class and
they could sustain whole notes, so they were just choosing not to sustain in class today. It seemed like when Clement worked on whole notes, the students just sustained one whole note at a time. In
my opinion, in the context of the exercises that I was doing, although the students may be able to sustain one individual whole note, sustaining a whole note after playing a few measures before it
may cause the student to run out of air. Clement makes it very clear to me that it is okay for us to disagree on things, so I’m glad we are able to have these conversations.
Ashley Maeshiro (Friday, 04 December 2020 22:41)
This week at Mililani-Ike, I saw the second half of grade K on Wednesday, and all of grade 3 on Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday, I observed Lauren teach the first two grade K classes to see how she
taught the activities to the first half of grade K on Tuesday. I then taught the last two grade K classes. I think that I struggle with grade K because I have a hard time troubleshooting when the
students are struggling. I find it challenging to use words that the students can comprehend when trying to correct them. Also, we used a lot of new songs that I have not learned previously, so I had
some difficulties just trying to remember all the songs while also teaching and monitoring the students.
On Thursday, I labeled syncopa in ‘Liza Jane, and I observed Lauren teach the other activities for the songs I was less familiar with. On Friday, I transitioned to teaching all of the activities for
each class. I think that I felt a bit uncomfortable labeling syncopa because I wasn’t sure if the students were really understanding or not. Also, I have been having tech issues so sometimes students
cannot hear me, my audio is cutting in and out, or I begin to lag and my screen doesn’t match what I am talking about. This has made it difficult for me when I ask the students questions because when
the students aren’t responding, I’m not sure if they don’t know the answer, or I was unclear, or if they just didn’t hear the question. Also, Webex seems to have updated and no longer labels the
students’ names with their video, so I have been having a hard time calling on the students. Unfortunately, I do not know all of the students’ names yet, especially for grade K and 3 since I see them
the least. This has made it challenging to call on students to perform individually, but it has also made it difficult to address behavior issues because I can’t address a student properly if I’m not
sure what their name is.
Ashley Maeshiro (Friday, 04 December 2020 22:39)
At Highlands this week, I decided to review reading music notation with the beginning band classes so that they could begin to read and play music. When reviewing the music theory that we had covered
previously, some students seemed to remember things, but others needed a little more assistance. It has been almost a month since we have had full band, so the students have only been focusing on
their instruments for a while. The percussion are the only section that have been reading music in their sectionals. I made a short four measure exercise on concert Bb for the students to try and
read and play. I taught them Highland’s “4-Step Process” for learning music. The students who were able to play it did so very well, but the students who struggled really struggled. I think that some
of them are struggling to make the connection between reading the music and doing what they are reading on their instrument.
For the seventh grade choir, the students presented their Green Eggs and Ham raps in class. Most of the students were very shy and nervous to share. In my lesson plan, I didn’t take into account how
much time it would take to comfort and convince each student to share. It took a lot longer than I thought it would. All the students did very well. The students in the seventh grade choir class are
generally very shy, but the students in the eighth grade choir are a little more outspoken and open. I introduced the activity to that class this week, so they will begin presenting next week.