No matter what, when August rolls around, I know my summer is over! My district doesn’t require me to be back in school before August 31st, but any teacher will tell you that they’ve been in their classroom for weeks leading up to that day. I’ve been spending 2-3 days a week in my classroom getting furniture back in place, putting up bulletin boards and working on my curriculum maps. I like that I can work in my classroom on my own schedule, a few hours at a time.
One of the things I worked on this week was my Music Room Word Wall. I gave it a facelift this summer by adding additional vocabulary, symbols and images where possible. We all present music vocabulary in different ways – some put all the vocabulary up, some organize vocabulary by grade and others only reveal vocabulary as they have covered the word in class. I am the “put it all up” teacher, but I have a reason! My students have music once every 3 days. I want my students to have access to what they need to teach themselves, ask questions, try new things as they are able. We all know students learn at different rates and in different ways. Who am I to limit what they see or connect to in my room? Often times, my word wall is referenced in our lesson as I can’t always predict when a word or concept will be asked about.
My Music Room Word Wall is organized alphabetically, but I also color-code it by music element. I think the visual of color-coding vocabulary helps students sort by melody, rhythm, timbre, etc. My students refer to our word wall throughout each music class to help them access the myriad of labels and vocabulary used in instruction.