It was an atypical Friday…
Our Friday started with music. A high school band from Minnesota visited on their way to a clinic at Northwestern (Illinois). Our music teacher was an alumni, and had kept in touch with the band director. I can understand why. The director was dynamic, you sensed the joy his job brings to him. The band students were smiling and engaged. Our K – 5 students bounced to the beat. The fifth graders were even able to direct for a short time. Smiles abounded as we exited the gym. Music makes a difference.
Later, it was time for the annual band and orchestra “Tour of Schools.” Students in our district orchestra perform at all three elementary schools. Afterward the district band performs. It’s a wonderful opportunity to share their work and inspire younger students to
pursue music as well. It also provided me with the opportunity to see some former students as well as a few in my current class. We shared smiles and hugs.
In the afternoon we Skyped with Darlene Beck Jacobson, author of Wheels of Change, our current read aloud. Students prepared questions and (for the most part) were active listeners. We’ve been learning so much in this turn-of-the-century novel. Prejudice, bias and change are beautifully woven into this powerful story of a carriage-maker’s daughter in Washington D.C. “How did you get your ideas for the book? How long did it take you to write? What other books have you written? Where do you like to write? When did you start writing?….” A real author in our room, speaking to my young authors! Making connections makes a difference.
Today we experienced music and writing. True, there wasn’t as much time for our normal routine, we still had some time for reading and science, math took a backseat. We will return to our usual schedule Tuesday, when students return after a long weekend. I know they will remember Friday and the experiences it provided. It was a day of inspiration not only for them, but for me too.