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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

January Highlights 2021

This month was one of those that both flew and crawled for me. As I find myself saying more and more lately: what is time anymore? Despite ongoing challenges I do feel like I'm in a good place right now, and for that I am very grateful! Today I'm looking back on the highlights from January, including my favorite content from other music educators which I'm sharing at the end of this post!

1. New Year's

I've gushed about this enough that I assume most people know about my love for our NYE family traditions: we spend new year's eve day in our pajamas, watch the fireworks at midnight in different time zones every hour, and eat chocolate and cheese fondue for dinner. One of my favorite things we do, though, is looking back on the family calendars from past years, which my daughters decorate each month. It is so fun to look back and be reminded of events we had forgotten about, and see how much they've grown through the changes in their drawing and handwriting! It is the perfect way to get ready for the new year, especially when we're looking forward to change as much as we were this year.

2. Virtual to Hybrid and Back to Virtual

In our most topsy-turvy month yet, our district started the month fully virtual (we closed the buildings from Thanksgiving to MLK day to reduce community spread during holiday traveling/ gathering season), went back to hybrid, and ended the month back in fully virtual mode due to freezing temperatures (with the circulation they have to do for covid they can't adequately heat the buildings when it gets too cold). It was definitely a lot to juggle, but there was some benefit to going back and forth, actually. I was on a rotation with Kindergarten and self-contained special education for most of the month, so having the benefit of being able to sing online, combined with the obvious benefit of having them in the room for that group of students specifically, worked out pretty great. I'm especially grateful I got to sing with my Kindergartners for the first time ever, even if it was only a few days (the first time I saw them in the fall we were in hybrid the whole time)!

3. SEL Lesson

I'm typically more inclined to build in fostering social-emotional wellbeing into my regular teaching practice rather than overtly talk about it, but with Kindergarten in particular I was so excited to bring back one of my favorite lessons on emotions and music using the book "Allie All Along". With everyone starting to lose patience and feeling anxious, it seemed to be just what we all needed. Here's my post on the lesson if you want to see the full plan.

4. Music Education Content

I love learning from other music educators all over the internet and this month I found some gems. If you missed these be sure to check them out by clicking the images below!

What were your highlights from the month? What challenges are you facing in February? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below or through email!

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