January 13, 2012

Perhaps there are others who are spinning plates – – -so many plates. There is the usual e-mail, curriculum writing, graduation projects, concerts, concerts, concerts, orchestra rehearsals for the musical and adapting parts to the level of the players, budget meetings, the arts festival, the usual grade book maintenance and lesson plans, and tech-flex sessions to learn more and more technology applications. Right now I am on a technology/curriculum overload.

So then, I created what I think is more of a platter for my students. We have been using a wiki called the Fox Fiddle File. I asked the students to respond on the discussion page to the question “Why do you play your instrument? I included the responses in the December concert program for the audience to see. I continued to post interesting finds from the internet. One of those was the Copenhagen Symphony playing Ravel’s Bolero in the railroad station and another was a list of essential questions for the students to consider. Students responded with some comments that prompted others to respond. Then the students started to post items of interest and topics for discussion.

Spinning this platter has increased the discussion and sharing by the members of the High School Orchestra, who frequently shrink from in-class discussion. As time has progressed the students have begun to post topics of interest. There have been 277 postings to date to the two dozen topics on the discussion page to date.