When I heard that music would be delivered by visiting every classroom with a cart, that idea alone was overwhelming to me. How might I meet the needs of JK-G5 students and engage students in the wide variety of engagements they are used to? This is a blog post all on its own. My goal for this term ultimately is for students to feel joy when engaged in music class. We play many percussion instruments such as boomwhakers, xylophones, bells, drums etc. As it turns out the most valuable tool which helps inform my teaching plan both when I enter the room and also before I leave the room, is the Mood Metre
Last year, Marc Brackett, author of "Permission to Feel -Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive" presented a very informative and engaging professional morning for our school community. We learned about the RULER Aproach for Social and Emotional Learning, which includes the Mood Meter I mentioned.
Inside the cover of the book, "Permission to Feel", there are many words representing emotions experienced in each of the four quadrants. In the Junior School after classroom discussions with students, they come up with words that best describes how they might be feeling in each colour. A poster, like the one above, is displayed in each classroom and students have a magnet with their name or photo which they place on the mood meter at the beginning of the day and then they move during the day as their mood changes.
This has been such a valuable point of reference for me as I know right away based on the information students have provided whether or not my planned lesson is what the students need or capable of.
As I am gathering materials and packing up my cart, I have noticed that students are going to the mood meter on their own and moving their magnet to reflect a change from how they were feeling at the beginning of the lesson. I have only seen an improvement in how they are feeling, which is encouraging.
If I was still in my own classroom I wouldn't necessarily see this data. An unexpected bonus. My main goal for this term seems to be having an impact and that warms my heart.