Thursday, February 28, 2013

Song Writing and Improvisation at PS186X

Students have been deepening their understanding of the Standing Tall curriculum through collaborative song writing. This has involved creating lyrics that are either rapped or sung that draw from the themes of how hold ones composure in a confident way in order to make a good first impression. Students have also been able to put these social skills into action through the process of song writing by creating instrumental tracks together on Garageband. In the following excerpt each track was created by students, and reflects being inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. 

In the last couple weeks students have been encouraged to expand their ability to express themselves through collective improvisation, which has been facilitated and directed by Music Therapist Aaron Shragge. Supported by a rhythmic loop played through Garage Band the class has learned to follow cues from Aaron that vary between call and response, changes in dynamics, assigned interlocking rhythms and starts and stops. Directed improvisation has helped to developed the students ability to engage in a social activity as well as express themselves in creative format that has clear boundaries. It is also the precursor to developing material for PS186x's final presentation. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Students Learn to Speak Up at PS186X

During the last several weeks at PS186X students have been refining their abilities to express themselves and be self-aware in social situations. An exercise on voice projection helped students visualize how to throw their voice without resorting to yelling. Students were asked to come up to the front of the class one at a time and say a greeting phrase such as "Hello, How are you?" to a student at the front of the class. They then repeated the greeting only with a student in the middle of the class and then at the back of the class. Many students showed noticeable improvement in their voice projection in a very short time with coaching from both Marie Clapot and Aaron Shragge through this exercise. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Morgan Library and Museum at The Brooklyn Charter School

I once heard: “If the mountain will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet must go to the mountain.” That is exactly what the educators from the Morgan Library and Museum graciously did for the students at Brooklyn Charter School. After cancelling our visit to the museum due the inclement weather and then the bus strike, the educators brought their passion and replicas to give a compelling presentation on the history of writing. Students got to explore a variety of writing tools and supports: cylinder seal, parchment paper, quill, stylus and much more. Students were captivated and asked for more. Hopefully soon....