Monday, March 30, 2015

Rockin' In Our School Shoes!

Good morning!

Here I am, on Spring Break, and I can't even sleep in! Anyone else have that issue? In any case, after a crazy week and a nice weekend off, I am back to blogging and this week I'm going to talk about my 3rd Annual All School Show- HFB's Rockin' In Our School Shoes!

(Notice the shoes are school colors and have our All Star on them!?)

When I came to Hoffman Boston almost 3 years ago, I decided that I wanted a show that included everyone in the school: from our 3-5 year old Montessori students to our 5th graders to our self-contained classes. This show was the 3rd annual installment of such a show, and it has grown into such an amazing part of our school's musical traditions. 

Thanks to Emily Wade, one of our art teachers, for this awesome backdrop!!

Here is the run down of songs for HFB's Rockin' In Our School Shoes:

Education Rocks!- 3rd Grade
Baa Baa Black Sheep- Montessori Group 1
Mary Had a Little Lamb- Montessori Group 2
Fuzzy Caterpillar- PreK Group 1
The Caterpillar is Growing- PreK Group 2
Information Age- 4th Grade
Rockin' In Our School Shoes- Kindergarten
THINK- 5th Grade
From the Inside Out- 1st Grade
Never Stop Learning- 2nd Grade

If you'd like to read how this show has developed over the years, here are posts about the two previous shows: 2012-2013 Hungry to Learn and 2013-2014 Science Rocks!

This March marks the start of my 4th year teaching, and I feel like I've got a lot of the little nuances of the profession figured out, especially now that I've been working at the same school for almost 3 years. (Just to clarify- I'm definitely NOT saying I do everything perfectly or even have everything planned in advance, I just feel much more prepared walking into school than I did in my 1st or 2nd year.) Because I'm feeling a bit more secure doing what I do, I actually had time to really organize the show and get many things done in advance, whereas the last two years I was doing a lot of stuff the week of! Here are the things I did BETTER this year!
  1. Sent out monthly Save the Dates starting in December!
  2. Included grade-level shirt colors on those Save the Dates
  3. Got a PTA Grant to buy some extra shirts for those students who could not (or forgot to) buy their shirts in the right color!
  4. Since 1st Grade's song was about character, the team and I decided to tie dye their shirts and we were able to make it work before the show- the kids loved it and they looked awesome on stage!

  5. Instead of having students narrate the show, which has always been a pain to find time to practice and has been hard to focus on with kids filing on and off stage, my exemplary project coordinator and great friend, Barb Papantoniou, mashed together a slideshow of pictures from music with videos of students saying "I'm wild about music because...", just like the collage display we had in the hallway for MIOSM! (See MIOSM displays here.) It was SO much better to use this as a transition filler and the audience seemed to be much more engaged!
  6. Even though students aren't allowed in the auditorium (they stay in rooms with their teachers), we had a bunch of parents in the gym and in another room watching a live broadcast of the show because of the sheer number of parents who came to see the show!

I'm sure there are many things that I can continue to do to make this show better each year, but I am so proud of my students for what they accomplished! Next year we have to either change the location or the format of the show because of the incredible amount of students and parents who show up that night! As my mom commented, "Who would have thought two years ago [at the first show] that you would need overflow rooms this year!"

On a kind of embarrassing note, the months leading up to this year's show were really rough and I caught myself thinking, more than once, "I can't do this again next year." Once the show came together during the last week though, I realized that I can't afford NOT to do this show! It is a huge part of our community and it truly is an amazing experience for everyone! The day after the show I was already thinking about next year's theme and how to make sure that all parents can get into the auditorium to see their students perform. So, even though I had a somewhat negative attitude toward the beginning of March, I have regained my positive and excited energy and am pumped to continue this tradition next year!

I'll leave you with some pictures of the students from the day/night of the show:

~Ms. Patrician


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