summer reading

Making It Work: Summer Reading 2016

Our classroom is packed up, and the children have all begun their summer adventures. Now I will take a few days to relax before I begin summer teaching, professional development classes, and tackle my planning for next year.  I make a point to read at least three books for professional growth over the summer months in between all of the novels I don’t have time for during the school year. Here is what I plan to read this year:

Orff-Schulwerk: Applications for the Classroom by Brigitte Warner

I have wanted to read this book for several years and this is the summer I will check it off of my to-do list. The book is full of solid information on process and philosophy to deepening my understanding of the Orff approach and fine-tune lesson development.

First We Sing! Kodaly-Inspired Teaching For the Music Classroom by Susan Brumfield.

I like to combine Orff and Kodaly inspired teaching. Last year I was delighted to sit in on two presentations by Susan at my state conference, and I have been using the two collections of songs in the First We Sing series. I am delighted with the high-quality content.  This book is an easy to read overview of Kodaly philosophy with many helpful graphics and sample scope and sequence documents.  The text will help me to use Kodaly-inspired techniques more effectively as I weave them into my Orff-inspired lessons.

Engaging Students: The Next Level of Working on the Work by Phillip C. Schlechty.

My school and district are focusing on Schlechty’s work to increase levels of student engagement across the district. As we began to dig into what an engaging learning environment looks like in professional development sessions I quickly realized that it looks a lot like Orff inspired teaching. This book will help to better understand how the teaching and learning in our classroom already fits into the paradigm outlined in the text so I can explain and justify our choices. I am also hoping to learn about new ideas to make our music experience even more focused on student driven learning and products.

What does your summer professional reading list include?  Please share titles you plan to read or re-read in the comments below. It may be just the inspiration someone else is looking for to make their summer reading list work. Happy summer!

LeslieAnne Bird

LeslieAnne Bird is a music and movement educator at University Schools in Shaker, Ohio. She teaches general music and choir to fifth through seventh grade young men and is an adjunct Professor at the University of Akron. She has previously taught in North Olmsted & Cleveland Ohio as well as in Prince George’s County, Maryland. LeslieAnne is a national presenter. She has served as vice president and membership chair for the Greater Cleveland Orff Chapter and is currently serving as the content curator for the Teaching With Orff community. In addition, she is the owner and CEO of Three Little Birds Music Education Services LLC where she offers teacher training, coaching and musical experiences for children and adults. She earned Orff Certification from Baldwin Wallace University in 2014, and has completed Music Learning Theory General Music Level One, Level One World Music Drumming training, Level One Google Certification and has earned the Ohio Master Teacher designation.

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  1. Andrea on June 15, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Teaching with Love and Logic is on my list.

  2. Lynn Osborne on June 15, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    I have some great trade books piled up, including a classic from 1974: “Creative Approaches to Child Development With Music, Language and Movement” by Grace C. Nash, (which is a ‘bible’ I return to over and over).
    But first I indulged in some mysteries to get my reading chops back. Then I dug in to “Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me” by Richard Farina, 1966. Gave me some great new perspective on how our educational institutions have changed, and how they’ve stayed the same…A great novel to re-read for the American Dream…Then and now.

  3. Eva Tooker on June 17, 2016 at 8:24 am

    I look forward to finishing the following:
    Growth Mindset by Carol S. Dweck
    Happy Teacher Habits by Michael Linsin

    • Teaching With Orff on June 22, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Eva, Thank you for sharing your list with us! Happy reading! – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

  4. Teresia Walls on July 21, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I am currently reading Elizabeth Green’s book, “Building a Better Teacher”, and am now anticipating re-reading Brigitte’s book, mentioned above.

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