Starting a New Adventure

Well, we told the students today, so I guess that makes it “official”… This year will be my last at Centennial High School. This past Spring, my wife completed her PhD program in mechanical engineering at Iowa State University and accepted a tenure track professorship at the University of Virginia! We moved her out there at the beginning of November, where she is doing some contracted work with NASA Langley before beginning at UVA in February. Continue reading “Starting a New Adventure”

Reflection: PLC at Work Institute

This past week, I attended the PLC at Work Institute in St. Charles, Missouri with many Ankeny teachers. This is the same institute that I attended in June 2014. That post has a lot of the background on professional learning communities, the structure of the conference, and how our vertical PLC was implementing practices at the time. I wanted to spend some time reflecting to better ingrain what I learned this past week. Continue reading “Reflection: PLC at Work Institute”

A Standards-Referenced Instrumental Music Program: Prioritizing Standards

On October 23, 2016, I began a blog post trying to collect my thoughts around our work in standards over the past four years. As I have organized (and reorganized) those thoughts, the post has evolved into plans for a presentation at the 2017 Iowa Bandmasters Association conference as well as a companion website of “how” we did our work in standards. This is the fourth in a series of posts detailing the “how.” The first four posts detail our district’s process for curriculum review and looking at the Iowa Core Curriculum, looking at national and state music standards, and presenting the standards we developed in 2011-2012.

Those previous four posts have been setting up the background for our answer to Question 1 of the four essential questions for a PLC: what do we want students to learn/know/be able to do? The answer that our K-12 music teachers came up with during the 2011-2012 school year was the following: Continue reading “A Standards-Referenced Instrumental Music Program: Prioritizing Standards”

Iowa Fine Arts Standards Adoption

As I updated in a previous blog post, the Iowa Department of Education announced a team to develop fine arts standards for schools. This Fine Arts Standards Adoption Team has been meeting almost monthly to:

  1. Examine all relevant Fine Arts Standards
  2. Create and/or recommend statewide recommended Fine Arts Standards in Visual Arts, General Music, Instrumental Music, Vocal Music, Theater, Dance, and Media Arts.
  3. Write recommendations about implementation of the standards through
    1. Professional learning
    2. Materials and resources
  4. Offer final recommendations to the State Board of Education

More recently, they put out a call for feedback from teachers, administrators, community members, and students on the National Core Arts Standards. Continue reading “Iowa Fine Arts Standards Adoption”

A Standards-Referenced Instrumental Music Program: Ankeny’s 2012-2013 Standards

On October 23, 2016, I began a blog post trying to collect my thoughts around our work in standards over the past four years. As I have organized (and reorganized) those thoughts, the post has evolved into plans for a presentation at the 2017 Iowa Bandmasters Association conference as well as a companion website of “how” we did our work in standards. This is the fourth in a series of posts detailing the “how.” The first three posts detail our district’s process for curriculum review and looking at the Iowa Core Curriculum, and looking at national and state music standards.

During the 2011-2012 school year, every K-12 music teacher in Ankeny went through the curriculum review process. Unfortunately for me, I was not yet a member of the team! Here is what I know: Continue reading “A Standards-Referenced Instrumental Music Program: Ankeny’s 2012-2013 Standards”

To my Republican Legislators and Friends

Dear Representatives Koester and Landin,
Dear Senator Whitver and Governer Branstad,
Dear Representative Deyoe and Senator Schultz,
Dear Iowa friends who voted for Republican state legislators in this past election,

I am writing to ask a simple question: why? What is it that we did to make you want to propose the changes you did to collective bargaining? Continue reading “To my Republican Legislators and Friends”

A Standards-Referenced Instrumental Music Program: Music Standards

On October 23, I began a blog post trying to collect my thoughts around our work in standards over the past four years. As I have organized (and reorganized) those thoughts, the post has evolved into plans for a presentation at the 2017 Iowa Bandmasters Association conference as well as a companion website of “how” we did our work in standards. This is the third in a series of posts detailing the “how.” The first two post detail our district’s process for curriculum review and looking at the Iowa Core Curriculum.

In 1994, the then Music Educators National Conference (MENC), adopted the following music content standards (numbers) and achievement standards (letters) Continue reading “A Standards-Referenced Instrumental Music Program: Music Standards”

A Standards-Referenced Instrumental Music Program: Iowa Core

On October 23, I began a blog post trying to collect my thoughts around our work in standards over the past four years. As I have organized (and reorganized) those thoughts, the post has evolved into plans for a presentation at the 2017 Iowa Bandmasters Association conference as well as a companion website of “how” we did our work in standards. This is the second in a series of posts detailing the “how.” The first post details our district’s process for curriculum review. Continue reading “A Standards-Referenced Instrumental Music Program: Iowa Core”