Our very own, Mrs. Carr, is featured in a Palen Music Center article.
Creating Meaningful Learning Experiences
by Jennifer Carr
One of my mantras as a rural school educator has always been that every student in Kingsville deserves the same opportunities and education as a student in a 5A school, and what I've come to learn over the many years of creating this world-class education is that my students don't deserve the same opportunities, they deserve opportunities which will bring them the most impact and meaning. This usually does not equate to sameness, but rather to more connections. I have practiced this through communication with homeroom teachers to try and integrate fractions into note duration instruction, making it meaningful in both classrooms, or discussing music history as it relates to government class, giving students context in their learning through the arts. My most recent attempt at this integration was through our interactive lesson over Darklands Symphony.
The high school band played Darklands March last year for contest and fell in love with the piece. They were intrigued that Randall Standridge, the composer, was also a short story author and was busy composing an entire symphony based on the richly produced setting of the Darklands. The Darklands Symphony is made up of 3 separate pieces: Darklands March, Darklands Legends, and DarkHeart (Escape from DarkHeart Castle). My band students were over the moon with excitement when I handed out the pieces. They could not wait to explore the characters, setting, and story of the Darklands through music. Mr. Standridge has outdone himself in these creative, engaging teaching pieces. I was able to address style, dynamics, articulations, balance, and countless other musical moments while the students were enjoying every minute.
Since the students had invested so much time in the Darklands I wanted to make sure they had an opportunity to perform it for an audience. The music doesn't really fit in well for a winter holiday concert, so I created a separate event for the students to perform. Halloween was a perfect day to be able to play for our fourth through eighth grade students. We invited parents and community to come to the performance as well. High school students were given permission to dress as characters from Darklands and we were all set to play the symphony for our other classes and integrate some literacy instruction throughout. I set up a google classroom for 4-6 grades, and another for 7-8 grades. Google Classroom is an excellent online learning environment where teachers can post assignments, videos, and have class discussion all online. Teachers were provided with prompts and questions written by the high school band concerning musical elements, literary elements, and how these two things came together to create a more powerful experience. Classroom teachers moderated the conversations live with the 4-8 grade students while I conducted the high school band. Students listened to the music with open laptops and responded to the prompts online in real time.
The students loved the opportunity to play for the younger kids, and since we are a smaller school district this scheduling worked out perfectly. The administration was very supportive getting the day set up and allowing students to be a part of this interactive listening lesson on an already spooky Halloween day. Sometimes it seems as if incorporating other subjects into ours is taking away from the importance of the art, however I would argue that the more integrated our subjects become for our students, the more important and memorable they become. I know it seems impossible sometimes to create these opportunities, but I've found that the key to making learning make sense in a smaller school is to find a way that works best for your size school; not to try and make a larger school activity fit into a small school budget and schedule. This will save you headache, tears, and give you time to actually invest in the meaningful learning that will take place in your small school.
Jennifer (Jen) Carr has been teaching K-12 Music at Kingsville School District since graduating from Central Methodist University in 2004. Since that time the music department has grown and the band program has become successful. Routinely bringing home trophies, the Kingsville Tiger Band has become a point of community pride, recently being awarded the American Graduate Award from KMOS TV station. The Kingsville Tiger Band includes 9-12 grade students and is 25 members strong. Mrs. Carr also teaches elementary bands, junior high band, and general music to all grade levels. Mrs. Carr is the past president of the Missouri Woman Band Director's Association, a member of MBA, MMEA, and MNEA.
Mon. November 20
L-Chicken patty, cheesy potatoes, green beans, applesauce
Tue. November 21
L-BBQ pulled pork, tater tots, broccoli, pineapple tidbits
Wed. November 22
Thur. November 23
Fri. November 24
Mon. November 27
The Media Release Form has changed this year. Parents need to specify in writing if they prefer that their student(s) not participate in video/photographic activities, have their student information released as part of “directory information”, participate in internet instructional activities (policies in handbook), and/or have their awards, honors, work, and photographs submitted to the media such as the newspaper, school website and Facebook page, etc. A complete copy of the Board Policies and Regulations is available for examination in the Superintendent’s office. If you have any questions please contact the building administrator.
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"The mission of the Kingsville R-1 School District is to provide all students the opportunity to gain knowledge, explore a variety of educational pursuits, and obtain the skills necessary for success in a global society."
Kingsville R-I School District
101 E Adriatic Street
Kingsville, MO 64061
Lorna Warren, Superintendent Brian Linquist, Principal Deanna Jurkowski, Asst. Principal