Tuesday, April 8, 2014


I believe I am moving towards my teacher evaluation goal of improving technique and improving sight-reading.

I have data of students using Smartmusic and I have been scoring a rubric at least twice per marking period.  In general, I think the data is valid.  At least the trends seem to be correct.  I also notice we are reading much better in class.  About twenty percent of kids are nailing it, and about twenty percent of kids are completely lost.  When we do things in class I think many of those "lost" kids are finding their way.

Does anyone know of a "valid" data device for sight-reading?  Reading teachers have the DRA or similar tests.  Do we have one for band/choir?

Thursday, April 3, 2014


I have written before about grades.  Our faculty is currently struggling with what a grade means.  Is it a measure of mastery, compliance, or behavior?

I would love a system that did away with grades all together.  I do not feel the grade is a measure of our learning.  This fall I did a badge system in freshman seminar and did not grades.  I'm not convinced that system is any better.  While it removed grades as a "carrot/stick" it really just replaced it with badges.

If you have a grading theory that you like please post a link.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hip Hop Project


1. Creating a youTube "Favorites" playlist.
  • Sign in to youtube using your google/youtube account.  If you do not have an account (most of you do) then create one.  Remember to sign out at end of class!!!!
  • Create a playlist called "Hip-Hop Favorites".  To create a new playlist click the share button on the video and "Create New Playlist".  Once you create playlist you will use same button to just add videos to it.
  • You can only include TEN videos in playlist.  These will be your TEN FAVORITE hip hop songs.  Not nine, not eight, not eleven.  Ten.
  • Try to include songs that are creative enough that they aren't one long swear word marathon.
  • Share playlist with class through Edmodo.
  • Sign out of youtube!!

2. Create a flow chart of one of the following classic hip-hop tunes.  Most of you will use pencil/paper to do this.  Some of these are LONG.  You don't have to flow chart the entire song.  Check with me as you create.  Its fine to work with a partner as long as you both work.
  • "Rapper's Delight" - Sugar Hill Gang
  • "The Message" - Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
  • "Wild Wild West" - Kool Moe Dee
  • "Fight for Your Rght" - Beastie Boys
  • "Can I Kick It?" - A Tribe Called Quest
  • "King of Rock" - Run DMC

3. Watch one of the following hip hop movies.  Please realize there are some "bad words" in these movies. When done write a short reflection about the movie in an edmodo note to the class.
  • "Style Wars".  This is a very important documentary.  You will see a lot of important artists when they were very young.  It was made in 1982 so the styles are different.  You will learn a lot about teenagers and their music.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ynCdOL5cEE
  • "Scratch". Documentary about early hip hop history and DJing.  Some of these people became very famous, some are "behind the scenes".  Hip hop started with DJs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj1r6u8zLPo&list=PLF402F5CD509B806E&index=1
  • "The Art of the 16 Bars".  This movie is more for the hard core.  It is easy to follow but they go deep into the art of the rhyme and analysis of the MC.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY1AGiTERG0

Optional/Choice (must do at least one):

1. Add a rhyme to your soundcloud account.  
2. Create a graffiti tag portfolio using the iPad and your evernote account.
3. Make a "how to" video to post to youtube of one of the following:
  • Hip hop dance moves.
  • How to draw your name hip hop style.
  • How to use garageband to create a recording.
4. Create something (hip-hop style) really cool and share it with the class.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Seussical Reflections

My goals for doing Seussical, Jr, our first production at SHS:

  • Don't lose money.
  • Have fun.
  • Make it look professional.
I think we were successful on all fronts.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I'm three days from being done with directing my first school play.  Oy...

It has really come together, but getting across the finish line is worrisome.  I have 2-3 students I am worried about, I need nobody to get sick, and I need everyone to be on point.

None of these kids have done a play so its really hard to know if they will rise to the challenge when there is a full house.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I'm Back in the Game!

Thanks to my twitter friend Chris Russell and Vicki Davis we got the attention of the twitter CEO

Today I got a call from a nice fellow named Desmond who was happy to verify my account and get everything solved.  He sent me a password reset.

So now I am @brandtschneider and @schneiderbrandt.  Not sure where this will go from here.  I do know that I am definitely getting slammed by the hackers lately.  I know my Pinterest page was hit.

Thanks to all for your support!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Drum Line in Band

I have a small, but growing HS band.  12 kids.  Eight of these kids are freshman and they play roughly Level 1.5 or so.  Needless to say this year is a lot of teaching.  C does not equal C# type of stuff.

We have been doing a drumline unit using very easy drum cadences.  I am rotating the kids each day (bass to snare, etc...) and we spend about 30 minutes each day.  This was the second or third day.

I am hoping it is a good way to get the kids excited about rhythm and reading.  I am trying real, real, hard to get them to count out loud.