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Starter/ plenary help!!

Discussion in 'Music' started by ellbee, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. ellbee

    ellbee New commenter

    Hi all
    I was wondering if people would be able to help me with good, engaging and appropriate starter/ plenary activities.
    I am the sole music teacher in my school and have been told I need to work on these but there is no-one to really help me with this!
    I have an interactive whiteboard and do have some resources but being the only teacher music teacher, runing lunchtime and after school activities, I really struggle for time and sanity sometimes and often wonder if what I'm doing is ok! But I have been assured it is but if anyone is willing to share any of the starter/ plenary activities they have used and are good then I would be really grateful.

  2. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    There are music starters in the resources section of the TES website, and I recall that Rob Steadman (are we now allowed to mention his name?) had a set published in Classroom Music a few years ago. Also, Googling for "Music starter activities" will come up with many suggestions.
    However (and I could be totally wrong), I thought that the starter should relate to the lesson (ideally picking-up from the previous lesson) and that the plenary should tie-together what has been learnt in the lesson it follows. If that is the case, it would be difficult to recommend a selection of such activities without knowing what it is you are teaching.
    I have to admit that at my age I know very little about such jargon as starters and plenaries. All I know is that it was always considered best practice to start a lesson with a short session for everyone (which we called a warm-up back in the 1960s) that led into the main part of the lesson, and that the last five minutes should consist of a rounding-up of what had been covered (called a summary, again involving everyone, often in a question-and-answer style).
    Is that what is meant by a starter and a plenary? If so, I expect that lots of educationalists have won plaudits, promotion and probably cash, for devising special terms for what has just been standard classroom practice for generations. But maybe I've missed some special nuance ...
  3. trelassick

    trelassick New commenter

    They may have even had charge of a budget of £70K - not standard classroom practice I can tell you!
  4. Do you have a class set of mini whiteboards? They are great for doing quick listening tasks, involving everyone in Q+A, involving all pupils in making assessments of each other's work, quick write downs of lists etc.
    A few ideas - related youtube clip plus questions to be answered on whiteboards, a card sort task, key word definitions, rhythm/song activity linked to unit of work.
    I don't always do a starter, if the class are in the middle of a group performance task they come in and get straight on with the task we then stop about 15 minutes in for a mini plenary and share. What I do at the start also depends when the lesson is - if it is after a break/lunch when all pupils will arrive together or at change of lessons when they could take up to 15 minutes to arrive (we don't have bells). I always try to have music playing when they come in that is linked to the unit they are doing and often have a rolling power point with the instructions for the start of the lesson on it.
    Would it be possible to record work at the start of the lesson/project and then again later - the plenary could be based on identifying the difference/progress made. Depending what you have been working on the plenary could be the whole class performing together or a couple of groups/people sharing their work for feedback from the others.

    These are just a few ideas - hope they help.
  5. linber

    linber New commenter

    My school is having a big drive on AfL at present. We've been told to write the learning objective as a question, such as "How can you compose music in binary form that reflects opposites?"; the pupils then answer this question in the plenary, thus demonstrating they've achieved the lesson objective.

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