The Friday Five: Music & Culture

With all of us being home during the day, things are moving, but in the evenings, it has been more important to me than ever to have music playing. As music is such an amazing support for the mind and spirit, today’s Friday Five focuses on some great music and music education resources.

  1. Even though live concerts are canceled through May 10, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra offers an amazing collection of audio and video concerts and is live streaming some amazing pieces on Fridays and Saturdays through April.
  2. The Metropolitan Opera is streaming a free series of Live in HD presentations of special performances recorded over the past 14 years. A pretty awesome lineup!
  3. The Grammy Museum offers some amazing mini-lessons for a variety of ages, including drawing to music for K-5, music of the American Civil Rights Movement for grades 4-12, electronic music production and more. They are also putting exhibits from their archives on their website each Friday during this COVID closure, and have recordings with musicians and industry professionals posted.
  4. The Minnesota Orchestra has created a “Minnesota Orchestra at Home” with a “Watch, Listen, Learn” focus. From 2- minute classical music breaks and small concerts from musicians in their homes to an animated film for children, “Perfect Square,” there are some great resources here for sure.
  5. Finally, the New York Philharmonic has a fun Kidzone! Online Learning, a launching point from which visitors to virtually go backstage with the orchestra, learn about the instruments, complete virtual puzzles and quizzes, composers, make their own music, connect with recorded Young People’s Concerts, play games, and more. Take time to click around, the concerts and games are engaging. (Note, some but not all of the Kidzone features require Flash.)

Clearly these are only five of the many resources out there supporting music education. Even if your favorite musical organization doesn’t normally have materials on their website, it is worth checking out again as they may be doing some special digital programming during this COVID time.

Play on!

The Friday Five: Fun & Games!

Maybe it will be a five minute video, five resources, or something else that fits with five, but this week, the Friday Five is back. With the shift for so many to distance learning or physically distancing (hopefully sill finding ways to be social from 6+ feet away), it is important to find ways to still have fun! With that in mind here are five resources focusing on gamification, gaming, and some fun with learning. Cheers to Friday and having some fun!

Jeopardy Labs has been a favorite of mine for a long time. Great for teams as it can keep score, Jeopardy Labs supports synchronous group or solo play and could be fun in a virtual meeting or class.

Wisc-Online’s Game Builder offers 20 different game templates for creators to start from, and their “Arcade” has many games created by the community, organized by subject.

PurposeGames has pre-made games but also has seven different types of games/quizzes users can create (including a favorite of mine, the image quiz!)

If you have a little more time, creating a Digital Breakout can be fun and a good challenge for students, even to solve virtually! The grad students I taught last fall had a blast the night we featured a Digital Breakout during our small group time! BreakoutEDU has a game template to get started, but Tom Mullaney created a great template and a Google Search for “Breakout with Google Sites and Forms” will result in more examples, print instructions, and video tutorials.

Finally, it seems to be remiss to not remind, we can always see if we can travel back in time and survive the (virtual) Oregon Trail! Even the high school students I know have lost themselves in this one for a while.

Remember stay safe, and caulk the wagon!

Spontaneous Song in US Government

It was a first. We were working quietly in the computer lab on Friday afternoon, well, that wasn’t the first time I had ever experienced quiet in the lab, but then…  One of my students had a YouTube music stream playing quietly in the background. Nobody was really paying attention, or so I thought, and then, spontaneous song. Jamming, grooving, and singing. A strong majority of my students. Sort of like an audio flash mob. It was a great way to end a day, and the week for that matter.  The song?  Rolling in the Deep, of course.

One of my students said, “I sort of want to take out my phone and get a video of this one.”  It really was great.

YouTube, where would we be without you?

The Friday Five: Food Safety

This Friday Five is dedicated to an important cause, food safety. (I was reminded of its importance late last week, I wish the restaurant that made the Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich I ordered investigated some of these resources. Perhaps I would have been able to blog sooner this week! :P) But I digress. Every FACS/food class and many health classes focus on food safety and food preparation safety. These free resources could easily come in handy either as individual assignments to explore, or in some cases, as resources to share and explore collectively.

Number 1: From Canada, this CBC Marketplace place resource has an interactive investigation of a coffee shop and key points to food prep safety consumers can watch for in any fast food place. This interactive also has links to  additional resources about food poisoning, news reports, and eighteen more pieces on food safety, some with videos.

Number 2:  Food Safety Mobile Game from the USDA. The USDA’s flash game has safety tips and questions on how to handle food safely with a focus on fighting “BAC” (bacteria).  The Food Safety Mobile Game would be great for elementary and younger middle school-aged students, though a high school student might enjoy it too (if no-one is looking).

Number 3 (probably my favorite): Food Safety Music from the University of California. 27 “downloadable” songs parody mainstream songs and all focus on food safety. The songs also have PowerPoint slide presentations with accompanying lyrics and clip-art, lyric files, Flash animations and in some cases concert footage. Pretty fun, really, check it out!

Number 4:  Food Hygiene Mission Control, an interactive series of quizzes, games and information aimed at young people ages 7-14 and their teachers/parents. The teacher resources includes two printable activities, a glossary, and links to more resources.

Number 5: From the American Museum of Natural History, the interactive “magazine” Infection Protection Detection. With articles, a game on cafeteria bacteria, an introduction to scientists in this field, links to related content on the web and more, the American Museum of Natural History created a user-friendly resource for students through at least grade 8.

And just for good measure, number 6: Curriculum on food safety for all grade levels. For K-3, a script for a skit on food safety, ideas for storytelling and other lessons focusing on food safety. For grades 4-8, experiments, games and activities focusing on fighting bacteria and food illnesses. And for grades 9-12, a link to the USDA’s food safety program for high school students including a free curriculum kit with video, teachers guide and lessons for the classroom.

Happy Friday and here’s to healthy, enjoyable dining! 🙂