Mid-August has rolled around like it always will, and I’m torn between “Can’t wait!” and “Don’t wanna!” like we all are. This past year I’ve taken on our school district website and half of our social media, worked through a live, real time website template change and all my usual duties. I could use another two weeks but I know seeing students in the classroom is going to energize me like nothing else. Therefore I keep my eyes on the prize and dive headlong into lesson planning for the coming year.
Like many of you I have included a brief listening component in my K-5 lessons. For grades 2-5 this involves listening to a selected piece then having either a brief question and answer session for grades 2-3, or a short class discussion on prompts for grades 4-5. The first problem I had was my music selection was always just too long! I did what anyone would; try to move that little slider around to accommodate my questions/discussion. That took my attention off the students for too long (and you K-5 people KNOW that 3 seconds can be just too long on most days). The flow of the lesson was ruined and that just won’t do. Making shorter clips of just the sections I wanted was the only answer. Now this involved exporting the song to GarageBand or Audacity, cutting the clips and saving. Cumbersome and a time suck, but much better than ruining that lesson flow. This was the solution I found and I’ve used it for three years. Three long years.
About two weeks ago I was fooling around with my phone and decided it was time for a new ringtone. Seven years was long enough for my Doctor Who theme, although in my defense I seldom have my phone off vibrate. I had the perfect song in iTunes but how do I turn it into a ringtone? Google is our best friend! A search turned up this article that was exactly what I needed. I worked through step 2 and my brain came to full stop. The short file I just created did not affect my original iTunes file. I could use this to create as many short clips I wanted from the original file, and I didn’t have to convert to an AAC version. Mind. Blown. I finished my ringtone then zipped over to my lesson plans and began to create short clips directly in iTunes. This was so easy! After I make my clips I just put them in my grade level playlists as needed and I’m all ready to go.
Next week I’ll be using my clips for the first time and I can’t wait. I’m still kicking myself a bit for not finding a solution to this sooner, but better late than never. You just can’t tell where a little thing like changing up your ringtone might lead you.