Walking This Way

What Do You See?
What Can You See?

It’s been a great teaching and learning year. As I look ahead, there are just 5 more weeks of school; I can’t help but reflect on my experiences.

A New Beginning

I became the chair of our school’s technology department in addition to being a chair of the music department at the beginning of this school year. I wasn’t sure how it was going to unfold or how I would feel about heading up another department. I have always been passionate about tech in teaching, but have not thought about using this passion for my career. I have to admit: I’m really enjoying it! Some things I have learned are:

  • I enjoy working with teachers and helping them to build their tech skills
  • I enjoy conversations about instructional tech with my team and the admins
  • I enjoy exploring tech ideas and writing out details to implement them. Participating in #edtechchat  & #digcit chats several times have been great to connect to other edtech PLN!

My team and I have initiated the following this year:

  • Compiled and implemented 3rd-8th Digital Citizenship and Literacy Curriculum
  • Hosted Parent Coffee to have conversations about the digital world and students
  • Send out Tech Tip Tuesday resources out to staff and curate them on 9 Flipboards
  • Help each other to keep learning

And I am glad that I teach music during the day because my students keep me curious and creative. Although there are many things I don’t know yet and will need to learn, it’s been a great learning journey! I’m grateful for this opportunity!

GIVING PROPS

Beautiful {Re}purpose
Beautiful {Re}Purposed PIANO. Photo by @Doremigirl

Isn’t this beautiful? We had a baby grand in our department, which was not repairable. I hate throwing instruments away so I looked up on Pinterest if we could repurpose this piano. Lo and behold, I found some images and asked Greg, a groundsman/maintenance, and all-around hardworking friend, if he had any idea what we can do to make bookshelves out of this old piano. Greg graciously took on this project on and used whatever free time he had to work on this beautiful bookshelf. This beautiful bookshelf is in the main hall and will hold arts books for our students to read. Thank you Greg, for this labor of love! It is so inspiring. Our community will enjoy this art piece for a very long time!


AnnieOur Middle School musical was Annie Jr. We had a wonderful group of students who exhibited perseverance and creativity in their acting and singing. I am always amazed at the help given to us by parents, teachers, and other non-musical students for costumes, set design, and backstage help. It was a great way for the community to come together and put on a great show. Excellent job by all! This picture is of our Annie, one of my students named Erica. She will be graduating this June. She is a sweet, intelligent, and humble young lady whom I have had the pleasure of knowing for nine years. She and her classmates will be graduating this June. The commencement will be bittersweet as we send them on their new journey!


On Thursday, April 17th, our Middle School Choir was invited to sing the National Anthem at the Citizens Bank Park! The Phillies were playing against the Atlanta Braves; my students were nervous, but did a good job singing and representing our school. The choir prepared well and adjusted pretty well to the echoey stadium. It was a great day for us! You can watch the video here. (WP won’t let me embed iFrame code 🙂

MS Choir @Phillies Game. Photo by Heddy Bergsman
MS Choir @Phillies Game.
Photo by Heddy Bergsman
The Phillies Win! Photo by @Doremigirl
The Phillies Win! Photo by @Doremigirl

And each year, the second grade class performs a little musical production. This year, the production was inspired by Eric Carle’s picture book, I See A Song”. I will blog about this amazingly fun and collaborative project  later– I just wanted to post this picture of my students singing their song yesterday. I love their spirit –they have taught me so much through the way they saw songs around them. I promise to post how this project came about and share my project with you. Here are my students performing on Friday, April 25th.

I See A Song! Photo by @Doremigirl
I See A Song!
Photo by @Doremigirl

Blip Update (Daily photo + Music Project) So far, I have 115 Blip entries and haven’t missed a day! All the images above, except the choir singing directed by me, are my photos. It’s been really fun and rewarding to keep this project going; I am learning to use different lenses and compose my shots a bit better. Starting this project with my husband on January 1st was a fine idea! So can you scroll up to the first photo you saw at the top of this post? What do you see?  Sometimes, things look and feel messy, out-of-order, and downright chaotic, just like the ink settling in the vase. What I have learned is that pulling back and being still at crazy times helps me to refocus and see things more clearly. The first photo is a picture I took for a MonoMonday challenge. I decided to experiment with ink and water. Can you see a face? I know what face I see. Who do you see — Mark Twain or Evard Grieg, or someone else? I hope your school year is full great memories and challenges that made you grow. Until next time, @Doremigirl

Sounds of Music #3

kids-singing-christmas-carols

My PreK students came to class this morning; yesterday was their PreK Holiday Sing! Program

17 adorable, cherubs sang their hearts out yesterday, melting all the hearts of the audience members. Grandparents and parents made up most of the audience ;-), but the PreK’s buddies (the Fourth Grade class), the Eighth Grade class, and other teachers came to show their love also.

So when the PreK students walked into class today, I greeted them and because I’m a curious cat, I told them when I sing each student by name, they should sing back, “Yes, Mrs. Lim” and say what their favorite part was from the program. (I was expecting things like seeing their parents, siblings or buddies).

So I sang, “Hello, G________, ” and the student sang back (with the cutest and beautiful voice), “Yes, Mrs. Lim.”

He said,

“My favorite part from yesterday was that you were there.”

Sweetness! There is nothing better than this kind of love I receive from my youngest students.

We all hugged. And I told them they were my favorite part of yesterday.

Kindness and mindfulness. I learn a lot from my students!

Happy 12th day of December!

So I sing on!

~@Doremigirl

App Love: Spotify Radio

I love searching for songs and recordings on Spotify, everyday. Although I only signed up for its basic (free) membership, I’m able to enjoy millions of streaming tracks and organize my favorite tracks into playlists. When the Spotify mobile app came out, I downloaded it to my phone without hesitation.

But I deleted the app just as fast because the app only worked with paid membership :-).

Spotify sent out emails to users on Wednesday, June 20th with the heading: 

What it is: IT’S REALLY SIMPLE

Spotify Radio is a Pandora-like feature  that allows the listener to choose a genre (or style of a specific singer/band). You can build your radio station by giving Spotify’s music pick a ‘thumbs up/down’. This is screenshot of a Blues selection – Muddy Waters(!) – before I liked it:

Each ‘liked’ song is saved as a playlist file (i.e.‘Liked from Radio’) and easily accesible. If you don’t like the song Spotify has picked for you, it lets you skip up to 6 songs per hour. Pretty reasonable, I say.

This app was terrific to use when I was stuck in traffic yesterday. I listened to many more artists and recordings than I had in my mobile music collection. I enjoyed recordings of familiar artists like Sir Neville Marriner, John Mayer, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. And listening to Friendly Fires, Calla, Dropkick Murphys, and Rumer for the first time was just fun.

A few caveats: 

1. All kinds of ads can be heard a few times during your listening period. If you’re connected to your car audio through Bluetooth, or using the speaker on your device,  just know that your kids can hear these, too. Some ads are just for adults.

2. Since it’s not a regular FM/AM radio, there are explicit songs.

3. Spotify Mobile Radio feature is just for iOS right now. Android users, just wait a little longer.

Family Idea: Listen to music together 

Make music listening a part of your family’s summer. If you have younger kids, choose  a genre you want to listen with your kids and listen to new songs with them. If you have a preteen or a teenager, it might be fun to take turns picking new genre of music to listen together. As I mentioned earlier, there are many explicit songs in the database so pick more family friendly genres. For example, ‘Soul’ would have less explicit songs than ‘Hip-hop’ (although the topics that the songs from either of these genres might be equally adult-ish!). You, the adult, can decide what would make sense for your family.

As a test, I gave my phone to my 13-year old daughter. She naturally turned to ‘Alternative’. It was funny that the first song we listened to on this app was Ed Sheeran’s Lego House. This song happens to be one of her favorites so she was happy. She was also quick, though, to point out that Ed Sheeran should be classified under ‘Singer-Songwriter’, not ‘Alternative’. We listened to other genres, including the ‘Blues’ which she thought was cool. I loved spending our car ride talking about music.

I recommend it! Try Spotify Radio & experience more music! ~Yoon

If you like: Read my NPR Music App review.

Previous Post

Instant Isaac of J2LComics gets a review from @dougpete!

What an honor!

doug --- off the record

I really like it when an idea takes off.  I also like it when students find a way to showcase their talents and abilities.  There was a convergence of these recently.

Without a doubt, the best takeaway for me from the ISTE Conference in Philadelphia was a chance to meet Yoon Soo Lim (@doremigirl) in person.  It’s one thing to have a friendship courtesy of social media but being able to meet that person face to face certainly puts it over the top.  Since our original meeting there, we have managed to stay in touch.

Recently, we were chatting about our kids and one of the things that came across was the love for creating comics that her son had developed.  It was more than just the type of comic that we see created via electronic media; he drew them by hand.  That makes it extra special.  In…

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Here’s Isaac!

Today, I’m writing a short post as a mom.

Our son Joshua (11-year-old) loved to draw ever since he was able to hold a pencil in his tiny hand. He was also a very early reader, just like his older sister. He spent many hours drawing or reading by himself. We were happy watching him act out scenes from favorite stories…

He is a fun, creative, and happy boy 🙂

Today, my husband and I started a comic blog for Joshua. We’d love for you or your students to check out his comic, Instant Isaac. We have fallen in love with Isaac, a 12-year-old who is fun and innocent. We love seeing life through this quirky boy. I hope you will get a chance to take a look at the first post Instant Isaac 1 and share it with your students. If you’d like to know a bit more about Joshua, check out his ‘about me’ page where he wrote a short introduction about himself.

I’m grateful for school art teachers, Ms. Venueza, Mrs. Schmidt and Mr. Thomas who encourage our son to pursue his passion! And I owe a huge thanks to my friend, Doug Peterson, who suggested that we start a blog for Joshua. Thank you, Doug!

Here’s to a great journey for Joshua and Isaac. Tune in every Sunday evening for a new strip!

~Yoon