Saturday, September 28, 2013

5 Favorite Pins of September

1.  Pass the Pumpkin

I pinned this video by Kristin Lukow earlier in the month.  I can't wait to try this out with my own kids.

2.  Monarch Butterfly Tutorial

I'm going to need a set of these later in the year.

3.  Halloween Vocal Exploration Cards
These are too cute.  I've been doing vocal exploration cards with my K kids at the beginning of every class.  These would be perfect for the next rotation!

4.  Elements of Music Videos
This site has some cool videos.  I haven't watched all the way through yet but from what I've seen they seem like a great resource.

5.  Every bird...
Isn't this just beautiful?  I may have to recreate this sometime.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Freebie Friday Linky Party: Learning Goals

One of my more popular posts has been about my common board configuration.  While I've loved how this set up has work for me, it's not always ideal.  For instance when your printer is down!  I found myself in that exact situation at the beginning of my last rotation.  While I could have taken the time to hand write out every single goal and list of vocabulary words by hand, I thought there had to be a better way. After talking to a teammate, I found that she was using PowerPoint.  I loved the idea, so I created this....

I've uploaded this template to the Freebies section of my blog.  If you want the cute font I used you will have to download it from Fonts Bucket.  It's called Cheekaw.

Have you found a great Freebie online or have you shared one of your own?  Link up and share.  
Here's how:

1.  Create a post about at least one Freebie you have created and are sharing or a Freebie you have found on the web.  Make sure to include information about where the resource can be downloaded.

2.  Include the Freebie Friday Linky Party image in your post.

3.  Click the link below to Link Up!

(Please let me know if you are having trouble linking up.  Since I posted so late today the link up should remain open until 1:00pm tomorrow.)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Audience Behavior

As I prepare my students to attend our music field trips (Ballet/Orchestra) I'm constantly thinking about audience behavior and how to help students understand the importance of their role as an audience member.  A few years ago, I created an activity to help with this.  We do this before talking about the role of an audience member so that students can truly discover what it's like to be part of a performance where the audience is acting poorly.

Behavior Cards (Freebie)
Observation Sheets (Freebie)

  • Handout observation sheets, clipboards and pencils.
  • Divide class into 3 groups (Audience, Chorus, Observers) and send to select spots in the room. Chorus to performance area, audience to.....
  • Each group has a role to perform.
    • Observers - sit and watch the audience and note positive and negative behaviors they see during the performance.
    • Chorus - this group performs the Star Spangled Banner or the sing-a-long piece for the Young People's Concert.  I like to use the Star Spangled Banner because it offers another aspect of audience behavior to look at, plus it's practice for our trip.
    • Audience - the audience members are given behavior cards to perform during the performance.

  • After assigning each part, have the chorus and audience perform their roles.  After the performance observers should quickly jot down what they see.  Repeat so that students get to experience each role.  
  • After completing the activity, have students write down how it felt to be a performer when the audience wasn't using their best behavior.
  • Discuss what is/is not proper audience behavior.
This activity usually takes around 20 minutes but it is worth the time.  I usually do this with 2nd and 3rd grade before their trips.  It does tend to get a bit loud because the kids get a big kick out of the poor audience behavior but if you set it up well things should run smoothly.

These two documents have been added to the Freebies section.  Speaking of Freebies, I've decided that Freebie Friday will be bi-weekly, so this Friday is the second Freebie Friday Linky Party.  Here's what you need to do to link up:

1.  Create a post about at least one Freebie you have created and are sharing or a Freebie you have found on the web.  Make sure to include information about where the resource can be downloaded.

2.  Include the Freebie Friday Linky Party image in your post.

3.  Stop back on Friday to Link up!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

2/4 Tuesday: Web Resources

Here are two web resources I'm using in my classroom.


I just love the free fonts on this website, they bring a little fun to the documents I'm working on.  They are easy to download, unzip and install.

2.  How to safely share YouTube videos.

A few months ago a fellow music educator blogged about how to safely share YouTube videos. Unfortunately I cannot figure out which blog I read it on, or find the pin (sorry!).  If it was you, please send me the link, I'd like to give you credit.

Since I couldn't find the original article, I went in search of an option that blocked ads, comments and the like.  The solution I found,!  This site will generate a safe link for any YouTube video you are trying to share with your students.  Here are samples of the before and after.


See no ads or comments.  Much better because you just never
know what will be there.

To use:
Copy the link to a YouTube video.
Paste it in the bar on and click generate link.
Click on your safe link to open the video.
Preview the video, just to be on the safe side.
Share with students.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Manipulatives: Dynamics Cards

I'm loving all these linky parties, such a great way to share with other music educators!  Monday Music Manipulatives is hosted by Lindsay Jervis at the Pursuit of Joyfulness.

This manipulative is one that I created recently to help prepare my 3rd - 5th graders for our trip to see the orchestra.  They aren't cute or fancy but they get the job done (maybe I'll turn them into something cute soon, stay tuned!).  

They are dynamic cards.  Right now I've only created Piano and Forte because that's what I needed but I plan to add more soon.  I've uploaded the file to my Freebies section.

These are great for the kids to hold one in each hand while they listen to a piece for the first time.  My kiddos actually figured out that if they use their paper clip to hold the cards back to back they could just flip them to show the dynamic changes.

Friday, September 13, 2013

First Ever Freebie Friday Linky Party

Welcome to my first Freebie Friday Linky party.  The Freebie I've decided to share this week is something you can use in your classroom very soon.  They are Halloween movement cards from Oopsey Daisy. Download them here.
The links to the downloads are at the bottom of the post and I had better luck with the second link. You have to scroll way down to the bottom of the packet before you get to the movement cards. I've printed mine in black and white and I think I'm going to copy them onto colored card stock but you could very easily print yours in color.

These would be great to use along with spooky pieces or as a beat leader project with the little ones.  I'm already brainstorming.  For more movement ideas, follow my Movement board on Pinterest.

Have you found a great Freebie online or have you shared one of your own?  Link up and share.  
Here's how:

1.  Create a post about at least one Freebie you have created and are sharing or a Freebie you have found on the web.  Make sure to include information about where the resource can be downloaded.

2.  Include the Freebie Friday Linky Party image in your post.

3.  Click the link below to Link Up!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

2/4 Tuesday: Clapping the Right Way and Accommodations

I'm a bit late but better late than never!

1.  Clapping the right way!

A few years ago when I was taking my Orff Level II, a colleague mentioned how important she thought it was to teach kids to clap the right way.  And after a few minutes of pondering this idea, I couldn't agree more!  You may notice that the little ones tend to move both hands toward one another instead of keeping one hand still and clapping into the palm of that hand with their other.  It was one of those "Duh!" moments.  I'd never heard anyone else mention it before.  

This year I decided to include this in our beginning of the year lesson.  We talked about how to clap and how to pat.  I don't know about your kiddos but mine love to slap their knees when they pat. While I've talked about this in years past I made it a point to start a habit from the get go this year.  I'm hoping that it will keep me from having to revisit this later in the year.

2.  Color Coding

This year our principal has asked special areas to include a list of students who receive accommodations in every lesson plan.  Well, at my school that's a whole lot of names.  To make sure that I am aware of these little ones who need accommodations, I've decided to color code my seating charts.  I think it will help me more so than having it in my lesson plan (although I will be doing that as well).

I've decided to use these colors:
Red = 504
Green = ESE/ESE Speech
Yellow = Medical Concern
Black = Gifted
Blue = SLD
Purple = ELL

I'm drawing a box around each students name in the appropriate color so I know who in my room needs what type of accommodations.  This will also be helpful for any guest teacher in my room

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Freebie Friday Linky Party

I've jumped on board the "linky party" ship!  I love all the sharing that has been going on the last week or so.  Thanks to Steph at Stay Tuned for starting such a cool trend for us music ed bloggers!

This Friday I will host a Freebie Friday Linky party.  Here's what you do:

1.  Create a post about at least one Freebie you have created and are sharing or a Freebie you have found on the web.  Make sure to include information about where the resource can be downloaded.

2.  Include the Freebie Friday Linky Party image in your post.

3.  Stop back on Friday to Link up!

What a Music Nerd!

Sunday I spent 7 hours working on the living room floor with my husband.  It's a really long story but basically a moisture problem, from installation problems caused our 2 year old, lovely, strand bamboo floors to warp and bubble.  :(  We have spent the last 3 weeks figuring out what to do and then removing and preparing our concrete slab.

Anyways...after 4 hours of power tools my husband stops me from what I'm doing and says...."It's a fifth."  I looked at him perplexed and asked "What?".  He replied "The shop vac and sander are a 5th apart in pitch!"  Again my reply after 4 hours of sanding was "What?"  He then proceeded to hum the interval!

What a nerd my husband is!  :)

I promise I want to join the linky parties I've seen this week.  More work on my floors tonight but hopefully tomorrow I will catch up.

Hope my silly story makes you laugh for now.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Game: Mrs. Music May I?

As I was going through my Pins in anticipation of this year I came across something I had pinned a long time ago.  I can't believe I haven't played this game with my kids before but I'm really glad I incorporated it into my room this year.

So, "Mrs. Music May I?" is a play on "Mother May I?" and it helps students with note recognition. Here is how we play:

To start:

  • Teams (I break my kids up by riser color) stand at one side of the room.
  • Mrs. or Mr. Music sit on a stool in front of a music stand at the other side of the room.  They should face away from the teams.
  • Mrs./Mr. Music should have all the learned notes and rests on a music stand in front of them.

  • Music Stand
  • Stool/Chair
  • Note/Rest Cards
  • Mrs./Mr. Music Hat (optional)
This was a dollar store cowboy hat I had in my closet.  
I added little foam stickers to it so that it would be special!

  1. Everyone has to play!  Even though this is a team game, everyone on the team is responsible for asking Mrs./Mr. Music how many steps they may move.  Each time their team takes a turn a new person asks the question.
  2. A step is heel to toe.  If you don't specify they will take giant steps forward and tiny steps back.
  3. Notes are steps forward, rests are backwards.  The note or rest you pick determines the number of steps you can take forward/backwards.
  4. Mrs./Mr. Music can answer yes or no to your request to move forward.  Example:  "Mrs. Music may we move a whole note?"  "No, but you may move a quarter note."
  5. If you are making too much noise you will have to move a rest.
  6. First team passed Mrs./Mr. Music wins!

This game took about 15 minutes because I was explaining the game but you could very easily play it if you had a few minutes left at the end of class.  When I made my note/rest cards I purposefully left the note names off because I wanted the kids to have to recall that information.  I used 3 X5 index cards for these.

So far I've played this game with 4th grade as a review of the notes/rests we learned last year but I can see playing this easily with other grades.  Here is the link to the pin of the game I found last summer.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Classroom Organization: Doc Cam Resources by Grade Level

I've been finishing some organization in my free moments at work.....hahahaha!  By free moments I mean the split second between receipting recorder money, morning duty, typing lesson plans and a class coming!  :)

Anyways...this was one of those projects that I had hoped to complete before school started but finally finished this week.  The idea for this project came from Lauren at Rhythm and Glues.  I expanded the project partially to hide some ugly cables from my computer and to have extra room for resource books.

These are file sorters that I bought at ikea in a 5 pack for just $1.99.  I added labels made from colored construction paper and black and white printed grade levels.

Now I can neatly organize everything I need for the projector, plus any resource books I might want to reference quickly during a lesson.  I'm loving it so far!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2/4 Tuesday Linky Party!

Steph from Stay Tuned is hosting her first 2/4 Tuesday Linky Party.  Below are 4 things I'm doing in my room right now.

1.  Line Up Cards

I found these on Pinterest and I LOVE them.  It keeps the kids on their toes and it saves me from hearing "The blue team always gets to line up first!".  It doesn't take any longer to get the kids lined up, just adds variety.

2.  Rollercoasters

Another Pinterest find!  These vocal warm-up cards are a free download.  I'm planning to use them with my Kindergartners to help them find their singing voices.  Plus, it teaches them a healthy habit because this will be part of our warm-up.

3.  Attendance

I normally do attendance and solo singing separately.  Attendance was usually a glance and see, this year I'm combining the two.  In the lower grades this will be just a solo singing opportunity but in the upper grades I think I will incorporate rhythm patterns and recorder.  I'll post more about that later.

4.  Beat Buddies

I've done beat buddies with my kids for a long time and I've also used them for solo singing activities but I'm really excited to try this idea that I found on Kristin Lukow's blog.  

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