Featured Product

Below is one of my favorite products.  This is one of the items I have in my classroom and would be very sad to have to live without.  I am not a paid spokesperson, just a teacher sharing some great products.

To see past products keep scrolling down!  :)

May 2013

Dry Erase Marker Caddy

I'm not completely sure if this is the name of this product but what I do know is you can find it at Walmart in the office supply section.  I've had mine for 6 years, it was a gift from my supervising teacher!  I know what your thinking, if she got hers 6 years ago, I'll never find one.  Not to fear, I saw them there within the past couple of months, it seems to be one of their staples.

I love this dry erase marker caddy because it is magnetic.  This is a plus because I like to change things up from year to year.  Last year it was stuck to my white board and this year to the filing cabinet at the front of the room.

I hate having markers scattered across the ledge, it drives me nuts because the markers are usually at the opposite end of the board from where I need them.  I'm also terrible about picking things up and walking around the room with them.  This caddy helps keep me from leaving a marker somewhere else in my room and being frustrated in the middle of my lesson.

There are 3 sections which are great for storing multiple items.  I keep my dry erase markers, magic microphone (not pictured, it had minor surgery this week), various pointers, microphones and signs.  This is a nice little storage container to help keep you organized.

April 2013

Sheet Protectors

I use sheet protectors ALL the time.  They are such a great product for a variety of uses.  I use them to quickly make changes in hallway displays.  For example, I have one that I quickly slip the total number of belts earned in recorder karate in and out of.  I use them for worksheets.  Kids can write on the plastic with a dry erase marker and I save on copies because they are reusable.  They can be used in binders to shield music from wear and tear.  I always have a stack ready to go in my closet.

March 2013

Wenger Teacher Taxi

I am very lucky to have my classroom backup to the stage!  Getting ready for concerts is really easy because I don't have far to go.  At my previous school I had to take concert decor and instruments outside and into another building where the stage was, not fun.  Even though I'm really close, it can get taxing to carry everything and take multiple trips back and forth.  I'm all about efficiency and this product helps.

When our school first opened a few years ago, Wenger came to do a photo shoot and some pictures of me and my kids are still on their website and in their catalogue.  As a thank you, they left me the Teacher Taxi!  I LOVE this resource.  I use it all the time to move things back and forth on the stage and to tow my portable sound system around the school for events.  If you are able to get one of these for your school, I would recommend it.  Whether it's through PTO, a grant or your music budget, it's money well spent.

February 2013

Rubber Cement

I'm sure you remember this stuff from elementary school.  You can't use it with the kids anymore but it is great for you to use to create materials for your classroom.

My recorder fingering charts are held together with rubber cement.  When I made them, I had to laminate all of the pieces separately (the staff/letter background, the recorder, and the hands) so that I could attach the hands correctly before hanging them up.

Did you know you can use rubber cement on other surfaces?  Well Mrs. M, my art teacher friend, taught me this trick when nothing would stay attached to the inside of my door.  Now I have cute die cut art and my 5-S Line poster hanging there.  When removing something, the glue easily wipes away without damaging the surface.  I'm not sure if it works on all surfaces but it has on my classroom door and painted cinder block walls.

January 2013

Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizer

I know this isn't Music Education specific but it is Flu Season!  I love Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizer for a couple of reasons; it smells great and it does not dry my hands.  I have used hand sanitizer for years (my Mom is a huge germaphobe) but it always made my hands feel terrible, not to mention the awful taste if you tried to eat anything with your hands.  

I'm sure you aware of these great smelling products but do you use them in your classroom?  No, not for the kids, for you!  I have a bottle of generic hand sanitizer by the tissues for my kiddos but I keep a special bottle of Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer for me on my desk.  I use it through out the day to try and keep myself healthy.  Now I know the studies on hand sanitizer say that frequent use can be detrimental but it's not like I'm using it constantly.  I squirt after holding a Kindergartners hand during a game I'm sure is a healthy choice!  :)  I may be wrong about the science behind that but it gives me peace of mind, plus a nice whiff of something good.

The picture above is of the pocket size but I always have the bottle with a pump on my desk.  These can get expensive but Bath and Body Works has great sales.  My first bottle this year lasted until this week, so you may go through 2 bottles a year.  Not a bad price to pay in order to stay a bit healthier.

December 2012

Behind the Scenes with Penn and Teller

I had been eyeballing these videos for about a year when one of my 5th grade teachers donated them.  I have the 3 music installments of this PBS series; texture, rhythm and melody.  Each video does an excellent job of illustrating these musical concepts and I can't imagine being without them.

While I don't like to show videos often or in their entirety, these are great for those days when you have no voice.  I don't feel as bad showing them knowing that my kids are actually getting something out of them.  There are also visual arts episodes as, so let your art teacher friends know!

November 2012

Pop Gun

When I was at an Orff Workshop, I saw homemade Pop Guns and thought they were so cool.  I have not been able to find the directions for making them but two years ago, I happened across them on Music is Elementary.  I purchased one for my school and since then I have used it as a cool sound effect instrument and it was a fun addition to a performance of Skippyjon Jones (Sandy and Gretchen shared the music for this at my Level I).  It is a bit pricey but a fun sound effect.  If you have the directions for making these, by all means, please share!  I would love to know how to do this on my own.  You never know, it may come in handy!

October 2012

Audubon Bird Call with Rosin

I first experienced this cool little instrument at my Level I and I rushed home to buy one.  It's a small piece that I keep in my desk for fear that I will lose it if I store it anywhere else.  The kids love to use this to make bird and mice sound effects to help tell stories or as part of an introduction/interlude in a piece we are working on.  Nice little piece to add to your sound effect basket.

September 2012

Artie Almeida's Daffy Duck Passes the Buck

Last year I had a Donors Choose project funded and one of the resources I requested was Artie Almeida’s Daffy Duck Passes the Buck.  I had never heard anyone talk about this game or much beyond her Mallet Madness publications but I figured with Artie’s name on it, it must be a great product.

This is a simple game to play.  Basically the kids have to answer questions in order to earn the buck.  Each dollar amount has a stack of questions and they get progressively harder as the dollar amount increases.  

It’s easy to play in a short amount of time or I would think over a period of a few lessons.  You could possibly even use it as a line game.  I happen to line my kids up in two separate lines; boys and girls.  We could play boys vs. girls and whoever earns the most points gets to leave the room first.  Seems like a simple competition but the kids would eat it up.  Plus it’s a great way to keep the kids focused while waiting for their teacher.

When I have the opportunity to purchase more resources, I will definitely be trying out Artie's other music games!

August 2012

Yamaha YRS-20B Soprano Recorders and U.S. Toy Neon Shoelaces

This month’s featured product is a double feature.  I have started my annual recorder order (you can see my order form here: Meet Your Teacher ) and I thought I’d share the two products and the company that I order from every year.

Product #1
I use the Yamaha YRS-20B Soprano Recorders with my students.  They produce a pleasing tone and who can beat the great colors?  I think a big part of why so many kids get initially excited about recorder is because of the fun colors!  Another great thing about this recorder is the price.  There are many great recorders out there and I'm sure there are recorders that some would argue have a better sound.  For me though, the price is a big factor.  I want to make having a personal instrument as attainable to my students as possible while ensuring they have a quality instrument.  

You can order this recorder from a variety of companies but I always order mine through West Music.  West is an awesome place to find all of your elementary music resources, including children’s literature.  Although there are a lot of great things about West, I use this company for 90% of my music needs for one reason; they have great customer service!  I have never had an issue with an order, their customer service reps are friendly and knowledgeable and they will work with me to ensure that I get quotes and materials in a timely manner.

Product #2
I have looked into a lot of different lanyard options for my students but the most affordable option I have found are the Neon Shoe Laces from US Toy.  They are easy to tie onto a recorder so that students can hang them around their neck.  This is a great way to eliminate recorders rolling off of laps and the risers.  These are also washable.  Stick them in a sink full of cleaner and let them hang dry.

July 2012

Wenger flipForm Risers

If you have been reading my blog you probably already know that I L-O-V-E these risers.  They are so versatile and easy to move that they really do make my life easier.  I have 2 of each color (red, blue, green).  There are also yellow, grey and black flipForms available but I don't have those (they wouldn't fit in my room).

If your not familiar with these risers the reason they are called flipForms is because the sections can be folded to create different options.  They fold out completely flat like a platform, in to two step or three step risers. They have wheels mounted on the back so you can flip them up and easily roll them to their next destination.

What can you do with them:
1. Use them for seating in your classroom.
2.  You can fit a whole grade level on stage using these like extra choral risers.
3.  Lay them out flat in front of the stage as seating for instrumentalists or as an extension to the stage.
4.  Use them to teach concepts like Mi-Re-Do.  Have students stand on the steps or use objects to represent the three pitches.

I'm sure there is more you can do with them but this is how I have used them in my room.  They are a pricey item but maybe your Admin or PTO might purchase them for you.  If not grants and DonorsChoose.org are other great options for the materials you need.


  1. How many students can you fit on the flip forms in their 3 tier config? Bigger children, like 4th and 5th graders?

  2. Standing in the 3 tiered configuration, I would say 6-8 depending on the kids. I never have them stand on the third step because there is nothing behind them should they lose their balance. With little ones I would say you can fit around 10 per section.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. How do you tie the shoe lace onto the recorder to ensure that it stays attached?

    I removed the previous comment so I could turn the notifications on, in hopes that you reply.


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