Saturday, November 5, 2016  The Music Teacher's Best Friend:

I can't say enough about it!  Not only is it great to for managing behavior, but it's an AMAZING communication tool!  You can also send picture using stories, you can even send up to 15 seconds of video to your parents.  Great for sending informances. This week, I sent videos of my kinders playing Wee Willie Winkie from Orff Source.   I also message parents after nearly every class so that their parent can see what we are doing in class. It is a great tool for getting support. I have had many Donorschoose grants funded using this communication tool. Since I message nearly every class they know that the resources are being used. Just this summer I messaged about my grant and was able to get 20 or so Folkmanis puppets to add to our collection.  We now have LOtS!  Also, ClassDojo automatically sends a behavior report to the parents every Friday. So great!   In regards to behavior, I have very few issues.  Students know that they will be help accountable. Any time I take a point, I immediately message the parent why the point was taken. Often times parents message right back which I promptly let their kiddo know. That usually fixes it pretty quickly. My students and I have a great relationship. We have lots of fun and they know when I mean business. 😜 Did you know that ClassDojo is free and you can run it from your cell phone?  Even during line up I project it on my SMARTboard and offer a lineup point if they are quiet. I'm not by any means saying they are angels, but lining up can be chaos and this has helped so much.   You can't get better than that.  If you have any questions feel free to message me.  I'd love to help!  I'm a huge advocate!

One last thing, on some of these crazy short schedules that we experience between fall parties and Veteran's Day check out some awesome Piano Guys videos. They are awesome! We were recently studying the percussion family and used their video "What Makes You Beautiful" to show the piano strings and hammers which make it fit into two instrument families.  I'm posting some awesome pix below of a few years ago when a I took my son to see them in OKC. They were so great and came to meet all of their fans at the end of the concert. I had lots of students there too. It was an amazing night!

I'll try to write about my puppet collection and how I use it in the near future. It all started with Freddie the Frog.  Puppets are like magic.  They transform a classroom!  Well better head to bed.   I have an early flight to D.C. with my principal and a few other teachers to recieve an amazing honor for a school.  Can't wait!  Finally get to see the Star-Spangled Banner in person for this history buff from Oklahoma it is a dream!  πŸ˜„πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ  Can't wait!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Time to slow down and start blogging again!

Things as most of you know between teaching, being a mom and wife life gets pretty busy.  I've decided to try to get back to blogging because it reminds me of why I love doing what I get to do everyday.

A little about what's currently going on in my classroom.  I teach grades K-4 for 50 minutes on a 4 day rotation.  So basically, if I see a class on Monday, I will see them again on Friday.  I am very fortunate where I am I teach at an AMAZING school!  So amazing that last month we were awarded as a National Blue Ribbon school.  I along with our principal and several other staff members are traveling from OKC to Washington D.C. next week.  I'm so excited!  I want to go to the Smithsonian to see the flag that was flown over Fort McHenry.  We have a wonderful staff who works so well together.  We also have amazing parental, administrative and community support.  Again, I am very fortunate.  When I began teaching at my school, it was a year old and had very little in regards to teaching materials...then comes  Through I have built up my classroom library and instrument area.

So, here's what we do

Grades 2nd-4th study a country each month. We use John Jacobson's Music Express Magazine.  If you don't know it, I encourage you to check it out!  It has wonderful easy to use resources and is a great way to tie in Geography and Social Studies and guess what classroom teachers and principals love that.  :)  Important in this day and age full of budget cuts, esp. if you teach in Oklahoma.

My 3rd and 4th grade classes look somewhat similar.  I like to start with a movement before starting our cultural study.  We then move over to my favorite thing... can you guess what it is?

I use the Ukulele in the Classroom curriculum.  I also supplement with pop and holiday songs.  We've received the ukuleles nearly two years ago through a grant.  The kids absolutely love them!  You can find some amazing resources on line.  Check out my Pinterest board for ukulele class.  I have come across some great songs!

My 3rd graders are traveling into OKC this week to see the orchestra.  They are so excited!  It's one of my favorite days.  I love seeing them walk into the amazing hall for the first time.  In preparation we have listened to the music that they will be performing.  We've also use Quaver's instrument lessons.  I've taught one family at a time, then we play a game from  The kids love it!  Then we move to the next family.  My 4th graders are working hard in preparation for their Veteran's Day program on the 11th.  

My second graders just finished our unit on Peter and the Wolf.  It is one of my favorite units!  I am a band girl so I love all things instrumental.  ;)  We ended by rotating through centers.  This week, we have be performing a poem called "Halloween" from this month's Music Express Magazine.  They had enjoyed it and it's a great way to bring in Language Arts and discussion punctuation.

My first graders are doing something new this year, we usually do a Christmas program, but my principal and I decided to try something new so we are doing a Thanksgiving program.  December is so busy it's now one last thing that I have to do that month.  Did I mention that my principal is awesome?

My sweet Kinders are working on Ta and Ti-ti.  Our school-wide them is patriotic so I found some great resources on TPT.  One of my favorites has the students figure out rhythm syllables to the armed services and landmarks.  Then we moved it to them getting out some groceries (plastic food) and putting them in the correct rhythm plate.  This week, we wrote they rhythms to go along with candy.  We've had fun with this one!  

Just wanted to check in!  I'll try to post more on my ukulele lessons along with my favorite free and amazing resource ClassDojo. I was a string bass major in college and also play the guitar, so I really enjoy our ukulele time.  What are you doing right now in your class?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pentatonic Dice - Composition Game

As I was looking around Pinterest for some new ideas like the ones in my last post, I came across this blog  She has some great game ideas! I was reading her post about Composing with Boomwhackers.  I absolutely loved her idea!  I just changed it bit to fit my needs. 

So, the first thing that I did was to go to Hobby Lobby.  Make sure when you go to take your 40% off coupon from your local Sunday paper or do what I did and download their free app which has the coupon code.  Just show your device with the coupon to the cashier and you are good to go. :) I picked up a pair of wood cubes so that I could make my own dice.  They were $1.99 and I received 40% off.

I then headed home and colored each of the dice to match the C Pentatonic boomwhacker and bell colors.  Just remember to leave out the Burgers and Fries.  Basically you have a red, orange, yellow, green and purple.  I then wrote note values on dice.  Quarters, Eighths, Halfs, Quarter Rest, Half rests.

What I'm planning on doing is having one side of the dice being a free choice. Allowing them a little artistic creativity.  ;)  So, the students will each get a piece of manuscript paper with a key on it.  The key will have notes Middle C - G above the treble staff. These are all notes that my students in grades 1st-4th  are familiar and very comfortable with.  I will also have a rhythm key reminding them of note values.  I will add that key to this post as soon as I get it done. I am planning on using this as a great review at the beginning of school.  We will then get our instruments and perform our amazing compositions.  As we get comfortable, I will begin changing the time signature.  I would like to have a 2nd Level with sixteenths and dotted notes.  Well, I hope that you can get use out of this wonderful game. Don't forget to check out which is where I adapted my idea from.  She has some amazing ideas!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

So, Let's Talk Centers

So, I haven't posted in quite sometime.  Once the hustle and bustle of school started, I started teaching piano again and my student load rose to to a record 19 students.  So that along with my mom and wife duties I decided that I had to let go of a few things.  But I have a lot of new ideas  and can't wait to share them with my fellow music teachers.

I have been really wanting to focus my summer on putting together some centers for my classroom.  I have spent quite a bit of time checking out ideas on Pinterest and have put together what my students need to review when we get back to school.  Those things would be note names, rhythms and musical terms.  I'm including some pictures so that you can see what I have so far.  For more ideas follow my Music Games and Music Centers folders on Pinterest.  There are some amazing teachers out there who are sharing their amazing ideas, so why reinvent the wheel.
For this center, each frog has a note value.  You then match that frog to the corresponding log.

Each barrel has a word which you need to then match to the monkey.  I call this one Barrel of Monkeys.

For this one match the note on the cone to the note name on the scoop of ice cream.  I chose not to add a clef symbol so that the game could be interchangeable between both the bass and treble clef.

I used the game Lucky Ducks for this one. Though, I took out the batteries because I can only take quacking ducks for so long. I'd personally rather be in a classroom full of 35 beginning recorder students.  lol Each of the 12 ducks has a music symbol on it.  Students turn over a card and have to match with the ducks. It's basically an old fashioned matching game.  I think that my students will love this! Here is the link to the original game that I came across on Pinterest
The second center is Lego Rhythms.  I took it directly from this website 

This year, I will be assigning my students to small groups for these centers.  These groups will be changing quarterly.   Within each group I will have a variety of students. They will be grouped in a way that all students feel successful and feel that they have contributed.  This will be a great way to assess student learning.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sonic's Limeades For Learning

 If you don't know about Sonic's Limeades For Learning program, you should take a few minutes and check it out.  It is a great program that comes around every October.  You write a grant on, then spread the word.  Projects are funded based on votes.  You can get votes by visiting a Sonic and getting a sticker worth 2 points.  You can also get votes by voting daily. Projects with the most votes get funded.  This year I was fortunate enough to get 3 Remo Tubanos!  Thank you Sonic!

Halloween Fun

So, I love getting all of my fun Halloween stuff out.  Some of my favorite activities include listening to the old song Monster Mash and showing them the book that goes along with it.  We also loved reading "The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid Of Anything".  If you haven't read this, it's a great one to read and perform with your students.  We assign an instrument to each of the parts of the scarecrow.  My students love doing this.

As far as technology goes, we used  They have a great interactive game that teaches students about the components of creating an opera.  Choreography, backgrounds, lighting, etc...  It is a great SMART board activity.  It tied in really easily with my student's this year as we had just gone to a ballet performance. :)

On October 30th, we read the book The Aliens Are Coming.  This book was based on the October 30, 1938 radio broadcast based on the book War of the Worlds. I was able to find a copy of the original broadcast. The kids and I had a great discussion on how entertainment has changed and how the lives of our family's have changed. We learned that in the 1930s very few families had televisions.  Most families during this time relied on radios for entertainment and news. We also talked about how it was common during this time during WWII for broadcasts, songs, plays, etc.. to be interrupted by news bulletins.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to School

Well, we have been back for over a week. I'm starting to get back into the swing of things. I've been so busy that I haven't posted pictures of my classroom. So, here they are  :) You'll see lots of "Pinteresty" things such as the poofs, cans for sharp (#) and flat pencils, the bubblegum machine full of pencil top erasers which I have to add my students think is SUPER cool.  :D

These are the cabinets on the east side of my room.  You'll notice a sink which is great for cleaning recorders.  There's also a closet on the far end that you can't see in the picture.  On the middle of the shelf is my stick storage. 

My awesome stick storage.  I use one of those long wood candle holders that you can pick up at a craft store. It's perfect for mallets and sticks. :)

Here are my Recorder Dudes.  Norm Sands came up with them.  You can get a template and many great ideas in the Recorder Classroom curriculum.  I have one for every note, but I'm only displaying these three for a few weeks.  While my 4th graders review from last year and my third graders begin their recorder studies. 
 My SMARTboard area.  Here are my computer key chairs.  I found them on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $20 each.  Thank you PTO!  Did I mention we have the BEST PTO ever?  They have been so much help as I establish the music program.  This is only the third year that our school has been open.  You may notice that my carpet is in squares.  They come up! Great for stains and such.  Though in all honesty I haven't had to replace any.  Yet. :)

Here is my area other side of the SMARTboard.  The shelf behind the drums has become my workstation.  I keep my Ipad, Ipod, Bose, cd player, extra pencils, sharpies, goodies and story books for those times when I have an extra few minutes.  Basically, anything that I may need at a moments notice. Next to that I have my rhythm instrument area.  We are a new school, so I'm still working up to Remo Tubanos and Orff instruments.  We do have 19 glockenspiels that I recieved through Donors Choose.  If you haven't been to that website check it out.  Also, Adopt A Classroom.  :)

Here is my library.  My dad make these bifold shutter doors for my sister's law office and when she moved she didn't know what to do with them.  I of course grabbed them I needed something to break up that ugly yellow and blue stripe that goes around my ENTIRE classroom.  YUCK!    Initially, I wasn't sure what to do with them.  Then I came up with the idea to us them as a book display.  Since this picture was taken I attached the braces.  There are eight which makes it very safe for my students. 

I hope that you have enjoyed a look into my classroom.  I also have built in 3 step risers.  I'll try to get a picture of those as well as my desk area which is next to my library.