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?