Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Activities

Holy moly - these kids are amped up! 'Tis the season of course, but wheww, they wear me out.
Tonight is the final program for a couple of months. They take a lot of time and effort, but they are becoming much easier and more fun for me. Good luck tonight 5th grade choristers - you'll rock!! :)

I thought I'd share a few fun activities that my students enjoy during the month of December. Some of these I have borrowed from others and some are my own creations.

1. Drummer Boy

This is a wonderful book by Loren Long. It's not the traditional story of the drummer boy, but instead one of his journey around town during Christmas. In the end, he is placed on the mantle and plays for the manger. The students loved it and the pictures are beautiful. I had my kindergarten students play hand drums each time the drummer played his "rum-pum-pum."

2. Jolly Old St. Nicholas

I found a fun freebie for this Christmas favorite. It is a great way to review half note, add jingle bells and play on boomwhackers. You can find it here from Emily F.:

3. Jingle Bells

So, there are thousands of fun things to do with jingle bells. I created this dance to it last year so my primary kids could get some energy out. Lo and behold, all of my older students still love it! It's rather simple and lets the students move around as well as find new partners and keep a beat. Here is a short video of my students performing it. The music is from Hampton the Hampster - I found it on Amazon.


I also do a lot of activities and lessons with the Nutcracker and other holiday carols. Let me know if you are interested in any of those ideas or resources. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I'm linking up to Mrs. Miracle's Linky Party today, "Thankful Thursday."

It's concert season! I feel like I'm constantly running back and forth for some random thing. So far, I've had two successful concerts this year in November and onto the December ones! Tonight, my 2nd graders are performing "Flakes" by Jacobson/Higgins. We've had some hiccups along the way, but with the support of the teachers and students, it will all work out fine. This leads me to what I'm thankful for this month:

1. Supportive Teachers
                  I'm blessed to have such helpful teachers! They cover sound, technology stuff, decorating and anything else I may need. So awesome! As we get closer to the big day, they work with the speakers or whole class on memorizing words. And the biggest of all, they ROCK at crowd control. I had a glitch with technology today, so some helped me and the others led the students in practicing. Blessed!!

2. Hard working students

                  I had the best, unexpected comment yesterday morning. I was communicating with a parent about attire for the program and the mother replied "Well, I had no idea that they had to wear something special because she keeps running around with that program packet practicing all the time. I can never get a hold of it!" This is the best! I work hard on sending home the lyrics to the songs so the kids can practice. I hear them talking about practicing during free time, on the bus and at home. So many parents say their students sing and sing for everyone at home :)  Programs exist for performance opportunities, but memorable programs are made because of those great kids!

3. Administration

                 I'm finally beginning to realize the wonderful administration I have. They support me with decisions and morphing this into "my program." It took a little convincing but I think that everyone is starting to realize that even a 3rd year teacher can put out an amazing product and knows how to bring music education to everyone in a fun and unique way. I have some interesting parents here and there, but I've constantly have administration that backs me up and understands the choices I make for music education and best practice.

Maybe I'm just being corny and super thankful this month, but I'm blessed to be in this district. Cheers to you all - bring on the tonight's program :)