Friday, April 25, 2014

Five Favorite Pins of April

Hi there! I am linking up with my favorite monthly linky party from Mrs. Miracle's Music Room's "Five Favorite Pins." Each day I find more and more pins that I love! I wonder what my first year of teaching would have been like if I had found Pinterest and TeachersPayTeachers sooner. They are gifts!!!

I just started discovering the wonderful things that Aurasma can bring to the music classroom. I can't wait to check out this blog post about Aurasma and Halloween music. What a fun activity to try in the fall!

It is always hard to do assessment in the music classroom. I struggle with it, as well as providing data for my administration. This packet is a great way to get information from my students about the whole concert, but also their own contributions. Plus, there are a variety of forms to fit my needs.

This is so cute! I love Linda McPherson's materials. This one is a way to review loud and soft. If you get the answer correct, the monster dances to his iPod on the screen. Really fun, especially for the little ones at the end of the year. Plus, another great assessment tool!

I almost cried when this resource came out! The Yellow Brick Road is quickly becoming my new favorite blog and seller to go to, as we are very similar in our teaching styles and concepts. I start my 5th grade chorus students off with Frere Jacques. It's a great piece to teach as a whole group and slowly morph into part singing. This file allows you to do that on the projector, which can help me show and explain part singing a lot easier. We don't have an elmo or document camera, so helping students read their line for the first time is tough. 

And, one of my favorite pins EVER..............

#5 Glow Worm

I love this pin - it is hilarious! It's just what I need to brighten my day during these last few weeks of school. There are so many things going on and only a few more music lessons with each class - time to make it count :) 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Read Me a Story, Sing Me a Song

I love using literature in the music classroom! It is a great way to make connections with students, as well as bring the story alive using songs and instruments. Here are a few of my favorites I've been using lately in the classroom.

Knick Knack Paddy Whack
I love this book! I forgot I had received it earlier in the school year. It brings the song to life with beautiful pictures and a fun, jazzy style. The book comes with a CD that has the story as well as just the background music if you'd like to sing it yourself. It also introduces instruments of the orchestra. Love!

Grandma's Feather Bed
Another gem! This song story is so fun! It comes with a CD featuring John Denver singing his classic song. Plus, the pictures are hilarious!

Thump, Bump: Tiny, the Dancing Hippo
This is one of my treasures. I was looking through books at the Salvation Army and stumbled upon this. As I was reading along, I realized the words "thump" and "bump" keep repeating in the story. This got me thinking - hmm, what a great introduction for my primary students! They could choose instruments to use and play on their specific word, either thump or bump. Winner! It's such a simple book, but a great introduction or review at the beginning of the year. 

Carnival of the Animals
I will be ending the school year with Carnival of the Animals for my 1st graders. This book has wonderful pictures of the animals and the instruments in it. There are several great books out there for Carnival of the Animals, but this one features the CD and story all in one spot for a quick grab.

Finally, our primary building had a "Dr. Seuss" theme this year. To tie that in with our building goal of increasing reading skills, my kindergarteners are having their program be "Dr. Seuss is on the Loose!" The kids LOVE these songs. I used several from Seussical, as well as a few I picked up here and there. I'll have a post next week with more details and pictures. However, we read each story and sang it's song afterwards as we were starting to learn them. This program has really strengthened my love for Dr. Seuss!

Are you interested in more children's literature in the music classroom? Be sure to search "literature" on the sidebar of my blog. It will give you quick access to all my blog posts with children's stories (there are a TON!). Also, I definitely recommend checking out my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I have several products for using literature with instruments, vocal explorations, jazz, etc.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Stretchy Band!

I have been taking inventory of all of the resources I have and some things that I would really like in my classroom. My previous post mentions several things for movement in the classroom that I requested via I'm only $72 away, so please check it out if you can :)

Anyways, I have been crafting to create more things for the kids these last few weeks. It is finally getting nice outside, but the kids are testing. All day testing = crazy kids!!! Movement is always a winner during these times. Plus, I want to review everything we've learned, while also making positive musical impressions on the kids before they leave for summer. 

First, I created some ribbon wands for the 1st grade program. They are doing a program all about our environment to connect with their driving idea and common core standards in the classroom. I have already heard a ton of parents connecting with the Raffi songs at home! Woot woot! At the end of the program, the kids will be dancing to "Let it Grow" from The Lorax. 
I created blue and green ribbon wands using this website and its' instructions: 

The project I was most excited about was the stretchy band. I love Artie Almeida's resources! Her movement activities are really fun and educational. Check out this resource if you don't have it - so awesome!

The one item I was missing was a stretchy band and these things cost $50-$80 at West Music. Maybe, someday, I'll buy a real one, but until then, I made one. I found the tutorial from another blog site. It has great visuals with the instructions!

I found my loom refills at Walmart. I also modified it a little and did bunches of 4-5 strings together. I wanted it thicker to hold on to for my larger groups. I literally took 10 minutes to put together. However, it takes FOREVER to take apart. Make sure you know what you want before you assemble the whole thing. Still, this is going to work great and will wash well to take care of germs. I hope to get some photos of it up in action and will post back with its' upkeep. Here's my homemade stretchy band: