Tuesday, October 28, 2014

H-A-double L-O-W-double E-N spells Halloween!

Ha, sorry! I learned this song in elementary school to the tune of "Danse Macabre" and it's stuck with me ever since. Here's the video from YouTube that I like to use.

Anyways, I thought I'd share some Halloween activities my classes have been doing.

In the Hall of the Mountain King - Grieg
This is the first year I've really delved into Grieg. I love the music and the melody really sticks in the kids' heads! I start introducing it in Kindergarten and 1st grade with Eric Litwin's (Pete the Cat!!!) song from The Learning Groove. It takes the melody and puts in words like "I can shake my shaker egg and sneak around the room." It's fun to add egg shakers and a little movement once the students have learned the melody.

As they get older, I show my intermediate students a short cartoon of the story.

It's only about 5 minutes, but also adds in the "Morning Mood" music, which many of the students recognize. In the future, I'd like to add a literature connection. I've seen some great picture books online, but haven't picked one up yet. Soon!

I also add rhythm sticks to the main theme, with the help of Malinda Phillips' great active listening resource! Check it out - it's free :)

From there, we move on to actually feeling the beat, tempo and dynamic changes in the music. If you follow my blog, you know I LOVE Artie Almeida. She has a wonderful guiro and kickball lesson for this piece. I tried it with my third graders last week and we had so much fun! I used basketballs because we don't have enough kickballs and it still worked out just fine. Here are some pictures from my students engaging in the music:

It was Character Counts week, so they're all dressed up in the careers they'd like to have.The basketball coach had to come get the balls for practice at the end of the day, but we had a good time while it lasted. Artie's lessons are truly wonderful resources. I encourage you to check out her videos on YouTube and purchase this resource. You won't regret it!

Some other activities we are doing this week are:
  • singing the story "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat!" with melody from Kristin Lukow
  • Halloween melody patterns from Aileen Miracle's 13 Nights freebie
  • Halloween vocal explorations and "create your own" template from Amy Abbott
  • Witch Witch (so-mi activity) and game from The Yellow Brick Road
  • Spooky Music listening & rating from Music with Sara Bibee (this one is a fun activity for the older kids!)

The last game we are playing is a favorite of my primary students! I discovered it on Pinterest last year and the students just love it. I can't seem to find the right recording for it, though. There is a faster version and a Denise Gagne version that has a different melody. I kind of plunked it out on my own and adapt it to my student's singing ability. Here's the video of the song I use and the game:

It's really fun and a great way to reinforce steady beat. What Halloween or seasonal activities are you doing this week with your students?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Five Favorite Pins of October

Hello all! Sorry it's been awhile. We just finished up the first quarter and conferences are next week. Wow, time flies!

I'm linking up with Mrs. Miracle's Music Room for her monthly linky party. Here are my favorite pins of October!

#1: Music Gifts

I had a couple of students who just finished up auditioning for Opus Honor Choir. Unfortunately, none of them were selected. They worked really hard, though, so I wanted to reward them for their dedication to becoming a better singer and all around musician. I can't wait to make these and leave them in the office next week!

#2: Drummer Pete

I just LOVE this video! My husband is sick of hearing it already. However, it is a great review for my students and we can break out the new drums.

#3: Amusement Park Mallet Exploration

I adore all of Cori Bloom's resources. This one is a great exploration for mallet instruments. It has a wonderful lesson plan attached to it, complete with standards, skills and a composition. I snatched it up right after I pinned it. Check it out!

#4: Pete the Cat bundle

My primary students love Pete the Cat. I usually bring him out in the spring or with a sub. However, our book fair has the Christmas story available this year AND I just received my Pete the Cat puppet from our DonorsChoose.org project. How happy was I when I stumbled upon this new blogger/TPT seller's page! There's a section for steady beat buttons and prereading rhythms with colored shoes. 

#5: Dancin' Scarf Blues

Jazz and scarves? Win win! Can't wait to get the recording.