Saturday, November 14, 2015

Five Favorite Pins of November

Hooray - it's fall! I can't believe that Thanksgiving is in two weeks. Where has the year gone? 

It's time for my five favorite pins of November, courtesy of Mrs. Miracle's Music Room!

#1: We Wish You a Merry Christmas (with cups!)
I love this idea! I used Wendy's cup tapping activities last year with "We Three Kings." Check it out here: Amahl and the Night Visitors
It's sure to be a hit with your students, young and old! 

#2: Operation "Got Your 6"
Veterans Day is a community wide celebration for our school district. I want my students to know the importance of our country and those who protect it. However, it's hard for younger students to understand this. I love how Michelle Obama teamed up with the Penguins to explain the importance of Veterans Day! I showed this to my classes this past week.

#3: Audience Behavior
Check out this great post from Tracy King about audience behavior. She even includes a sample script! Wonderful to check out in preparation for all of those holiday concerts.

#4: Tshirt
This tshirt is hilarious! I might just have to get it to see who gets the joke in my school.

#5: Guide Sub Tub
I have been trying to find a way to teach about Guido since I started. This Sub Tub Stuffer is great! I might actually just use it as a real lesson for my older students. Check it out!

I hope all is well with your school year! We had rain, sun, hail, wind and snow all in one day this week. It's never boring around here!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Lip Sync Battle - A Fun Music Activity FREEBIE

I don't know about you, but I am obsessed with lip syncing! Jimmy Fallon makes me laugh in general, but his lip syncing competitions are hilarious! My students are also talking about it and really enjoy seeing their favorite celebrities getting a little silly.

This sparked an idea in my brain - why don't we do this in music class? Now, I don't want to take time away from the those core musical standards that we need to meet. However, this would be a great way to spend a reward day, early out and the last few minutes of class.

Let me just tell you - bring a camera! The kids really get into the music and their performance. It's also really special when another staff member comes in and joins them. They go nuts! I also like splitting the class into two groups and have them perform as a group. Their creativity and happiness shines so bright!

Well, I have enjoyed it so much that I decided to share it with you all. Here's what's included in the file when you download through

Any song will work, but I like to include a variety. It's also a fun way to practice or finish up program songs after a concert. Sometimes, I let the students choose their own songs (as long as they're appropriate). You can do it for fun or create competition, too!

One of my favorite parts of this fun activity is the reminder of etiquette. It's important for the audience to show respect, but also for the performer! 

I also included reward certificates that you can print off to hand to students, create stickers, a hall of fame, etc. The options are endless! You can even use a fake microphone for extra giggles. 

Don't forget - it's FREE! You can project the slides or print them to use in your classroom. 

I'll leave you with one of my favorite (not necessarily appropriate) lip syncing videos:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Back to the Future

It's Wednesday - only a few more days till the weekend! Why not celebrate with a sale?

So, a group of dear friends and I were chatting and realized we all had a mutual love for all things Back to the Future!  Did you know that Marty did his travels on October 21, 2015?  Where are my flying cars and hoverboards?   We had such a chuckle talking about the differences in the BTF world and ours that we decided to come together to offer you 3 gift cards to TpT!  In addition, we have marked one item down to $1.21!  (for 1.21 gigawatts - go watch the movie!).  

#tptmusic #musictpt #elmused #btfmusic #tptmusictribe

Are you drooling with excitement yet? Here's what you have to do:

1. Start here at my friend Pitch Publications for the first letter. Make sure you write them all down because you will need them to answer the rafflecopter at the end!
2.  Then click the green "follow" button at each store while you are there.  Take a minute or two to check out some of the great products in each store! 
3.  Now click  on the letter to go to the next store and get the letter, etc...There should be 19 letters total. Don't forget me (they saved the best for last)!
4.  Once you have the secret code, come back here and to put in the final code and enter!
5.  Check back later this week to see who won!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'll be putting this fun product on sale! In this file, there are five fun lessons for children's books with movement. Some involve props or movement materials, while others have actions. Each movement activity is a great starting point for learning more musical concepts, too. I also leave them occasionally for nonmusical subs, as many of them work well as an individual lesson.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Product Post

Apparently, I was bitten by the creation bug these last few months! I have several new products that I would love to share with you all!

This is a great lesson for older students. Grab the wonderful book by Anna Harwell Celenza and you are set! There are assessment pieces, as well as a fun stick game at the end.

For students of all ages, these listening glyphs are a wonderful assessment piece. You can choose one of the preselected pieces with the glyphs or use the generic ones to choose a song of your own!

This project is great for older students to share their favorite song! Students will dig into the meaning of the song and share it through writing, creation and an optional project.

If you're looking for a fun brain break, check out this Japanese game! It's very similar to rock, paper, scissors and has modifications for a variety of learning levels.

This last one is my personal favorite! My students are obsessed with "Happy!" from Despicable Me 2. Not only does it have a fun beat, but the words are positive. Pharrell Williams just put out a children's book of his famous song. This product includes a lesson plan for the book, assessment worksheets, movement ideas and a body percussion routine. EEK - I can't wait to use it with my students!

Be on the look out for a few sales coming up, too! Bye for now!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

ABC - Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Today, I'd like to share with you one of my favorite FREE resources for back-to-school! I used it this week with my students to review listening skills.

This is the easy version of my listening glyph for the song "ABC" by the Jackson 5. A harder version is previewed in my store. I used this with my 1st and 2nd grade students to get them back into listening attentively to musical ideas.

If you're not comfortable with listening glyphs, they really are wonderful for any age or variety of students, as well as for substitutes. You can listen to certain specific songs or choose what fits your class with many of the glyphs. For this one, the song is specific. As the students listen, they answer the questions through coloring. If the song is fast, they will color the tires black. If the song is slow, they will color the tires grey. Then, they move to next box and answer the question. If you have lower classes, you can do these parts together and help them until they are comfortable. I let older students go off on their own after directions. This particular glyph has three questions to answer, When those are completed, the students can color the rest of the picture however they would like. I always enjoy this option because I like seeing the creativeness of my students. 

Here's what my example looks like, completed for my students to see when we review together at the end:

In the directions for this freebie, I also include my additional activity: Just Dance! This song has a Just Dance Kids video online, either through YouTube or the game itself. I put mine through to remove the ads and side bar videos. The students love getting up and dancing after listening to the song for a bit. It's a great brain break to end the lesson!

Click the photo below to be taken to the freebie! I really hope you find ways to use it in your classroom. While I do this at the end of the year, it is always nice to pull out on a fun or substitute day. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What's on YOUR Wall?

It's "Back to School" night here at my building! It's so exciting, but nerve wracking at the same time. I've finally put up everything and fixed things for this year. Check out my photos as I link up with Mrs. King's Music Room!

First up is my Concert Calendar. It's nothing fancy, but it helps so much!  The kids love seeing when siblings programs or counting down the days. The best part is putting a HUGE check mark over their date when it's finished!

On the board, I've posted our revised rules titled "The Cyclone Way." This is something new for the coming school year, but it is a district-wide behavior plan. 

My bulletin board is a silly one! Our theme (if you haven't guessed by the previous picture) is all about sports, specially TEAM. It stands for "Together Everyone Achieves More." It won't be up for long, but I thought it was a little different than a traditional sports bulletin board. You can check out more about this theme at the end of the post!

Something new in my classroom (commence with loud "fan girl" screaming) is the iPad minis!!!! I was blessed to receive a grant from the National Education Association for 13 iPad minis, cases, headphones, a splitter and two apps (GarageBad & MadPad). Over the course of the year, I will be documenting and reflecting on the use of these in my classroom with the students. I am so excited. Above them are some great rules for their use. I got these for FREE from Music and Technology on Click on my picture to take you there to get some of your very own.

The ramp walls have different styles of music. You can get these posters from different music stores like West Music, Music in Motion, etc. They give a little information about the genres of music, as well as a famous musician. The kids enjoy looking at them when lining up.

Last is my primary door. I leave the intermediate door the same because I love the quote. You can check it out HERE. Anyway, this door changes with the team. My favorite part is the chorus poster with "teamwork." I've been eyeing it for awhile now.

If you like the look of this theme in my classroom or want more information about different options, check out my "Let's Have a Ball in Music" Decor Set. It includes welcome banners, bulletin board ideas, labels, posters and other fun goodies. It's also on sale and discounted as a bundle. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Crow Rooster!

I went to an awesome workshop this summer all about singing games. Today, I'm going to share one of my favorites with you: Crow Rooster! I can't wait to bring this out for the first week of school. It's great for the older students to refresh their head voice.

I like to add a fun twist on it with beanie baby roosters. You can find them on eBay, at garage sales, or you might still have some in your house. I use the bigger ones, but the mini ones work well, too. I have ended up with 15 because I (hopefully) won't have more than 15 pairs in my classroom at once.

 With all singing games, there are variations from teacher to teacher. The original game directions are listed above, but I'm going to share with you my variation.

Crow Rooster
  1. Divide class into partners, putting one across from the other about two feet apart. This should make 2 straight lines down your classroom. Give one partner the rooster to start.
  2. Leader (teacher) starts the song, with students taking four steps backward on the beat. On the echo, students take four steps forward to their original position.
  3. On the first "crow rooster," the first partner tosses the rooster to the other partner. On the echo, the rooster is tossed back to the original partner.
  4. The last line should be clapped and patted. Clap the rhythm of "ku ku ri ku, ku ku ri ku" and pat the beat for "work for everyone." Repeat. (Students with the rooster should do their best at clapping and patting). 
  5. If the rooster was dropped during the "crow rooster" part, that pair is eliminated. They sit out, still singing, clapping and patting.
  6. All pairs that are still in the game take a step back. Repeat the song. 
  7. After each time, the gap gets bigger and bigger. More pairs are eliminated until there is a winner. The kids love to see how far they can get and still catch the rooster!

The "crow rooster" part is a great way to get kids into their head voice at the beginning of the year. The tossing of the rooster is also great for kinesthetic learning. Sometimes my lower voiced students need that tossing motion to reach higher notes. It's also a nice reminder of the difference between clapping the rhythm and keeping the beat. Finally, the kids LOVE a competition! My room is quite large, so I'm excited to see how far they get - especially those athletic kids that have been at sports camps over the summer. 

Hope you enjoy this fun lesson for the first few weeks of school!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Wish and Dish!

It's here! It's here! It's here!
I am so excited for the Teachers Pay Teachers "Back to School" sale! It's a great time to stock up on resources for fall, especially that stuff on your wish list. If you need some suggestions, check out the linky party I'm participating in. Each teacher is sharing a resource of theirs and a few things on their wishlists. You can't go wrong!
First, I thought I'd share a product I'm super excited about from my classroom. 

Vocal Explorations with Children's Literature BUNDLE
I love using children's literature in my classroom. My students know that they will be read to at least once every six day cycle. I have many products in my store for using children's books with instruments, writing, singing games, etc. This bundle is particularly meant to use with vocal explorations. 

The three stories in this bundle (also available separately) are How To Speak Moo, The Squiggle, and Little Green. Each of the files includes directions on how to use the stories with the product (the stories aren't included but are available at most book stores) and different ways to use it in your classroom. 

First, the explorations are already created: 
Some are straight, some loop, curve or are jagged. There's a great variety of high and low!

Next, there are blank slides for students to create their own pathways on the file (via smartboard) or demonstrate in front of the class:
The picture changes spots around the screen for some change in pitch.

Last, there are worksheets for students to create their own pathway to use for partner sharing, small group collaboration or assessment:

Each has their own pathways, pictures and worksheets to fit the story. My students love them and they are a great way to warm-up voices, create and assess!

Now, I'll share with you a few things from my wishlist!

Educlips Pirate Clip Art Bundle
I'm hoping to do more with Gilbert & Sullivan in my classroom this year. One of my favorites is "The Pirates of Penzance." These little pirate buddies will be great to create an overview, worksheets, etc.

The Silent Instrument Game
I have been eyeing this game from Allison Cabello for months! It's a great game to introduce, review or have QUIET fun with instruments. It's also nice for subs or early out days.

Speaking of Allison, she posted a wonderful image to refresh everyone on leaving feedback. Did you know you can get money towards future purchases, just by leaving feedback? It's also a helpful way for teacher authors to get a feel for what is working for buyers. PLEASE leave feedback - it's a win, win! If you're unsure, here's Allison's graphic to help you out: