Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Spring Shopping Spree....and a GIVEAWAY!

It's almost the end of the year, but there's still one big push until summer. In preparation for this, I am so blessed to team up with a great group of TPT teachers and authors to hold a giveaway! The two winners of this giveaway will each receive a $50 gift certificate to TeachersPayTeachers.com.

How awesome is that? I'm jealous that I can't win!

So...what would I do if I had a $50 TPT gift certificate? Here are three things that I would definitely be in my cart:

I love Tracy King's dabber activities! I used her ideas for centers last month and the dabber station was a hit. Her rhythm set worked for all ages, too. I'm definitely getting her instrument set to review with my students at the end of the year.

Mr. Litt's form activities have my kids excited! They love listening to their favorite songs AND learning about how it works. It's great to do in small groups, partners or as an assessment tool. This is his newest version with songs by Taylor Swift, Maroon 5 and more. Definitely a way to end the school year!

My next project will be to work on some patriotic music activities for Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Veterans Day. This clip art will get me started on Fifty Nifty United States - my students love this song!

Looking for a fun way to introduce musicals before the end of the school year? Visit my store and purchase my new listening glyphs! They feature selections from Annie, The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and The Lion King.  More are on the way this week with several different musicals and listening questions. Be on the look out for them!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below. It will start at midnight on April 29th and close on May 1st. Good luck and happy shopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Worked for me Wednesday: Sousa March Mania

It's the middle of April already - Wow, where has the time gone?
I'm linking up with Aileen Miracle's "Worked for Me Wednesday" linky party. 

Today, I'm blogging about "Sousa March Mania." Every year, the United States Marine Band hosts a tournament to see which of John Philip Sousa's marches will win the ultimate title of March Champion. People can vote via social media and submit their own bracket to become "The March King." 

I thought this would be a great way to get my 5th graders involved in learning about Sousa and other march composers, listening to different marches, and writing about their favorite piece. Once the initial bracket was started, I printed them off and had students fill in what they thought. We listened to a small sample of each one as they completed their bracket. When the winners were announced during the first week of April, I put together a quick power point to go through the bracket. Each student added up their correct choices (1 point for first round, 2 for second, 3 for third, 5 for 4th and 10 for the champion) and totaled them. I gave out two small trophies for the winner and runner-up. Before releasing the winning march of this year's tournament, we listened to both and debated which would win and why. It was great to hear the students justify which they thought would win and what set it apart from the other marches. 
By the way, the winner was Hanssen's "Valdres" over Sousa's"Stars and Stripes Forever."

I only did this with one class to see how it would go, but it was fun! In the future, I hope to start it sooner so we can listen to more of the marches. I'm also going to add point values on the worksheet because the math part is a little difficult for some.

I've seen other teachers do brackets during March with composers, styles of music, instrments, etc. It was definitely a motivator for my older students and a chance to hear their thoughts through discussion and writing. Hopefully you try it out next year - I can't wait!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Jazz Appreciation Month

It's Jazz Appreciation Month!

In the past, I haven't done the best job of bringing jazz music to my students. This year, though, our school's Jazz Experience group placed 2nd at the Iowa Jazz Championships. This is an amazing accomplishment! I really want to use this as a jumping off point for my students and get them excited about jazz. 

Here are some other activities I'll be doing with my K-5 students this month:

There are so many awesome books to use with jazz music! I'll be posting a product later this week (hopefully) that gives some great activities for children's literature, as well as some quick print mini-lessons. Here are some of my favorites to use with students:

Our district is 1:1, so using technology always gets a thumbs up from administration. Here are some ideas for using technology with jazz:

  • MadLips by Cherie Herring give you a fun look into jazz musicians lives.
  • Jazz in America has some great resources and lesson plans for older students.
  • Claire Burns and myself have posted QR code activities. Click on the picture below:

Interested in more scat lessons? Here are some ideas from the pros:

Miscellaneous Ideas:
Here are some great ideas that I couldn't leave out:
  • Bring It Home - Learning About Charlie Parker from David at Make Moments Matter - he writes a wonderful blog post about making Charlie Parker meaningful to his students.
  • Jazz Legends Research Pages from The Bulletin Board Lady - love these for my older students! There are so many musicians included that students can choose which one interests them. 
  • Mrs. Stouffer's Music Room has three great lessons about different jazz musicians.
  • Artie's Jazz Pack has different games and activities for learning about the styles, musicians and music.
  • My Store! - I've posted several different decor ideas, as well as a free Jazz Musician Matching worksheet. It features basic rhythms (ta, titi & rest) with different musicians' names. I'll also be posting another product or two before the month is over. My favorite product so far are my Jazz Listening Glyphs. They are a wonderful assessment tool while introducing students to jazz music. There are a variety of levels and musical concepts included.

What do you do to celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month? Please share your ideas below!