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: