Five Favorite Pins of January Linky Party

Thought I'd participate in my very first linky party and share five of my favorite pins for January that I think will be great fun in my music classroom!  A big thanks to Aileen Miracle for setting this up.  You can get to her website through the pic below.


FAVE PIN #1:

I am ALWAYS looking for new ways to organize my room/lesson plans/resources/etc. 

I move between two schools and I don't always get everything I'd like to get done at one school before it's time to change to the other school.  I am usually toting things around between both of them.

Here's where I my first fave pin of this month is going to "save the day" and my brain as I'm searching through my bag for that "paper that needed to get copied" or whatever I happen to toting around in a given week:


Why have I NEVER thought of this?!? I already love these little things, but to label them? I think so!

FAVE PIN #2

My next pin has to do with positive reinforcement. One of my schools is participating in the PBIS program and one of the things we've really been focusing on is noticing the positive behavior of our students. Many of the teachers have adopted some sort of positive behavior chart on which students can move up throughout the week/month.  Up to this point, I've always rewarded students by having them be my helpers, or getting to first to play on instruments, or getting to be first to line up.  Something like that.  It has always seemed to work well for most classes.  Then I found this and wondered if it could help with those couple of classes that are a little harder to motivate behavior-wise.


I was thinking I could purchase a small music trophy of sort with this and classes will have a point system much like the board above.  The class with the most points in a month would get their picture taken with the trophy and displayed on the music door for next month.

Just an idea I'm still thinking about, but I loved the name of this one. :-)

FAVE PIN #3

My next pin has to do win literacy in the classroom.  I love books to music!  It's so much fun, but with the shift to Common Core in Idaho means I need to shift my view slightly when it comes to book in the music classroom.  

Up to this point, I've always used fiction books.  I plan on continuing some of my favorite fiction books, but now I think I need to use some more NONfiction books.

Enter. . .


This pin has all sorts of books I could add to my Reading Music Center!

I also think I could probably come up with some sort of rhythmic or melodic bit that could go along with some of the books listed in the pin. 

Most all of these books are perfect for Jazz Appreciation Month coming up in a couple months too!  I'm looking forward to checking these out more thoroughly and perhaps adding a some to my classroom.

FAVE PIN #4

Another organization thing.  

I'm pretty much obsessed with organization and my current little desk organizer NEVER has enough room for the things I want to have right at my fingertips, AND I also have the "first world problem" of not wanting to open desk drawers to get to things.  I just want things there and ready to go.

When I saw this, I know that I'm going to have to start hoarding emptied cans of various sizes for this project:


Choose some super cute music themed scrapbooking paper and some modge podge.  Fun and I'll have all sorts of things at my fingertips!

FAVE PIN #5

This one is my favorite!  

This is obviously a pin to number matching game, but I thought I could change it in a couple of different ways for my music classroom.


The original pin is to an activity on Dr. Jean's website, but here are my ideas:

First, you could use it as a simple matching game like above.  Match the musical symbol on the cup with the symbol on the card.

Or you could use it as a match the symbol to the word.

You could make a "Bingo" game of sorts with this.

This one is my favorite: draw the number of circles/beats you'd like students to compose.  Students draw the musical notation on the cup using a dry erase marker and then perform their rhythms on the cup like drums using their fingers like drum sticks. "Cup Composition" if you will. :-)

Oh, the possibilities!

I will not include how to participate in this, as this is my first and I'm still figuring it all out, but Aileen has very clear instructions on her website linked above through the Linky Party pic at the top of this post.

Enjoy!

Common Core and the Elementary Music Classroom

We had training today in conjunction with our implementation of the Common Core standards.  Today’s training was a continuation of what we started in November looking at the English Language Arts (ELA). I've been trying to think of things I already do that support these new standards and things I could add or change in my current classroom.

In November, I went to the training for the 3rd-5th grades and my big take away from that training, besides having students justify their answers and give them more moments to describe and compare/contrast music, was to start including nonfiction texts in my music classroom where possible. All of my current book-to-music selections are fiction works.  While I am not going to get rid of all my books I’ve used in the past as I strongly believe that story and imagination is a very important part of child development and play in the music classroom, I have been looking at different books that I could add to enhance our music learning experience.

When I have a more comprehensive list and have tried the books in the classroom, I will gladly share! :-)

In today’s training, I decided to go to the K-1st session. The session was focused on Speaking-Listening-Writing.  The presenters felt like students were not getting to speak enough in their classes, and some are not doing enough active listening.

As I thought about this, I think that my students do get to do a certain amount of speaking as we do group work where students have to work together in groups, we do think-pair-share ALL the time, they, of course, are speaking rhythmically to all sorts of poems, and we answer questions about music all the time as well.

I have also had students doing some active listening where they must listen to what other students say, whether it’s in an answer to a sing-song So Mi “What did you do this weekend?” or what Christmas present did someone share after we performed a poem about sharing a favorite gift. The key to this is that it could not be their own answer.

One part I think I need to work on in my classroom in the lower grades is having more experiences for students to see written words.  Common Core states that the teacher can do the writing in the lower grades, and students can draw pictures or speak to satisfy their writing standard.  In my class, we’ve generally shared things orally and students have had aural experiences as well BUT I have not provided as much written word as I think I could.  So that’s one thing I’m going to work on in the lower grades.

Also, I decided I need to provide more opportunities for students to describe in music.  When doing listening activities, I usually have students move to the music in some way.  In free movement to music, my K/1 students have shown me what they hear by moving fast/slow, high/low, etc. but I’ve never had them speak about why they chose the movements or justify their moving.  That could be an easy enough addition to activities that would enhance students' abilities to talk about and justify their ideas.

So my big take aways for my students (youngers and olders) from this session:

-have my students see more written words to go with our oral and aural experiences (especially adding to the younger grades),

-have my students describe, compare/contrast and justify answers in music more often than I already do (in both younger and older), and


-have my students do more activities where they justify their free movements to music and what they hear or prefer and why.

If your states/schools are starting Common Core or have been doing Common Core for a while, I'd love to hear how YOU support these new standards in your music classroom!  I love new ideas! :-)

Love Notes: Treble Clef Staff Word Games

I decided to go ahead and extend my "Love Notes" game to include treble clef word cards.  My 5th graders are beyond just needing to review individual notes.  They need a bit more of a challenge.


I've included cards with a cute monster pic. . .


. . .and without as I have those classes where adding the monster would just not fly. ;-)


Here are some of the many activities that you can play when using these cards:

Using “Full Screen Mode” with your computer and projector, use treble clef word pages as flashcards where students figure out  the words spelled out in heart notes on the staff.



Print out and laminate envelope word pages for teacher. Print enough copies of blank treble clef page for the entire class. Slip each staff paper into a page protector.  Distribute  dry erase markers for each student and an eraser (I use small rectangular cuts of felt).  Display a Envelope card and students draw a circles around the spaces & lines to spell the word.  Another option would be to find some of those cute little heart erasers you can find at Oriental Trading or Target if you don’t want students to be handling markers.


Print and laminate either large or small treble clef word pages.  Play the “Fly Swatter” game.  Divide class into two groups.  Display note words on the board in a random order.  Have one person from each team come to the board.  Give each student a fly swatter (before I had swatters we just used our hands).  The teacher calls out a note word and students must try to be the first to find the correct card.  I play that they only get one chance to select a card with their fly swatter to eliminate any who think they could just randomly swat until they get the correct one.


Print and laminate one set of envelope pages and one set treble clef word cards.  Print enough copies to have one set per small groups in you class.  Play as a memory game.


Enjoy!

Love Notes: Line/Space Numbers AND Treble Clef Staff Review

It's time to start thinking songs and activities for February!

I have students that are getting ready to identify lines and spaces AND I've got students learning recorder and need review games.

Click on any of the pictures below to go to my store!

Love Notes is a group of pages that will help both groups of students.


For the younger students, we are going to be talking about line notes and space notes.  Here are a couple suggested activities:  


Print and laminate one copy each of treble clef card and use as flashcards.  Students identify if the note (heart) is a line note or a space note.


Print and laminate one copy each of envelope pages for teacher.  Print enough copies of blank treble clef page for the entire class. Slip each treble clef paper into a page protector.  Distribute  dry erase markers for each student and an eraser (I use small rectangular cuts of felt).  Display a Line/Space card and students draw a circle around the space/line that matches.  Another option would be to find some of those cute little heart erasers you can find at Oriental Trading or Target if you don’t want students to be handling markers.


Print and laminate small envelope line/space pages and treble clef pages pages .  Print enough copies to have one set for numerous small groups in you class.  Play as a memory game to review line/space numbers.



Any of these activity suggestions can be done with the pages for the treble clef staff with the addition of these ideas:

Print and laminate two sets of treble clef pages.  Print and laminate one set of envelope pages for the teacher.  Split class into two groups.  Have each group of students on one side of the room while setting up their cards on the opposite side of the room.  Show one of the line/space cards and one student from each team races to their cards and tries to identify and bring back the correct card first.  The first team to have the correct card back to their side of the room gets a point.  The team with the most points wins!  You could, of course,  also do this to review line/space numbers.


Print and laminate envelope pages.  Have students go to the board and draw the note on the staff.  You could also play this competitively if desired.

Print and laminate either large treble clef pages or small treble clef pages.  Play the “Fly Swatter” game.  Divide class into two groups.  Display notes on the board in a random order.  Have one person from each team come to the board.  Give each student a fly swatter (before I had swatters we just used our hands).  The teacher calls out a note name and students must try to be the first to find the correct note.  I play that they only get one chance to select a note with their fly swatter to eliminate any who think they could just randomly swat until they get the correct note.

Use large or small treble clef pages as flashcards and use in a quick individual assessment of note names of the treble clef lines and spaces.

Enjoy!

The New Year Return and Rules

Coming back from a long break always brings students who have "forgotten" the procedures and rules for the music classroom.  Normally, I quickly go through the rules and we move on, but this year I decided to do something different!

I took four of my five big classroom rules and wrote them rhythmically.  That part is not my original idea.  I got it from Pinterest or a blog I follow or somewhere.  I don't recall.

Anyway. . .

I wrote them up rhythmically and kept it pretty simple so I could use it across numerous grades (2nd-5th).

This is the process for my 2nd graders:

1. Read the rhythm.
2. Introduce "repeat sign"
3. Read independently with repeat.
4. Add words.
5. Add an action that can be performed to reflect behavior expected (teacher or students created depending on time)
6. Repeat with other rules.


This is the procedure for 3rd grade:

1. Same as 2nd grade's steps 1-4.
2. Students create actions for rule rhythm
3. Perform each rule using the slide that displays all four! (pictured at the bottom)



Process for 4th grade:

1. Same as 2nd grade's steps 1-4.
2. Students create actions.
3. Split students into two groups and have students perform the rhythms simultaneously (see pic below)


Procedure for 5th grade:

1. Same as 2nd grade's steps 1-4.
2. Split class into 4 groups.
3. Students create actions.
4.  Each group performs independently.
5.  Groups perform simultaneously while watching for cut-offs and entrances.


This was MUCH more fun to me that spitting out a bunch of rules students have heard "ad nauseum" and usually get a bit glassy-eyed for the minute or two it takes.  Yes, it took more time, but it was hopefully a much more memorable experience and we got to review some musical things too!

This was kind of a last minute "a-ha" idea I had on Sunday evening and I frankly really didn't want to spend a bunch of time on this to get it ready for my TpT website so I've just put it in my Google Drive for easy access.  Any of the above pictures will link you to my Google Drive.  If you want it, all you have to do is download it! :-)  

I'm pretty sure I even have it set up so that you don't even have to sign in with any sort of Google account.

Enjoy!

Valentine Rondo: Kodaly or Orff Activity for Rondo

I don't know about everyone else, but I tried to make sure I thoroughly enjoyed my break!  I had a great time with my kids and my family, a baked up a storm, and I even finished some crochet projects that I've been meaning to finish for a while!

And now it's time to get busy with the second half of the year!

To kick it off, I was thinking about my 3rd grade that has been getting ready to label rondo form, and this is what popped into my head:


I have fond memories of the classic "Roses are red, Violets are Blue" poem but wanted to do something that had an underlying quarter note pulse as opposed to the 6/8 feel or the original "Roses" poem.

So I changed up the rhythm and words, and while I still have my memories intact with some of the words, I now have a short speech piece that satisfies the goals I have for my students.


Just a side note, the rhythm of this poem could also begin preparing students for "syncopa".

Students begin by learning the poem above.  Then I'm going to have them add a four beat body percussion ostinato using anywhere between 1 and 4 levels.  It'll be their choice.  I have a Body Percussion Chart that I use in my classroom put out by Randy DeLelles and Jeff Kriske in the GamePlan series that is perfect for this very creation by students!

Included in the packet are full page valentine rhythms. Introduce the valentine rhythms by "saying and playing" each.  When we "say and play" in my class we use our mouths to say and some sort of body percussion to play.  In this case, we will clap the rhythm to match the words.

In this first experience, students will perform poem with the chosen body percussion, and while students are performing the poem, four fellow students will choose one large valentine rhythm a piece.  After the poem, students will "say and play" the rhythm created.  The form will be A (poem) B (valentine rhythm) A C A etc.

This much is perfect for a first time experience for younger students. The next class period they could move on to this next experience.

Older students could continue on to this next experience in the same class period.

Divide the class into groups. I have enough cards that you could make up to six sets of cards that have 12 cards each.  I normally keep my sets of cards in little baggies to keep them separate, and I have all my games in sheet protectors in binders.


Each group gets one set of cards.  They work together to create either a four beat rhythm they repeat or an eight beat rhythm they read once.  After they've chosen their valentine rhythm cards, they work together to read it in rhythm.  Finally, they will add some sort of body percussion/movement to match the rhythm they created.


When I have done activities like this in the past, I have some students that keep it very basic which is fine and I also have students that really go above and beyond.  It's so fun to get to see their creative process and see the students working together.

After students have practiced their rhythms, we come back together as a class and say the poem.  After the poem student groups take turns performing their created rhythms.  The final form is poem (A), student group (B), poem (A), different student group (C), etc.

This is where I normally label rondo.

The final experience is where I will have students create their own valentine words and rhythms.  I will break students into groups again, but this time the valentine cards they receive will be blank and they will need to make up their own words to put in each valentine cards and the body percussion/movement/etc.

The way I am planning on setting up this activity is that each valentine card will be two beats.

However, I know many people use hearts to show beats so you may want to change the rhythms to fit that purpose.  It is always, of course, your choice! :-)

Enjoy!