Monday, December 16, 2013

Left Hand Bands

Tis the season for beginning recorders in 3rd grade at my school...squeaks to send home for parents to enjoy all vacation long!

When first introducing recorders, I've always had students struggle to play with their left hands on top.  Thus, I am up with my "left-hand-bands."

During the first few weeks of playing recorders, I have students get their recorders and a band.  They wear it on their left hand all the time, and it helps them to see if they have the correct hand on top.  It also helps me quickly check that they all have their left hand on top. 

I found these cute bands at Party City a few years ago, and I now have a tub full to use.  The kids get a kick out of wearing them too.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter Olympics Recorder Stations

Thanks to a snow day today (my favorite!!) I was able to finish a BAGC' recorder station set.  I've had some requests for BAGC' sets and with the Olympics coming up, I thought my kids would love this!

This kit contains four different BAGC' recorder activities for your students. I use them as part of my Recorder Karate Stations, while I am testing other students. These activities could also be used for whole class learning instead of stations, if you prefer to set up the lessons that way.

Included in this super set is:
Winter Olympics Ski Jump: Students set up ski jumps in a pattern for their partner. After their partner plays and reads the note correctly, they may jump over the "ski jump" and play the next jump.

Winter Olympics Theme Song Compositions: Students are given the framework for a simple BAGC' melody. Their job is to use the rhythms of winter Olympics events to create simple melodies using BAGC'. They then play and share their compositions.

Olympics Self Reflection: Students fill in each circle of the Olympic rings with things they think are their strengths or weaknesses to reflect on improving their playing. Prompts for written response are provided in each circle.

Olympic Luge Pathway: In this station, students play through the notes on the "luge" pathway as a group. Then, they write in notes on their own luge pathway and perform or share it with others in their group.

These are ready to print, attach to file folders, copy papers for kids, and FLY!

I can't wait for the Winter Olympics!  Figure skating is my favorite! 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Ostinato Cards

I just finished a new set of Christmas Ostinato Cards for your Orff or Kodaly classroom this season.  These cards can be used for multiple activities: Performing rhythmic ostinati, performing speech ostinati, performing on instruments, matching speech and rhythm, composing and arranging and more.  Suggestions for use are included in the set.

This set includes 14 speech patterns with cute Christmas graphics and 14 corresponding rhythm cards.  Simply cut the print outs in half, and laminate separately, or glue back to back and laminate the sides together, with a rhythm on one side, and the corresponding speech on the other.

Half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, and quarter rests are used.  My second graders loved doing speech ostinati patterns at Thanksgiving, so I think they will enjoy performing and arranging rhythms in a new way this season.  I think we may turn these into drumming ensembles as well.  If you can't beat their holiday enthusiasm, why not join them?

Happy music making!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Facebook Frenzy Begins NOW!!

Today begins the Facebook Frenzy.  Like the great bloggers involved on Facebook to download their awesome freebies.  This event can help you stock up on holiday and winter goodies for free.

To participate, like Treble in the Classroom and download our freebie (Winter BA Recorder Stations), and then follow the links to continue to the next bloggers.  Lindsey Jervis's Kodaly Inspired Classroom follows Treble in the Classroom.

Check out the maps below to see all the music bloggers, and see the other "non-music" bloggers participating too.  Maybe you can share with your classroom teacher friends!

Download the music frenzy map here.

Download the overall frenzy map here.

Happy Freebie Friday!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Who Ha Link Up

When I started at my school, there was already a traditional "holiday-sing."  Every year on the last day of school in December, we'd file into the gym and each grade level would sing a song or two, and we'd do some carols together.  This was fine and dandy, but I decided I wanted something that would be more conducive to bringing the whole school together on more than one day.  Thus, our new holiday celebration has been birthed.

Each year now, for the past five years, I have chosen a famous book made into a movie.  (We've done Polar Express, The Grinch, Charlie Brown Christmas, Elf, and this year The Year Without a Santa Claus).  We create a whole school theme for the entire month.  I provide classroom teachers with cross curricular activities to go along with our theme, and they create some of their own.  The PTO has come on board and they decorate the entire school to go with our theme.  It always looks incredible.

Then, for the music, I teach each grade level one or two songs from the film or movie.  I buy performance tracks and the music ahead of time, of course.  I then write a readers theater or play that the faculty acts out based on the movie/book.  The students stand and interject their music at the appropriate time, to tie things together, while they remain enthralled throughout the assembly, watching their teachers perform.  Some teachers have even been willing to sing solos.  Our superintendent and principal even participate!

Both faculty and staff dress in costumes this day as well.  We gift prizes for the students who look most like the characters in the book/movie.  Almost 100 % of our faculty and staff dress up.  We love this day!

Before the performance, I make a funny movie of the characters for the year taking over the school that has multiple faculty members in it.  This is always a fun highlight.

Parents come and watch the performance as well.  Communities collaborate on costumes and overall, everyone is just psyched.  This has been such a huge community builder for our school and is something we pride ourselves on.

I love that the music the students are working on has a theme and works together so well, instead of being randomly pieced together.  The music is learned in class, but throughout December, students are taught music from other cultures and traditions as well, as part of their music learning.

Enjoy a few pictures from past years' festivities.  I will post about this year's amazement after it is over!  I can't wait to hear what you do and get ideas too!

To link up, you will simply need to:
  • Save the linky party graphic above onto your computer (by right clicking), then include it into your post, with a link back to this post.
  • Blog about your holiday "who-ha" celebrations or traditions. Include pictures with links when possible.
  • Click the button to join the linky party! 
Thanks to Summer Pitman for her frames and fonts.  Check out her TPT store.  

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Facebook Frenzy Coming to you This Weekend

The Music Bloggers are getting in on the facebook frenzy fun this weekend.  Starting on Friday, if you like our facebook pages, you will be eligible for some great TPT freebies for music education. 
You can start by liking Treble in the Classroom on Facebook now, so that you will be ready to download on Friday.  Then, you can link from page to page of the blogger facebook pages, like our pages, and get great freebies!

My freebie is an awesome BA recorder set that I think you'll love! 

Can't wait to download great freebies from others this frenzy weekend. Get ready to get in on the fun!

TPT Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale

Stock up on all your wishlisted Treble in the Classroom products on Cyber Monday and Tuesday.  20% off in the Treble in the Classroom store, plus additional savings provided by TPT.  I know I will be shopping.  Hope you do too!  Thanks for your support of my TPT site!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Phys Ed and Music Partnership: Artist in Residence

I am beyond lucky to work on a team with an amazing PE teacher.  Beyond being awesome in the classroom, she is awesome because she understands in and believes in the partnership between music and physical education.  She understands that not only is beat important in the music room, it is important in most physical activity.  Not only is physical fitness and ability to move important in the gym, it is important in the music room.

For the past seven years or so, we have worked together on many projects.  However, my favorite annually, is our collaborative artist in residence.  Each year, through the funding of our local education foundation, we bring an artist in residence to teach our classes for the week.  Half our students see the guest for the first two days in a row, and then the other half of the school sees the artist for the next two days.  Then, there is usually a closing assembly.  We also have a family night where students can bring their parents back to experience what has been happening all week.

We have had many amazing artists from Kalani, to the Amidons, to Matt Savage, to Kerri Lynn Nichols.  However, this year's artist, Rene Bibaud is right up at the top of the list!  She was incredibly engaging, she got the students attention from day one, she demanded respect and high levels of performance, and she was an amazing performer herself.

Rene was a member of Cirque de Soleil, performing with her jump rope in the show Quidam.  Throughout the week, she shared many rope tricks and skills with our students.  However, the overall theme of keeping a steady beat was emphasized (and we all know that this is a skill we continue to hammer in K-12!)

Not only did she teach them movement skills, she also reminded students how important it is to try things.  Making a mistake isn't a bad thing.  It reminds us to keep on trying to improve.  

Check out Rene's in these short videos:

Check out Rene's website:

Clothespin Clip Rhythm Game/Assessment Kit

I've been storing up this idea for awhile, but time has been slipping through my fingers.  I took the opportunity on this cold, windy day, to finally put this set together.

I've been working hard this year to think of more ways to practice and identify rhythms with my students.  Though from time to time, I've always done rhythm activities, chanting my rhythm cards always become a fall back in a time crunch.  Thus, I've been trying to have some other ready made ways to practice rhythm, thus this new kit.

This kit has printable cards, each card with differing levels of rhythm patterns.  Print and create the ones that work for your students.  I'm printing them all up to have ready for all different grade levels.

As the teacher, you will chant the rhythm pattern with syllables, or clap it without syllables.  Students will then take their clothespin and clip it on the pattern they believe you performed.  It is a great way for students to listen and audiate the pattern, then labeling it.  It also allows you, as the teacher, to see which students are getting it, in a quick skim around the room. 

 The 8 included sets are:
1. Quarter Note, Eighth Notes, and Quarter Rest
2. Half Note, Quarter Note, Eighth Notes, Half Rest, and Quarter Rest
3. Sixteenth Notes, Quarter Notes, Eighth Notes, and Half Notes
4. Dotted Half Notes, Half Note, Quarter Note, Eighth Notes, Half Rest, and Quarter Rest
5.Eighth Sixteenth Note Combinations
6. Sixteenth Eighth Note Combinations
7. Sixteenth Notes, Eighth SIxteenth Notes, Sixteenth Eighth Notes, Quarter Notes, Half Notes, and Eighth Notes 8. You name it, it's included :-)

Hope your kids enjoy clipping!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Music Manipulative Link Up

Thanks to Lindsay Jervis, I'm linking up to share about some manipulatives I love to use in my class.
1.  Popsicle Sticks
Just this week, I dusted off my handy dandy Popsicle sticks.  I forgot how exciting this simple manipulative is for first graders.  Each student was handed a pile of sticks and I proceeded to clap simple quarter note and eighth note rhythm patterns.  They then dictated the rhythms, creating the notes with their sticks.  It was a great tool for me to assess who was audiating and identifying the correct rhythm patterns.

2.  Felt Xylophone

Another favorite manipulative is my "felt xylophone."  Each bar on the xylophone is represented by a felt piece.  Before going to the instruments, I fold up a piece and stick it to the top (felt sticks to itself).  So, if we are in C pentatonic and I remove f's and b's, I show them what that looks like on my felt xylophone.   I can also add sharp for flat symbols to show students when changing out bars.  It took minimal time to make but has gotten a ton of use.  The kids can also manipulate the xylophone to show the class how to set different pentatonic patterns.

3.  Cookies and Milk Manipulatives

I recently created these cookies and milk manipulatives to use with my part time learning support students.  They loved composing patterns using the words cookies and milk and they were able to compare the text to the early rhythms they are working on.  I was able to meet the "composition" national standard with this class, which could have been a difficult task.  Each student composed their own cookie/milk pattern and performed it for the class.  We also created class patterns and added instruments, one timbre for each rhythm (cookies = drums; milk = jingle bells).