Thursday, September 26, 2013

Linky Party: Five Favorite Pins of September

There are some wonderful music ed bloggers in the world.  Aileen Miracle is one of my favorites.  Check out her blog!  Because I love her blog so much, I thought I'd join her linky party for September.

Here are five of my favorite pins from the month of September (drum roll please):
  I thought this adorable board was a cute way to help emphasize rhythmic values in a visual way, especially for our spacial and visual learners.

Tickets out the door are a great way to assess student learning.  I loved this board, because it saves the paper and can be used over and over again quickly.  Students in each class could have assigned numbers, or it could be done anonymously as well.  It could also be used for class critiques of performances.


  I've been working with my part time learning support classes to slowly introduce simple rhythms.  They respond so well to food, that I think it'd be fun to make them cookie and milk rhythm pictures such as these to give them opportunity to practice composing short patterns.  I love the connection activities like this make to literacy and syllables.  If I can help students with music while helping them with other core skills such as language arts, I'm thrilled.

I loved this bulletin board idea I saw pinned on pinterest from the blog above.
I made some adaptations for space and theme in my room.  Check out my music room version:

I worked really hard to create a updated performance rubrics for my students.  They are free to download and are my favorite personal pin creation this month. 

Music Performance Rubrics Free Download

I updated my visual rubrics for performance assessments in my classroom and am sharing them all with you! 

Free to download are four rubrics based off of a four point scale (4=Exceeds 3=Meeting Expectations 2=Developing Skill 1=Having Difficulty).  Descriptors of each requirement for each skill are included.

I post these and remind students of expectations before assessing them.  Hope you can use these with your kids too! 

Happy Freebie to You!  Download today at my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Popular Music Movement Tracks without Words

When doing beat keeping activities, I prefer to use songs without words.  Some of that comes from my training and some of that comes from observing kids focus on non-text factors better when text is removed. 

Beat keeping "follow the leader" and mirroring occur often in my music room.  I have created an iTunes playlist of songs for these activities.  The students love when I mix in pop songs turned string quartet pieces or piano pop pieces.  So in addition to perkier tempo classical pieces that I use, here are some favorites that are of a different flair that we use in our room.  Maybe your kids will love them as much as mine:

Piano Guys are a favorite.  Some favorite tracks include:
Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Simple Gifts
So Happy TOgether
Without You
What Makes You Beautiful
Twinkle Lullaby

From Barrage:
Running Horses
Tico Tico
Sweet Georgia Brown

From Bond:
The 1812

From Dallas String Quartet:
Don't Stop Believin'
I Gotta Feelin'

From Jim Brickman:
When You Wish Upon a Star

From Carlos Nakai:
Songs for the Morning Star

From Vitamin String Quartet:
I'm Yours
Viva la Vida

From 2Cellos:
Use Somebody
We Found Love
Ho Hey
The Middle

Monday, September 23, 2013

Rhythm Rush Relay Race Activity Sets

I just finished up a set of rhythm relay games at varying rhythmic levels tonight.  I'm so excited to play this game with my kids in the next few cycles.  I think they will love it.

Each set includes directions, team visual cards for each time to line up behind, racing rhythm cards for each team to find in their coordinating color, a list of the rhythm cards included, and some extension or assessment ideas.  Print, cut, laminate and you are ready to practice rhythm identification and possibly performance. 

Three levels are available:
Quarter note, rest, and eighth notes

Half note, half rest, quarter note, quarter rest, and eighth notes

Sixteenth notes, half note, half rest, quarter note, quarter rest, and eighth notes

Download them today at my Teachers Pay Teachers site!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Food Rhythm Activities

I've been working on this kit that is now available in my TPT store for use in the next few weeks with my part time learning support class.  These students come to music in a small group.  I've been attempting to introduce notation to these students as they are showing me they are ready for basic patterns.  Food is something many of the students in this room love and relate to.  Hopefully, the rhythm activities will hit home.  The activities in this kit would also be great for early rhythm readers in kindergarten or first grade. 

Included are 4 activities:
Food Rhythm Match Up (Students experience common "kid" foods with their corresponding rhythm.  Rhythm cards with pictures, spelling, and rhythm are included for chanting and practicing.  Cards could be kept in one piece or cut apart for a match up game.)
Food Rhythm Dictation (Students write the rhythms of favorite foods beneath their pictures.)
Food Rhythm Sort (Students find and sort which foods have the same rhythm. Differentiated levels of worksheets included with fewer rhythmic sorts and fewer words to sort).
Food Rhythm Word Chain (Students choose four foods to create a word chain. They then write the rhythm of their chain below. The chain can be chanted, played on unpitched percussion, or on xylophones in pentatonic).

Download it today!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Down Down Yellow and Brown

With fall rapidly approaching, I've been thinking ahead to what my students will be doing in October.  Since first grade will soon be learning ta and ti ti (quarter and eighth notes), I will be working with the famous "Down Down Yellow and Brown" poem.  After performing the poem, I have the students dictate the rhythm of the color of leaf word chains, helping them to associate language and rhythm.  We then chant the poem, chant a four beat color word chain, chant the poem, chant the word chain, etc.  Then, each leaf color can be performed by a different unpitched percussion instrument.  First graders feel like champions because I make a big deal about them writing down music for the first time!

Hope your kids enjoy writing fall leaf colors!
Download this activity here!

Music Substitute Binder Kit and Plans

Sorry yet again for the posting delay.  This last new idea took some time to pull together, and with the craziness of getting the school year under way, I've been running nonstop.  I have many more activities and ideas being developed as we speak. 

I worked hard to pull together a substitute binder.  I will be using this as my "emergency" binder for if I have to be out last minute, if I am too ill to come in and write sub plans, or if an emergency comes up.  In these situations, I never know the sub's level of comfort with music, so it can be hard to plan.  This binder provides the sub options for what they are comfortable for teaching each grade level.  Behind each tab, I leave multiple options that are more than enough for one class period, so there is flexibility.  This binder and kit could also be used for a planned sub, with plans for each grade level inserted each time behind the grade level tab.  Or, make two binders, and use one for an emergencies and one for planned subs.  So many options!

 Use the activities included, and add in other favorite substitute activities in your room.  Included are binder cover, divider pages for plans, class lists, student information, schedule, emergency information, and each grade level K-6. Then, a plethora of activities are included for substitutes to teach each grade level K-6. These are activities that a non-music or a music substitute could enact, but require little musical ability or training to implement.

 Activities include Farkle McBride, Hot and Cold, Musical Maze, 2 levels of Color by Note Rhythm worksheets, Found Sounds, Ice Cream Flavor Sort, Charlie Over the Ocean, Great Singing Technique, Musical Math, Duke Ellington Activity, Celebrity Heads, Beethoven from A to Z, Back-Up Video page for the substitute, and sub activity grade level suggestions.

Hope this saves you time and helps you during the beginning of the year time of stress! I feel relief having this done and prepared, knowing I'm ready if anything happens!  Download it today at my teachers pay teachers store.