Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Glow Stick Dancing

A teacher in my building just sent me a youtube video of glow stick dances.  I had never seen these till today.  All I can say is, awesome!

I'm thinking this would be awesome to do as a staff for one of our motivational assemblies.  I'm also thinking my Orff ensemble kids could really get into something like this.  My wheels are turning.

Here is a great blog post I found to explain a little bit more about assembling your "glow stick" costume.  Check it out!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cooking Up Great Recorder Playing: BAG Activites

My third graders LOOOVE their recorders.  They are playing up a storm and are loving it.  I decided to create a new set of BAG stations for my beginning players, as I think we may need to live in BAG land one lesson longer than I did last year.

Included in the "Cooking Up Great Recorder Playing" Set are 4 Activities.  They can be used for centers and stations as I do (I laminate the cover page on the front of a file folder, laminate any other supports such as fingering charts on the inside of the folder, and then put any copies or manipulatives on the inside of the folder so it is ready upon rotation.)  These activities are strong as stand alone, whole class ideas as well.

Cooking Direction Mix Up:This is a game for beginning recorder players to practice reading and playing melodies using the notes B, A, and G. Students have 11 pre-written melody cards to choose from, to create four and eight bar phrases to play on their recorders. Two playing card options are given, cards with just the melody notation on the staff, and a second set with pitches written below the notes on the staff. This activity is great for meeting the national standards for composing and arranging, and also provides a different venue for practicing simple melodies. Teacher directions, student directions, playing cards, and a B A G recorder fingering chart are included.

Recipe for Friendship Note Identification: To complete the "recipe for friendship," students need to identify the missing letters by reading them written as staff notation. A 2nd worksheet is included for students who finish early. It requires students to draw notes from dessert names on the music staff. (This activity does use the notes on the staff beyond BA, and G).

BAG Composition-Stir it Up: Using text and rhythm I wrote, students will compose a one measure melody for the four measures missing melody. A repeated measure (already written) is played after each composed measure. They will write the music notation for their measure long patterns using the notes B, A, and G. After writing their melody, they will practice performing their composition.

Taste Testing Self-Reflection: Comparing self-reflection to the taste testing a baker or chef does, students will listen to their own playing and identify three areas of strength to maintain and three areas to adapt or improve upon.

I can't wait to add this into my next rotation of recorder conferencing and testing stations with my kids.  Hope you find some great uses for them in your classroom too!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

3 Winter Sport Activities

With the big international event coming up, I thought I would pull together activities across grade levels for Winter Sports.  Three different sets are available in my TPT store for varying levels of learners.  Check them out.

Hot Off the Press: Winter Sports Ostinato Cards
Just finished these awesome ostinato cards.  I plan on having my second graders do an ensemble chant with the text and rhythms and then transfer the ensembles to unpitched percussion instruments.  Print and GO!  Lots of suggestions for use included.

Winter Sports BAGC' Recorder Centers/Stations Set
This fun set includes 4 fun activities for individual stations or centers in the music room for the notes BAG and C'.  These activities can also be done as 4 whole class lessons if you prefer.  Here's a sampling of a few.

Winter Sports Vocal Exploration Cards

This set includes drawn pathways and blank pathways.  I used it with my part time learning support classes as well as my 1st graders.  The first graders loved following and drawing the sounds and I definitely heard a few find their head voices during this activity, who normally struggle to do so.  I had my PTLS students make a book with the pathways they drew themselves on the blank sheets, and we shared and performed each other's pathways.  They then took their books home to share with their families. 

I'm headed to an Olympics party in two weeks.  I am assigned to represent Finland.  Creating a native costume from Finland to go along with my native dish I have to bring is posing to be more challenging than I thought!  Hope you are as excited as I am about the upcoming festivities! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Kids Say the Darndest Things

We've been blessed to have one of my former students (eeeek I'm getting old) as an intern with our first grade music classes, while he completes his senior year of high school.  The kids have adored him and he has been so helpful in the room.  I will miss him.

To thank him for helping us, I have had the kids make books in their homerooms, to give him advice for when he's a music teacher.  Though they aren't all finished yet, I thought I'd brighten your day by sharing a few tidbits of some of my favorite wisdom about what music teachers should do from my dear 1st graders.  Hope you get a good chuckle.
Be a good teacher.  Give good kids stickers.  Do rock and roll music.  Smile a lot.  Has to be my overall favorite!

Smile a lot. 

Do what the principal says :-)

Do what the principal says, yet again!

Play rock and roll music.

Play moving games.

Play moving games.  Read books.  Teach all of Miss Martin's songs (what else is out there?!?  HA)

Play the instruments.  Teach all of Miss Martin's songs.

Teach about musical notes.

Teach how to play instruments.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Five Favorite Pins of January Linky Party

I'm joining up with one of my favorite bloggers, Aileen Miracle (Mrs. Miracle's Music Room) to blog about my favorite pins of the month of January.  I have been on a pinning rampage as of late, so get excited!

1.  I loved this pin about using monster manipulatives to guide students into composing rhythmic patterns.  I have a monster recorder station already, and thought something like this could be added in nicely.  The die cuts used are great, but I'm sure computer graphics and notation could be done all on the computer.  In fact, maybe I'll make them today on my snow day!
2.  What Does the Fox Say for Orff Ensemble: My kids love, love, love "What does the fox say?"  There's an arrangement here that has some good application for the classroom.  I'm not sure which kids will be the lucky ones to get to perform this, but I know whoever is chosen will love it!
3.  I loved this PVC/Noodle four measure composition idea.  What a great way to compose and perform quickly as a beginning of class warm up, or for use in stations.  My dad has made me a ton of stuff out of PVC, so I'm sure he'll be thrilled when I show him this idea!
4.  Though I'm not a big boom whacker fan, I have found them to be a great tool for working with my part time learning support class.  Many of these students are not very verbal, and motor skills are difficult.  Boom whackers allow them to make music very simply.  I found this pin and have been doing this activity during our snowman music unit with the part time learning support kids.  They've loved it!

5.  Speaking of boom whackers, check out this great way to organize them.  I always have trouble keeping them organized and neatly stored!

How Big is Your Bark? Doggie Dynamics Bulletin Board Set

On today's snow day, I thought I'd create a new bulletin board set to replace one in my room.  I thought working on dynamic terminology would be something that a visual would be good for in my classroom, especially since 2nd grade has been learning forte and piano.

This set uses dogs (small breeds to large breeds) to correspond to volume dynamic levels.  The smallest dog matches piannissimo and the largest dog matches fortissimo.  Each dog has a bow on it's neck with it's dynamic level abbreviation.  Each dog also has a bone with the full dynamic name and definition listed on it.

I will be putting these on my board from smallest to largest, bottom to top.  You could mix up the bones and dogs and have students match them up too.  

Download, print, cut, and GO!  How big is your bark??

Thanks to the Library Fox for the great graphics.

Another QR Code Set. BAGE is Now Complete

What better to do on a snow day then to make a new QR code set.  The BAG set has already been available in my TPT store, but I just added a set of BAGE QR code recorder patterns, for students working on adding the E in their playing.

This kit includes 7 two measure BAGE practice patterns for recorder players that assist students in reading and playing with correct fingering through practice.  Each pattern includes notation and directions, as well as a QR Code to scan.  When scanned, the code takes students (or parents) to a link of the pattern being performed correctly on the recorder.  Students can check their work or play along. 

A half sheet version is included.  Directions, along with multiple suggestions for use, are included too.  A parent letter is also included for use if sending the QR practice pages home as practice assignments.

I use these in my recorder center rotations with our iPads.  I also plan on printing the half sheet versions with the parent letter to send home for practice with parents.  Parents can see what the playing should look and sound like after scanning the QR code and students can check their work.

Download it here today!

Monday, January 20, 2014

200 TPT Followers = 15% Off for Everyone

We've crossed the line to over 200 followers on TPT.  To thank you all for your support, business, and feedback, I'm offering 15% off my store through this Wednesday.

Stock up on great recorder lessons, assessments, or rhythm activities.  You name it, you can find it!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Full Set of Performance Rubrics Completed

After posting my 4 free performance based rubrics for singing, playing xylophone, playing recorder, and performing rhythm, I've had several requests for a full set of performance rubrics encompassing other performance skills in the music room.  So, I finally sat down and finished the set, at least for now.

The new, full set, includes 4 point performance rubrics for the following activities:
Folk Dance
Free Movement
Mallet Performance Activities
Note Reading
Percussion Performances
Recorder Performances
Rhythm Performances
Singing Voice

Each skill is colored differently and these posters are quite attractive.  I post them before an assessment, and quickly talk through the 4 point levels with my students, so they know exactly where their score comes from.  They are now, quite used to these expectations.  Sometimes, I will print these and write directly on them, so students can clearly see which level they got and why.  So these can be used as visuals or paper feedback for students. 

See a skill you'd like to have a rubric for that isn't on the list?  Let me know, and I will do my best to get it quickly added to the set!

Hope this helps you give your students clear feedback and feel more fair and clear about your grading practices.  Download it here!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

QR Code BAG Recorder Pattern Practice

I'm super excited about this new resource I just finished this morning.  I've been working hard on this all week, thanks to a conversation with fellow blogger and colleague at school, Faith from Classy Classroom that sparked the idea.  Check out her elementary classroom blog page!

This set is for my 3rd grade beginning recorder players, but you are welcome to use it with whatever level of students you begin recorders on. 

This kit includes 7 two measure BAG practice patterns for recorder players using the notes BAG and Quarter, Eighth, and Half Notes. Each pattern includes notation and directions, as well as a QR Code to scan. When scanned, the code takes students (or parents) to a link of the pattern being performed correctly on the recorder. Students can check their work or play along.  Directions and suggestions for use are included with the "Full Sheet pdf".

A half sheet version is also included. Directions, along with multiple suggestions for use, are included too. A parent letter is included for use if sending the QR practice pages home as practice assignments.
I am lucky to have 10 iPads in my classroom, so I will be using this at an iPad station as part of my recorder station rotations.  This could be used on iPods in the classroom too.  Parents could use iPhones, iPods, tablets, or other smart phones with QR reading apps (there are several free ones). I use the QR reading app QRafter but there's a free one called INIGMA that I've heard great things about as well.  I  also plan on sending some of the pages home as a practice assignment, including the parent direction letter with the assignment. 

I have tested all the QR codes with success and am excited for my kids to try this new set in an upcoming round of recorder station work.  I am so excited that I think they may get one to take home as a practice assignment next week.

This technologically savvy set can be downloaded from my teachers pay teachers store, along with other great recorder resources. 

If you love it and would like more advanced sets made, please let me know!  I'm thinking of adding some other patterns for differing note combinations. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Recorder Reflection and Assessment Sheets

On my "Polar Vortex" day off yesterday, I created some new recorder reflection sheets to be used to get students to self-assess, to provide tickets out the door, or for the teacher to assess student knowledge and understanding.

This pack includes full sheets that can be cut into quarter sheets for quick student reflection, assessment, and self-evaluation or critique when instructing beginning ukulele players.

Included Are:
Goal Setting Sheet
Hardest/Easiest Part Sheet
On a Scale of 1-4 Sheet
Draw Me the Fingering Cards for B, A, G, C, D, E, F, F#
Identify the Fingering Sets (3 pictures to identify on each card)

These easy to print and divide sheets can be used all year long with your recorder students across differing grade levels and abilities.  Download it today!