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Skipping Rope Song

My kids really enjoy this song. I bring it out when preparing/presenting/practicing ti-tiri by isolating just the last line of the song.

We play the jump rope game that goes with it, substituting "Ella" for the name of the kid jumping in. When the people spinning the rope sing your name, you get to run in and jump. If they make it past 4 letters, we just continue counting regularly in a speaking voice.

This song makes an appearance again when we work on tiri-ti. I think they are a little surprised that there was an unknown rhythm in this song since we just isolated the last line previously.

It also is great for reading fa!

 Steady beat (this also helps to make sure that the jump rope is being spun steadily!):
 Rhythmic icons:
 Known rhythms plus icons for new rhythm:
 Introducing our new rhythm. After, I immediately follow with practice reading this rhythm from flashcards and other songs.

 Stick notation with solfa- new note
 Someone new has moved into Meldoy Street
 Icons for pitch with lyrics:

 Icons for pitch with solfege - new note:
 Icons on staff:
 After we learn fa, I have repeats of those last slides with fa filled in as the mystery note (both on and off the staff) Below it is pictured on the staff:

Finally we get to read it from the staff in standard notation!

The whole download is available as a PDF on my Teachers Pay Teachers page:

Please feel free as always to comment or email with any questions!


Jump Rope Songs and Rhymes

On Fridays when we have a regular full week of school, the PE teacher at my school and I combine to do Music and Movement with our kids. We have two classes in the gym at a time and sometimes this can get pretty crazy, but we generally have a good time and the kids look forward to it.

We do lots of folk dancing, parachute activities, and espesically in the month of February, we jump rope! Our PE teacher is in the middle of Jump Rope for Heart.

She has asked me to teach each grade some different long rope songs and games.

The following slides will be ON SALE for the rest of Feb. on my Teachers Pay Teachers Page.

This is the easiest one for them to jump with because there are only two lines of text before the numbers:
 This one "ups the anty" a little with four lines of text before counting the number of doctors it took to save poor Cinderella. So far, the high score in my room is 62 doctors.
 Uh-oh... this one has the word "boyfriend". I know what you're thinking.... "my kids won't go for this". I actually learned this one from my kids. I guess it's the hot rhyme on the playground these days. They also have another variation "Ice cream, soda pop, cherry on top, how many boyfriends do you got? 1... 2... 3..." I chose this one because I don't like "do you got".... I'm really not a grammar snob, but that does bother me.
 This one is great if you are working on so-mi-la. Throw the rope on "overhead".

 I thought this one would be too hard for my little kids who have a hard time jumping over the rope, and too babyish for my upper grades because of the text, but having to do the actions in the long rope really makes this a fun challenge for them. I have fifth grade boys chanting "Teddy Bear"! We do chant this one, like the rhythm in Susan Brumfield's book, "Hot Peas and Barley-O" But I use this text instead of hers because of the fun (and challengeing) actions.
 Skipping Rope Song can be found in 150 American Folk Songs. Every music teacher should own this book!

This song is great for prepare/present/practice ti-tiri (or whatever you call it in your rhythm language) by isolating the last line or tiri-ti.

These are available for download as a PDF file. You can easily convert that to PowerPoint slides or whatever you use in your classroom.

I project these in my room when we are using that particular song/rhyme, but for Jump Rope For Heart I have each of these laminated on different cards that will be placed around my music room with long ropes for different stations.

Happy Jumping!


Closet Key

My students could play the game for this song OVER AND OVER. My fifth graders still ask for it. We play the game in a seated circle with a "detective" in the middle. Someone goes around the circle "garden" and drops a key in someone's hands behind their backs. The detective tries to guess who has the key.

 Lyric slide:
 Steady beat slide:
 Rhythm Icons:
 Stick noation:
 Solfa with stick notation- new pitch!
 Iconic pitch notation:

 Icons to show pitch with solfege and new mystery note:
 A new note has moved in!
 Introducing "re"!
 Practice reading on the staff
 Staff and solfege:
 Standard notation with solfege syllables inside:

My kids love to play this easy song on the Orff instruments too. There are also slides at the end that show the whole song in iconic notation.

These slides are available for download on my teachers pay teachers page, either as a Mimio lesson, or as a PDF. Please make sure you select the right one for you, as I know not everyone has access to Mimio software.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment or email me at


Rain Rain Go Away

We have over a foot of snow and most all of the elementary session for KMEA have been canceled today, so I had a little time to upload some new slides that I have created.

These slides are for Rain Rain go away. I use the version that contains only so and mi. Clip art is from They have lots of cute FREE backgrounds, borders and clip art. Great site for teachers!

Here is the lyrics slide:

A slide for steady beat:

 Rhythm icons:
 Rhythm notation: This is done using MusicEd font. If you don't have it, you should get it! I use it all the time! It is available on this website for $25. Probably the best $25 I have ever spent for my classroom.

 Icons with solfege underneith:
 Slides to practice high and low:
 Icons on the staff with lyrics under (I have these for both F do and G do)
Icons on the staff with solfege under:
 Standard notation on the staff (Again, I have slides for both F do and G do) This helps me show my kids that if so is on a line, mi is on a line and if so is on a space, mi is on a space:

The full set of slides is available for download on my Teachers Pay Teachers page, . If you download any of my products, please be sure to leave feedback!


The Pursuit Begins

I had never planned on being an elementary music teacher. My sights were always set on having a high school choral program. My own elementary music experience was totally uninspiring, but despite that I just LOVED to sing. I joined choir in 4th grade and complained about going a lot because we always got yelled at by the nun for talking. I stuck it out and in 8th grade I had the opportunity to audition for "The Music Man" at our school. I sat in my room listening to the cast recording every night and practicing "Goodnight My Someone" and "Til There Was You". I was cast as Marian and for the first time in my life people told me that I could sing. That musical was my hook and I continued in choir and musical theatre in high school.

While student teaching I requested a specific high school and asked to be placed where ever for elementary. I student taught with a cooperating teacher who had a "comprehensive music" view, and no Kodaly or Orff training and I didn't know any different. My own literacy skills were very poor, and I didn't know that elementary music could be a joyful place.

Then the district where I student taught brought in a Kodaly teacher for one of the music professional development days. I was hooked. I could see myself teaching in this way, having fun with my students, and teaching them to actually READ music.

When I graduated, I didn't have enough money to start my Kodaly levels, but I knew that I wanted to at some point. I got a job teaching elementary music 2 1/2 hours away from my hometown. For this position, I traveled between 3 schools daily teaching grades K-2. I was the second music teacher at each school and this district had daily music.

I felt completely overwhelmed. The student population was over 90% hispanic with and with many of the kids this was their first school experience and they knew little to no English. They were in and out of school for long stretches as they would go back to Mexico for months at a time visiting family.

Not only was I unprepared for the cultural implications, I felt really unprepared about how to set up my curriculum, structure my lessons and begin a Kodaly Classroom as this was brand new to them (and me!).

During my first year, my boyfriend, who was finishing up college back in my hometown proposed to me. He finished his instrumental music ed degree and we both began the job search.

He found a job about an hour outside of my hometown and I ended up getting a new job about 15 minutes from my hometown. At my new school I would see grades 1-5 twice a week. This was going to bring a lot of changes and I felt like it was time to take Kodaly Level 1.

My instructor, Jo Kirk, changed my teaching and my life in those short two weeks. As I watched Jo teach, those "boring" little songs came to life as she used games, puppets, manipulatives, and childrens literature to paint a bigger picture. I fell in love with the structure, sequence and joyfullness of the approach.

This blog is my pursuit to become a Kodaly Queen like those who have inspired me. Please feel free to contact me with your ideas or questions so that we can grow together!

Queen in Training