menu   home About Me My Classroom Guest Post Workshops Guest Post

Thankful Thursday (on Friday) and FRENZY!

I am linking up with Aileen Miracle for Thankful Thursday. I have so much to be thankful for this year.

#1 - my family
I am so, so blessed. I have a 16 month old daughter, Ellie, who I just adore. She is a climbing, walking, running, talking, kisses-giving, waving bye-bye cutie. Parenting is not always the easiest, but I could not imagine my world without her. It is amazing to watch her grow, it seems every week she is able to say or do something new. 

I am also very lucky to be married to my best friend. He is very supportive of all that I do. I also love that we are both teachers - and both music teachers. I see pre-k through 5th grade and he sees 6th-12th grade band, so we pretty much cover the spectrum. He teaches about an hour away from where we live, but  that brings me to my next thing I am thankful for.

#2 Our jobs

I am so thankful that we were both able to find jobs teaching music in a time when positions were being cut and there weren't many openings. I love my school, the kids, the staff, my room. It is amazing to be in one school! My first teach teaching I traveled between three schools daily and never really felt "grounded" in any of the schools or school communities. Now, I feel very much a part of my school, and I am so thankful that I get to wake up and make music with beautiful children everyday.

#Networking - this past year I have really learned what a tool online networking can be through pinterest, facebook, blogging, and I have gained so many ideas from music teachers all over the world. Collaboration is right at our fingertips. The teachers who went through Kodaly Certification with me have a facebook group where we can go to celebrate our personal victories, ask questions, and continue to help improve our teaching. I am also on several other music groups on facebook that act in the same way: Kodaly Music Educators of Kansas (feel free to join even if you are not in KS), Kodaly Educators, Orgaization of American Kodaly Educators, and Music Teachers. Each of these groups has been a valuable tool for me this year. As music teachers we are often the only music person in our buildings and it can be very isolating. It is important to continue your own professional development by keeping close contact with other music educators.

Several of the music teachers I have come to know over the past year are linking up Dec. 6-9 on facebook to stuff your stockings with 17 amazing freebies. There is something for everyone, Kodaly materials, Orff orchestrations, recorder resources, pre-made bullitin boards, music clip art for your printed programs, and so much more!

Just go to my facebook page and look for this tab:

If you have already liked my paged, the freebie will be right there for you to download. If you haven't, simply "like" my page to get your freebie. Then, click on the snowman in the freebie tab and you will be sent off to the next stop to collect another free resource. This Facebook Frenzy has 17 stops. Don't miss out on any great products. Sometimes you will have to click on your back arrow if the freebie doesn't open in a new page to get back to the frenzy page with the snowman link to the next freebie. Let me know if you need any help making your way though and I can email you a map with direct links to each page.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy this first ever music teacher facebook frenzy!


December Festivities

Today is the last day of the TPT Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale. If you have anything you want to get, I'd definitely stock up today! Most of my store (as well as many other teachers' stores) is up to 28% off when you enter the code CYBER at checkout.

I've created lots of new materials for Winter and Christmas, and just added another to my store yesterday. It is called "Dashing Through the Snow Rhythm Races". 

It has nothing to do with "Jingle Bells". It is just a fun rhythm practice game. Originally I wanted it to be Bobsled Rhythm Races, but I could not find any bobseld clipart that met my needs. This game is played just like my Turkey Trot or Candy Corn rhythm races where you have different colored teams and each team gets a pile of rhythms. When you say/play the rhythm, one person from each team races down to find the correct rhythm and bring it back for their team. My idea with the bobsled (sleds in this case) is that if your PE teachers has scooters, you could have them race on scooters to find the rhythms. This works well on a combined PE and music day or if you have the space in your music room and can borrow scooters from your PE teacher. Although I couldn't find bobsled clip art, I do love these glittery sleds. They were one of my first Cyber Monday purchases from Glitter Meets Glue Designs. She is the queen of all things glittery!

I am working on a set of all of the level 1 and 2 rhythm concepts (because that's where my kids are). If you want me to also work on sets for level 3 concepts, please comment below and let me know what concept you would me to add to my store. So far I have these ones done:

and more to come! :)

I also wanted to let you know that I will be participating in a Facebook Frenzy this weekend for music teachers. 16 music teachers including myself are teaming up to bring you 16 fabulous freebies. Starting Dec. 6th, if you visit any of our facebook pages and "like" our page you will be rewarded with a freebie as our thank you for following us. Once you have downloaded the freebie from one teacher there will be a link to the next freebie so you can hop through and collect all 16 free things for your music room. HOW AWESOME DOES THAT SOUND!?! I am so excited that many other Kodaly and Orff teachers are a part of this frenzy. There will truly be something for everyone. 

Here's a little preview of my freebie and the other great freebies to come!

I have been saving this just for my facebook frenzy! It is not currently available in my TPT store.

Head to my facebook page Dec. 6-9 to start snagging your freebies and don't forget about the CYBER sale ending today! 


Wednesday Wishlist

On this Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we should take time to give thanks for the many gifts in our life. I am so thankful for my darling daughter who is 16 months old and running, giggling, singing, dancing, and climbing all over the house. I am thankful for my loving and supportive husband. I am thankful for my family and friends. I am blessed with a job I love and that I get to make music with beautiful children every day. I am thankful for the music teachers who have inspired me and showed me what a joy teaching music can be. I am also thankful for the online world of music teachers who collaborate and share ideas on facebook groups, pinterest, blogs and TPT. I have gained so many new ideas for my classroom this year and I feel so honored that other teachers are using the materials I create with their students in their classrooms. As of this morning I have 600 teachers following me on TPT! Thank you so much for the support. 

I am so excited to announce the huge Teachers Pay Teachers site wide Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale (Dec. 2-3). Enter the promo code: CYBER to receive 10% off your purchase. Plus most of the items in my store will be 20% off, so with the promo code you can get up to 28% off the original price! 

I am hoping to make several purchases of my own and need to get my wish list ready! So what's on your wish list? Comment below or link up your blog to share what you are excited to buy on Cyber Monday - not limited to TPT things.

Here are some of the things on my wish list right now, but I'm sure there will be more to come once I have some time to look!

This set by Linda McPherson looks so cute! This looks like a great practice activity for sol-mi!

My kids are practicing loud/soft and I'm looking for a few new ideas, so I am looking at this set by Aileen Miracle:

I'm also thinking about this set of songs and activities for teaching half note: 

PLUS lots of fun clip art for upcoming projects! :)

Looking for some Wintery/Christmas materials to add to your wish list?

Check out these:

It includes slides for lyrics, steady beat, rhythm icons, and slides for presenting and practicing ta-a as tied quarter notes as well as half note.

Beat Charts:

Trim the Tree Rhythm Games- available for each rhythm concept or as a money-saving bundle:

and Vocal Exploration for Christmas:

What is on your wish list?

If you are a regular classroom teacher or do homeschooling, check out Rebecca Reid's Wishlist Wednesday here:

Wish List Wednesday: All I Want for Christmas

You can link up on her lovely blog or if you want to join the music edition, feel free to link up below!

1. Write a blog post including my Wednesday Wishlist picture with a link back to my blog post.
2. Add your link below

Happy Holidays,

And the Winner Is...

Jalylene, you are the winner of my Trim the Tree: ta and titi set!

It is on its way to your via email right now. I hope you enjoy using it with your students! Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway!


200 Facebook Likes Giveaway

I have passed 200 likes on my Facebook page this week. I am loving all the comments and ideas being shared there! If you have not found my Facebook page yet, you can check it out here: Lindsay's Kodaly Inspired Classroom

The winner of this giveaway will receive a new game, "Trim the Tree: ta and titi" which will be very fun to play during the Christmas season as another way to practice reading ta and titi. 

If you have already purchased this game, you can still enter to win and I will send you another concept of the game or any other file up to $1.50 from my store.

   If the entry form doesn't show up click here:   a Rafflecopter giveaway

This game is also available for the following rhythm concepts:
syncopa (flash freebie until 9:00 AM Central time 11/21/13)

As always, I love to hear feedback from you on the freebies! :)

Please let me know if you would like to see any other concepts added to my store for this game!

They are also available in one big bundle that way you can play it with several grades and differentiate for each grade level. 

Thank you so much for stopping by,


Monday Music Manipulatives

I think it is time for another Monday Music Manipulatives Link Up! 
If you are a music teacher blogger, feel free to join the link up (directions at the end of the post). If you a blog reading music educator, please make sure to follow any other blogs that link up at the bottom of this post for more great music manipulatives ideas.

I am trying to use the American Methodoloy and Yearly Plans books this year more in my planning and sequencing. 

During sol-mi prep one of the things it suggests is having the students place the text of the song on the board to show "high" and "low". I put the words for the song, "Rain Rain Go Away" on umbrella die cuts and placed magnets on the back. 

I was able to use this with practicing steady beat as well as having students place them on the board to show which words (or parts of words) are high and which were low.

Here are some pictures:

Students place umbrellas above the heart beats to show steady beat.

Pass out umbrellas and have students put the song in order with their umbrella either showing high or low. We talk about spacing just like when we do it on the individual student high/low charts

Don't have access to umbrella die cuts? Download this freebie in my TPT store.

I want to hear about and see all the fabulous manipulatives you are using in your music room! Please link up below. 

Here's how:
1) Write a blog post about your manipulatives in the music room
2) Include my Monday Music Manipulatives picture in your blog post with a link back to this post.
3) Sign up below to have your finished blog post linked to mine! 


Listen to Myself Challenge

I'm linking up with fellow Kansas blogger, David, from Make Moments Matter to take part in the Listen to Myself Challenge.

He shared this article, 5 Things to Say to Your Class Every Day and challenged us to think about the things we are saying to our students. So below are the things I try to say, want to avoid saying, and things I need to say more often.

#1 - Compliments
Compliments go a long way with kids. They want to know that you are more than just their music teacher. You are a person and when you compliment them or notice new things about them, you are acknowledging that they are important people to you. I always try to take the time as kids are coming into my room to assess their moods, say "good morning" or "good afternoon", but going even farther to say "I like your shirt," "Did you get new shoes?" or "I like your new haircut!" can really brighten their day. I challenge you to find three kids to compliment on their way into your room every day.

#2 Avoid Escalating Bad Behavior
I have a hand full of kids who can easily be set off and a situation can go from bad to worse in a matter of seconds if not handled in just the right way. In some cases I have had to learn that it is not "my way or the highway," but I can keep things more calm in my room if I remove myself from the situation and give the student a moment to calm down, whether that is in my resting spot, out in the hall, or with another teacher.
I need to remember that sometimes there are just other things going on in these kids' lives that are contributing to these behaviors. I had a student who was really disruptive in class a few weeks ago. After class I pulled him aside and asked what was going on. He said he hadn't had breakfast that morning and he was late for school so he couldn't eat at school and he was just so hungry. I know this is a family that we always have to make sure the kids eat breakfast because they are not getting enough to eat at home. Instantly my attitude about the whole situation changed. I sent him to the nurse to get some crackers and he came to my room to apologize after school. Sometimes it is hard to remember it is not always a conflict with the student and myself, but that it could be something totally unrelated.

I want to try this week to celebrate the musician in each of my students. So often when a student sings or plays I don't make a big deal of it because it is just normal and second nature to my kids. Last week, my first graders were playing "Doggie Doggie" and one said, "____________ has a beautiful singing voice." I said "Wow! Yes she does!" I feel like it is so important to recognize the musician in every student to give them the courage to want to sing and play both with the class and alone. 

I challenge you to listen to your teacher self. What do you like/don't like about the things you say to your students? What changes are you going to try to make?

A special treat for you- for Veteran's Day my entire store will be 15% off. My brother in law served in Iraq. I need to remember to take a moment today to thank him for volunteering for a job that I would be too scared to do. Make sure to thank a veteran today.

You can check out my newest games- Steal the Bacon. I learned about this game from Linda Wood, who posted it in the comments on my facebook page requesting that I make cards for the game. 

The cards look like this: 
Just print, cut down center, and laminate to last forever!

Game directions: 
Set up: Set up two rows of chairs facing each other (like longways sets). Students are seated in chairs facing the row across from them. Each side is one team. Students number off the teams from opposite ends of the rows, so that each child knows their number. Rhythm pattern cards are scattered in between the rows allowing plenty of room to run. Teacher claps/says/or plays a rhythm pattern and then says a number. The students on both teams with that number run in to get the correct rhythm pattern; however, there is only one card for each pattern. They must get the correct rhythm pattern and get back to their seat before the other player can tag them. If tagged, the other player gets to “steal their bacon” and take the card back to their line. Continue until you clap/say all cards and then the cards for each team are counted. You can have some kind of reward if you choose to. Students whose numbers are not called cannot leave their seats. If a student leaves their seat to “help when their number is not called the other team automatically wins the “bacon”.

This game would be great for your upper elementary and even middle school kids- I've even made a few sets for older beginners! :)

I have sets for the following concepts and I'm working on more!

Or if you are interested in several concepts, you should check out the money-saving bundle: 

I love how the internet connects us in this way to people all over the world! I'd love to see where you are reading this blog from. Comment below with where you teach!

Happy Veteran's Day,


Making Music Interactive and a Music Teacher Facebook Frenzy

Happy Wednesday,

I am linking up today with I'm Lovin' Lit's Thursday Throw Down: Ways to Make Learning More Interactive with ways to make music more interactive plus a link to some cute interactive notebook ideas for music teachers.

Usually when I think about the word "interactive" I think about technology and interactive notebooks. I haven see some really cute ideas for music interactive notebooks at Emily's blog The Sweetest Melody, but I haven't really taken the interactive notebook plunge in my music room yet (future goal for sure!).
Picture from The Sweetest Melody
Picture from The Sweetest Melody

But looking at the word, something else comes to mind.

DANCING!  and more specifically, square dancing!

There are some wonderful square dance and folk dances that you can find. I use a lot of resources by the Amidons for my students. 

When you are square dancing, you are have to listen and respond to the music (or the caller) as well as communicate (mostly non-verbally) to your partner, corner, and the other members of your square.

At my school we do a HUGE Kansas Day celebration and part of that evening is folk dancing and square dancing. Each grade performs a dance on the stage for the parents. I really want to expand this in the future to a community folk dance night, but until I get really comfortable with teaching the dances, I will just stick with the kids! :)

This is such a great, interactive way to make those connections between music and dance and preserve a part of our culture and heritage. My kids LOVE to dance, and my fifth grade boys even beg for it!

I cannot count the valuable social aspects, especially when you start early. Dancing becomes a part of their culture. They forget about the opposite sex and cooties and just have fun and try to keep up. 

If you don't have your kids dancing in the music room yet, I highly suggest trying it out! 
If you are already dancing with your kids, you might be interested in this movement and folk dancing word wall. I use it to reinforce terminology that is new to them such as "longways set", "allemande", "dosido" and lots more! 

Here are a few sample pages:

Are you a music teacher on TPT? We are currently searching for some music teachers to take part in a Facebook Frenzy in early December. Here's a little info on how it works. Basically it's an organized Facebook event that is held during a weekend where teachers offer a free item via an application that is downloaded to your business facebook account. It cannot be something that is currently offered in your TPT store. This means that anyone who comes to get your freebie simply has to "like" your facebook page, and then there is a direct link to the next music teacher's facebook page once they have grabbed your freebies. Its a great way to build up followers and collaborate with music teachers around the world. 

The requirements for this frenzy are you have to offer a Winter/Christmas themed freebie and you must have a facebook business account (if you don't have one, now would be a great time to set one up!). 

If you are interested in joining the Music Teachers Facebook Frenzy follow this link:
This is a preliminary sign up, just to make sure we have enough music teachers to participate. A real sign up will follow soon!

If you are not on TPT and want to get started, here are some tips. Feel free to use my referral link. I'd be happy to help you get your store up and running in any way that I can! Just copy and paste this into your browser. It will look like the normal TPT site, but it tracks that it is from my referral link.

If you're not interested in selling, you may still be interested all of the fantastic freebies that will be available during the frenzy so make sure that you are following my Facebook page, Lindsay's Kodaly Inspired Classroom or blog so you don't miss out!

Happy Thursday,