menu   home About Me My Classroom Guest Post Workshops Guest Post

Rockin' Resources and a Cyber SALE

I am going to let you in on a little HUGE secret! Tomorrow there is going to be a SITE WIDE TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS SALE!


Ok, who doesn't love a big sale? I have sooo many things on my wishlist (79 to be exact) ranging from great music products, to fonts, and clip art. It won't all make it to my cart, but some of it will, and I am definitely looking forward to saving money and supporting other teachers with my purchases. Yes, I will probably make more than one purchase before Tuesday is over.

In honor of this site wide sale, I am linking up with Amy Abbott from Music a la Abbott to share some "Rockin' Resources" that you should check out during the sale.



First, I will share about a resource I am super excited about that is brand new in my TpT store. I created a Stocking Stuffers rhythm practice game that you can project on your SMART board or, if you are like me, onto your white board.


Students can throw a Kooshball to select it if your board is interactive, or you can click from your computer on the stocking they pick/hit with the ball.


Once they click on a stocking, they are taken to a rhythm pattern for that stocking. 




The student has to read the rhythm pattern correctly to find out what is inside their stocking.

If they get it correct, they are taken to this page: 

If they get it incorrect they are taken to this page, and the game continues with a new team or student taking a turn.


I plan to use this in the next few weeks as an individual assessment in several of my grades as a quick assessment while we are in the middle of prepping for our All School Christmas Sing Along

I have also included a version that uses just stick notation without note heads. Use whichever version will work best for you and your kiddos.

The bundle set includes a file for each of these rhythm concepts. They are also available individually, if you just need one or a few concepts:

- ta and titi
- ta rest
- half note
- tiri-tiri
- ti-tiri
- tiri-ti
- syncopa
- tam ti

This next file is on my wishlist for the cyber sale. I missed it during one of the $2 Tuesdays because life got busy and I forgot to check out!

This one comes from Cori Bloom at Rhythm and Bloom!

The Snow Is Dancing, Music Listening & Movement Lesson



It looks like it includes a lot of great ideas for listening and movement. I love the fake snowflakes that her kiddos are dancing with here, and who doesn't love the music of Claude Debussy!

You can find this file here.

Although I do like to stock up on things to use in my music room, site wide sales are also a time when I really plan ahead for the projects I want to make and go crazy buying clip art, fonts, borders and backgrounds for all of the resources I make.

During the Teacher Appreciation Sale I picked up this Font Bundle from KG FONTS. It includes every font she has ever made and ever will make. It was probably my biggest TpT purchase ever and I was a little leary telling my hubby that I spent $200 on fonts, but I have used them in every single resource I have made since May.

Commercial Font License- ALL FONTS


Not sure that I am ready to pay for more fonts, but I found this font package that I has been sitting in my wishlist for a few months now.

Commercial Font License - ALL THE FONTS


Want to save a little bit extra on your TpT purchase? If you have made TpT purchases in the past, you can leave (thoughtful) feedback on your purchases and earn TpT credits. I LOVE using the TpT credits on top of site wide sales because then I save even more and really feel like I am getting a steal of a deal! I got a LOT of TpT credits from that first font package! You can find out more about TpT credits here.

I hope you have a fun time shopping on Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) during the site wide sale. Don't forget to put in the code, "TPTCYBER" at checkout to get the additional % off!

Things to be Thankful For & "Fill Your Plate"

I have so much to be thankful for. I am so thankful for my family. My husband is my best friend. He "gets" my job since he is a music teacher too, and I am so proud of the things he accomplishes with his students.
I am thankful for his new job which has brought him closer to home. The last few years he had been traveling almost an hour to and from work.

I am thankful for my sweet daughter, Ellie. She is truly the light in my life. She is full of spunk and has always had quite the personality. It is so exciting to see her grow. My little turkey:



I am thankful for a job where I get to make music with children every day. There are times where I am playing a singing game with the kids, and I stop and think, "I am getting paid for this!" It is a blessing to do what you love.

I am thankful that I stumbled upon Amy Abbott's teaching blog almost two years ago. She has so many great teaching ideas. From there, I also found out all about Teachers Pay Teachers, and decided to take the plunge and put some of my resources on the site. I couldn't believe it when I made a sale on there. Someone actually wants to use my resources with their kids???? AMAZING! The blessings just continue to come. Through TpT, the work that I create to use in my classroom has dramatically improved over the last two years. My students are more engaged in the songs that I use, and love coming to music. 

The online friendships I have made with other music teachers who blog and/or sell on teachers pay teachers. Their guidance and feedback has really helped me to make the best resources I can to use with my students, and I am just humbled that other music teachers want to use them in their classrooms too.

To show my appreciation and thankfulness for some of the teachers who have helped me this last year and to anyone who follows our pages, I am excited to bring you a chance to fill up your plate with some great Christmas and Winter resources for the music room at a huge discount. Each of these resources pictured below will be 50% off this Wednesday, November 26th through Thanksgiving Day. Each of these fantastic music teachers has been an inspiration, a mentor, and a friend to me this past year. I am lucky to have them in my life, even though I have not met most of them in person, and my students benefit greatly from the help they give me in creating my resources and the amazing resources and ideas that I have found in their stores and blogs to use in my classroom.

Click on the picture to download a PDF with clickable links to each resource.

I am offering my newest bulletin board set at 50% off Wed.-Thurs. "Snow is falling into place, on a line or in a space". I love the way this board looks in my room and that I can probably leave it up in my room through Feb. or March depending on the weather this year!

Below are links to their great blogs or Facebook pages as well so that you can follow and learn from them too!

Here are the teachers who are giving thanks with me and helping me celebrate!

Linda McPherson from McPherson's Music Room (a fellow Kansas native!) Linda creates amazing resources for practicing musical concepts. My students loved using one of her sol-mi resources last Christmas!

Sara Bibee from Music With Sara Bibee - Sara creates AMAZING Composer of the Month sets! If you haven't seen them, you must!

Brittany De Laruelle from Making Music Memories - Brittany creates lots of song files that I love. They are very time consuming to make, so I love it when I find a song I haven't created a PowerPoint for yet. My students loved her Daisy Chain file this year!

Tracy King from Mrs. King's Music Class - I have never met Tracy in person (yet!) but through her candid Facebook posts, I feel like I know her so well. She has a daughter who is about a year older than Ellie and she is always posting the adorable things her daughter says. She is very well know as "THE Bulletin Board Lady" and I usually feel sheepish every time I post a bulletin board she, but she is always a sweetheart and tells me when I do a good job creating a board. Her "stamp of approval" is huge to me!

Aileen Miracle from Mrs. Miracle's Music Room - I actually got to meet Aileen this past summer and she is a huge sweetheart. She also has a daughter who is really close to Ellie's age. She teaches Kodaly Level 1 and I have learned so much from her rhythmic and melodic sets on TpT. Many of her sets offer ideas for new literature that was not a part of my folk song collection going through Levels training at WSU, so that is always really exciting when I get to stumble upon a new song to teach a concept.

Tina Jones from Totally Tuned In Teacher - Tina has such a big heart. She helped me through a difficult time that I experienced this last year with my dad's health because she too, had gone through the same kind of thing. I am so glad that my dad is now much, much better, but her sharing her experiences with non Western medicine and how it totally changed her life, helped me to accept and be open to alternative doctors who helped my dad so much. Her blog is so fun. You must check it out!

Amy Abbott from Music a la Abbott - Amy is the manipulative queen. I am always on her blog looking for new, tangible ideas to use in my class. Sometimes kids just need something in their hands to feel and manipulate to get the concepts, and her blog is packed full with great ideas. I have even invited her out to KS to present for KMEK in April! :)

David Row from Make Moments Matter - I stumbled into David in Kansas City this summer by chance! I LOVE his blog. So fun. So creative. He is going through Orff training and just completed his level 2 training this past summer. We collaborated on a Kodaly/Orff blog post this summer, and I am always interested to see what he writes.

Jena Hudson from Sew Much Music - Jena is one crafty teacher. When I first saw her blog, I wondered why it was not "Sol" Much Music LOL. NOW, I understand her huge love for all things crafty. She has helped me out with some bulletin board designs in the past and her classroom looks like a dream. Be sure to check out the giveaway happening on her blog! She is giving away a TpT gift card, some of her winter resources and my newest bulletin board set. (Ends 11/25/14)

I hope you enjoy checking out all their sites and "Fill Up Your Plate" this Thanksgiving with some great resources to use with your students!

Winter Bulletin Boards for the Music Room

This week we got a about 3 inches of snow here in Wichita, and so I thought it was probably time I trade out my sailboat themed bulletin boards for something else.

I love to have a line/spaces bulletin board up in my room for my students to refer to, especially when we work on recorders and Orff instruments.

So I came up with "Snow is falling into place, on a line or in a space".


I envisioned snowflakes falling to the ground with the letter names in them. I went to Hobby Lobby and Target to pick up some extras for my board. I got a 60 ft. roll of silver Christmas ribbon 50% off at Hobby Lobby along with the adorable gray fabric I used for the background. This is my first fabric backed bulletin board, and I LOVE it. A little more expensive, but I can use it again and again and not have to re-cut it. I love this pattern and think it is really pretty and calming. I also picked up an icicle garland that I ended up using along the top. I also purchased pre-made Poms for the corners. Each pom is actually half a pom. I cut them in half, and stapled where I cut.

At Target, I grabbed a bag of "glitter snow blanket" to be the bottom border.

I created all of the text and snowflake letters on the computer, printed, laminated and cut out. I loved the different fonts that I got to use by doing this and that the colors were an exact color match to the snowflake clip art I used.
For the side and top border, I had to triple layer the ribbon. I love the way it looks though as opposed to the traditional bulletin board border. 
The lines of the staff are party streamers. I bought one roll several years ago and have gotten many, many boards out of it for only $0.99 or so! I use tape first to make sure the spacing is good before I staple them down, and I use some of the text to cover staples.

Want this bulletin board in your music room? Grab it here:

I am still trying to decide what to do on my other two bulletin boards. For now, they are still sporting sail boats. Let me know if you have a brilliant snow themed idea for my other boards below! 



$2 Tuesday

Tomorrow is $2 Tuesday! Several music teachers are teaming up to bring offer you some deep deals on great resources for the music classroom.

Check out all the links below to see the sale items. These items will be on sale 11-18-14 only, so if you visit the links before that, they may not be on sale, but you can sure get your wishlist ready! :)

(Thank you to Tracy King for designing this image and Krista Wallden-Creative Clips- for the graphics)

If you have a resource you would like to add to the $2Tuesday link up, here are the rules and instructions.

1) You must be a member of the private Facebook group for Music Sellers on TpT. If you are not currently a member, simply contact Aileen Miracle to be added to the group. That way you are in the loop on all the rules that go along with the sale and contribute to promoting it in the required ways.

2) Select a resource from your store that is regularly priced $3-4 and mark it down to $2 in the discount section before you go to bed on 11-17-14. You can leave it on sale until you go to bed on 11-18-14 or until you wake up on Wednesday, Nov. 19th.

3) Add the keyword "TpTMusicTeachers" in your product description. That will help it show up when people search for the keyword on TpT.

4) Add the link directly to your resource on the link up below. You can link up today, but don't mark your resource to $2 until later tonight!

Thanks for joining! Happy shopping!

Monday Music Manipulatives {Cotton Balls & Bingo Counters}

Welcome to another Monday Music Manipulatives!

I am so excited to share this neat idea that I found from my good friend, Erin Johnson, on her Facebook page. Erin went through all three levels of Kodaly with me at Wichita State University. :)

She had been working on preparing ta rest and was actually doing dictation with it, without labeling it. 
She had found two sided bingo counters and used them to make ta's and ti-ti's. 


Then for the beats with no sound, she passed out some cotton balls, and the students were able to dictate on which beat they heard the piece of silence. I love this idea! Cotton balls are cheap, and fun for tactile learners. 

Today she used the beat charts and left the hearts where they heard a piece of silence blank. They numbered the beats, showed which beat was "empty" and labeled it as silent. She then presented the ta rest notation, moved right to flashcards to practice and on they went!

A big thank you to Erin Johnson for sharing her pictures and letting me blog about her idea!

Do you have a fun manipulative you want to share? Link up below! Here's how:
1) Save my "Monday Music Manipulatives" image from the top of my blog
2) Insert it into your blog post and hyperlink it to this post
3) Blog about your own music manipulatives 
4) Copy your blog link and link up below!


Rewarding Great Class Behavior in Music


Today one of my kindergarten classes earned their very first free day in music. I'm sure it sounds crazy, but our free days are actually very fun and very musical. They require zero planning, as the students get to pick the activities for that day (more on that in a minute).

At my school, each class can earn a star in each specials class that they will take back to their room and display outside their door for the whole school to see. It is a display of how they are doing in music, PE, computers, and library.

(Outside a 1st grade classroom)

Each specials teacher has their own stars and their own system for how the five stars are earned in their room.

In music, one star is earned for following each of my M-U-S-I-C rules. 
At the end of class when we line up, I will go through each rule and the students will assess their class with a thumbs up or down for if they think their class as a whole followed each rule.

When they earn five stars, I put a sticker on the chart for their class. Each row is one class. 
When the class has earned 10 stickers, they will get to have a free day the next time I see them.

On a free day, I will tell students in the hallway that they have earned 10 stickers and today is their free day, but they must be showing PRIDE the whole class. If they come in noisy the free day will just be saved for next time. If they get wild in the middle, the free day is over. Students go in and sit at their assigned spot at the board and I will call on quiet hands to tell me one song, book, game, etc. that they would like to do and I make a list on the board of 6-8 ideas. The song, game, dance, book, etc. MUST be one we have done in music class (this year or a previous year). I don't include many "fluff" activities in my lessons, so the thing they choose are always going to be of high musical quality. The fact that the students are choosing them is fun for several reasons.

1) They get to relive and revisit all of their favorites 
2) Since they really love the repertoire, they will behave really well so that the games may continue
3) It lets me find out what "stuck" and what are their absolute favorites. I am often surprised by what they remember - a song or book we've only done once or even when they choose something that I am certain they must be sick of.
4) They get to practice the musical concepts that I selected this song for in the first place. 

Here is what my kindergartners voted on today:
 
Once we have enough ideas, the students close their eyes to vote. If they peek their vote does not count. I let them vote twice and I put the number of votes beside each song.


We go in the order of what has the most votes until we run out of time. Today they got to do the "scarf dance" which is a fast/slow activity that I used when we were prepping fast/slow. Now that I have already presented fast/slow, it was fun that they picked this song because now I got to use that terminology when it would shift tempos, reinforcing fast/slow tempo.

Grizzly Bear- I use this song for loud/soft prep and practice. We start the song at a regular singing dynamic, get dramatically softer on "please be very quiet" and cresc. all the way to the end with the last word "MAD". Loud singing, but never shouted. If I model it appropriately, they usually follow suit and will not shout the ending.

Game: there are several games for this song floating out there. Here is the one I do.
Students are seated in a circle. They are the "cave". One student, the "bear" is sleeping the the cave. One person, the "hunter", is walking around the cave during the song. At the end of the song, the hunter tiptoes into the cave (we sing tiptoe tiptoe tiptoe on sol-mi sol-mi sol-mi). The hunter taps the bear and exits the cave and may run around the circle once. The bear must exit the cave at through the same hole and may chase the hunter. Both chose new students to take their place and the game starts again.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

The Peanut Butter and Jelly book was from one of my very first lessons with them and I was surprised they remembered it. I used it when prepping four voices because we sing "Peanut, peanut butter" and whisper "and jelly" and speak each verse. Lots of fun actions that can be added as well!

So here is what my kindergartners thought they were doing:
1) Selecting their favorite songs
2) Having a fun free day

Here's what they were really doing:
1) Gaining more experience with those songs through repetition
2) Having a voice in selecting repertoire for one lesson
3) Practicing their four voices through the book Peanut Butter and Jelly
4) Practicing fast and slow through controlled movement with scarves to Ersko Kolo
5) Continuing to prepare loud/soft through play (the highest form of learning in my opinion!) with Grizzly Bear
6) Communicating to me their favorites from music class
7) Having a joyful experience in music

Not too bad for a "free day", huh?

One more thought - "What happens if I get one lesson behind with this class?" Let's be honest. If they earned a free day, they must be doing something right and are probably getting through a lot more in each lesson than the other classes in their grade level. I don't think they will fall too far behind. ;)

What do you do to reward great music class behavior? Sound off below in the comments!

2,000 Followers Giveaway

I am truly amazed that there are 2,000+ people out there who like my resources enough to follow me on TpT, so I wanted to have a big celebration for hitting that 2K follower mark!


Celebrate on Facebook: Follow me on Facebook for a flash freebie coming this week!

Celebrate on Teachers Pay Teachers: Check in this week for a surprise one day sale in my TpT store. If you are following on Facebook, you will get a heads up on there too!

Celebrate on my Blog: This giveaway will run starting today through Saturday, Aug. 30th. There are lots of prizes and lots of chances to win!

Enter all of the rafflecopters below for a chance to win each of the following prizes!

- 1 of 2 $50 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Certificates
a Rafflecopter giveaway

- Your choice of any of my kindergarten lesson plans (#2-8)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Read more about my lesson planning here.

- My Voice Cards (I'm calling it "Four Voices" because I use four in my classroom - speaking, whisper, calling, and singing, but I have also added shouting, humming, and inner voice posters as well!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you enter each rafflecopter for your chance to win! Good luck and have a great school year!


Music Classroom Set Up

Hello, and welcome to a new school year. I am already two days in with my students, and August has just been a whirlwind, so I am just now getting around to putting up all of the pictures I took of my room as I was putting it all together. I am linking up with Mrs. Miracle's post, "My Music Room Set Up". You can click this picture to see her room set up as well as several other music teachers who have linked up at the bottom of her post. Let's be honest, I have no idea where I would be without Pinterest and other music bloggers when it comes to setting up my room, so I am really excited to share my room this year!
                    

I have a huge room.
                   
It is a blessing in so many ways that I can have plenty of room for any folk dancing, the sound is great, I get natural light from outside and the high ceilings make it seem even more open.

There are a few downsides to my room though. Nearly all my walls are covered with windows, white board, and cabinets, so I really don't have as much wall space as I wish, and I have not gotten really brave and put anything on the walls really high up. 

I decided I wanted to go with a nautical theme in my room this year after seeing some really cute clip art and being inspired by a few images online. I have two small bulletin boards and one big one and that's about all of the wall space I have. On my first board, I decided that I wanted to have something with the lines and spaces of the staff, so I came up with this board:
For my big board, by the entrance in the back of my room, I decided to replace my quote board from last year with this new quote:

I made the lighthouse out of wrapping paper, the bottom of the board is burlap scrunched and stapled. I really like the other boarder I used. It was double sided border and has animal print on the reverse side. I figured I could save it for whenever I do a "Wild About Music" board.

In the limited wall space beside my window, I hung my recorder rules.


 These bookshelves house my small Orff instruments, all of my classroom percussion instruments, vocal exploration toys, puppets, small buckets and tin cans for bucket drumming, and a few of my manipulatives.

Last year I created a story corner in my room and I love it. I like having my books displayed so that I can easily find what I am looking for and have a dedicated place to put them. I also have my movement/folk dancing word wall in this corner. 


I found these cute fish magnets at Dollar Tree, and I have 16 small heartbeats and 8 larger heartbeat magnets. Those are SO useful!!!  

On my other small bulletin board, Solfa Street has morphed into Solfa Sea this year! I've just been using push pins on them so I can take them off and add them with different grades. I keep a lot of manipulatives (rhythm flashcards, student staffs, high/low charts, pointers, etc.) on this table that I use frequently, and it's a good place to lay what I will need for the day. I'm also using Aileen Miracle's "I can" objectives for each grade level. I love how they work even when I am preparing a concept!

Because of my limited wall space and my addiction to pinterest, the last two years I have used the sides of my file cabinets as makeshift bulletin boards. I used wrapping paper for the background and just taped trim around it. I plan to use one for a "Composer of the Month" and on another I am thinking about creating a magnetic tone ladder. I'll post pictures if I do! :) 


                   And I have my music rules are displayed on the board.                       
 

Thanks for peeking in my room! What do you think of the theme this year?

Lesson Planning



I have gotten a lot of questions on my Facebook page about lesson plans, from templates to actually planning, so this blog post will hopefully help you with just that!

Once I finish my long range (yearly or monthly) plans, I start to break it down, looking at what concepts I am preparing, practicing, and presenting in each month and begin to find the songs that will fit those concepts.

For each lesson I make a column for rhythm and pitch so that I make sure that I am addressing both (no matter where I am in the Prepare/Present/Practice) in each lesson. It looks something like this. I start off just listing things and then I put them in order once I figure out how I want to weave the songs together (that's what the numbers are for):


My first two years teaching I know there would be lessons where I would focus too much on rhythm and barely get to pitch, so making sure that I get a good helping of both kinds of activities has been a big focus in my planning since completing level 3 Kodaly training. I have also paid more thought to my transitions and how I will move from one activity or song to the next. In kindergarten, especially at the beginning, I tend to weave things together with stories, but as my kids get older I find more musical transitions. You can read more about those here.

Last year, when I added kindergarten and pre-k once a month I knew I wasn't going to have them enough to have a seating chart, so I thought a lot about where they would be in my room, how they would enter my room etc. I decided I would have them start each class entering to music so that from the moment they walk into the door they are totally immersed in music. That wasn't something I had done with my 1st-5th, but it worked wonderfully. This year as I move to full day kindergarten and getting to see them three times a week, I am going to have to come up with a much longer playlist, but I love having something different every day (or every few days) to keep them on their toes.

So basically once I have the rhythm and pitch concepts covered for my lesson, I figure out how I want them to be sequenced in my lesson. Which activities would be better at the beginning, the middle the end? I try to mix high and low areas of concentration. I always try to start and end with something that doesn't require a lot of brainpower, and put the "meat" or higher level thinking things in the middle of my lesson.  So the pages of my lesson plan might look like this:
Standards addressed... still getting used to the new ones, objectives, Prepare/Present/Practice, materials, song list

Again a more detailed breakdown of which songs I am using for beat/rhythm concept, and which I am using for pitch/melodic concepts: 

And then procedures.... this is the HOW. How am I going to use this song? What am I doing with it? How am I going to get from this song to the next? How are my STUDENTS going to get from this song to the next? 
I usually don't script them out this detailed for just myself. In a perfect world where my fairy godmother comes and grants me a million extra hours in my day, maybe! BUT... I have just uploaded a sample lesson plan for Day 1 of Kindergarten. I do a lot more with procedures and music room rules than I do later in the year, but I still try to immediately immerse them in music, singing, moving, listening, etc. You can find this first day lesson for free here:

This lesson plan includes copies of all of the songs I use, unless they are copyrighted in which case I provide a link to where you can find it, as well as links to book, recordings and other resources that I am using in that lesson.

It is not intended to be a "print and teach", but a model to guide your own planning, show you what a lesson in my room at the beginning of the year might look like, and give you ideas for things to incorporate into your lessons or additional resources that you might want to have in your classroom.

This first lesson is free sample of a semester long set of lessons that I am working on. Each will be in the same kind of format, opening with some kind of movement/listening for the kids to enter, and scripted throughout the entire lesson so that you know HOW I am using the songs and WHY. Again, these are not print and go, but they may contain a lot of new ideas that you can pull from. Find out more about the full semester set of 36 Kindergarten lessons here:



Once I have my lessons planned for all of the grades for that week, I put them into a typed planner that looks like this:
An editable version of this is included in the free Kindergarten Lesson #1 download.

 It takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to put your own lesson plans "out there". I have had many requests, and I am a bit nervous to do this because I know there is not a one size fits all when it comes to kids, music teachers, classrooms, resources available, scheduling, etc. I sincerely would welcome and appreciate your feedback on these lessons and hope that you find bit or pieces that you can use in your classroom!