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Rain, Rain, Go Away

We have had a very unusual Spring this year. We have had tons and tons of rain. I can't actually remember a day in the last two weeks that we haven't gotten a little bit of rain and most days we have gotten a good down-pouring.

Needless to say, we have been ready for some sun and some warmer summery weather. 

A few weeks ago I took advantage of the rain and included some fun activities for "Rain Rain Go Away".

Here are a few ideas for rainy days:

1) Practice beat vs. rhythm by pointing at icons on the board.

Looking for ready made slides like these? Click here for my beat/rhythm/ta/titi slides or here for a set that has high/low and sol-mi.

2) Use body percussion and then non-pitched percussion instruments to show the ta's and titi's. 

3) Create a rain storm in the music room.
My kids just LOVE this. We talk through a rain storm. What happens? Before the storm, the sun is out. Then the clouds come and it begins to start raining with just little sprinkles of rain. The rain gets heavier and heavier and may eventually be accompanied by thunder and lightning. Eventually the thunder and lightning stop. The rain slows down to a stop. After we talk through it, pull out instruments to help us make those sounds - rain sticks, hand drums or thunder drums if you have them. The kids who do not get an instrument are body percussion rain drops on their laps or the floor. If you lay a hand drum on the floor in front of you and play with just the tips of your fingers (like typing on a keyboard slowly) it makes a cool sound for the start and end of the rain. I let one person stand at the lights and give us a few quick lightning flashes. We assign one person to be the sun and one to be the rain clouds. The first time I ever did this, it was a filler thing in the last few minutes of class after singing "Rain, Rain"  but they ask for it again and again and request to "make a rain storm" every chance they get.

Let me know if you have done something similar. You could even incorporate the song into it as an A section, have the storm be B, and then end with singing the A again.

4) Rainy Day Freeze Dance
Put on your favorite rainy music and play freeze dance. When you pause the music, students must freeze like the picture. When I do freeze dance, I project the pictures onto the screen so they are nice and big for my kids to see.

The next two pictures are from the classroom of Andrea DeAnn. Her kindergartners really enjoyed posing like each of the different images.

Trying to catch raindrops in their mouths! Too funny!

Here are some ideas for rainy music to use:
- "Singing in the Rain"
- "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"
- "My Favorite Things" - Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...
- "If All the Raindrops"
Or maybe an instrumental piece that reminds you of the rain!

5) Notate a Rain Song
My students notated the rhythms for the song, "Rain Rain Go Away" below the beat umbrellas. 

Do you have any additional "rainy day" songs or activities that I haven't mentioned? Add your ideas in the comments below, or let me know if there was something you really enjoyed learning about in this post!

2, 4, 6, 8

One of my favorite songs to bring out in the spring is 2, 4, 6, 8.

I can use this with any grade level that is preparing or practicing beat vs. rhythm or is practicing ta and titi. 

The dance that I learned with this song is set up in longways sets with each student facing their partner.

Phrase 1: Take four steps towards your partner
Phrase 2: Shake hands with your partner
Phrase 3: Right hand turn to trade places with your partner
Phrase 4: Take four steps backward into your partners old spot

IDEALLY the head couple sashays down to the bottom of the set during phrase four and the other partners move up a space to start again and there is a new head couple, but you can work up to that. Sometimes they need extra time to get down there, especially if you are teaching it to the whole class at once. Some of my kids won't remember to go because they march backwards instead, but I don't make a big deal out of it. I just add a little rhythm improv between repetitions to get them down there and then we start again

I should have made my kids listen a few more times before joining in on the singing, as you will hear that some of them throw in a la and make the last phrase ta titi ta ta. Once we really honed in on the rhythm of the song and read it with ta's and titi's that fixed that right up.

Here are some of the visuals and manipulative I use with this song after they have learned the dance.

When practicing steady beat or working on beat vs. rhythm, I can pull out this slide and students can pat beat on laps while I point or they can take turns tapping at the board like the teacher.

I also have slides for prepping the rhythm of the words as well as with stick notation.

Click here to find these ready made slides to use in your classroom.

On a different day in ta and titi practice stage, I divide the class into small groups and I pass out baggies that have foam flowers that I picked up from the dollar bin. On the flowers, I have notated (in stick notation) the phrases of the song with one phrase on each flower. Students work in groups to put the song together.

When they have the song notated I come around to each group and they perform it for me.

I hope this gives you some fun ideas to try with your kids!

Favorite Music Freebies

I am linking up with Jen from Noteworthy By Jen to share some of my favorite music freebies on Teachers Pay Teachers.

1) Alien Adventure- A Vocal Exploration Activity by Elaine Ford at Mrs. Ford's Melodies

Alien Adventure: A Vocal Exploration Activity

My kids love these vocal exploration pathways and you can never have too many different themes to keep it fresh! And while we are on the space theme...

2) Zoom to the Moon - sol-mi - melodic file by Tina Jones at TotallyTunedInTeacher

Zoom to the Moon Sol-Mi Melodic Concept Game

This game is so much fun and it is a great for early practice and assess reading sol-mi from solfa abbreviations before moving to the staff.

3) Recorder Composition Cards  by Aileen Miracle

BAG Recorder Composition Cards {Freebie}

These cards made for a really quick and easy composing activity on with recorders this year. It is great for centers, groups, partners. You could even have your kids notate their composition out once they arrange it using the cards.

4) Note Neighborhood by David Row at Make Moments Matter

Note Neighborhood – Quarter and Eighth Notes
I had been brainstorming about how I could make a rhythm equivalent of Solfa Street, and then I found it already made for me in David's store. What a time saver and so clever. I loved this freebie so much I had to buy the whole bundle. I can't wait to unveil "Note Neighborhood" next year in my classroom!

5) Kindergarten Lesson Plan - Lesson #1 from my TpT store

Kindergarten Music Lesson Plan {Day 1}

This freebie is a sample (Lesson 1) of my 36 lesson semester 1 set. Each lesson was a huge labor of love. I completely scripted out an entire 30-45 minute music lesson in each one including all of the song materials, how I would transition, the questions I would ask, concepts being covered, etc.
If you haven't seen any of my kindergarten lesson plans yet, take a peek at this free one!

Want to find even more great freebies? Visit Noteworthy By Jen's blog and click on all of the bloggers who have linked up at the bottom of her post!

Celebrating Our Music Memories

I will only get to see my fifth graders three more times this year before they leave me forever. I wanted their last few class periods of elementary music to be a celebration of their favorite songs from music.

To find out what "stuck" with each student and find out their favorite songs and memories from music, I have my students fill out a "Music Memories" page.

(sample page)

The page I passed out to my fifth graders asked them to fill in the name of their favorite song they learned this year, something new they learned this year in music, their favorite memory from 5th grade music, and some ways that music will continue to be a part of their life.

Sorry their responses are a bit blurry, but it was really cool to look through them and see what they remembered. Sometimes a song from September that I barely remember doing with them is their favorite. Sometimes I am surprised by which students loved which songs.

I will then take the info they filled in to determine what activities we will be doing in music class for their last two days.

Here is a list of the songs that this particular group of 5th grades listed. They were working on these independently. The number behind the song shows how many different students listed that song as their favorite from music this year.

Nifty Nifty United States (8)
Shenandoah (2)
Battle Cry of Freedom
If I Had Three Wishes - from their program (6) see sheet music on Carl Fisher's website here.
Class Compositions - from their program

A few of my students wrote two songs down and I honored both of the songs they listed by including them both.

If you want to snag these editable end of the year music memories pages you can find them here:

As always, I love to see other teachers using my things in their classrooms. Here are a few pictures shared with me from the classroom of Courtney Wolfe Turay‎:
Photo Credit: Courtney Wolfe Turay

Photo Credit: Courtney Wolfe Turay
In what ways are you celebrating your students music memories from the year or years?

Teacher Appreciation Sale on TpT

Thank you Nikki Wade Sabiston for the image!

My entire store will be 28% off May 5th and 6th when you enter the promo code "ThankYou" at checkout!

I am always eager for the site wide sales to save a little money on my own wishlist.

I am linking up with Tina at Totally "Tuned-in" Teacher to share a resource from my store that might be fun to end the school year with, a resource from another music store that I am excited to purchase and a clip art set that I can't wait to create with.

1) Musical Memories

This set includes 21 different sheets (both grade level and non-grade level specific)

Prompts include:

Music makes me feel...
My favorite song we learned this year was...
Draw your favorite music game:
My favorite instrument to play in music:
My favorite song we listened to was...
I loved when we...
I learned the rhythm: 
My favorite song to sing was:
Next year in music I hope we...
My favorite memory from music...
Draw something new you learned this year in music.

Here is an example:

I love reading my students responses each year to find out what were their most memorable moments and what really "stuck".

2) "Great Big House" from Lori's store "Sweet Sounds"
Great Big House {Do Pentatonic Practice Pack}
I've been practicing re with some of my kiddos and this set would just be perfect review.

Here's a little preview:

3) A clip art set that has been on my wish list:

Swim Kids Clip Art

A set of summer time worksheets has been on my "to do" list for a while now. We'll see if I can get around to it! Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day! 

What are you excited to buy? Don't forget to check out Totally Tuned-In Teacher's blog to see what everyone else has on their wishlist!