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Halloween Favorites

Kids love Halloween. As a kid, it was my favorite holiday. I loved getting to dress up and go trick or treating. Here are some of the tricks and treats from my music room this week:

Skin and Bones is so fun to play with any age! I turn the lights off, students sit in a circle and I go around the outside of the circle singing the song and I use an egg shaker to shake on the "oo's" just for a fun sound effect. On "boo" the whole class is usually scarred. I have best success with this game around 3rd grade, but it's fun all the way up through 5th grade. I've seen lots of fun variations on games for skin and bones on facebook recently. My favorite (though a little creepy) was to have the kids all lay on the floor and rise up to a sitting position on to "oo's" then lay back down. I will have to remember that for next year. This song is perfect because I am about ready to present low la! It is a really easy repeated part to play on the Orff instruments too.

This morning I did rhythmic dictation using Q tips as "bones" with my fifth graders. After a few practice rounds, they got to create their own four beat bone rhythm pattern. It was a little difficult to get the tiri-tiri's to stay so some are falling down, but you get the idea! They loved it!

Monster Mash Freeze Dance has been a big hit today. I play the song Monster Mash, but you could use any spooky dancable song. When I pause the music the kids have to freeze like the picture. This activity is fun way to get them moving and isolating different parts of their bodies. They have to think creatively for some to figure out how to make their bodies best match the pictures:

They have to really think creatively for some to figure out how to make their bodies best match the pictures:

These are available on my TPT store here:

We are busy practicing ta rest:
During prep, we may just play a singing game. I play this one kind of like Closet Key. My students sit in a circle. I put a witch had in the middle and select a student to sit by the witch hat (they don't wear it because you just never know about head lice). I go around the circle with a penny and hide it in one student's hands. The witch has three guesses of where the penny is. The kids really enjoyed playing this game.

Reviewing high low in prep for sol-mi:

I found these great Halloween erasers at Target in the dollar bins to use on our high/low staff:

Pitch matching: 
The students would not see this. Teacher sings "What will you be on Halloween night?" (s mm s m ss m s) Students answer in their singing voice with whatever they will be (ex. I will be a black cat - ss mm s m)

I cover a mallet with Kleenex and drew on eyes and a mouth and now have "Spooky the Ghost". The kids love to sing to Spooky. He can only hear us if we use our singing voices! :)

If you have a different Halloween puppet that would work too, but this is so easy to make!

Children's Literature:
The Halloween House can be sung to the tune of Over in the Meadow. Instead of counting forwards, it counts backwards, which is a lovely skill to work on with kindergarten. 
Here's a little video of me reading a portion of it so you can get the melody I use.

What's going on in your music room? Share some ideas in the comments!


These are a few of my favorite pins... October

Aileen Miracle is hosting a link up on her blog to share our favorite Pinterest pins from the month of Oct. Check out all my great finds below and then hop on over to her blog and see more great ideas! I would invite any other music teachers to write a blog post with your favorite Pins of October and link up to Aileen's blog, that way we can share even more ideas!

Here are my favorite pins. Just click on the picture to see the pin.

1) This is an AMAZING list of blogs and online resources for the music room. So many great ones that I already follow, plus some new ones for me to check out! Seriously, I cannot express how awesome this is. I just wish I had more time to go through it all!

2) The Remote Controlled Singer comes from Jeremy at the Kentucky Kodaly Classroom. He says "At the tap of each button, students perform the song various ways: singing text, rhythm syllables (speaking or clapping), solfa syllables, absolute pitch names, clapping the beat. There is also a 'mute' button to concentrate on inner hearing." How fun!

3) Knitted Blue Bird - I need to find someone who knits to make this blue bird for me. It would be so fun to use for vocal exploration and with the songs "Blue Bird"

4) Dem Dancing Bones - a fun way to get your little ones moving and grooving in October!

5) Not music related, but I am sure it will make you smile!

If you missed out on Teachers Pay Teachers' flash facebook promo sale, it's ok! My store is still 20% off through today! 

Happy October!

WOOHOO! Surprise Weekend Sale!

TPT reached 100,000 likes on their Facebook page! To celebrate they just announce a site wide sale of 10% off your purchase with the coupon code: FB100K. This promo code is good through Midnight on Monday morning.

I have most of my store an additional 20% off as well to celebrate!

The promo code is not listed on the website unless sellers choose to display it on their store banners.

Now would be a great time to stock up for Halloween! I have tons of great Halloween songs and games available in my store:

Click on the pictures to see the item!

Bundle of songs and activities for Fall - Over 400 pages of visuals and activities for Fall and Halloween!

Pumpkin Pumpkin: a fun song for teaching tiri-tiri

Pick a Pumpkin Rhythm Game (files available bundled or individually).

See the Old Witch: a song for teaching sol-mi and ta rest

Skin and Bones: a song for teaching low la and a spooky game

Naught Kitty Cat: a song for teaching la and ta rest

Candy Corn Rhythm Races: a fun way to practice your rhythmic concepts (available bundled or individually)

Vocal explorations for Halloween

Are you a seller on TPT? Take advantage of my FREE store banner and Halloween pennant clipart:

Happy sale!


Bulletin Board is Ready for Autumn

Before back to school, I posted about my bulletin boards here.

Today we have a work in our rooms day and this bulletin board got a slight makeover so that it is now ready for Autumn.

I always feel like I am way too busy to change my bulletin boards, so they usually stay up all year, but this is a small change that took less than 10 minutes and will be a "fresh" look for me and my students. 

To change out the colors, I pre-cut out the circles from scrapbook paper, and then paper clipped it over the top of my green circles until I had the colors and patterns arranged in a way that I liked. Then I took the green circles down and stapled these up! Quick and easy!

If you are interested, I have a "Bird Themed Bulletin Board Set" available on my TPT store that has lettering counts and the adorable printable birds for the board above as well as this board:

Click on the picture below to check it out!

How often do you change your bulletin boards? What are some of your favorite bulletin board designs? Do you have any time saving bulletin board tips?

Also, I just found this awesome bluebird knitting pattern FREE on pinterest. He would be perfect for "Bluebird, Bluebird Through My Window" and some vocal exploration. I need to do some begging to the knitters I know!

Picture and pattern by Sara Elizabeth Kellner


Fall Pin It to Win It Giveaway Announced!

Thank you for to all of those who entered to win my Fall Bundle.

The winner is Mary Casler! Thanks, Mary, for following me on TPT!

I will be emailing you to send you the fall bundle or store credit shortly.

a Rafflecopter giveaway