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Monday Music Manipulatives

Welcome to another Monday Music Manipulatives Link Up! This time I am so excited that my friend, Mia, is going to be my guest blogger to share some of the great manipulatives that she uses in her music room. Mia went through all three Kodaly Levels with me at Wichita State University, and we are both working on our Masters together. She is so passionate about teaching music and inspiring her students! I just know they adore her! If you want to link up and share some of your music manipulatives, feel free to join at the bottom of this post and please be sure to give Miss Nightingale a warm welcome to the blogging world! :)

Hello! My name is Mia Nightingale and I teach K-5 music in Wichita, Kansas. This month begins my 4th year teaching. I am blessed to have been hired right after student teaching at the school where I student taught. I completed my Kodaly certification just this last summer from Wichita State University along with Lindsay. My Kodaly teachers (Mrs. Jo, Lisa Simmelink, Susan and Royce Tevis, Gabor Viragh, and Shawn Chastain) are my biggest inspiration and I can undoubtedly say I am pretty much obsessed with each of them.

I am so excited and honored that Lindsay asked me to be her guest blogger! When she asked me to do my blog about some manipulatives I use in my classroom, my response was, “What if nearly all my manipulatives are your creations I bought on your TPT?!” Ha!! Even the ones I am going to talk about today are not my original ideas – I steal all my ideas from other fabulous Kodaly teachers! J

Today I am blogging about a couple manipulatives I used last week for 1st/2nd grade rhythmic and melodic dictation.
For rhythmic dictation: Each student had a plastic baggie with 12 colorful Popsicle sticks. I played 4 beat patterns with rhythm sticks this week using the rhythms ta titi and ta rest.  The students form the rhythms with the sticks.

The first time I ever do this, I do have them “figure out with me” how we can make the ta titi and ta rest (trickiest) with the sticks. It is important for me to mention that when I play the pattern, I say “beat, beat, ready here I go” or simply “beat, beat, beat, beat” and move my sticks from their left to right with each beat as I play for visual aid. By the way, you don’t have to just use popsicle sticks. I have also made a set of cut up colorful straws that I used this week, too, that work almost better than popsicle sticks because they are smaller and take up less room. 

( As you can see in the pictures, my students have assigned seats on the floor. My honor choir is the only group I ever use chairs with.)

For melodic dictation: I have laminated staff paper (lined on one side – blank on the back) and use small colorful “chips” that the students place on the staff. (I got these chips from the Instructional Support Center downtown).  I start with 4 chips each, and eventually will use up to 8 each. 

What I do not have pictured here is my smartboard where I have projected my own staff paper. I always do the first couple with them. Also on my staff paper that is being projected, I draw the do clef and sometimes change where do will be this time. I sing or play the melody being dictated. The first time we ever do melodic dictation, I sing in solfege the first couple of times. Then I use a glockenspiel to give them a visual aid. When I know they’re ready, I sing melody on “loo” or play at piano. Also, after a couple weeks of doing dictation with the colorful “chips”, I pass out dry erase markers and they can use those instead to draw their own noteheads and add stems. After everyone has marked their answer, they help me do mine that is being projected on the smartboard.

Trying to understand a young child’s handwriting / music notation writing skills can be quite the challenge.  I have found that using these manipulatives can give a clearer assessment of what the student understands and hears before having them write it down.  Feel free to comment below with any questions or suggestions you might have for me!

Mia Nightingale

"Teach music and singing at school in such a way that it is not a torture but a joy for the pupil; instill a thirst for finer music in him, a thirst which will last for a lifetime." --Zoltan Kodaly

How to link up
1. Write a blog post on your blog titled Monday Music Manipulatives. Include my Link Up picture with a link back to my blog
2. Add your link below so that other music teachers can find you!
3. Don't forget to pin to pinterest so people find it!

Get Them Dancing!

When I started at my school, one of my tasks would be to lead an all school square dancing night. This night is a big fundraiser for our school. The PTA puts together food that families can purchase. Some years it has been a chili feed, other years, hot dogs, and we have a book fair the same night. Each grade level learns a dance to perform on stage as the live entertainment while parents/families eat. After they are done dancing, they can head over to the book fair to find some great new books.

This was a bit daunting to me at first because I really didn't know a lot about folk dancing, but luckily they always do a folk dancing special topics during the Kodaly Certification program and two years ago they added a community Folk Dancing Night to KMEA, so I have been able to pick up some new dances that way.

Two years ago Peter and Mary Alice Amidon led the folk dancing night for KMEA and I purchased several of their resources while I was there.

Usually I have favorites that I use again and again, like Alabama Gal "Come Thru' Na Hurry," "Down in the Valley," and "Jump Jim Joe," but I am branching out and trying some new ones with my kids now that I feel more comfortable with the calls.

While I usually have my fifth graders present a traditional square dance, I don't restrict myself to that with all the grade levels because I think that children should get to experience dancing in ALL KINDS of formations and because square dancing limits you to multiples of eight and it often leaves students sitting out.

Comment ├ža va?  is one of the new ones I am trying. It is a circle dance from Sashay the Donut. It is a fancy version of Bastringue. I really like it because it introduces "corners" in addition to partners. Students will quickly have to go from Allemande corners, to Dosido partners, back to Allemande corners, and then to Promenade.

These dances are PERFECT to do right after a long break to get kids moving and listening!

As we learn the dances, I teach the students the calls and what the steps of the dances are called. I put up a Movement/Folk Dancing specific word wall to reinforce this vocabulary. Having the vocabulary and having students recall the steps using the vocabulary has been a really powerful tool in my room to help them learn the dances.

What are your favorite folk dances?

If you are looking for more folk dancing inspiration, head to my Folk Dancing Pinterest Board:

Turning drab into FAB!

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and enjoyed your break! I sure did! Ellie was able to open presents this year and I got my husband a new puppy for Christmas, so the holidays were very busy at the Jervis house!

Over the Holidays (well, actually for my birthday) I got a new blog design! I really love it and hope that it encourages me to blog a little more often! :) If you had my old blog button on your blog, you may want to grab my new and improved button!

This will just be a short post because it is the day before school starts back up and I have SO MUCH TO DO!

Today is our work day and I am planning, creating new seating charts, and doing some cleaning and organizing in my music room.

I have a huge music room but really limited wall and bulletin board space. Most of my wall space is windows, cabinets, or chalkboard. I have utilized my cabinet door space into my word wall area, but I always like to find other ways to get my classroom bright and cheery.

With Kansas Day coming up, I decided to deck out the side of one of my filing cabinets to help brighten up my space a bit.

Business in front:

Party on the side:

To deck out the side of my file cabinet and create "extra bulletin board space", I just taped a long sheet of brown paper to the side (you know-the kind you find in your work room), and trimmed it off with a border using tape. I added my OZ inspired "There's No Place Like MUSIC" posters, and a few bright color magnets and now have a great pop of color in my room plus a little music advocacy board!

Also, several other Kodaly teachers and myself are working on a collaborative music blog this new year! You can check it out here:

Our goal with this collaborative blog is to bring you ideas, resources, songs, activities and strategies that you can use in your Kodaly-inspired classroom! There is also a Kodaly Corner Facebook Page you can "like". Find it all on the blog!

I hope you have a great start to your Spring semester. I will be checking back in soon!