Music Classroom Tour 2016

Happy fall everyone!
I'm a little late to the party here but I'm linking up with Tracy King to show you around my music room:

So, my daughter, who is in first grade at my school helped me come up with my theme of the year, "Just Keep Singing."  She went to theater camp over the summer and came home and said her theater teacher said, "just keep acting, just keep acting" and I thought, hey, we could do that for the music room!!!

So, here is a shot outside my room, coming towards the music room:

Here's a better shot of the bulletin board (before I took down the duplicate poster with the misspelling!! lol!)  I'm a little in love with the fun bulletin board paper that I found at the local teacher store.  When they ran out I was able to buy some from Amazon!

And here's my door!!!  I wish I would have gotten a better picture of the name plate.  My friend, Aileen Miracle, bought a monster one and I fell in love with the under the sea one!
The fun "Join Choir" posters I made on imgflip meme generator and then I uploaded them to Block Posters and it made it into posters that I could piece together!

As you come in my to the left is a book case some posters that parents and families have given me.  We also started doing musicals two years ago and an amazing parent had those framed. (This year we're doing Annie Jr.!)

 Just past the bookshelf is the small counter that I have that's awesome for storing posters and manipulatives. Above that, since it's at the front of my classroom I have y "Do I Get It?" board that the students use to check for understanding.  I also bought a tool case on Amazon to hold misc. things but I have yet to get them labeled yet!

 Just past that is the front of the room, where I have my M-U-S-I-C behavior expections and all the things we'll use for class (well, most...)

I absolutely love this locker that I got from Poppin last year. I have some diabetic students so their supplies are in the closed side ad the other side is for some sub things. I also have these book boxes that I use for keeping things I need for each class handy.

To the right of my board are my schedule cards. Three of our grade levels are on a 5 day rotation (yes, a FIVE day rotation, it stinks) and three are on a 4 day rotation (not much better).

Because of this I have two sets of schedule cards.  I got these from Aileen Miracle and they have been my SAVING grace staying organized with my classes this year!

I attached them with rings at the top and then I have all 5/4 days attached at the top so everyday I just flip it over.  I have them attached with brads, to keep down on the bulkiness but you could also laminate them all together too.

 From the front of the room we come around to my desk area and where the doc camera is:

 And here's my personal space where I have my family pics. I am a big Broncos fan and I love having the "Broncos Drive" sign up to show my fanage but also to make that connection with students.  It's amazing how a small thing like that helps open up conversations with some of my students (specifically some of the harder to reach boys!)

I have a wall that is all windows so the space between them is used to put some musical symbols signs:

And some of that space is used for my hand sign ladder:

That brings us around to the back of the room and the bulletin board in the back. I love having the singing posters up in the back as it helps remind the students of singing technique. And then the instrument posters are handy when we refer to instrumentation of listening examples:

The wall you have not seen is all cabinets and I'll be honest, they're pretty plain and I think that's a good thing. I don't want to over stimulate the students and I've got plenty on my walls.

But one the way out there is my Self-Check in board and my objectives board:

The self-check-in works okay but this year I'm starting to use the Magic 1-2-3 to reinforce what other teachers in my building are doing. We're having a tougher time with behaviors this year as a school and  I really hope this will help.

Now, if I'm going to truly do a classroom tour I have to show you the most important part of my classroom.... the students:
 Here they are singing and playing with our guest, Donald Garrett. We were so lucky that he came to visit and the kids had a BLAST!

If you're interested in my "Just Keep Singing Set" you can find it here.

Thanks so much to Tracy King for hosting this classroom tour!


Games and Activites in the Music Room {BTS Blog Hop}

 Hi everyone!!!  I bet a lot of you are back to school already or headed there in the next few weeks (or, if you're in Australia you've been in the thick of it for a while!!!)

As we're getting ready for back to school, a group of my music teacher friends and I are doing a blog hop of Back to School topics!!  The Hop starts (and was organized by) Aileen Miracle of Mrs. Miracle's Music room so make sure to make it through all 6 stops!

The hop includes six posts and I'm lucky number 6!!  Let's talk games and activities!!!

If you have followed my blog for a while you know that I use a lot of games in my classroom. They are a great way to establish classroom dynamics, teach students how to work cooperatively in the music room and to get to know the students.  

Before we get started, today we're going to narrow our focus on two specifics within the very broad spectrum of games:  singing games/activities and music literacy games/activities

#1 Singing Games
Fore mentioned was that "games" is a very broad spectrum and that I was narrowing it down to two areas.... well.... within those two areas are many subcategories!!! 

Greeting Songs with games:
With back to school singing games it's important to choose some games were all students have an equal part in the music making.  This helps establish the community tone that you want: that all students are important contributors to the music classroom.  These are the types of games/activities that I will start every class with for the rest of the year (I would go into how with older grades sometimes this might be with a round, etc., but that lends itself to another blog post!)

I love using this song at the beginning of the year for my 1st and 2nd graders, it's a great little greeting song called "Good Morning" that I learned from Susan Brumfield (who learned it from Jim Ryan):

Here are my 2nd graders singing it the first day of school (just last week)... the lyrics were changed on them as they had music in the morning last year and now they have it in the afternoon. There are also some kiddos who were in one of the first grade classes last year that LOVED this song and added their own little fancy turns by swinging their partner, so you'll see a few of them try to do that with their new partners:

One of my other favorite first day of school greeting songs is Bonjour Mis Amis, also learned from Susan Brumfield.  Usually, students would have learned this the year before, but if not it's fast and easy to teach if you're new to your teaching position. (It's very similar to "Bow Wow Wow" but has a twist of a double circle, which makes it more challenging!  And also more appropriate for late second grade/early third grade.)

Here are my third graders singing it for the first time this year:

Name Game Songs:
There are many, many name game songs and I actually compiled a few of them in my Back to School Set.   This one is not in that set, but I learned it from my former student teacher, Charlie Matthews, who I'm sure learned it from Bonnie Jacobi:

My 5th graders learned it yesterday, so here they are:

Games with a "solo" part:
This is another go-to for my 4th and 5th graders, called Going to Kentucky or "Round de doo Bop", either way I learned it from the Amidons and it's GREAT to get your older students moving and active and it's a fun way to break the ice! (BTW, this is my first activity of the lesson for these grades too!)  The other nice thing is that the "solo" isn't a singing solo but a simple "stand in the middle, turn and point to someone" solo.

Here are my 5th graders singing this in their first lesson:

Games that will be used to review:
Now, this game is a FAVORITE of my kids and I like it because there is so much that you can teach with this little composed song:  Apple Tree!!! Here are my 3rd graders playing the game:

From here, we went into singing the song with body signs:

And then we went into reviewing the solfa and singing it from the staff notation:

This brings us to:
#2 Music Literacy Games

I love having a variety of literacy games from lesson to lesson. Games in which the students prepare or practice rhythmic and melodic elements.  Part of my rationale for doing music reading "game style" is the infrequency at which I see my students. I basically see all my classes once a week for 45 minutes. So in my planning for back to school I know I need to make the most of each minute. The games allow for the students to have a memorable moment related to music literacy and I have found have helped greatly with retention.  Sometimes my games are reading only, but most times there is an extension in which the students have something tangible that they do in regards to the reading and writing.  This really makes it more concrete for the students.

This year I have used the "Read it and Write it" Games from my Back to School Songs and Games set and it's been great for transcription practice and review.

The students have a menu to choose from that reviews a rhythm or melody, in this case a melody:

Then, using the dry erase boards the students transcribed the patterns they saw:

For my early finishers I had them transpose the pattern into a different position on the staff and for my really advanced students I changed the staff placement for each pattern, as they waited for other students to finish.

One of the games that I'm really excited to use with my third graders next week is Tanya LeJeune's Skip Step Leap or Repeat game:

This game is perfect for reviewing interval relationships, especially since we're reviewing do-mi-so-la. In the game the students see two notes and they have to decide are the notes a repeat (the same), a step, skip or a leap away from each other:

I also teach a before school handbell group and this is a bass clef game from Elaine Ford of Mrs. Ford's Melodies that I am super excited about called Bitty Bugs.  

There are three games. One is a "swatting" game that has a picture of bugs with letter names.  You show the students a pitch on the bass clef and they have to swat the bug with the corresponding name.  Another is a matching game. You have bug cards, like this:

and then there are flower cards with the staff notation and you match the bug to the flower.
The third game is GREAT for assessment and I will be using as part of my "audition" for the hand bell choirs.  The students get a set of cards like this:

And then there are answer pages, in which the students write the letter names of the cards:

This will give me a nice little assessment of who knows bass clef and who doesn't.  I'll be honest, with seeing my kiddos once a week we usually don't get to bass clef notation.  This will help me know who I can put on those bells.

You can find more singing games, teaching PDFs and review games in my Back to School set:

Again, thanks to Aileen for hosting thie blog hop. If you "jumped in the hop" here, make sure to go here to see all the other amazing posts!!!

I hope you all have a fabulous start to your school year!

Three Summer Goals

Well hello there! It's been a while... seems to be a theme compared to when I started blogging!  

I'm linking up with my dear friend, Aileen Miracle of Mrs. Miracle's Music Room, to present three of my goals for the summer.

Goal #1:
FAMILY TIME!!!!  This picture is from two years ago....   

It's taken at Disneyland, in California Adventure and we had all just gotten some yummy Starbucks drinks.  It is one of my favorite pictures of these crazies and I can't wait to take them back to Disneyland this summer! It's going to be the kids' first time on a plane and they're super excited (we normally drive).  
The kids are also in piano lessons and it's been so nice to have time to focus on helping them with their practicing more. Noah is a book junkie and reads all and everything he can get his hands on and Hannah is interested in drama so she's doing a drama camp at the Boulder Dinner Theater this summer... she's SO excited!!!  They're also going camping with my in-laws while I teach at CSU in July.   While I miss them terribly during that time I also have incredibly fond memories of spending time with my grandparents during the summer.  My Granny didn't live too far away but we spent so much time with her and that time with grandparents is all too important.

Goal #2:
Work on the two growing bundles I have going on right now.  One is a game board set and Hannah has been helping me test them out!   It's fun to see how she has ideas for games and I love that she wants to help me and then play the games.   We're headed out tomorrow to get some spinners at the local teacher store.  Here are a couple of the games from week 1:

The other set is the Recorder Wars Growing bundle. This one has bee SUPER fun to work on and has inspired me to work on a Solfége set that will be coming out sooner than later. :)  Aileen has also been inspiring in how she's been revamping her store. She and I started TpT about the same time and some of the first things I produced are, well... scary, lol! Hopefully some will get a make-over but it's also been a goal of mine, for a while, to have concept sets for each rhythmic and melodic concept and I've only gotten a few of those done!  

Goal #3:
Take some time for myself to refresh and rejuvenate for the school year.   I have an awesome friend that I love to workout with and we meet a couple mornings, I work with a trainer a couple days a week to have my "you-know-what" kicked and I'm hoping to make it to some yoga classes. 

Another goal (I know... she said three) is to blog more.. I know, I know..... I've said that before!  But I'm hoping to make it happen!

Thanks again to Aileen for hosting the link up! Head on over to her blog to read up on some more summer goals!

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Give me a "B"!!!
Give me a "R"!!!
Give me a "O"!!!
Give me a "N"!!!
Give me a "C"!!!
Give me another "O"!!!
Give me a "S"!!!!

What does that spell???!!!!  BRONCOS!!!!

In case you didn't hear, my FAVORITE team is playing in a little game today!!! And I'm teaming up with a bunch of Colorado Bloggers and TpT sellers to bring an AMAZING give away to you!!!

Here's a little teaser of the amazing prizes that will be in our giveaway:

Enter the give away here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you follow my blog you know that I love to use activities and games that incorporate current kid interests into the music room.  So, here's a classroom idea:

Play a pass-catch music game.  Using either melodic or rhythmic flashcards, the teacher will read a card to the students and they must write the pattern they hear, either in stick rhythm or staff notation.  If they write it correctly then they "caught" the football!!!

If you're looking for more football games, I have a TON in my store and I just bundled them together.  The bundle is over 50% off through tomorrow:

But wait, there's more!!!!  My entire store is also 20% off through Monday so you can get the bundle with an extra 20% off!!!!  

Check out these blog posts from my CO blogger friends, and pass the giveaway information onto your classroom teacher friends!!!

And let's go BRONCOS!!!!

a Kodaly inspired blog Amy Abbott Colorado music elementary teacher ideas files downloads
music a la abbott music education teacher resources teaching elementary kodaly musical concepts teachers pay teachers amy abbott
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