Sunday, June 12, 2016

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!

a Kodaly inspired blog Amy Abbott Colorado music elementary teacher ideas files downloads
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Sunday, February 7, 2016


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
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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Three Things {Little Leaves are Falling, Echo Singing & Vocal Exploration}

Hi all!  I'm excited to be linking up with Aileen Miracle at Mrs. Miracle's Music room for this week's "Three Things".  It's actually two things I did last week and one from this week since I forgot to record it last week, lol!
First, my second graders have been prepping "la" and it will be presented this week. I only see them every 5th day so I need to choose song literature that has the current element that I'm teaching but also things I can bring back in the future.  This little round that I learned from Tanya LeJeune is great because we can isolate "la" in the first couple phrases but bring it back for reading "do" later this year.  This class was able to perform it as a two part round, yesterday's class was able to sing it as a 4 part round!

Second, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Call-response songs for warm-ups.  Not only does it give them a chance for active listening it also gives me a chance for a really fast and quick vocal assessment.  I sometimes will have them respond as a class or sometimes in small groups and often times as solos.  This little guy asked if he could be the leader!  So, why not?!

Finally, this was a fun vocal exploration that we did with both kinder and 1st grade.  I used my pig popper, she looks like this (and her name is Petunia, lol!):

One of the students pops the ball and the rest track the ball with their fingers and follow it with their voices.

Last week I also got to go on my daughter's kindergarten field trip to the Pumpkin Patch. Here's a selfie of us with her two buddies that were in our group:

And here's my little peanut on the wagon and in the pumpkin patch:

This is one of my favorite times of year: first, all things pumpkin are yummy but also the song literature and vocal exploration is so rich!  I can't wait to share some October fun things we're doing in my music class in the weeks to come!

Thanks so much to Aileen for hosting the linky party! Make sure to check out all the other fun posts that are linked on her blog post!

a Kodaly inspired blog Amy Abbott Colorado music elementary teacher ideas files downloads
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Three Things {Students vs. Zombies, Plainsies Clapsies and Queen Queen Caroline}

I'm linking up again with Aileen Miracle at Mrs. Miracle's Music Room for the linky party: Three Things!

Here are three things we did last week in my classroom:

1.  I had a second graders request a Plants vs. Zombies game.  After toying with the idea I came up with a "Students vs. Zombies" game to practice so-mi.  (We're also prepping la with aural and physical prep right now, more on that in a bit).

So, I created interactive PDFs in which they could sing so-mi patterns from the staff or from stick notation.  As an extension, since they loved it so much, we did a stick to staff activity (or a staff to stick activity).  They saw the staff PDF and using flashcards had to work in a group of four to find the correct stick notation that decoded the staff notation on the LCD projector.  All members of the group had to agree on the correct answer before I would check it, that way there was cooperative learning going on.

Here's a peek at the PDF menu:
 And here's a peek at what one of the zombies brings up:
I will be making more versions of this game in the near future. :)

2.  To piggie back on Aileen's Plainsies Clapsies, my second graders played this game, but instead of bean bags we used footballs.  I mean, the Broncos had their season opener on Sunday so why wouldn't we, lol?!!!

 There was a very important rule: if they fumbled their ball they couldn't pick it up until the end of the song.  If you know the song and game, I didn't want anyone getting kicked in the head!

 I got the stuffed footballs at Oriental Trading last fall and we also use them for staff writing and for some of my interactive football games (when a group performs a pattern correctly they collect a football to tally their score.  It's quite silly but SO motivating!!)

3.  Queen, Queen, Caroline- my first graders are working on how many sounds are on a beat.  Using my large beat strips and foam crowns I bought from The Dollar Store, they put the appropriate number of crowns on the beat to represent the sounds.  The first and last line are different then the second and third lines so we used different colored beats strips to represent the form. This is 3/4 of the way through the song derivation.
I hope you all are having a great week!  Don't forget to check out all the other links on Aileen's blog for more teaching ideas!!!

Happy teaching!

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Three Things {John Kanaka, Target Practice & 2, 4, 6, 8}

I'm linking up again this week with Aileen Miracle at Mrs. Miracle's Music Room for Three Things (that I did in my classroom last week):

So, first with 5th grade we're reviewing syncopa and prepping tam-ti (we're a little behind- we usually get to tam-ti in 4th grade).  So we sang and danced John Kanaka because it isolates tam-ti so nicely. Here they are:
This is an easy dance to teach.  I teach just the stomp and hand pattern first.  They get that really quickly. Then once they have it, we turn and face a partner.  By the time my kids have had me for a couple years they know that when I turn to my neighbor they figure out who theirs will be.  I'm a big believer of consistent systems in the classroom- THEY SAVE TONS OF TIME!!!  So, at this age I don't spend time having them figure out their partners, they can do it without stopping their singing.  At this point, they know the song so they take over the singing.  I can call "concentric circles" and they make a double circle.  I can teach the rest of the dance with calling the moves as they sing because they know the vocabulary.  Really, the only other things to add are the do-si-do and the step the the left.  They love this song and have a lot of fun with it!

My 3rd graders are practicing tika-tika (and prepping ti-tika) so I made a target practice game.  I really wanted to stretch them and get out of the "4-beat pattern practice" that we easily fall into. So, I made cards with 8 beat patterns in 2-meter.  They got into groups of 4 and each set of 4 got a set of 16 cards that they set out so they all could see them:
Then I would call a card and they would use a Nerf dart to "shoot" the target.  This group all thought they were correct- again, it's 8 beat patterns so many of them were similar.  Once they shot a target they'd hold it up and I would check and let them know who was correct.
When using Nerf "shooters" you have to pick out the right kind.  They'll stick to laminated cards, it's a lot of fun. You'll need the kind with the suctions on the top like these:

I do have the cards in my TpT store, I'll be posting the rest of the rhythm files tonight, as well as a bundled set.

With my first graders we're prepping ta ti-ti (one and two sounds on a beat). One chant that I LOVE for this is "2, 4, 6, 8" because 3 of the 4 lines are rhythmically different:

With this, we did a mini-contra dance.  The students were in two lines, facing their partner.

  1. On the first phrase they took 4 steps towards each other.  
  2. On the second phrase they shook hands. 
  3. On the 3rd phrase they pointed to their wrists where their watch would be (beats 1 & 2 of that phrase) and then pointed at the their partner on "don't wait."
  4. Finally, on the last line they took 4 steps backwards to their starting positions.
To change things up we said it different ways: "high like Mickey Mouse," "low like Darth Vader," slow motion, super fast, robot style, etc.  This was my way of getting them to do it more than three times without getting bored with it. :)

Thanks to Aileen for hosting this weekly link up!!!  Make sure to head over to her blog this week, she's having a celebration for reaching 3,000 followers on TpT.  If you're not following her make sure you are as she's having a followers only freebie on Thursday!!!

Have a GREAT week everyone!

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

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Three Things {Build a Minion, Pete the Cat and Airjitzu}

I'm super excited about a new linky party that my friend Aileen Miracle has started!!!  It's called Three Things.  

Each week we'll be blogging about three things that we did with our students that really worked well in our classes.

So, here's a peek at three things that worked well and were SUPER fun in my classes last week.

First, with 5th grade we're reviewing fa so to make fa flashcard reading more fun, the class would read a pattern and then one student would come put a part on my brand-new "Build a Minion!"

I found this guy at Walmart this past August when my own two kids and I were visiting the toy section.  I knew I just had to have him to use as an incentive for flashcard reading.  He comes with two sets of goggles, two arms, two legs 3 mouths and a guitar.  I somehow, between my presentation in Amarillo earlier this month and the start of school, lost 2 of his mouths but we still have one so we made due.  The kids thought it was funny, especially one class that thought it was fun to put his arms where his legs went, his leg on his head and his mouth above his eyes.  Too fun and they did a great job reading!
Another new find this summer was my Pete the Cat Puppet on a Stick & Pen.  Really, who can't resist Pete?!  
My 1st graders used Pete (on a stick) to echo sing "Oh My, No More Pie" and then we transitioned into Pete telling little Pete (we called the big one Daddy Pete and the little one Pete's son) about Georgie Porgie Pudding Pie.  Daddy Pete would recite the chant in a low voice, little Pete would beg for daddy to tell it again (this was how the students learned the chant... also questions about the story being told).  Then, little Pete felt confident retelling the chant, and he said it in a high voice.  The students were then asked to say it like Daddy Pete and then again like Little Pete.  Then we mixed it up and Daddy and Little Pete tried to "trick" the first graders by switching between low and high voices.  This was a super fun way for them to review high and low and was a really great vocal warm-up towards the beginning of our lesson.

Speaking of vocal exploration and warm-ups, I was intrigued with this toy that my children bought at the Lego store with my husband this summer:

It's called an "Airjitzu"- it has a draw string that you pull.  The ninja in the capsule then flies up in the air and lands like a top.  I thought it would be fun for vocal exploration, so we tried it with my son's class.  I knew that I didn't want to use it with the littler kiddos, it's too sophisticated in getting it set up and I don't want to spend my class time putting together a toy.  So, this worked really well with my third graders.  Here's a little video of my son's best friend using it and his class following it with their voices.

It's a little hard in the previous video to see it work, this one didn't go as high but you can see how the Airjitzu works:

I hope that all of you who are back to school have an amazing week!!!  I hope to blog more often, at least once a week so if I don't blog before Sunday, I'll see you next week!

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

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What's on Your Wall? {A Peek into My Classroom}

HI all!!!  I've been back to school for a week now so I'm late to the party.  Which party? The Linky Party, hosted by Tracy King, the Bulletin Board lady!!!

It's a linky party to show off how we've all decorated our classrooms for the year. Now, I'm going to be completely honest, I decorate my room at the beginning of the year and that's it.  I don't change out my bulletin boards, with my 2 kids, teaching full time plus teaching choir and two handbell choirs I don't have time.  It's not been until the last couple of years (thanks to the peer pressure of Pinterest) that I've started getting more into decorating my room.

So, my theme for this year is "We Are the Music Makers, We Are the Dreamers of Dreams."  This is my board, outside my room. (We don't have "bulleting boards" in our school but that staple wallpaper, so I can make this as big or as small as I'd like!)

This is the board along my back wall (forgive the before school mess on the risers!)

This is my self-assessment board.  I started this last year and I really like it!

I don't have a behavior chart, instead this is a self check in so if I have a kiddo that starts to get off task I can whisper in their ear to do a self check in.  Right next to that is my objectives. I tried to have ones that were preprinted and magnetic.  Those kept falling down so I'll be working on some velcro ones I can add to these but in the meantime, a vis-a-vis marker is used to write them down.

I really don't have all that much wall space, so this is squeezed between two windows (and with the bright Colorado days it's hard to get a good shot!
 Here's the top of it:
And here's the bottom:

Between the other windows are my hand sign charts.  I waved between posting these....
 Or posting these there.... I might post the body signs somewhere still, we'll see, lol!

I have my M-U-S-I-C behaviors signs at the front of my room.

By my desk I get more personal.  I have pics of my kids and some Bronco things.  These are done with intent- showing my interests helps build rapport with students and showing my sports interests really helps me connect with those boys, even if they aren't Broncos fans!! :)

Something I added this year was the cute cover to my lesson plan book. My set includes many different colors, I just like the orange! :)

All this can be found in my "We Are the Music Makers" Set on TpT (it includes WAY more than I've shown here!

If you'd like to visit more music rooms, or if you're a blogger, make sure to link up with Tracy King!!


    An InLinkz Link-up

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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