Monday, April 14, 2014

Transition Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everyone!  I'm early on this one!  I survived last week, it was quite busy with two concerts and my "baby" brother brought his high school winter drum line and winter guard to perform for my students.  It was great fun, the students though didn't really believe that he was my brother (I'm 5'6" and he's 6'3", he's over 200 lbs and let's just say that I weight at least 80 less, lol!).  It was so fun for my kids to see where they could be in a few years and his kids were SO PUMPED UP!  They felt like super stars.  I'm excited that they want to come back next year and we're going to try to schedule it so they come right before their state contest so they get a nice boost in their confidence!

Okay, back to Transition Tuesday.  I was working on my Recorder File for TpT (it's taking a while, it's huge) and I was reminded of melodic transitions that I did this fall via song "morph."

My students had just played "Let Us Chase the Squirrel"

Game: two students holding both hands, forming a tree, with one student in between then being the squirrel.  The students sing the song, at the end, all the trees raise their hands and the squirrels scatter to another tree.

After playing the game, I showed them a flashcard like this that they read the solfa from:

From there I changed one beat and showed them this card:

Then I showed them this one:
From there, they sang the flashcard, I sang four beats, they sang the flashcard (again, they sang it starting from non-verbal visual cues so that the song was seamless) and then I sang another four beats.  The beats I sang were on "loo" and filled in so that it created this:


I didn't want to sing my parts on solfa as
1.  I wanted them to inner hear and derive the new song.
2.  The concentration portion of this lesson was working on the re-so interval and I wanted them to hear that interval and be able to derive it.

So, from there they derived the song and we were off and rolling with the concentration portion of our lesson.

I hope that you all are having a fabulous week!

a Kodaly inspired blog Amy Abbott Colorado music elementary teacher ideas files downloads
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Transition Tuesday

Hi everyone!

This is going to be a quick Transition Tuesday that many of you probably know.  I apologize, I've had two grade level concert dress rehearsals today (the concerts (yes concerts- there are two!) are actually Thursday but I've planned for my brother's Winter Drum Line and Winter Color Guard to perform for my school and that's the only day they can do it.  I normally have dress rehearsals the same day, but ce la vie!  I'm really excited about the assemblies on Thursday, they're actually doing three performances since the drums and guard perform on the gym floor and my students have to sit on the steps in the gym and the cafeteria).

I like using the "Canoe Song" for low la with third grade but since they don't know syncopation yet I teach it as a prep and early practice song (so that they are only reading the solfége and not the rhythm).  I teach low la after right after ti-tika, which means that my students also know "Land of the Silver Birch".  This is a transition from the "Land of the Silver Birch" into "Canoe Song".

With third grade we would be using "Land of the Silver Birch" in an area of higher concentration and we would have done some type of reading with it.



Most likely they would have isolated and practiced the ti-tikas that are in the final phrase.

This final phrase is going to be my transition tool.  To reinforce other staff notation I'll add a repeat sign at the end so that they know they need to repeat it and as they do I start humming or singing on "loo" the "Canoe Song".  (Side note, as they near the end of the phrase I point to the repeat sign so that they know they are to repeat the phrase again).  Depending on the class, and if they already know the song (and the level of musicianship of the class) I might sing the "Canoe Song" on text instead of "loo".  The longer you've had your kids and the more familiar they are to way you teach and do things affects the way you can do this transition.



If it's a new song I'd have them sing the ostinato again while I sing the new song. But this pretty much leads you into the "Canoe Song" and now all you have to do is apply what you might do with it. :)

I hope you all are having an amazing week!  Send me good vibes on Thursday night for my double header of concerts!

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 musicalaabbott.com

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Transition Tuesday (a VERY late transition Tuesday)

It's still Tuesday here in Colorado. . . for another 56 minutes, lol!!!  (remember this is the time I started writing this blog post).

I'm on break and I don't have too much of a brain so I'm going to blog about a transition I used a two weeks ago with my fourth graders.

Transitions, remember, are moving smoothly from one activity to another.  This one is a rhythmic transition that moves us from an opening song into a reading activity.  Now, a little background: two weeks ago we were in the thick of state testing.  My 4th graders had testing in the morning and in the afternoon.  In music they're working on many things but the high concentration areas of our lesson included working on the treble clef and practicing tom-to (dotted quarter-eighth).

We opened the lesson with "Somebody's Knocking At Your Door."

The main objective of the song was to get them singing together as a group but also sing a song with rhythmic elements that we've been practicing.  By the way, the students are singing the moment they enter my door.  They know that I meet them at the door, they follow me in and if I'm singing a song they know that they should start singing it and take over the singing of the song.  (We always get into a circle, this is routine and I do this with all grade levels).  In the previous lesson we had played tom-ti ta ta a drum on the 2nd/last measure of each phrase. (Which, except for the third phrase happens to be a whole note.)  When they came in I led them in clapping that with the song that again.  I mentioned in the last Transition Tuesday post that I use a lot of non-verbal cues, so once all were in they were seated (still singing.)  After another repetition I took out my King of the Mountain cards (still singing) with this one on the top:
Now, my King of the Mountain cards fold in half (along the line you see on the card).  They make a mini-tent and can stand on the floor.  I had them so that they were all stacked, and there were other cards underneath the one that was visible to them.  (I wish I had thought about taking a picture so you could see this easier, I might come back and edit this post next week so it makes more sense)  So, as they were singing and got to the second measure of the song I tracked the pattern that they were clapping.  

With the next repetition of the song, I took the top card off and showed them this card:
They know me and my expectations well enough that they knew they should clap what I was tracking while they were singing.  We did this with a few repetitions, each time with them seeing a different card.  

From there we moved right into me saying a pattern and them echoing the pattern (this happened while I was passing out the cards to the students).  They've played the game before so they knew what was going to happened and put the cards in front of them. After they echoed a few cards I asked them to read specific student's cards that were already placed on the floor in front of them.  This is while I finish up passing out cards.  And then from there we moved right into the King of the Mountain Game.  (You can read about that game by clicking here)

I hope that you all are having a GREAT week!! I'm on spring break and spending time with my two kiddos but I'm also working on some things for school and TpT. I'm working on a Lego-Recorder file, some melodic Post Office Games and then will start some more song bundles.  If you ever have special requests or products that you'd like to see please let me know!

Have a GREAT Wednesday!

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 musicalaabbott.com

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Peek at My Week- SPRING BREAK!!!

Today I'm linking up with Mrs. Laffin's Laughings "Peek at My Week Party."
I've linked up with her before and since I haven't done so in a couple weeks (and I'm on spring break this week), I'll share what I've done the past couple of weeks.

My 4th and 5th graders have been knee deep in drilling the treble clef since we start recorders after break.  Side note, I wish I could bring out the recorders all year round: having them available to play for reading skills and working that into my curriculum at a more regular frequency is a goal for next year.  Right now I do a "unit" and to be honest I hate units.  I love teaching on a spiral curriculum and units always seem to break the flow.  But on the other hand, it really is motivating in the final weeks of school.

Back to drilling and killing.  Horrible, right?  Who likes it?!  This year I created the "Treble Clef is Awesome" file and the kids ate it up.  But I always like to keep things fresh and fun.  You spend too much time on something it becomes stagnant.  I get a lot of emails about how I keep my older students engaged and this is key: keep them on their toes, keep the pacing fast and don't give them time to think about anything else.

So, since we had the Facebook Frenzy and I was working on a Lines and Spaces file I decided to extend it to the treble clef.  You see, I'm a manipulative-junky.  In the quest to figure out what I was going to do for the frenzy I ran across these Animal Foam Beads at Oriental Trading:
And then to make matters worse I found these MATCHING animal easter eggs and we ALL know I have a serious addiction to Easter eggs!  But check it out, there are 6 beads that perfectly match 6 eggs, how's a girl to say no?!!!  And better yet, when I bought my eggs they were NOT candy filled, now they're down to having just the candy filled eggs.
So, armed with my beads and eggs I set out and created an interactive word to staff game.  The students work in teams and then from a menu they choose the number of letters in their word:

From there they pick a mystery word:
We played the word to staff game, so they saw a slide like this:
Then they had to spell it on their staves.

We played this two different days.  The first day we played it like this:
I bought this fun "toy" at the beginning of the year, called the Eggspert (google it, you can find them at a bunch of different sites):
Around the room I placed 6 polydots: red, orange, yellow, green, blur & purple.  At each polydot were mini staves (for those cute foam beads) and a basket of my animal Easter Eggs. One dot was elephants, one was lions, one was monkeys, one was giraffes, one was zebras and one was tigers.  Then at each of the "eggs" on the eggspert I put a large staff and writing materials.  Rotating through, one student would come up to the Eggspert from each team.  Starting with the red team (and rotating teams each time), they would pick the number of letters and the mystery word.  The students at the Eggspert wanted to be the first to correctly spell out the word they saw on their staff. They "rang in" on the eggspert when they were done.  If they were correct then their team got as many points as there were letters in the word.  Meanwhile, all the players back at the polydots were also spelling out the word on their mini staves.  This kept everyone engaged and I "kicked it up a notch" at the end by awarding points to teams at the polydots where everyone had correctly spelled the work they saw.



The next lesson there were no large staves.  Instead, I positioned the Eggspert so it was in the middle of all the groups.  The teams sat around their polydot.  The play was essentially the same but they would ring in when everyone in their group had spelled the word on the staff.  To avoid fighting (you know they'll hold you to every technicality) they had to do it "Top Chef" style in that everyone had to have their writing materials down and their hands up:


 One of the benefits of doing it this way was that the stronger "spellers" helped the students who were having a harder time.

 I created tally cards too so that we knew easily which words had already been chosen.


The powerpoint and many other files can be found in my new Treble Clef Bundle: Treble Clef Safari and is on sale for $5 today and tomorrow.

My third graders are practicing ti-tika so they've been playing fun games like "Dic-Dic-Tation" that you can find in Susan Brumfield's book, "Hot Peas and Barley-O"

 (when I have them play this, they do so in small groups.  Once they have played one full game, they sit down and start a second game while the other groups finish their first game.  This keeps all students making music, engaged and thus you don't "loose" them)
They've also been singing the "Jumping Rope Song," "Fire in the Mountain" and "Fed My Horse."  They're working on low la so we've been playing, singing and analysing "Big Fat Bisquit," "Rosie, Darling Rosie" and "Old House," to name a few.

My first and second graders have a concert when we get back from spring break so they've been busy with that.

My kinders had the worst case of "Spring break-itis" I've ever seen!  So, the pe teacher and I combined last week and taught dance.  Many of the dances that we did came out of "Rhythmically Moving" by Phyllis Weikart.  If you're not familiar with this resource you should check it out!  It's really a great compilation of dances.  Phyllis Weikart was a pe teacher, so it's presented and lined up in her book a little differently but it's pretty easy to understand once you get the hang of it!

If you haven't hit up the Facebook Frenzy you have a few more hours to do so!  It ends at 8:00 pm EST tonight!

Thanks to Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for hosting the Linky Party!

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 musicalaabbott.com

Friday, March 28, 2014

Staff Safari: Lines & Spaces

Happy Friday everyone!  I wanted to remind you about the Music Teacher Facebook Frenzy that starts today!!!  You can download over 20 FREE files from some amazing music teachers.  All you have to do is visit their Facebook page, "like" the page and then follow the links to the other pages.  It's that simple!!!

A while ago someone had asked me to make a lines and spaces file.  While I'm currently still working on it (and a "Lines and Spaces Are AWESOME! file too, to match the Treble Clef and Bass Clef versions), part of the file is what I have posted as my freebie on Facebook!

It's actually quite a big file, there is a teaching PDF and three interactive PowerPoints.  Here's some highlights.

The PDF teaches how many lines and spaces there are on the staff:


Teaches the hand staff:


Teaches the "Parts of the Note" (stem vs. note head):


Then it goes through and explains how to know if a note is a "line note" or a "space note" by the placement of the note head:



The three PowerPoints are interactive and include tally cards.  The goal is to "focus" in on a specific note so you can see an animal along the safari.  If you are correct, the animal is in focus, if you are not correct the animal is out of focus.

Again, to download this file (FREE through Sunday) go to my Facebook Page.


After Sunday it will be available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.  Speaking of, I will be having a 20% off sale, now through Monday.  I start spring break at the end of the day so let's celebrate! :)

Have a GREAT weekend 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 musicalaabbott.com
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