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

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
music a la abbott music education teacher resources teaching elementary kodaly musical concepts teachers pay teachers amy abbott

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!

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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