Jingle Bells Dance

Confession time: I'm sometimes a Sunday night planner.  Okay, a lot of times I end up planning on a Sunday night.  Now, I have my year, trimester and month plans scoped out of what I want to teach.  What I find myself on Friday nights doing is putting down how I'm going to teach it and the song literature and activities that go with that.

My first are practicing ta & ti-ti and of course "Jingle Bells" a good song for isolating ti-ti ta ti-ti ta on the "jingle bells, jingle bells" part.  Now, pardon my rush but the only version of Jingle Bells on my computer is in augmentation of how I sing it and have my kids read it:

We're going to be doing some reading work of ta ti-ti in the high concentration portion of the lesson and deriving the ti-ti ta ti-ti ta on "jingle bells, jingle bells" is going to be my transition into the "change of pace" portion of the lesson, which will be a dance that goes to Jingle Bells.  

There are two ways that I do this dance.  The easier version uses a parachute and the more advanced version has concentric circles with partners.

Here's the parachute dance directions:
Formation: circle, everyone holding on to the parachute.

Verse (32 beats total)
Beats 1-4: heel-toe-heel-toe with the right foot (dashing through the snow)
Beats 5-8: four slide steps to the right- like a side-ways gallop (in a one horse open sleigh)
Beats 9-12: heel-toe-heel-toe with the left foot (o'er the fields we go)
Beats 13-16: four slide steps to the left. (laughing all the way)
Beats 17-32: repeat the first 16 beats

Chorus (32 beats total)
Beats 1-2: with parachute in hands, three pats on feet to the rhythm (jin-gle bells)
Beats 3-4: three pats on knees, to the rhythm (jin-gle bells)
Beats 5-8: four pats at waist, to the beat
Beats 9-16: lift the parachute over the head.  I call a color and those students with that color let go of the parachute, turn around in place and re-grab parachute.  Now, if your students are really careful those students on the colors called can run under the parachute to another spot of that same color.  This is the FUN way to play! ;)
Beats 17-32: repeat the first 16 beats.

When I do this with older kiddos we do it in a concentric circles.  

Formation: concentric circles, facing partners (one in the outside circle, one in the inside circle)

Verse (32 beats total)
Beats 1-4: heel-toe-heel-toe with the foot that leads in the counter-clockwise direction.  This is the right foot for the outside circle and the left foot for the inside circle (dashing through the snow)
Beats 5-8: four slide steps counterclockwise- like a side-ways gallop (in a one horse open sleigh)
Beats 9-12: heel-toe-heel-toe with foot that leads in the clockwise direction (o'er the fields we go)
Beats 13-16: four slide steps clockwise. (laughing all the way)
Beats 17-32: repeat the first 16 beats

Chorus (32 beats total)
Beats 1-2: with right hands, partners pat each other's hands three times to the rhythm (jin-gle bells)
Beats 3-4: with left hands, partners pat each other's hands three times, to the rhythm (jin-gle bells)
Beats 5-6: with both hands, pat three times as in the first two steps.  **This will NOT match the rhythm
Beats 7-8: clap own hands three times.  **Again, this will NOT match the rhythm
Beats 9-16: join hands with partner and do a full circle turn
Beats 17-32: repeat the first 16 beats, with the exception that in the last step, after the full circle turn everyone takes an extra step to the left and then has a new partner.  This has a really nice flow and even the older kids enjoy it!

Have a great day!

Santa's Lost His Jingle Bell Stick-to-Staff Activity

I recently posted some Polar Express melody files and in those I included a sets of flashcards that have jingle bells and a set that Santas on them.  My second graders are preparing do but we're also still practicing and reinforcing re, especially in the s-l-m turns and m-l intervals.  When I was creating the file it dawned on me that it would be fun to do a stick to staff matching game.  This week we used them during whole group instruction with the goal of doing it again in small groups.  

Now, I know that reading stick notation is easier than staff notation but since we're in late practice of la, I wanted to drill some staff reading.  So, first the classes sang through the flashcards written on the staff.

Next, I showed them a stick notation flashcard.  Now, at our staff meeting this week we talked about wait time. I'm HORRIBLE at wait time.  With such a limited time of seeing the kids I feel a constant pressure to squeeze as much as I can into each and every second of a lesson.  But when I do this I rob my students of processing time.  So, this is what I tried with this activity: instead of raising their hands when they saw the matching staff card, I had them point to the card on the floor.  I was able to get a rough idea of which card they were pointing and it gave them ALL time to think, process and check their work.  And really, it didn't take all that much longer!

Here's a sample of what it looks like to match the stick to staff cards:

Here's one of my 2nd grade friends matching the card.  After each match we did a "thumbs up/thumbs down" signal to check our work.

I love how my buddy in the blue is helping his friend:

The whole matching activity, from start to finish of reading the flashcards and matching the card to each other took about 5 minutes, perfect for a 2nd grader's attention span and they felt so accomplished.

Have a GREAT Weekend everyone!

Yankee Doodle

Hi everyone!  I hope you had a GREAT Thanksgiving!  I'm going to be breaking out the seasonal songs and games with my kids this week.  We have a little less then 3 weeks until Winter Break with one of those days being a late start.  So, I will see my Kinder-3rd graders 3 times and my 4th & 5th graders 4 times.  There's not really any time to start any new conceptual learning so this time will be spent with a lot of reinforcement of known concepts and a lot of prepping and repertoire building for when we get back.

My 5th graders are currently prepping ti.  This is the EARLIEST I've ever been able to do ti and I'm quite giddy.  They will also get to at least tim-ka (dotted eighth-sixteenth) before May and that too makes me giddy.  I have NEVER taught tim-ka!!  This is in part to it being my 3rd year with the majority of the kiddos and the other I really believe is that I'm teaching children who speak my same "native tongue."  You see, I worked in a "bilingual" school for 10 years prior to being at Red Hawk.  Bilingual is in quotes because it really was an English-language acquisition school.  90-94% of the students' first language was Spanish which means, with me being an English speaking teacher, they were learning in their second language or in a language which was new to them.  As much as I tried to learn repertoire that I could use in my teaching that was from their culture it couldn't replace the fact that I did not grow up with that musical language.

Wow, that was a tangent!

At any rate, back to ti.  My fifth graders are preparing ti, which means we're singing and playing and moving and creating with a lot of repertoire that includes ti.  This brings me to Yankee Doodle.

Mallory Harrison, our past ROCKE president, learned a hand clapping pattern at the OAKE National Conference last year at one of the sessions that she attended.  At Susan Brumfield's ROCKE workshop last year she briefly showed it to me.  I'm not sure if I remembered it correctly but here's the gist:  she learned it to Yankee Doodle (which, there is a fun play party for this song in "The Handy Play Party Book".  If you don't have this book, buy it for yourself as Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa present, you deserve it!).

Here's the "A" section, I'm sure you all know the song:

The hand clapping pattern, facing a partner, goes:
right hand (of partner)
clap (own hand)
left hand (of partner)
clap (own hands)
both (hands of partner)
clap (own hands)
both hands with partner, with inter-linking fingers.  (weave fingers like you are "folding" your hands, then twist your fingers so that they are towards you and your palms go to your partner).
back (against own hands)

Then the pattern repeats.  The 7th step is the hardest (and the hardest to explain)

This was a lot of fun, but we like to kick things up in the music room, so after the finger-weaving pat they changed partners (we were in concentric circles).

Here's a little video of one of my 5th grader classes so you can better see it:

I hope you all have a GREAT week!

Turkey Thanksgiving Pie Activity

Happy last week of November everyone!!!  I hate to tell some of you this but we're already on break- both my husband's and my district have the entire week of Thanksgiving off.  It's kind of nice to get our heads above water (or almost to the surface) before diving down for the final bit of school before Winter Break.  He goes back to two weeks of teaching then finals week (he teaches high school social studies) and I have three different performances within 8 days plus a fundraiser field trip.

Here's a little activity that we did last week that the kids had a great time with and they were composing.  I was able to use this as an assessment. . . an assessment in the final days before vacation.  Crazy.  I know!

I made the Turkey Fraction Files (you can find them on my TpT store).  The students were divided into 5 groups- each group had 6 people and each group had one complete pie of ta, ti-ti, rest, tika-tika, ti-tika, tika-ti.  My 4th graders also had two pies with syncopa and my 5th graders had 2 pies of each tom-ti and ti-tom.

Their task was this: individually compose/create one pie (and be able to read it to me).  Here's an example of a complete pie:

Then, with their group, combine their four beats with at least two other members of their group (AND be able to read it to me).  Here's an example of that:

Then, within their group combine more than two patterns (AND be able to read it).  Here's an example of four pies:

From there, the possibilities for how they did this were endless and it was fun to see how creative some of them got.  Some groups made chains of pies:

This group chose to wind their pies in a square pattern:

This group made their pies into a circle and then read it in a round with each other (clever, huh?!):

This group was into making letters, here's their "Z":

And here's their "F":

I love what this group did: they left spaces between the four beats to represent bar lines (by the way, see the bag in the middle?  Target find, I bought 5 of them, stuck the cards into them and that's the way I distributed the cards.  The kiddos when they picked them up returned them to their bag and that was that!):

This is one of my favorites, "Angry Pie Rhythm Face".  The eye brows make four beats, each of the eyes is four beats and the smile is composed of 16 beats.

In case I don't post before Thanksgiving day, I hope you all have a happy, healthy and wonderful Thanksgiving!

a Kodaly inspired blog Amy Abbott Colorado music elementary teacher ideas files downloads
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Manipulative Monday. . .on a Tuesday

I'm a day late the party- that's the story of my fall, lol!!  I can't get ahead and am looking forward to having all of next week to get some rest, put up the Christmas tree (yes, I'm one of "those" people- but let's face it, December is a busy month for music teachers and I wouldn't have time otherwise) and get some school work done.  I'm working on some new Christmas files and I can't wait to get those ideas down! 

Thanks to Lindsay for hosting this party yesterday and thanks for letting me join in late!

I've been meaning to blog about this find for a while.  I love using poly dots in the music room -there's a million different ways to use them from "poison" rhythms to floor mate note heads to grouping students- the list is really endless.  So when I saw these new poly dots in S&S's catalog I had to get some:

  They are dots that you can write on and erase off.  Now, let me tell you know, DO NOT use dry erase markers.  They work but you have to use EXPO remover to get the ink off and at it's best it still leaves a smudge.  If you use these, Vis a Vis markers are the way to go.

Here's a couple of many ways to use them.
1.  Tone ladders.  Here's an example of a pentatonic tone ladder
From here there are a lot of activities that students can do.  

1.  Remember Simon?  If not, it was one of my all time favorite toys growing up. Simon would play a pattern and you would have to remember the pattern and play it back.  The cumulative pattern was my favorite.  In this game, the teacher would sing a note and the student would sing it back, jumping on the corresponding poly dot.  The teacher would sing two notes, the students would sing it back and jump on the two corresponding notes, etc.  I can fit quite a few of these in my room so I have the students work in groups of 2-3.  

2.  Sing and jump a written pattern.  I used this with some of my melodic turkey files this week.  Instead of just singing the solfege back, the students also had to perform the melody by jumping on the tone ladder (talk about getting those pre-vacation wiggles out!).  I have also used this for those hesitant singers as a way to get them engaged

3.  Perform Q & A patterns- the teacher sings a question pattern and the student sings and jump backs an answer pattern (ie. question: d-d-m-m-d-d-m; answer; d-d-m-m-r-d).  This is a higher level thinking skill!

4.  The possibilities are endless!

Here's another idea that pertains to rhythm and Kelly Foster Griffin shared this idea.  I don't remember the piece of music that Kelly used but you can use it with any piece of music that has a tempo that matches your students' music reading ability level.  There is a circle of rhythm patterns.  As the music plays they perform the rhythm at the poly dot in front of them then during the next 4 or 8 beats they advance to the next poly dot, have a second to look it over, read it and then the pattern repeats (4 or 8 beats to walk forward and look at the rhythm the 4-8 to read the rhythm (longer rhythms with older students to challenge them))

Here's one of the simple rhythms. Notice the blue smudge- don't use dry erase!! :)

Happy Tuesday 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

Thanksgiving Music Dinner, Family Style!

So, we have one week until Thanksgiving break- with the Turkey Trot run all day next Thursday and a work day on Friday.  Because of this tomorrow I will be starting my last rotation with my Kinder-3rd graders as they are on a 4 day rotation.

My first graders have just learned ta & ti-ti and this morning I hustled to get those cards of my Thanksgiving Dinner Beat Strips printed out, laminated and cut.  Seeing as how I had tone-chimes this morning and took the half-day kinders during my lunch and plan times this was quite a feat and as a result I didn't have time to group the cards into baggies like I normally do. 

Then it hit me: this is Music Thanksgiving Dinner and we're going family style!!!  So, I pulled out some paper plates that I had in my cabinets.  I decided that since I have 30 kids in a class I would have them work in 6 groups of five each.  Each group would get three plates: one with "corn" (ta cards), one with "turkey" (ti-ti cards) and one with "gravy" (ti-ti).  

I explained to the students that we were having Thanksgiving dinner, music room style.  In their groups, one person was going to come up and get their "food" from the counter (I had all three plates stacked on top of each other so there was a total of three plates in each of the six piles) and one person from their group would come get their individual plates (their beat strips) and "set their table."  (a.k.a. pass out the beat strips to their group.)  They were to remember that they were at a family style dinner so if they needed a turkey card (for instance) they would have to ask someone "at their table" to pass the turkey.

The result was so much fun!!!  Here's a sample of one group starting their dinner (the little red head on the left is my son!):

Here's another group that had filled their plates.  Once they're plates were full, they were to have a dinner conversation with the people sitting at their "table."  That is, they were to read the pattern that they wrote to the rest of the students in their group or to the person sitting next to them:

Here's another one of my son finishing up his dinner plate:

This group had a lot of fun and added their own extensions.  They first decided that they would put their two plates together and read all 8 beats that their two plates created. Then they decided that the whole table should read all of the cards without stopping.

This turned out to be so much fun, especially since  my time was limited to get their individual packets together and I had the idea to go "family style."  I'll definitely do it this way in the future and I might even adapt my other beat card activities to have they same manipulative distribution! :)

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

Turkey Lurkey Rhythm Blitz Games & Free the Birds Melody Games!

Hi everyone!  I hope that you've had a GREAT week!  I've been busy making some Thanksgiving files and have started using them with my kiddos.  The kids have been having a GREAT time so I thought I'd share about the files and also a few of the activities that we have done with them.

My most recent files are the "Turkey-Lurkey Football Rhythm Blitz" files.  While these have turkey clip art, they can be used any time of year (but I'll probably revamp this file to be more non-fall specific, especially after Christmas, as the Super Bowl gets closer).

Directions for six different games are included but really the possibilities for any of these files are endless!

I'm going to tell you about two of the games.  The first the "Turkey Lurkey Football Blitz Game."  Basically, this is a rhythm relay race.  There are four teams (mine sit on the risers) and their cards are spread out on the floor across from them, on the other side of the room.  I either say (the easiest version of the game), clap or play a rhythm.  One student from each team races across the room to find the card.  From here there are few ways to play.  One is that everyone who correctly finds the matching card on the first try gets to keep the card for the team.  Another is that only the first person to find the card gets to keep the card.  Players rotate taking turns until the allotted time for play is done (I usually play 5-7 minutes. If you go too much longer you lose their attention.)  The kids love this game, the kiddos that aren't looking for the cards are cheering on their team and often time will end up chanting the rhythm at their teammate is looking for.

Here's the other game.  It includes the use of flashcards.  The file contains large and mini-flashcards:

Now, at Target in the dollar section I found these this fall:

I knew that I wanted to find a way to use them and the mini-flashcards fit inside them perfectly.

Today was the first time playing this and my 5th graders LOVED it.  I had 6 of the football popcorn cups and 6 sets of the mini cards.  They broke into teams of 5 and spread their cards out on the floor.  I would clap a pattern and the team would look for the card.  The rule was the first card I saw their team raise was their answer and they could only put their card back into their popcorn cup if their answer was correct.  Sound familiar?  It's basically a glorified group version of Post Office!

Here's Hayden showing his team's answer:

This picture of Jayden cracks me up!  He's been one of those kiddos that's hard to "win over", he had a great time with this activity:

And here's my buddy Coleman and his team:

These of course are available on my TpT Store, in the following sets:
  1. ta ti-ti
  2. quater rest
  3. half note
  4. tika-tika
  5. ti-tika
  6. tika-ti
  7. syncopa
  8. tom-ti
  9. ti-tom

Another file that I've create is the Free The Birds files:

This collection contains 10 different games, including 4 PPTs (in addition to the 9 other game ideas).  In the PPT students are in teams, pick turkeys and sing the melodic pattern to "Free the Bird".  

Slides for these games are in either stick or staff notation.  Within the sitck notation, there is one game with note heads and one without note heads.   With the staff notation, there is one game in the key of G and one in the key of F:

This file also has large and mini landscape cards, in addition to flashcards (pictured above):

There are also different colored slides to do relay races, similar to the Turkey Blitz game above:

These games are available in the following sets:
  1. so-mi
  2. la
  3. do 
  4. re 
  5. low la
  6. low so
  7. high do
  8. fa
  9. ti
  10. bundle
I also have a Turkey Rhythm Fraction file, check it out by clicking here.

I'll be working on some files for use in December and will be having some freebies available only to my Teachers Pay Teachers and Facebook followers so please follow me on both TpT and Facebook! :)

Have a GREAT Friday 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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