August Birthdays and a TpT Sale!!

Six years ago I gave birth to the most passionate, headstrong, lovable little boy that I've ever known.  As a teacher, having a LATE August baby is not ideal.   That year a substitute started my school year and this year I have a student teacher.  

When I had a sub, I had some classroom management problems that lasted the WHOLE year because of bad habits that she let happen.  I'm so strict when it comes to respecting each other, creating an environment in which students feel safe to take risks, to using the bathroom (I don't allow it- I only see them 45 minutes every 3rd or 4th day).  I'm very proactive and outline expectations before activities so that the students know the expectations and that year was killer.  The first few weeks of school are so important for building a foundation and I take time to make sure mine is build on rock rather than sand. (You know the old song: "the wise man build his house upon the rock. . . ")  Needless to say, that year it was build on grains sand, lol!

Now, having a student teacher, I'm watching her have some challenges with classroom management.  I want both of us to lay that foundation on rock but at the same time, since she's only with me for 8 weeks, giving her as much time as she needs soloing and teaching without me jumping in every time to help her.  

I'm getting on a topic here on which I plan to devote an entire post.  Long story short, I'm helping her come up with some strategies to implement so she can TEACH rather than MANAGE.  You experienced teachers know what I mean, right?  The first few years it's hard because you have so much that you want to implement however pacing, sequencing, assessing, planning, differentiating, etc. are all so overwhelming.   If you follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, the next monthly freebie with be a couple different versions of behavior charts, one of which she's going to use (similarly to the behavior charts that our classroom teachers use, but with a music twist).

Phew, did I get off topic?!  I got on here to remind you that everything in my TpT store is 15% today, tomorrow and Thursday!  If you're not already following me on TpT, please do!  I'll send you some freebies that are located on a site that only my followers can access.  If you start following me, please email me now and I'll send you that site address with the July/August freebie! :)  

More Erasers. . . This Time Puzzles!

If you saw yesterday's post it was about some erasers that I found for staff reading.  Now, here's some for rhythm reading.

Today's erasers are brought to you by Walgreens! :)  These erasers were 99 cents for 18 puzzle piece erasers and the container looks like this:
 Here's another shot:

Here's what I made with them (this is the tika-ti version):

I was able to write two rhythms on each eraser: one on each side.  It did take some figuring out of all the different combinations I would need in order for students to dictate my "gems" for my rhythmic elements and also to provide variety from which they could choose to write their own patterns.

Of course my OCD kicked in and I HAD to raid EVERY Walgreens I could find until I had enough to make the following sets:
  1. ta ti-ti (4 erasers in a set for 4 beat composition or dictation)
  2. ta rest (4 erasers in a set for 4 beat composition or dictation)
  3. tika-tika (16 erasers in a set for 4-16 beat composition or dictation)
  4. ti-tika (16 erasers in a set for 4-16 beat composition or dictation)
  5. tika-ti (16 erasers in a set for 4-16 beat composition or dictation)
Don't forget that tomorrow through Thursday everything in my TpT store is 15% off! :)

Happy Teaching Everyone!

Erasers. . . . Repurposed.

If you've been following my blog you know that I keep Target, The Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby in business by finding seasonal things and adapting them for use in the music classroom.  lol!!!  (Although my husband would argue that there IS truth to that.)  I use to blog about more about these finds then I started posting a lot about my TpT products.  I'm hoping this year I can give you more of a balance between the two! :)

Here are some of this year's back to school finds, and YES, they're all erasers!

Here are some telephone that I plan on using to "phone in" a melody/melodic phrase (a.k.a. melodic dictation).  What I think is funny about them is that they are "old school dial" phones.  These will take some explaining, I'm sure!  These I found at BANKS School Supply, here in CO.  I believe they have on-line ordering.  It was 59 cents for a dozen, better than a Dollar Tree find!


The next is a Target Dollar bin find:

I'm using them for mi-re-do.   I LOVE using "Hot Cross Buns" with "Down to the Bakershop", which is a whole other post AND will be a TpT product soon:


And the final one for today is another BANKS find, these umbrellas fit "pretty well" in the staff, except the handles.  I bet you can figure this one out on your own! :)


Tomorrow I will post on another erasers find!!  This time, at Walgreens!

I know that TpT JUST had a HUGE sale AND I already had a Back-to-School sale, but Tuesday is my son's birthday.  Sooooooo. . . ..  I will have a 15% off sale from Tuesday, August 27th (Happy 6th Birthday Noah!) through Thursday, August 29th.

Happy teaching and singing!

Rhythm Abacus

This is an idea that had been "simmering" for a while.  I knew that I wanted to create an abacus to practice rhythms.  You know, just an new way to practice the "same old thing."  My brother-in-law had made a ladder golf (a.k.a. lawn golf) set a few years ago and while we were playing it this summer I thought the same way he went about building that game could be used to build my abacus.

Before I get into the details, there's one of the rhythm "sets".  This one is for half note.  There are three rhythms on a "bead" and with half note I knew that I wanted to also be able to assess it to check their knowledge of the critical attributes of half note (that it was one note that lasted for two beats.  That's why I did not do a "bead" that was twice as long to represent two beats.  Instead, I purposely left one of the slots on the second beat empty (if you turn that second or fourth bead there is a ta, ti-ti or a rest).

This one notates "Who's That":


 And this one is "Here Comes a Bluebird":



So, if you're familiar with ladder golf, it's got three rungs on which to aim your tethered balls.  So, using PVC pipe (1/2 inch) and 90 degree & T connectors I was able to construct this.  I think if I made it again I'd make it a little smaller.  To made the base (in the right of the picture below) I used 6 two-feet long pieces of PVC pipe.  The corners used the 90 connectors and the middle (hard to see in this picture) used a T-connector, so that the standing up part can connect.

The rungs, which hold the beads are 2' long and are spaced 6" apart.  A T-connector was used on most of this, with the exception of the corners which used the 90 degree pieces.   I did not glue any of the PVC pipe together so that it easily comes apart to store and rotate the rhythmic concept pieces.  By the way, did I mention that the beads are made out of pool noodles?  They are 4.5 inches long and I put three rhythms on them (I bought the noodles from the Dollar Tree and the rhythms are spaced out ~6.5 centimeters apart):

Here you can see how the pool noodle bead easily slides onto the PVC pipe.

Not the most clear shot but you can see how the beads were put on and now all I had to do was fit the other side on:

Here's the ti-tika set (yes, if you follow my blog you know I'm compulsive. So, I have a set for all my rhythms, and yes, they're color coded!).  I used this today to review with my 4th graders.  

They rotated the beads to create the rhythm for "Fire on the Mountain" (this is a tricky song on the ending of that second line!  I use the skeletal rhythm and change it from a tim-ka to a ti-ti for easier whole song reading):

I hope you all enjoyed the TpT sale!!!  I'm hoping to have some more products posted soon, but having a student teacher and with my own two in 1st grade & preschool at my school, I'm having a hard time finding much time in the evening!  But, an instrument flashcard set to go with the "I Have/Who Has" instrument edition is in the works, as is an "I Have/Who Has?" Absolute Pitch Reading Game.  Oh, and a Bedbug game (thanks to my ever creative 2nd graders!!!)

Hope you're having a great start to your school year or for you lucky one who are still on summer break, having a great vacation!!!

Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale!!!

I promise I have a teaching blog post coming soon but I wanted to let you all know about the BIG Teachers Pay Teachers sale on August 18-19!!!  Everything in my store is 20% off PLUS TpT is taking another 8% off!!!  This is a GREAT time to get those things that you want on your wish list!!!


I will also have 20% off on August 20, just in case you miss that window (the downfall would be TpT will not be taking that extra 8% off that day)

Happy teaching everyone!

Two New Games and a TpT Store Sale!!!

Where did summer go?!!!!  I spent a good 5 weeks planning to teaching Kodály level 2, we took a three night trip to Vegas and a 2 week family trip to Illinois.  Then the last two weeks have been crazy with different birthday parties my kids were invited to, back to school stuff.  I need a vacation from vacation, lol!!!

So, I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things and start posting on a more weekly or daily basis like last year!  So sorry to neglect this poor blog!

I have lots of new ideas to share, some of which are DIY projects for you and some of which are TpT products.  I've got two TpT products done, so I'll share those today.

Remember all those "I Have/Who Has?" games that I made?  (If not, read about them by clicking here).  Well, I've made two new versions of the game with another one that will be finished this week (that one is a pitch naming game).

Here's the first one, it's a musical symbols game:


There are three versions (and within each version are two sets of cards: one that is numbered and one that is un-numbered.  These are the un-numbered cards).

The first version gives the name of the musical symbol in both the question and the answer and is the easiest way to play the game.  Because of this, you could add this to your sub tub!!!:

The second version gives the name of the symbol in the question (the "Who has. . .") but not in the answer, so the students have to visually identify one of the musical symbols on their card to play the game:

In the third version, the name of the symbol is not provided at all.  These cards would make a GREAT assessment for visual identification of musical symbols!


The next new game I created is an instrument version.

Again, there are three versions of the game, with both numbered and un-numbered cards.

The first gives the instrument name in both the question and answer:

The second version gives just the name in the question:

And the third does not give the name in either the question or answer:


You can purchase these games by clicking here:

  1. Musical Symbol "I Have/Who Has?" Game
  2. Musical Instrument "I Have/Who Has?" Game

Oh!  And let me mention that these two games are 20% off now through Monday!!!

I start back to school on Monday, so in honor of all you teachers who are going back with me, now (Saturday, August 10) through Monday, August 12, EVERYTHING in my store is 20%!!!!  

To view more items in my store, click here


Later this month I will be running a "Pin it to Win it" game on my blog, so please come back and visit!!! :)
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