2015 New Year's Resolutions- a Link Up!

Okay, ya'll don't faint because I'm blogging for the first time in months!  lol!  Yikes, this fall (and life) have gotten away from me!

So, it's almost a new year and that brings about a time to reflect on the past year and look forward towards the next.  Last year at this time I'm happy to say that I set some goals which I have met.  The one I'm proud of most is making it to the gym 3-4 times a week-go me!  lol!  So, in this time of reflection I'm linking up with Aileen Miracle over at Mrs. Miracle's Music Room.

Here are my 2015 Goals and Resolutions:

Personal: spend more time with my family.  This seems like it should always be a priority but for all you teacher parents you know that finding this balance is hard.  During the week the kids and I get to school at 7:00 am (two hours before school starts) so that I can get stuff for school done. This is also the time that my 7 year old works on his homework and practices his piano.  He then goes to the before school daycare program because he loves to get some play in with his friends who are there.  I then have choir or handbells before school, starting at 8:00 four mornings a week and the fifth morning is a staff meeting.  After school is swim lessons twice a week for the kids, piano lessons for Noah and basketball for Hannah.  The weekends come and we spend time trying to get the house cleaned, laundry done, church attended (and for N also sacrament prep), grocery shopping, etc..  The reality is we don't have much play.  It's going to be a conscious effort to actually plan time to sit down and play. That's been the great thing about break, we've played so many board games, card games and just enjoyed time together.  We need to find that balance the rest of the school year!

Professional: workshop for district teachers.  I've had many teachers ask me to help them create digital resources for their classrooms so it's a goal to actually sit down, in a class like setting, and coach them through finding materials and developing the resources that they'd like to make to use in their classrooms.  It's kind of fun, too, having a classroom teacher come to you for help! :)

Classroom: using iPads for assessments.  I've been lucky enough to obtain 6 iPad minis for my classroom with 5 more on the way.  I'd like to use one as a "teacher" iPad that I could house iDoceo and other apps but then also use the others to create meaningful assessments that will save me time and give me a good measurement of student understanding.  Aileen Miracle actually presented a great session for ROCKE last fall and I got some iPad app ideas from her (also check out her new product on how to use MadPAd).  And Nyssa Brown presented last year about Socrative.  This is the main focus of my goal, to use this app for assessment with my 3rd graders. 

Blog/TpT: blog more regularly and create concept bundles.  Yep, now you can hold ma accountable.  My goal is to blog weekly (here I was blogging almost daily when  I started so weekly is obtainable, right?!)  And then for TpT, I'd like to create more bundles of PDFs, worksheets and song collections to teach specific concepts.  I've tinkered with planning bundles but I'm on the fence.  This is another blog post!  

Just for me: more cardio and monthly massages. I've done a great job of making it to the gym and I'm the strongest I've been since I was weight training in high school (NOT even going to say how many years ago that was!)  I'm turning 40 this year and my goal is to be in the best shape of my life.  And, honestly, I'm making great progress to that goal.  I do want to increase my cardio and run a 5K on Memorial Day.  The Bolder Boulder is always held on Memorial day and my youngest niece has agreed to run and train for it with me! I also have a goal of getting a monthly massage to help with the tension that I carry in my back muscles.  

So, there you have my goals!  I'm pumped up and ready for all this year has to bring!  As a celebration I'm having a 20% off sale in my TpT store, from today through January 1, 2015:

I hope you all have a safe, happy & healthy New Years!  Love to all and I'll be blogging again real soon!

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

Rockin' Resources!

Hi friends!  I've been meaning to blog.  Really, I have- I was going to blog earlier this week and title it "Frantic Fall".  Between teaching, my kids' swim lessons, soccer, basketball and piano lessons and then creating resources for my classroom and TpT store it's been busy.  PLUS I had the honor of presenting in Lubbock for the AMAZING Kodály music teachers and Texas Tech students down there!  It was so much fun!  So, it's been really busy.  I have four more student performances in the next week and a half and then I hope things settle down!

But I did want to let you all know about the HUGE Cyper Monday and Tuesday sale that will be going on at TpT starting tomorrow!  Make sure to use the code "TpTCyber" when you check out to get the additional savings!

In honor of the Cyber-Sale I'm hosting a "Rockin' Resources" Linky Party!  If you're a blogger, I'd love for you to link up!  Simply blog about the following three things: one of your resources and how you use it in the classroom; a resource from another TpT seller that you use in your classroom and a resource from a TpT seller and how you use it to create things for your classroom.  Include the followin image in your blog post and link it back to this blog post:

Alright, here are some resources that I'm super excited about.

1.  First, here's a product from my TpT store.  If you know me, you know I LOVE my Broncos (which, by the way, are you following my Facebook page?  If not, I've been known to do random flash freebies when the Broncos are playing well!).  My students are also big football fans so I've made resources that tailor to their interests in a way to engage them in practicing melodic and rhythmic elements.  A new set of files this year are my Kicking Practice files.  Here's a peek at the melodic set:

First, the students select a football. 

Then they'll see either a stick or staff notation.  This is the stick notation with note heads from the re set (m-r-d patterns only).

If they read it correctly they see this image:

If they read it wrong they see this image:

As a way to extend the activity I used some "football note heads" that I made from a stick eraser that I got at the school book fair.  In the picture below you can see the long eraser and then using a kitchen knife I cut it into small pieces.

From there I put 16 in a baggie and passed them out to the kiddos with a small staff that I made.  This time when we played it in addition to singing the stick notation solfa they also had to write it on their staff.  This stick to staff activity also served as a formative assessment for me to know who could make the transfer of stick solfa onto the staff.

Another day they worked in teams as a way to promote peer teaching.  In the photo below you see a button.  This is my new wireless "Eggspert".  With each member of the team having their own staff and set of note heads, the students had to write the pattern that they saw from the PDF on their staff.  As soon as EVERYONE on their team had the pattern written they could "ring in" on the Eggspert to have their answer checked:

I found this really helped the students that were struggling.  We all know that students have an amazing way of helping teach each other!

Finally, here's a close up of the staff and footballs.

2.  Here are some resources by other music teachers that I'm excited about:

Sara Bibee has a BRAND new file out of Winter Music Activities.

I'm so excited because I got a sneak peek and this file looks A.MAZ.ING!!!!  There are worksheets for rhythm, dynamics, the bass & treble clefs and there are some coloring pages that can be used as an assessment, to send home with students or to leave with a sub so that the students have musical practice while you're gone.

Sara also has tons of Composer sets!  I can't wait to stock up on the ones that I don't have yet!  They are great for bulletin boards but more importantly, teaching facts about composers, including works that they are famous for!

Two of my dear friends and colleagues at CSU also have some amazing new files out!
Tanya LeJuene has a new set of Santa's Hat Post Office games.  I can't wait to get this one to use with my 3rd graders:

I was super excited when I saw Karla Cherwinski posted this file today:
I've never used a write the room before and I can't wait to try it with my 2nd graders!  She also posted some new Nutcracker Koosh Ball files for those of you that have SMART boards! :)

3.  Finally, there are lots of clipart files that I'm super excited about.  Of course, I LOVE all things Krista Wallden and Graphics from the Pond!  But I was super excited when I saw that Kelly Benefield has a new Border Hoarder set out!!!

If you have a blog and would like to link up, here's the info:

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

A Fun Find, a Giveaway and $2Tuesday!

Hi everyone!  Happy Labor Day!!!

I've been meaning to blog about this fun find that I got at the Disney Store.  Yes, Kodály teacher meets the Disney Store and takes home treasures for the classroom, lol!  This one was just too fun to pass by!

Meet Olaf!!!

Isn't he cute?!  I love that he's holding a Lute, too!  Here's what he looks like in the box:

So, you see that he comes with different parts.  Essentially, he's a Mr. Potato Head!  Now you might have seen Denise Gagne's Mr. Potato Head solo singing activity.  If not, follow this link.  I plan on using it that way but I also make up patterns that do the same thing using the melodic elements that kiddos are working on.  Additionally, I've played a flashcard game. In this game, the students solo sing a flashcard that practices whatever melodic element we're working on.  Once they're done they get to add a piece to Mr. Potato Head, or in this case, Olaf.

I love finding treasures like this that really build that connection with kids.  That's one reason why I have a Lego Theme right now.  When I make things I do try to make them last a while and be not so trendy.  While the Lego Theme has some trendy things, like the Treble Clef "Where are My Pants?!" Game, Legos are pretty timeless.

Another thing that is timeless is the Tooth Fairy.  This is an idea that's been brewing for a while.  Again, it's about building connections.  I can't tell you the amount of times a kiddo comes to class ready to share that they lost their tooth or better yet, they lose their tooth in class.  I wanted to take that opportunity to make it musical so I came up with some aural decoding games and rhythmic practice activities and worksheets.  The ta ti-ti version is done with a rest, so-mi and la version coming out soon.   Best of all, it's my $2Tuesday file and you can get it now through tomorrow for only $2!!!  After that it will go back to the price of $6.

Here's a little preview:

The final thing for today, I've reached 1,300 followers on TpT!!!  Woo Hoo!!!  I haven't ever done anything big to celebrate a TpT milestone so I thought it was time I revved up Rafflecopter and made a Giveaway!  You can enter to win one of the three following files:

So, enter today. Enter tomorrow. Keep entering until September 13 (ha ha , 13. 1,300 followers.  LOVE the number 13!)  If you already own these I'll give you store credit instead.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to you all for being so amazing!!! I hope you have a GREAT 4-day 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 musicalaabbott.com

My Music Room Set-Up

It's official, I survived the first week of school, lol!  There were a couple times that I didn't think it would happen, just kidding!!!

Today I'm linking up with Aileen Miracle at Mrs. Miracle's Music Room:

I meant to do this post before school but I was waiting for 1 FINAL touch, lol!

This year I decided to go all out in Legos!  Last year I made a couple files that were really successful with my kiddos: "The Treble Clef is AWESOME!" and "The Bass Clef is AWESOME!"  I also have a HUGE work in progress that I've been working on and off on since April called "Recorder is AWESOME".  (I'm really excited about trying to finish this up because my kids were the most successful they've ever been on recorders with some of the new strategies that I tried).  So, I dove right in and I have to attribute my lovely niece Ellie for helping me cut out many little Lego guys to make this possible.  Here she is with the bulletin board outside my classroom (isn't she sweet?!):

When you step into my room this is what it looks like to the right of the doorway:
 Here's a kitty-corner view from the door into the room:
 Here's pretty much across the room from the door.  To the left is my desk and then the "front" of the room where the LCD projector is projected.

Above my desk is NOT Lego's, it's my Bronco area.  Completely NOT musical, but I think it's important to have little aspect of who you are outside of a musician in your classroom.  It allows for the kids to have another connection with you.  I live in Bronco territory and bleed orange and blue.  The bonus of having my Broncos stuff out is that I have that extra connection with most of the boys in my classroom.  If they don't like the Broncos then we always "take friendly bets" on the games.  I also have to have pictures of my two kids and this year I have the sign that says "Amy".  That's a little piece of paper near and dear to my heart that reminds me of the lovely level 2 students I had the honor of working with this summer- they used it in their final skit! :)

Here's the front of the room, my screen is up and you can see that my daughter has been playing here, lol!

These are my MUSIC behavioral reminder signs.  I like to put them low so that they are at kid level:

 To the left of the picture above is a mini-counter that I have. It's awesome and I don't know why I didn't get a picture! But it has drawers that are about 2-5 inches in depth (depending on the drawer, they vary in size), and are about 4 feet by 3 feet.  They are PERFECT for storing teaching posters and manipulatives!  Above that is my "Do I Get It?" board.  This is what I use for students to check their levels of understanding.

To the left of that is a bookcase above which I have two music framed art that my PTO gave me and a picture of the most recent Red Hawk Recital participants.  The Red Hawk Recital is my version of a talent show.
 Here's a better view of the bookcase and that corner to the left of my door:

This is my behavior chart that has since come down. I'm replacing it, you'll see with what later in the post.  
 I love this storage!  The top is filled with all my manipulatives.  Um, yea.  And they don't all fit in there, hence all the stuff up on top.  The bottom is filled with drums, Orff instruments, tone chimes and some file boxes of music (I don't have a file cabinet nor do I have any wall space for one).  While this storage is amazing a kindergartner reminded me last week why I don't like it.  He said, "If this is the music room, where are the instruments?"  Well, we were playing hand drums and those were out but he's right, you walk into a music room and you expect to see all the instruments out!  
 The "back of the classroom"

 Here's a close up of the Instrument Bulletin Board:

 And here's a close up of the "Singing is Awesome" Bulletin Board:

This houses a lot of the non-pitched percussion instruments, some step bells and more manipulatives (and it's not as tidy as usual):

This is my new solfa ladder, it's on the beam between the windows closest to the risers:

And here are some elements of music (music symbols, dynamics and tempos)

Here's what it looks like from a distance:

So, I mentioned that I'm getting rid of my behavior chart.  You know, the main reason I had one was to help my student teacher last year.  I had never had one before.  Truth be told, I always forgot to use it.  This year, I'm going to apply the same principals as my "Do I Get It?" board to this new "Self Check-In" board.  This hasn't been posted up on the wall yet, but here's a peek at the posters, they too will have a banner just like the "Do I Get It?" board.  
 What I like about them is that the students are going to do self-check-ins.  I told them that I already know where they are but it's important for them to know too.  And these will directly transfer to what's expected of their behavior on our report cards.

Now, for the final piece for my room that I was waiting on before I could post. . ..  drum roll please (gosh, I'm a dork).. . .. .. .

Are you ready?!!!

A LEGO chair!!!  lol!!!  I had to.  I thought they would be so fun to use as solo performer seats.  And I have a couple little guys that are on the spectrum that need a chair to sit during class.  I actually have ordered another set that's blue (yes, Bronco colors, lol!)
The kids were so excited to use them last week and my kids (Noah and Hannah) has SUCH fun putting them together.

All of the "Music is Awesome!!" Bulletin Boards can be found at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Again, thanks to the amazing Aileen Miracle for hosting this linky party!  I hope that you all have an AWESOME start to your year!!!

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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