Transition Tuesday

Hi all!  It's late and I had  a"run-in" with a piece of gym equipment so this will be a real quick Transition Tuesday as my head hurts.  (Note to self: make sure the bicep curl rope is securely under your foot as the rope hurts really bad when it slips off your foot, the handle slips out of your hand and slams into your forehead.)

So, here's a transition that worked well with third grade today and it was mainly to get them from the open space in my room to their seats on the risers so we could work on rhythm of a song we were singing.  First, they had done the dance to "Over the River":

2.         (We’re) Tramping down the weevily wheat,
            Tramping down the barley;
            Tramping down the weevily wheat,
            To bake a cake for Charlie

3.         (Oh) Charlie is a fine young man,
            Charlie is a dandy;
            Charlie loves to kiss the girls
            Because it is so handy.

(Alternate text)
3.         (Oh) Charlie is a fine young man,
            Charlie is a dandy.
            Charlie loves to go to town
            To treat the girls to candy.

Boys in one line face equal number of girls in opposite line.  Join hands along the lines.
Verse 1:          on first 4 beats, advance toward each other.  Next four beats, lines retreat (repeat)

Verse 2:          lines drop hands.  On the first 4 beats, line approach, pass through to opposite side.  (repeat)

Verse 3:          The head man swings out between the lines and prances to the foot  this shifts partners.
Variant: the head lady may prance to the foot to be with her original partner.

After their dance, I gave them a short direction: "Sing the song in your head but sing the rhyming words out loud as you go to your seats".  With that they were off, some of them clapped the rhythm (which I was NOT going to complain about or correct them on as that's what we were going to work on once we got back to their seats.)  Aileen Miracle blogged once about an idea that she got at a conference of the students inner hearing the song back to their seats.  I've tried that too, this was just a variation and it worked really well.  Sometimes I ask the students to sing the song back to their seats, sometimes they clap the rhythm back to their seats, sometimes they sing the rhythm (if it's known) or sometimes they sing the solfége.  The older the kids you have (assuming that age=experience) the more variations of moving back to their seats you can try.  I've found that changing it up keeps them on their toes, keeps them engaged and keeps them musically active.

I hope you all are having a great 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

Swat that Fly! Recorders and more!

We are in the final stretches of the school year!  Which is one reason why I missed Transition Tuesday this past week.  I'm so sorry about that!  It was "Try to Catch Up Tuesday" for me!  We have 19 days with kids 5 classes with field trips, a choir/handbell/recorder concert and two Kindergarten Spring Sings (we have 6 rounds of kindergarten!!!  I'm dreading next year when I see them on a 5 day rotation, that's music 1 time a week!)

My 4th and 5th graders are doing recorders right now.  I'm making a "Recorder is AWESOME!" file, which has been a lot of fun but has so many parts that I'm not ready to post it to TpT yet.  I'll share it soon, and like "LEGO"s, it's going to have sets because I don't think it will all fit in one file!  I have some Tic Tac Toe games that I've made for them too for the Recorder as well as a "I Have/Who Has?" Recorder version, in which they play their patterns. . . again these will be posted in a little while.

This week we played a new game "Swat that Fly!" and it ended up having it's own little metamorphosis as we played.  

To start, last year my mom bought me these GIANT fly swatters from the Dollar Tree:
They are HUGE and the kids think they're super funny.  The Dollar Tree still has them, you'll find them by the brooms and mops!

There were a few ways we played this, first we warmed up and sang (in solfége and letter names) and play through the flashcards I made:

One of my 4th graders came up with the idea to put recorders in the fly's mouth. :)  (one of the perks of coming early to handbells when the music teacher is working on lesson stuff!)

Then we spread the cards out all over the room.  The kiddos were in four teams, with each team parallel to one of my four walls.  So, we had teams "East," "West," "North" and "South".

To start, I sang a pattern on absolute pitch names and one student went out to "swat" the fly that had that pattern.
 It didn't end there, in order for their team to "earn" that card the remaining students had to successfully play the pattern.
Like I said, the game had it's own "metamorphosis."  The students who were seated started working on the fingerings of the pattern while their team mate looked for the fly pattern with that pattern.  It was awesome peer teaching.  They were correcting each other's hand position, reminding each other to articulate, I couldn't have been happier.

After we had gone through everyone on each team having a turn to hunt for flies we changed the game.  Instead of me singing the pattern on letter names, I played the pattern on the piano.  It really challenged them to hear the intervals and they did awesome with it!

So far I have a BAG and a BAGE file created for these with the BAGED version almost complete.

We also played this with my younger kiddos with a rhythm version of it.  I usually get requests when I make these games so I went ahead and made files for all the rhythmic and melodic elements, if you see something that's missing let me know and I'll make it for you!  My links are for the bundles, which are the most cost effective but you'll also see at my TpT store that there are individual files too! :)

Here's hoping you're week is a "hit"!  I promise I'll see you later this week on Transition Tuesday!

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

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!

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!

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!

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