Three Things {Build a Minion, Pete the Cat and Airjitzu}

I'm super excited about a new linky party that my friend Aileen Miracle has started!!!  It's called Three Things.  

Each week we'll be blogging about three things that we did with our students that really worked well in our classes.

So, here's a peek at three things that worked well and were SUPER fun in my classes last week.

First, with 5th grade we're reviewing fa so to make fa flashcard reading more fun, the class would read a pattern and then one student would come put a part on my brand-new "Build a Minion!"

I found this guy at Walmart this past August when my own two kids and I were visiting the toy section.  I knew I just had to have him to use as an incentive for flashcard reading.  He comes with two sets of goggles, two arms, two legs 3 mouths and a guitar.  I somehow, between my presentation in Amarillo earlier this month and the start of school, lost 2 of his mouths but we still have one so we made due.  The kids thought it was funny, especially one class that thought it was fun to put his arms where his legs went, his leg on his head and his mouth above his eyes.  Too fun and they did a great job reading!
Another new find this summer was my Pete the Cat Puppet on a Stick & Pen.  Really, who can't resist Pete?!  
My 1st graders used Pete (on a stick) to echo sing "Oh My, No More Pie" and then we transitioned into Pete telling little Pete (we called the big one Daddy Pete and the little one Pete's son) about Georgie Porgie Pudding Pie.  Daddy Pete would recite the chant in a low voice, little Pete would beg for daddy to tell it again (this was how the students learned the chant... also questions about the story being told).  Then, little Pete felt confident retelling the chant, and he said it in a high voice.  The students were then asked to say it like Daddy Pete and then again like Little Pete.  Then we mixed it up and Daddy and Little Pete tried to "trick" the first graders by switching between low and high voices.  This was a super fun way for them to review high and low and was a really great vocal warm-up towards the beginning of our lesson.

Speaking of vocal exploration and warm-ups, I was intrigued with this toy that my children bought at the Lego store with my husband this summer:

It's called an "Airjitzu"- it has a draw string that you pull.  The ninja in the capsule then flies up in the air and lands like a top.  I thought it would be fun for vocal exploration, so we tried it with my son's class.  I knew that I didn't want to use it with the littler kiddos, it's too sophisticated in getting it set up and I don't want to spend my class time putting together a toy.  So, this worked really well with my third graders.  Here's a little video of my son's best friend using it and his class following it with their voices.

It's a little hard in the previous video to see it work, this one didn't go as high but you can see how the Airjitzu works:

I hope that all of you who are back to school have an amazing week!!!  I hope to blog more often, at least once a week so if I don't blog before Sunday, I'll see you next 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

What's on Your Wall? {A Peek into My Classroom}

HI all!!!  I've been back to school for a week now so I'm late to the party.  Which party? The Linky Party, hosted by Tracy King, the Bulletin Board lady!!!

It's a linky party to show off how we've all decorated our classrooms for the year. Now, I'm going to be completely honest, I decorate my room at the beginning of the year and that's it.  I don't change out my bulletin boards, with my 2 kids, teaching full time plus teaching choir and two handbell choirs I don't have time.  It's not been until the last couple of years (thanks to the peer pressure of Pinterest) that I've started getting more into decorating my room.

So, my theme for this year is "We Are the Music Makers, We Are the Dreamers of Dreams."  This is my board, outside my room. (We don't have "bulleting boards" in our school but that staple wallpaper, so I can make this as big or as small as I'd like!)

This is the board along my back wall (forgive the before school mess on the risers!)

This is my self-assessment board.  I started this last year and I really like it!

I don't have a behavior chart, instead this is a self check in so if I have a kiddo that starts to get off task I can whisper in their ear to do a self check in.  Right next to that is my objectives. I tried to have ones that were preprinted and magnetic.  Those kept falling down so I'll be working on some velcro ones I can add to these but in the meantime, a vis-a-vis marker is used to write them down.

I really don't have all that much wall space, so this is squeezed between two windows (and with the bright Colorado days it's hard to get a good shot!
 Here's the top of it:
And here's the bottom:

Between the other windows are my hand sign charts.  I waved between posting these....
 Or posting these there.... I might post the body signs somewhere still, we'll see, lol!

I have my M-U-S-I-C behaviors signs at the front of my room.

By my desk I get more personal.  I have pics of my kids and some Bronco things.  These are done with intent- showing my interests helps build rapport with students and showing my sports interests really helps me connect with those boys, even if they aren't Broncos fans!! :)

Something I added this year was the cute cover to my lesson plan book. My set includes many different colors, I just like the orange! :)

All this can be found in my "We Are the Music Makers" Set on TpT (it includes WAY more than I've shown here!

If you'd like to visit more music rooms, or if you're a blogger, make sure to link up with Tracy King!!


    An InLinkz Link-up

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

Super Sale Instant Replay!!

Hi everyone!  I'm so happy to be teaming up with my friend, Aileen Miracle, to host a linky party called "Super Sale Instant Replay"!!!

We're very excited that TpT has decided to throw a 1-day bonus sale on Wednesday, August 19th!!  A lot of sellers, including ourselves, are marking their stores at 20% off!  And if you use the TpT code at check out you'll get another 8% off your total!! The key is, don't forget to use the code: MORE15

So, for this linky we're going to blog about at least one thing that we wish we would have purchased at the last TpT sale two weeks ago and a new item that we have added to our store since the last sale.

First, there are a couple things that I wish I would have bought at the last store.  First is this set, "Great Big House":
Aileen was actually the one that told me about it.  I's a collection of folk songs with Orff arrangements.  And she said that it's really well done!

The other thing that I can't wait to get, that I wish I would have bought at the last sale, is this file by Tanya LeJeune:
Tanya teaches level 1 at CSU with me (I teach level 2) and all things that she creates are really solid and well done.  I know this will be a GREAT compliment to teaching skips, steps and leaps with my students!

A couple of things that I've added to my store?!  Well, the one I'm most excited about is the "Recorder is AWESOME" file:
 This file is HUGE and I'll be adding more to it over the next 10 weeks.  It has multiple performance books that have 9 levels (white, yellow, orange, green, purple, blue, red, brown and black) that have a counting system that I use but also a version that is editable so you can write your own rhythm durations syllables in!  In the next 10 weeks I'll be adding "build your own performance" books in which the pages are done, you simply enter which of the 9 levels you'd like the song to be in your book!
 There are also teaching PDF for all the songs, not only the ones in the books but all the songs that will be in the "Build your own performance book" files!
 And there are interactive games, fingering charts, practice reminder posters, recorder playing instructions, and more!
Within the next 10 weeks I will also be adding worksheets/workbooks for each of the scaffolded levels and each week the file will go up $2 to accomodate the new files. It is a HUGE file so there will be a Dropbox link in which you can get the new files that will be added.

I've added two more files, a Piano UNO fingering game and a Picnic Pattern game for tika-tika (more to come with this one!)

I'm so excited to go shopping on Wednesday!  I'm also excited to read about what you have on your wishlist!!

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

Wish & Dish Linky Party

Hi all!  How did August sneak up on us?!!  You know what August brings? BACK TO SCHOOL!!!
I'm teaming up with Aileen Miracle today and we're hosting a linky party called "Wish & Dish":

Why?  Because TpT is having a BIG Back to School Sale on Monday & Tuesday!!! Woo hoo!!

We figured there are two things to do before then:  first, make a wish list!!!  I'm going to share with you some of the things that are on mine today.  And second, "dish" on all your previous purchases. That is, leave feedback for things that you've bought on TpT.  Did you know that when you leave feedback you earn credit to apply to future purchases?!  Super cool!  Here's how you "dish" on your previous purchases:

First, go to the top of your menu bar on your TpT home page to where it says "My TpT", using the pull down menu select "My Purchases"

From there, you can sort your previous purchases.  I always select "Needs Feedback" and that allows me to have the ones that need feedback sorted out and easier to find.

Now, on to the wishlist part of the blog post.  This includes three parts: a product from my store, something from another music teacher and then something from a non-music seller that I'm excited about.

First, I want to share a product that I made this summer that I'm super excited about!! My Body Sign set:

 I use body signs all the time in my classroom.  They're great for preparation of melodic elements and also for reinforcement of previously known melodic concepts when we're learning a new melodic element. When we're practicing, we really do focus on hand signs of the known element but when preparing a new element using previous body signs in conjunction with the sign of the new element really help with pitch relationships.  

Here's a picture of the set that I use and love:

I do have some friends who did their Kodály training at different institutes and learned a different system.  For this reason I have included their system as well in my set:

The sets come with both preparation and practice slides that can be displayed digitally or printed out for easy access.

There are also a variety of colors for the sets:

Second, I want to share with you two products by other music teachers that I can't wait to get!!! First, are the Early Finisher Cards by Aileen Miracle:
 When you're doing pencil and paper work or centers in the music room it's nice to have a "go-to" activity or task for those students who finish early. It helps keep them engaged and on task and making the most of the precious time you have with them.  I can't wait to get them!!

The next is from Karla Cherwinski at C Major Learning:
If you're not familiar with Karla's Write the Room Sets they are a great way to practice rhythm and rhythm writing.  This set looks fabulous for the beginning of the year and even if you're new to a building this is a great activity for your kiddos!

Finally, I'm super excited about a couple clip artists.  The first one is the Classroom Doodle Diva. I think her kiddos are so cute and she is the sweetest person to work with, making me the body sign clip art for the set above.

The other clip artist is equally as sweet: Nikki from Melonheadz. I'm super excited to get this set.  

I haven't told you this but we're remodeling our main level (I'm going to share more about this when I link up with Aileen's "3 Things I Learned this Summer" post later this week).  With that comes new floors and my family is all getting new chores..... we'll all be doing a lot more sweeping to keep those floors from getting dusty! lol!

If you're a blogger and want to link up, here's how:


    An InLinkz Link-up

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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