Three Things {Little Leaves are Falling, Echo Singing & Vocal Exploration}

Hi all!  I'm excited to be linking up with Aileen Miracle at Mrs. Miracle's Music room for this week's "Three Things".  It's actually two things I did last week and one from this week since I forgot to record it last week, lol!
First, my second graders have been prepping "la" and it will be presented this week. I only see them every 5th day so I need to choose song literature that has the current element that I'm teaching but also things I can bring back in the future.  This little round that I learned from Tanya LeJeune is great because we can isolate "la" in the first couple phrases but bring it back for reading "do" later this year.  This class was able to perform it as a two part round, yesterday's class was able to sing it as a 4 part round!
video


Second, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Call-response songs for warm-ups.  Not only does it give them a chance for active listening it also gives me a chance for a really fast and quick vocal assessment.  I sometimes will have them respond as a class or sometimes in small groups and often times as solos.  This little guy asked if he could be the leader!  So, why not?!
video

Finally, this was a fun vocal exploration that we did with both kinder and 1st grade.  I used my pig popper, she looks like this (and her name is Petunia, lol!):


One of the students pops the ball and the rest track the ball with their fingers and follow it with their voices.
video

Last week I also got to go on my daughter's kindergarten field trip to the Pumpkin Patch. Here's a selfie of us with her two buddies that were in our group:

And here's my little peanut on the wagon and in the pumpkin patch:

This is one of my favorite times of year: first, all things pumpkin are yummy but also the song literature and vocal exploration is so rich!  I can't wait to share some October fun things we're doing in my music class in the weeks to come!

Thanks so much to Aileen for hosting the linky party! Make sure to check out all the other fun posts that are linked on her blog post!


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Three Things {Students vs. Zombies, Plainsies Clapsies and Queen Queen Caroline}

I'm linking up again with Aileen Miracle at Mrs. Miracle's Music Room for the linky party: Three Things!


Here are three things we did last week in my classroom:

1.  I had a second graders request a Plants vs. Zombies game.  After toying with the idea I came up with a "Students vs. Zombies" game to practice so-mi.  (We're also prepping la with aural and physical prep right now, more on that in a bit).

So, I created interactive PDFs in which they could sing so-mi patterns from the staff or from stick notation.  As an extension, since they loved it so much, we did a stick to staff activity (or a staff to stick activity).  They saw the staff PDF and using flashcards had to work in a group of four to find the correct stick notation that decoded the staff notation on the LCD projector.  All members of the group had to agree on the correct answer before I would check it, that way there was cooperative learning going on.


Here's a peek at the PDF menu:
 And here's a peek at what one of the zombies brings up:
I will be making more versions of this game in the near future. :)

2.  To piggie back on Aileen's Plainsies Clapsies, my second graders played this game, but instead of bean bags we used footballs.  I mean, the Broncos had their season opener on Sunday so why wouldn't we, lol?!!!


 There was a very important rule: if they fumbled their ball they couldn't pick it up until the end of the song.  If you know the song and game, I didn't want anyone getting kicked in the head!

 I got the stuffed footballs at Oriental Trading last fall and we also use them for staff writing and for some of my interactive football games (when a group performs a pattern correctly they collect a football to tally their score.  It's quite silly but SO motivating!!)

3.  Queen, Queen, Caroline- my first graders are working on how many sounds are on a beat.  Using my large beat strips and foam crowns I bought from The Dollar Store, they put the appropriate number of crowns on the beat to represent the sounds.  The first and last line are different then the second and third lines so we used different colored beats strips to represent the form. This is 3/4 of the way through the song derivation.
I hope you all are having a great week!  Don't forget to check out all the other links on Aileen's blog for more teaching ideas!!!

Happy teaching!


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

Three Things {John Kanaka, Target Practice & 2, 4, 6, 8}

I'm linking up again this week with Aileen Miracle at Mrs. Miracle's Music Room for Three Things (that I did in my classroom last week):


So, first with 5th grade we're reviewing syncopa and prepping tam-ti (we're a little behind- we usually get to tam-ti in 4th grade).  So we sang and danced John Kanaka because it isolates tam-ti so nicely. Here they are:
video
This is an easy dance to teach.  I teach just the stomp and hand pattern first.  They get that really quickly. Then once they have it, we turn and face a partner.  By the time my kids have had me for a couple years they know that when I turn to my neighbor they figure out who theirs will be.  I'm a big believer of consistent systems in the classroom- THEY SAVE TONS OF TIME!!!  So, at this age I don't spend time having them figure out their partners, they can do it without stopping their singing.  At this point, they know the song so they take over the singing.  I can call "concentric circles" and they make a double circle.  I can teach the rest of the dance with calling the moves as they sing because they know the vocabulary.  Really, the only other things to add are the do-si-do and the step the the left.  They love this song and have a lot of fun with it!

My 3rd graders are practicing tika-tika (and prepping ti-tika) so I made a target practice game.  I really wanted to stretch them and get out of the "4-beat pattern practice" that we easily fall into. So, I made cards with 8 beat patterns in 2-meter.  They got into groups of 4 and each set of 4 got a set of 16 cards that they set out so they all could see them:
Then I would call a card and they would use a Nerf dart to "shoot" the target.  This group all thought they were correct- again, it's 8 beat patterns so many of them were similar.  Once they shot a target they'd hold it up and I would check and let them know who was correct.
When using Nerf "shooters" you have to pick out the right kind.  They'll stick to laminated cards, it's a lot of fun. You'll need the kind with the suctions on the top like these:


I do have the cards in my TpT store, I'll be posting the rest of the rhythm files tonight, as well as a bundled set.

With my first graders we're prepping ta ti-ti (one and two sounds on a beat). One chant that I LOVE for this is "2, 4, 6, 8" because 3 of the 4 lines are rhythmically different:



With this, we did a mini-contra dance.  The students were in two lines, facing their partner.


  1. On the first phrase they took 4 steps towards each other.  
  2. On the second phrase they shook hands. 
  3. On the 3rd phrase they pointed to their wrists where their watch would be (beats 1 & 2 of that phrase) and then pointed at the their partner on "don't wait."
  4. Finally, on the last line they took 4 steps backwards to their starting positions.
To change things up we said it different ways: "high like Mickey Mouse," "low like Darth Vader," slow motion, super fast, robot style, etc.  This was my way of getting them to do it more than three times without getting bored with it. :)

Thanks to Aileen for hosting this weekly link up!!!  Make sure to head over to her blog this week, she's having a celebration for reaching 3,000 followers on TpT.  If you're not following her make sure you are as she's having a followers only freebie on Thursday!!!

Have a GREAT week 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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