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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Five Favorite Pins of November + Super Cyber Savings Sitewide Sale

I'm linking up with Aileen Miracle to bring you my five favorite pins for November! If you like these, follow me on Pinterest for more!

1. Musical Masterpiece Sub Plans
A great, easy idea for a sub.
Music Sub plan!
2. Steinmouse and Sons Happy Birthday Video
This is such a cute little 30 second video that can be played for birthdays.

3. Hear it, clap it, write it
Great idea for rhythmic dictation from Mrs. King's Music Class

Great idea for beginner music notation - Hear it! Clap it! Write it!
4. Boomwhacker Christmas Fun
Great fun - Carol of the Bells and Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

5. Voting system
Voting is tough with the younger ones. This is a great system to implement in music class!

A Tiny Time Saver to help with class voting!

Last but not least, be sure to check out the Super Cyber Savings Sitewide TeachersPayTeachers sale! Everything in my store will be 28% off from December 1-2. Grab these deals while they last!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Turkey, Turkey, Turkey!

November is a time for post-Halloween candy, blustery days, and, of course, Thanksgiving! This week, my students are playing a fun Thanksgiving (assessment) game to get them in the spirit of the holiday.

My students loved playing this singing game around Thanksgiving! It also comes with a built in singing assessment, which I really like.

This song/game is called Turkey, Turkey, Turkey!

To play the game, students sit in a circle. One student sits outside of the circle, facing away from students. Students sing the song and pass a turkey around the circle. I used a Turkey printed on a paper but a stuffed animal would work great as well! Whoever has the turkey on the word day "hides the turkey before Thanksgiving Day" by putting the printed or stuffed animal Turkey behind their back. The student who is sitting outside of the circle remains facing away from the rest of the class and sings "Turkey, where are you?" (sol mi mi sol mi). The student who is hiding the turkey sings "you'll never find me" (sol mi mi sol mi). The student sitting outside the circle has three tries to guess who sang "you'll never find me" without looking. The individual singing responses gave me a chance to assess my students' singing.
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Liebster Award

Thank you to Aileen Miracle for nominating me for  the Liebster Award! I am truly honored. Check out her blog - it is FULL of great resources!

The Liebster Award was created to highlight blogs with growing audiences. The rules for receiving this award are:

1. In your post link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and a 'shout out'.
2. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you've tagged to answer. (The questions I have answered please)
3. Nominate 11 people (Blogs with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post. 
4. Let your nominees know and provide them with a link back to your post (so they can see the rules)
5. No nominating the person who nominated you, however send them a thank you :)

1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging?
I have been an avid blogger since 2009 on a variety of websites. I started this teaching blog just this past July.

2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why?
Practical-fun! Okay...I cheated with two words. I want to give other teachers fun ideas that they can easily implement in their own classrooms.

3. Is there something you learned late in your blogging journey you wished you knew before?
Have someone else read your posts! Proof reading is my biggest weakness. I get so excited about a post that I want to put it out into the virtual world as soon as I possibly can. Patience and an extra set of eyes have helped me to combat my writing errors.

4. What is your favorite past time other than blogging?
Baking! I absolutely love to bake for other people. Two of my most recent favorite recipes are s'more bites and grasshopper cookies!

5. How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog?
It depends on the week and what I am posting about. Usually I'll spend 1-3.

6. What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?
I love posts that are centered around music technology. I enjoy experimenting with technology in the classroom and I love seeing what is and isn't working for other teachers.

7. Where does your blog inspiration come from?
My students are always inspiring me. Most of my posts come from ideas I encounter in class.

8. Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
I wrote a post about the Fall is in the Air song/game I created and used with my kindergarten students. So many people have pinned the song. It makes me quite happy to know I made something that other teachers can use in their classroom.

9. Is there any post you have been planning to do, but have been postponing it for a while now?
This week was a busy one. I have a few posts I want to put on my blog. I just need the extra time to do it! One about a fun Turkey song is coming soon!

10. What's your favorite aspect of blogging?
Interacting with music teachers all over the place. I'm the only one in my building but when I read blogs about what other music teachers are up to, I feel less lonely and more empowered, creative, and excited.

11. Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you be most likely to try yourself?
I want to try to link up more with other blogs. I did Mrs. Miracle's 5 favorite pins for October and it was great. I want to continue to participate in link ups.

Here are my nominees!

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Classroom Teacher Is Late To Pick Students Up From Specials! Now What?

It's the end of music class. You line students up, make sure they're standing quiet and still, and open up the door to send them on their way. Much to your surprise(or not!), their teacher isn't there. You estimate you have anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes before the teacher will pick up your students. During that time, students can get pretty restless! Here are some ides on how to keep students occupied while waiting to be picked up.

1. Ask review questions about the concept(s) you covered in class.
2. Sing a favorite song.
3. Ask students to share any "good news" they have.
4. Play an inner hearing game. Take a familiar tune and have students only sing the first word of each line, the last word of each line, the words that rhyme, etc.
5. Sing Happy Birthday to someone who has an upcoming birthday
6. Ask students to name one thing that went well in music and one thing they could do better.
7. Sing part of a song for an upcoming concert.
8. Give standing in line musical meaning! Practice standing like "performers on stage." The more they can practice standing still, smiling, and quiet, the better!
9. Review technique for singing and/or playing. Tell students you are going to demonstrate a skill two ways, one is right and one is wrong. Demonstrate something, such as singing posture: slumped vs. straight and tall.  Have students put up one or two fingers to show which one they think is the correct way.
10. Copy me rhythms or sol fege patterns. You can clap, say, or sing a pattern and students repeat the pattern after you. This is especially good for younger students.
11. Review words on your word wall.
12. Ask students what their favorite activity in music is.
13. Rapid fire Q&A. Ask a question that will have a 1-3 word answer, gives students 10 seconds to think of their answer, and go down the line quickly. I used this technique on Halloween when every student wanted to tell me what they were going to dress up as.
14. Name that tune. Hum or play a few lines of a tune that students may know and see if students can guess what it is!
15. Play a short clip of instrumental music. Keep a playlist on hand just for instances like this!

While it may not be convenient when students are picked up late, you might as well make the most of those few extra moments!

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

5 Healthy Tips for Teachers on a Time Budget

It's that time of year again. The leaves are turning colors, the weather's getting colder, and students are getting sick. Just this morning, I had 5 students out of one of my classes. It's important as teachers to stay in good health. That's not always an easy thing to do, especially when you don't have a lot of extra time. Here are 5 easy tips to help keep you healthy.

1. Clean your phone with a disinfectant wipe. Think about how many times you touch your phone every day. Germs are everywhere on the surface of your phone and they can easily make it into your system when you hold your phone to your face to talk. Clean your phone with a wipe daily to keep germs away from your face.

2. Take 5 minutes to exercise. Exercising can become a time consuming project, especially if you have to drive to a gym. Don't use your lack of free time as an excuse! There are plenty of 5-10 minute exercise videos on Youtube and plenty of apps that have short videos. Every little bit of exercise helps. I like to do a quick exercise video when I get home so I get it out of the way. Here are a few videos:

3. Eat squeeze-able smoothies or fruit blends. Even though these are meant for small children, they are the perfect way to get an extra serving of fruits and veggies. I like to throw mine in the refrigerator so they are cold but they do not need to be refrigerated. Instead of going for a candy bar snack or going without breakfast, eat one of these and grab your daily dose of vitamin C and some other vitamins! You can find these near the baby food in the super market.

4. Go to sleep 10 minutes earlier than you did the night before. If you find yourself feeling sleepy throughout the day and the jolt from coffee isn't what it used to be, try going to be 10 minutes earlier than you did the night before. If your target bedtime is usually 12:00, try going to sleep at 11:50 for a week. The next week shave 10 more minutes off your bedtime. Do this for a month and a half and you'll have 60 more minutes of sleep each night!

5. Add flossing to your daily bedtime routine. If you already floss, great! But if you're like the majority of people who floss a few times per year or less, try to make flossing a habit. Going without floss can not only give you cavities, but can also contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illness. If you need help creating flossing a daily activity, consider downloading the Lift app. It is a free app that coaches you in the formation of new habits.
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lift-your-daily-coach/id530911645?mt=8
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.liftworldwide.lift&hl=en

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