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Monday, September 26, 2016

Volunteer Organization Made Easy

Do you want to take your students on a field trip but dread volunteer sign ups? Did your last party or celebration have 15 desserts and 1 side dish? Do you want an easy way to display class wish lists and ensure you get what you want? Sign Up Genius is the answer!

From field trips to celebration parties, organizing volunteers can be a stressful experience. Luckily, there's a solution for you! Check out this post for a music teacher's favorite tool.

Pick a Theme That Works
Sign up Genius offers countless themes for your sign ups! I love this feature. The themes are neat and clean. Volunteers can easily see what kind of event they're signing up for just from the picture. 

All Dates in One Place
One great feature of Sign Up Genius is that if you have a recurring event, such as required chaperones at a rehearsal or event, you can put all the dates on one sign up. Volunteers can easily see where there's a need and what works best for their schedule. You can also keep track of who has signed up in real time. You no longer have the stress of keeping track no of paper slips that often come in past the due date.

Send Reminders
One of my favorite features is the reminder feature. Sign Up Genius will automatically send out a reminder email to your chaperones for upcoming events. This takes the stress out of sending out reminder emails or text messages.

I Love Sign Up Genius!
This website has saved me so much time and agony! From signing up ushers for concerts to organizing post concert celebrations, this has streamlined volunteer organization. It is easy to set up, looks clean, and best of all, it's FREE to use!
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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Obwisana - A Singing and Passing Game from Ghana

Obwisana is one of my favorite songs to teach! I even remember learning it wayyyy back when I was in elementary school. It's a fun game that you can keep simple or add levels of difficulty. Though the original song is about rocks, I used bean bags with my students.

Obwisana is such a fun singing game! My students enjoyed this lesson! I love that you can add layers of difficulty. A great way to add multi-cultural music into a lesson.

I start out by teaching a little bit about Ghana. I show them where Ghana is on a map. I show them pictures of native Ghanaian instruments such as the talking drum and atenteben(bamboo flute). I show them the soccer team from Ghana. Some of my students play soccer outside of school and were excited to see that. I then teach them how to pronounce the words to the song and I also show them what the song translates to in English.

Obwisana sa nana
Obwisana sa
Obwisana sa nana
Obwisana sa.

The rock has crushed my hand, grandma
The rock has crushed my hand
The rock has crushed my hand, grandma
The rock has crushed my hand

Then I teach the song:

Once students grasp the song, we make a circle! Before I pass out bean bags, we practice the passing motion. I have students raise their right hand and then lower it down to the left across their body in front of the person to their left. Then I have them move their right had to the right side of their body in front of the person to their right. We practice a few times on quarter notes and then add in the song. Once students grasp that, I hand out bean bags. To add a layer of difficulty, turn students to the outside of the circle. To add more difficulty, add a pat-clap between each pass. If you'd like to turn this into a game, designate one color bean bag as an "elimination" bean bag. Whoever has that color at the end of one round is out of the circle.

Here's an example of a class playing Obwisana:

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Sunday, September 4, 2016

September Small Goals

I'm linking up with Jennifer from The Yellow Brick Road to bring you my September small goals!

  • My goal is to begin blogging more regularly. After the survey from my 500 follower giveaway, I got a great idea of what kinds of posts you all are looking for. Look out for a new post every 1-2 weeks!

  • I am training for a 5k so my goal is to run 2-3 times per week. To balance out my running, I am also aiming to go to yoga 2 times per week. This summer was all about creating new and healthy habits so I am looking forward to keeping it going in the fall.
Create a Better System of Organization for my Computer
  • My computer sometimes feels like a huge explosion of files and sometimes it's difficult to find a document if I don't know what I named it. I'd like to hone in this month on creating a better system for my files. Just need to remember to back everything up afterwards!

What are your goals for the month? Feel free to comment below or join in on the linky party! 
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