Thursday, April 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Mrs. Miracle's Linky Party

I'm joining Mrs. Miracle's Throwback Thursday Link Party. It you are interested in joining, click the picture below for more information:

All you had to do for this Linky Party was re-post an old blog post. Here is one I wrote October 2012, about exploring music in the outdoors. I performed this lesson in the fall, but as it is starting to warm up it may be a great idea to take your kids outside for music class! Hope you enjoy! :)

Sound Effects

Last week I decided to take all of my Fairview students outside for music classes. I decided to do this after having a short chat with a 2nd grader who often acts up in my class. He had kind of a rough day about two weeks ago and broke down in tears after music class. I asked him if he was crying because he got in trouble, to which he replied "No! I just really miss my mom!"

Fairview has an outdoor classroom that they refer to as The School Forest. At first, I wasn't sure what we should do outside. It would be easy to just go out there and sing different songs we sing in music class. However, I feel that when you are going to a new environment you should take advantage of it to the best of your abilities.

After much thought I came up with lesson plans for each class. I will introduce the ideas here with a brief description, but I'll also post more details on each project in later blog posts. This way you can get the materials I used for the lessons, as well as, see some pictures. (I don't want to bombard you with a whole week of lessons in one post!)

All my classes had to walk on the forest path in silence. While they did this they were to listen to the sounds of fall. When we reached the outdoor classroom, I then had students share what they heard. We talked about what music was and how the music of fall would be different than the music of winter. They imagined some of the sounds they may hear in the winter rather than the fall. I especially found this activity cute when one of my kindergarteners on the second day of going to the forest told the class that he heard some beautiful music on his walk to the school forest. This was without even being told to listen for music! :)

Sound Effects

In Kindergarten and 1st grade students had to find an item in nature that could be used to create music. They then shared these instruments with the class and showed them how to play their instrument. (Read more about outdoor instruments...)

2nd grade was working on a sound effects project out in the school forest. (Read more about sound effect project...)

3rd grade was finishing up their ostinato patterns, so the first day they shared their patterns with the class. The second day they did something similar to what the 4th and 5th graders did. (Read More about the Ostinato Pattern Project...)

4th and 5th graders went out the school forest and sang I Love the Mountains. Afterwards they were asked to write a short reflection on this experience. They were to describe the difference in singing outside versus inside. We then talked about what makes a good reflection and ways to describe the sound of our own singing or of instruments playing, etc. 4th and 5th graders then created their own 2 beat ostinatos with a partner, as well as, a 3 beat ostinato with their partner. Students created and practiced them the first day and then shared them the second day. (Read More about reflections...)

Overall, I really enjoyed taking the kids out for music class. I was surprised by how many of my students, that don't always care for music, were really excited about music since we were going outside. I also noticed that some of my overly rambunctious students were actually really well behaved outside.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Category Rhythm Project

I'm currently working with a group of my 4th and 5th graders on a fun mini-project. We just got done learning about ti-ti-ri and ti-ri-ti, but it can be difficult to tell the difference between these two. We focused on a lot on which note gets a little bit more time. We practiced singing songs and figuring out if it gets a ti-ti-ri or a ti-ri-ti.

Now for some added practice I had the students split into small groups (no more than 4 people to a group and students can work on their own if they choose to). As a group they had to come up with some sort of category. It could be anything from sports to candy to states. However, once they picked their category they had to come up with words to go with each rhythm they know (1 for ta, 1 for ti-ti, 1 for ti-ti-ri, 1 for ti-ri-ti, 1 for ti-ri-ti-ri). Each word had to do with their category. I was really impressed with some of the categories students chose:
  • mythology
  • states
  • books
  • sports
  • junk food
  • fruit

The second day, students created nice posters to go with their category and rhythms. Students were expected to write the rhythm, write the word that goes with the rhythm, and draw something to go with each word on their chart.

Here are some of the finished products:
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2014-04-04 17.41.09

I'm really proud of their hard work. I'm looking forward to displaying these at our Spring Fine Arts night at the end of April!

Friday, April 4, 2014

April Currently

Today I'm linking up with a Linky Party. If you would like to join the linky party just click the link below:

Listening... to the silence! I love just sitting in the quiet after a long week of teaching. It is one of the benefits to living a lone. I try to take it in as much as I can now, because I know it is only a matter of time until I have a husband and kids of my own running around.

Loving... that it's the weekend! Especially because this weekend I'm taking a quick trip out of town.

Thinking... about everything I have to get done this weekend! The weekends always go by so fast and there is just never enough time to get everything I want or need to get done, done. 

Wanting... to work on fun Teachers Pay Teachers products. I always have so many great ideas floating in my head and lots of projects started, but I never seem to find the time to finish them. It can be a little frustrating at times. The weeks are crazy busy between school, choir rehearsals, work outs, and girls night. Then the weekend comes and just when I think I'll get caught up some family or friend event comes up and it's Monday again...

Needing... to plan and prepare for the end of the year. Each year I get better and better at planning my year and getting what I need accomplished. Now that it is 3rd quarter I have to figure out where I am as far as assessments. Decide what I'm going to skip and continue on next year and what I have to get done this year.

Hours and last day... 8:00 - 3:30; June 11th. First yes, I'm aware that my hours are less than 8 hours days, but I'm technically an 80% teacher. Hence, the school I teach mornings at starts later than the school I end my days at. It ends up with a short hours, but I normally get no lunch. :( Next year the days I split between schools will be longer, but I'll actually have a lunch. We end June 11th because Wisconsin has a kind of silly rule about not starting school until September 1st or Labor Day, whichever comes first. This means NO spring break for me, but still we get done with school much later than most schools in the U.S.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Great things going on Right NOW!

I really want to share a cool project I'm just finishing up with my 4th and 5th graders, but you will all have to wait patiently for that post. Hopefully this week I'll get around to posting it!

I do want to inform you quickly about three pretty awesome things going on right now!

1) $2 Tuesday 4/1/14
For just a few more hours get some great music resources at just $2. Many are marked over half off including my resource! You can click on the image to find all the items on sale.

2) Lindsay's 1,000 TpT Giveaway!
Lindsay recently hit 1,000 followers on Teachers Pay Teachers and she is currently holding a huge giveaway. You could even possibly win 2 of my song files! Lindsay's resources are some of my favorite music resources and I definitely suggest checking out her giveaway by clicking on the image above!

3) MY 300 TpT Followers Giveaway!
I recently hit 300 Teachers Pay Teachers followers, which is just amazing to me. I've only been at this for about 5 months and it is amazing to me to have so much support. I never dreamed that so many people would buy items I create and I'm truly humbled to have so many of you buying, promoting, and cheering on my products! As a thank you, I'm holding a giveaway that ends on Friday (4/4/14). For information on how to enter click the Giveaway picture and follow the directions. (It is really simple, I promise!)