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GES 1st Graders Perform at Local Nursing Home

I am so proud of my first graders.  They were such DEERS today as we spread some Christmas cheer at a local nursing home.

A Music Font for Music Teachers

Just wanted to take a moment to tell you about one of my latest finds.  I make most of my own worksheets, all of my own bulletin boards, Smartboard activities and manipulatives.  To do this I really need a great set of music notation symbols.  I've used clipart of notes, symbols and more before and even created my own.  They work well, but if I'm working on a big project it takes forever.

So a font that has all of the notes, symbols, etc... that I need would be perfect.  Found one!  It is called Note-able Font and you can find it in Musical Magic's TpT store.  This is her description: "This is an affordable, user-friendly, must-have music tool for teachers and self-publishers for use on a PC or Mac/Apple computer. This package includes two fonts: (1) traditional notation (notes, rests, articulations, etc.) and (2) Kodaly and Orff-style notation (stick rhythms, Curwen hand signs, icons, etc.) for a total of 175 sharp, professional music notes and symbols for personal, classroom and small commercial use. No additional commercial use license is required as long as you include credit and a link. You will also receive a detailed user's guide with instructions, keyboard charts, helpful hints and practice guides. "

I found it to be quite intuitive and loved the hand signals and other things that felt like "extras" in this set.  The user's guide was easy to read and quite helpful.  I know...I sound like a commercial!  I think that you'll like it too. 

Christmas Color by Music Symbol is the latest thing I've created using this groovy font.  Can't wait to use them with my kiddos!

Official Cardinals Pictures

Clicking on each picture will take you to a larger version.  If you need one with a much higher resolution you can email me at tking@bears.k12.mo.us

Fireflies and Evolution of Dance

5th and 6th Graders and the Bearytones (4th-6th Choir) performed at Pop Concert on Thursday, November 7th.  They were amazing!  Congratulations on a great performance!

2nd Graders Perform BOOtiful Music at Local Nursing Home

"Mwa Ha Ha" was one of our favorite songs to perform.
 Many thanks to Mrs. Miller for helping us make masks! They were beautiful, scary, quirky and perfect!

We sang "Apple on a Stick" and "Pumpkin March" using these props that we created in music class.

Another favorite of the residents was "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain".

Congratulations to the GES Second Graders for a great performance!

Build a Rhythm Blocks

Some third graders at GES are building rhythms with Mega-Blocks.  Each single block represents one beat.  Each note on the single beat block equals one beat.  Most blocks have a quarter note, quarter rest, barred eighth notes and 4 sixteenth notes.  The other blocks represent other note values including half notes, dotted half notes and whole notes.  Students build a row of rhythms and then clap them.  Then they add another row and clap both rows.  They continue until it is time to move to a new station or they run out of blocks.

There's a Spider on the Floor

"There's a spider on the floor, on the floor..."  Kindergardeners used these colorful spiders to sing the song, "Spider on the Floor".  We also used them to help us make up lots of new verses to the song. 

"There's a spider on my head, on my head...."
"There's a spider on my chest, on my chest...."

Leaf Man

I attended a workshop a few weeks ago presented by Dan Fee and was introduced to the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert.  It is a beautiful book.  The illustrations are just amazing.  In this activity we listened to "Rustle of Spring" by Sinding while listening to the book.  (I know it says "spring" but it really works with this book.)  Then we took portions of the book and dramatized them with colored "leaves".  Students used their critical listening skills and creativity to dramatically join Leaf Man on his journey.

Students in 1st and 2nd Grades did this activity.  Watch the video below of a first grade group listening and dramatizing Leaf Man.

Pawpaws for Paw Paw Patch

We are so lucky to live in Missouri!  When fourth graders learned the folk song and play party game called "Paw Paw Patch" most of the students didn't know what they were.  Thanks to a wonderful parent for sending in a couple of real pawpaws for students to examine.

Jazzy Jack-o-Lanters

Students in first grade were given a sheet of music symbols.  We identified the ones we new and briefly talked about the new symbols.  Then I challenged students to use only music symbols to create a jazzy jack-o-lantern.  I showed them some samples from a bulletin board I created and they were off.  I love how creative they were!

Carnival of Animals

One of my favorite Second Grade units is Carnival of the Animals.  We learn about this music of Saint Saens and do some fun activities that focus on listening skills.  Carnival of the Animals is a set of pieces that Saint Saens, a French composer, wrote as a joke.  These pieces were all meant to sound like, imitate or make you think of various animals.   To begin this unit we listened to a few pieces and imagined what the composer might have wanted us to identify.  "Do the strings sound like chickens in this piece?"  "Why do you think Saint Saens used a low sounding instrument for the elephant?"  and "What instrument is playing the roar of the lion?" were just a few questions we discussed while listening.
Later while listening to "The Aquarium" we discovered a new note-the whole note.  This note looks a lot like a donut and gets four counts (ta-a-a-a).  We moved to the whole note and then used bottles of bubbles to blow through the whole note.  Students used their critical listening skills and stirred bubbles until they heard a whoe note in the melody and then blew four counts worth of bubbles.

A few weeks ago I attended a workshop by Dan Fee (who is AMAZING!).  The bubbles and the cup stacking in the next activity were ideas that he described in his workshop.  The kids had such a great time!  For the "Tortoise" we moved very slow, like tortoises,  and stacked cups.  Only by moving slowly like a tortoise could we get our stacks all the way up.  During this activity students got to hear this amazing music over and over, used problem solving skills to decide how to complete the task alone, with a partner and with a group. Fun!

Other Carnival of the Animals activities included using ribbon streamers to dance like birds and to identify the "cuckoo" sound made by the clarinet in the "Cuckoo" piece.
Watch the video we watched in class HERE.  This video allows students to hear Carnival of the Animals poetry, see the animals from the pieces and hear an orchestra perform the music.