Monday, April 29, 2013

Saddle Up for Success

Our theme for testing week is "Saddle Up for Success".  We did western type dress up days and planned a fun pep assembly with noodle pony races, a lasso contest and "Stick 'em Up".  Stick 'em Up was a reward for students that scored advanced or proficient on the MAP last year.  They got to duck tape up the counselor and principal.












Learn to make the noodle ponies HERE.
Get a Saddle Up for Success Bulletin Board HERE.
Learn about the MAP HERE.
Visit our school website HERE.

Kindergarteners prepare for Graduation

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Noodle Notes

Introducing  *drum roll please* NOODLE NOTES!  You may remember that I purchased a bunch of pool noodles at the beginning of the school year to make noodle ponies.  Well, the noodles are out again!  This time I created a way for students to compose with rhythms.

In the activity below, first graders were asked to group notes in sets of 4 beats.  We introduce the term "bar lines" and used the small yellow noodles to represent them.  Today we used only notes that fit in one beat like a quarter note (ta), barred eighth notes (titi) and a quarter rest (sh).  Each noodle note has a note on one side and the corresponding rest on the other side.



In future lessons we'll use half notes and whole notes.  The half notes are twice as long as the blue note pieces because they get two counts instead of one.  The whole notes are four times longer than the blue note pieces because they get four counts.


Don't Blow it This Summer!

The people I work with are so fun!  I needed a few models for my end of the year bulletin board.  It reads "Don't Blow it This Summer! Keep Making Music!"  I took pictures of them pretending to blow up a balloon and then added REAL balloons to their picture.


Some places to check out for summer music awesomeness:
The Muny-St. Louis  Be sure to see Mary Poppins!




Recorder Karate

This year students in 4th Grade at GES and at 5th-6th at WES are learning to play recorders.  We do a program called Recorder Karate where students earn "belts" for each new song they learn.  As we learn about proper playing technique and reading music we work as a large group, in small groups, in tutoring pairs and individually.  Students are doing a FABULOUS job!  

Occasionally Recorder Karate calls some inventiveness.  Below you'll see my quick and easy storage for recorders without cases.  These recorders are stored in a copy paper box.  I punched holes in the top and labelled each spot with a piece of tap.  Red and blue tape distinguishes the classes.  Around the top of the record, but below the mouthpiece is another piece of matching tape. 
 As we spread out to work in small groups we need actual SPACE between groups to help keep the sound level to a tolerable level. At my small school this calls for some creativity as our space is pretty small.
So, we use the chalkboard,

a shelf,

thumbtacks and a bulletin board,

and tables to hold our music and work together.

Teachers: You can learn more about Recorder Karate HERE.
Students: Want to practice at home?  You can use these tracks online.  Email me for your user name and password to access the Recorder Karate Dojo.

GES Kinders Sing "Good Morning!"

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Parodies for Learning

Each spring I challenge my 6th graders to become parody song writers.  We sing a few educational parodies in class, listen to a song by Weird Al (an amazing parody writer!) and then begin the process of writing our own.  Here are a few from this years' group of song writers:



A Farmer’s Transportation
To the tune of “Bingo”

There was a farmer with a truck and blue was its color.
B-L-U-E, B-L-U-E, B-L-U-E and blue was its color.

There was a farmer with a tractor and green was its color.
G-R-E-E-N, G-R-E-E-N, G-R-E-E-N, and green was its color.

There was a farmer with an R.V. and black was its color.
B-L-A-C-K, B-L-A-C-K, B-L-A-C-K, and black was its color.



A Stranger and I Know It
To the tune of “Sexy and I Know It”

I’m walkin’ down the street and this is what I see,
some weird tall guy and he’s chasing after me.
I’ve got a rock in my hand and I ain’t afraid to throw it (throw it throw it).
He’s a stranger and I know it.

I’m walking in the mall and this is what I see
there’s an odd old lady and she's starin' at me,
I don’t if she’s evil or she just likes what I’m wearin’ (wearin’ wearin’)
She’s a stranger and she's starin'.


If You’re Sticky and You Know It, Wash Your Hands
To the Tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”

If you’re sticky and you know it wash your hands.
If you’re sticky and you know it wash your hands.
If you’re sticky and you know it and you really want to show it,
If you’re sticky and you know it wash your hands.

If your icky and you hate it, soap your hands.
If your icky and you hate it, soap your hands.
If your icky and you hate it and you really want to show it,
If your icky and you hate it, soap your hands.

If you’re yucky and you see it rinse your hands.
If you’re yucky and you see it rinse your hands
If you’re yucky and you see it and you really want to show it,
If you’re yucky and you see it rinse your hands.

If you’re clean and you know it dry your hands.
If you’re clean and you know it dry your hands.
If you’re clean and you know and you really want to show it,
If you’re clean and you know it dry your hands.

Natural Disasters
To the tune of “London Bridge”
When a tornado is coming for you, coming for you, coming for you,
When a tornado is coming for you,
run run away.
When your house is burning down, burning down, burning down,
When your house is burning down,
get, get outside.
When there is a hail storm, hail storm, hail storm,
When there is a hail storm,
get, get inside.


Colors of the Bus
To the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus”

The color of the bus is ye-e-llow, ye-e-llow, ye-e-llow.  The color of the bus is ye-e-llow, Y-E-L-L-O-W.
The wheels on the bus are black, black black. Black, black, black. Black, black, black.  The wheels on the bus are black, black, black, B-L-A-C-K.
The girl on the bus has red red hair, red red hair, red red hair. The girl on the bus has red red hair, R-E-D.
The seats on the bus are bro-ow-own, bro-ow-own, bro-ow-own.  The seats on the bus are bro-ow-own, B-R-O-W-N.


Stranger Danger
To the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It"

If there’s a stranger and you know it, call for help (yell! yell!)
If there’s a stranger and you know it, call for help (yell! yell!)
If there’s a stranger and you know it and you’re just afraid to show it,
If there’s a stranger and you know it, call for help (yell! yell!)
If the stranger follows you run away (run! run!)
If the stranger follows you run away (run! run!)
If a strangers follows you, you should know who to run to,
If the stranger follows you run away (run! run!)


Teachers:  You can get a parody writing kit here.

Monday, April 8, 2013


I know!  I know!  It's no longer Music in Our Schools Month!  It was a busy month and I couldn't let the school year slip by without showing you my MIOSM display.  Love the creativity these kiddos put into their creations.  I also love what great conversations we had about singing technique!  After discussing what a good singer looks like (tall mouth, eyes on the conductor, etc...) students in K-4 created singing faces.  Displayed together they made a large MIOSM choir in the music hallway.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Shamrock Rhythms

 
 

I love going to the dollar store!  I found these fabulous foam shamrocks and used them for this rhythm building activity.  On each shamrock I drew a quarter note or two barred eighth notes.  One the back of each one there is a quarter rest.  Students worked together to create rhythms in groups of 4.  (Later we call this four four time signature, but in first grade we refer to it as groups of 4 or 3.)
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