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Christmas Concert Warm-Ups

First Graders practice their flakey moves for "If I Could Fly Like a Snowflake".  Parents and students can get this song HERE.  Teachers can go HERE.

These Second Graders are doing the "Penguin Polka".  Parents and students can get it HERE.  Teachers can get it HERE.

Five Smart Turkeys

Preschoolers and Kindergarteners are counting turkeys!  They have learned that some turkeys are quite clever as they listened to the song "Five Smart Turkeys".  They counted turkeys and colored pictures to help them remember this fun song.

iTune Out Drugs - - - Hurray for Red Ribbon Week!

I just LOVE this year's Red Ribbon Week theme: iTune Out Drugs, Our School ROCKS Drug Free!  In preparing for this fun week (which features days like "Heavy Metal Hair Day") we are decorating the school.  There are guitars hung in the hall ways and musical banners hanging for everyone to see.  I have a couple of bulletin boards up.

This board is in the main hallway and displays a HUGE iPod.  The songs on the playlist are "My Mind is Mine", "I Will Dare", "Drug Free Me", "Too Smart to Start" and  "Drugs Stink".  Follow the links on these songs to purchase a copy for your iPod or MP3 player at home.
I know.  I just love things that are punny!  This clever wall display runs down the hallway by the music room.  on the keys students have illustrated activities they can do instead of doing drugs.

Band and Choir members created their own display for Red Ribbon Week.  Their iPods contain drug free messages and they are held by hands that students traced and cut out.

Here's a bulletin board that you can download, print and post.

Beat Leaders

Steady beat is a skill that we work on at all grade levels.  A fun activity that we do in third grade is called "Beat Leaders".  Students work in groups of 4 or 5 and practice different ways to show steady beat.  Clapping, patting, nodding, stomping, etc... are some basic ways to do this.  These clever third graders used moves like flapping, poking and air punches to show the beat!  This activity can be done anywhere.  Just turn on some music.  I like to piece instrumental pieces so that the words don't distract from find the beat.

Spelling with a Bottle Cap Staff

Using a staff and a hand full of bottlecaps, students in Fourth Grade practiced reading pitches on the treble clef staff.  This skill will be quite valuable when they start recorders in the spring.  Working with partners, students created words with the musical alphabet (A B C D E F and G) and then their partner had to use the bottle caps to "spell" the word on the staff.  Students plotted words like baggage, cafe, add, Gabe, bag and more.

Pumpkins make the Prettiest Music!

Pumpkin on a Fencepost

Pumpkin on a fencepost
shining in the sun
I see your orange color
I know that fall has come.
take you back to my house
make your eyes and smile
warm you with a candle
and keep you for a while!
Pumpkin, pumpkin
Jack-o-lantern. BOO!
Poem by Mrs. King

Coming Soon:  First Graders perform this poem as a scale song.

Body Percussion Projects

Third and Fourth graders are great rhythm readers and even better rhythm song writers!  In this activity students used their knowledge of note values to create rhythm patterns using body percussion.  We used stomping, patsching, clapping and snapping in our songs. 

Instead of using the traditional five lined staff, we used a four line staff.  Each line represented one of the following: stomp, pat, clap or snap.  Students then notated which body percussion element to use by writing the note on its line.  Students created some fabulous songs!  In the pictures above, students work with partners to  create patterns and them perform them.

I Know An Old Lady-The Remix!

In First Grade music we have learned the song "I Know an Old Lady".  First we read and sang the book.  Next we used the Old Lady doll to sing the song.  Each first grader got to hold one of the animals and feed it to the old lady when that part of the song came along.  Next, we re-wrote this classic using animals, people and objects that we thought up!  You can see some of the 1st graders' work below.  We are using first grade spelling, so if you can't figure out a word just try sounding it out.

A shark?  A dinosaur?  A piano?  lol.  The old lady was certainly hungry in these new versions.  The lyrics to these new and fun songs are displayed outside the music room door.  The old lady is there too!

You can grab the worksheets for this activity HERE.

Star Spangled Banner Centers

Each year Third Graders learn about the "Star Spangled Banner".  They learn about its history, the lyrics and the music.  One of the fun parts of this unit is going deeper by working at workstations or centers.
At this station students are using a hot dot worksheet and hot dot pens to answer questions about the history of our national anthem.  The pen tells them (with musical sounds!) if their answer if right or wrong.
At this workstation, students read the history of the "Star Spangled Banner" and then quiz their partner on important facts.

Some of the words in our national anthem are a bit difficult to understand in third grade.  At this workstation students learn words like "rampart", "perilous" and "gallantly".

How many words can YOU create using the letters in the title of our national anthem?  At this stop, students race against each other to create words by rearranging the letters in "Star Spangled Banner".

This station is called "Sing in the Blanks".  Students are given a copy of the lyrics to the "Star Spangled Banner" that has many blanks in it.  Working with their partner (who has the answer sheet) students try to sing all the way through the first verse.  It's much harder than it looks, but third graders did a great job!

On your mark!  Get set!  Write!  At this station students work on memorizing the first verse of our national anthem by racing to copy the lyrics.  There's lots of humming and singing going on.  Many students find it easier to remember the words as they relate to the melody of the song.

Francis Scott Key wrote a poem called "The Defense of Fort McHenry".  This poem later was set to a popular tune of the day and eventually became our national anthem.  Writing poems about America can be fun!  At this station, students are inspired by pictures and a collage of patriotic words.  Then they write their own poem about America.

Who was Francis Scott Key? Was he a musician? How on earth did he happen to be stuck on an enemy ship during a battle? At this center, students read together and learn about the composer of the "Star Spangled Banner".

Get Star Spangled Banner Workstations for your classroom!

God Bless the U.S.A.

Today we had our annual patriotic assembly to recognize/celebrate Patriot's Day (9/11), National Anthem Day (9/14) and Constitution Day (9/17).  The finale was a sing-along that ended with "God Bless the U.S.A."

Band practices "America" for Patriotic Assembly

I love these guys!  Just a few days into practicing "America" for a patriotic assembly, these guys rock! :-D  Keep up the good work!

Cups for Clapping

I saw this activity at a workshop last weekend. The green cups are rests or "shhh" notes. The blue cones are quarter notes. We moved the cones around the cups to create patterns we liked, then "read" the patterns by clapping and resting. First graders really enjoyed this activity and were able to pick up some composition grids and create their own patterns on paper. Rock on First Grade!
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Band Begins

Beginning band students are often tutored by returning band members at the start of the school year. This allows me time to walk around the room and work with students one on one. At the beginning of school we elect officers for band. The officers have special duties each day in class that help keep things running smooth. The president conducts in my absences, leads small group rehearsals and sectionals and fills in for the other officers. The vice-president fills in for the president and is responsible for passing out music. The secretary takes daily attendance and handles the correspondence for the group. The treasurer assists me in keeping track of reed and valve oil charges.
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