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Candy Cane Ponies and Musical Form

This week students in the younger grades listened to a "March" from the Nutcracker ballet.  After deciphering the form we discovered that there was a repeating A section.  That means "March" is in rondo form.  Then we added maracas and jingles to indicate galloping and marching sounds in the music.  It wasn't enough to just play the different parts, so we pulled out our Candy Cane Ponies and marched and galloped to show the form of the song!  During the B and C sections we took short breaks to feed our ponies carrots from our pockets and to give them drinks of water.  What a hoot!

You can download the recording we used from Tchaikovsky's ballet here.  Teachers:  This activity is from Parachutes and Ribbons and Scarves, Oh My! by the talented Artie Almeida.

Christmas Centers

There are so many great activities to do in December!  This week 5th and 6th graders at WES and GES worked in Christmas Centers.  Working in small groups, students moved from learning station to learning station to demonstrate their knowledge, listen to some seasonal music and have a great time!

The Listening Center (above) featured: "Sleigh Ride" by Ella Fitzgerald and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" by the Brian Setzer Orchestra.

Frozen Instrument Families Station (above) challenged students to find and sort instruments.  Tougher than it sounds!

(Above) Christmas Counts Center-Write it, rap it, count it, play it and then...make your own! :-)

Trim the Tree with treble pitches!  At this stations students got to "trim" a Christmas tree by color coding the notes on each ornament.

Candy Land!  Well...sort of.  This classic board game was altered just a bit so that students played the game while demonstrating their knowledge of music symbols and by singing when they drew special cards.  What fun!

Other centers included a SmartBoard center where students matched syllables of words to  music notation and a reading station that featured a variety of musical stories.  Students enjoyed working in this style.  We couldn't believe it when class time was over!  It went so fast!

Teachers:  You can get the Christmas Centers here.

 Christmas Workstations-Centers for Music Class

Rudolph the Silly Reindeer-Here's the Scoop!

Last week's Song of the Week was "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer".  We replaced some words in the song with actions and sound effects.   The words in RED contained motions or sound effects.

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen
But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
had a very shiny nose
And if you ever saw it 

you would even say it glows.
All the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph

join in any reindeer games.
Then one foggy Christmas Eve,
Santa came to say

“Rudolph with your nose so bright,
 won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?

Then all the reindeer loved him
 as they shouted out with glee
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,
you’ll go down in history!!!

Here's what they looked liked as posed by Mrs. Sides' 4th Graders:

Download MP3 of Mrs. Pence's class singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" the traditional way.

Download MP3 of Mrs. Sides' class singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" the new way!

Gingerbread Listening Glyphs

What a sweet way to listen to music!  First graders have used gingerbread glyphs to record their observations about music.  Glyphs are pictorial representations of data.  Often glyphs are used as part of math lessons.  Students recorded tempo, dynamics, tone color (what instruments they heard) and their personal opinion of the listening example by color coding their gingerbread man.

Teachers:  You can get the Gingerbread Glyph HERE.

Thank You!

Many thanks to the donors who contributed to our project "We've Got Rhythm" on Donors Choose.  It has been funded!  HURRAY!

You can still make contributions by clicking on the "Donate to Our Classroom" button in the sidebar.  Your donations will go towards our next project which should be up soon.

Other donations to help our classroom:
hand sanitizer
empty plastic coffee cans with lids
poker chips
new clothespins (plastic or wood)
Candy Land (They are really cheap right now!  We need 3 more for a special music project.)

Rudolph the Silly Reindeer

Hurray!  Its finally December!  This week our song of the week is a favorite of music lovers young and old, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer".  We are not only singing the sing, but adding some silly movement and sound effects to it!

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen
But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
had a very shiny nose
And if you ever saw it

you would even say it glows.
All the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph

join in any reindeer games.
Then one foggy Christmas Eve,
Santa came to say

“Rudolph with your nose so bright,
 won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?

Then all the reindeer loved him
 as they shouted out with glee
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,
you’ll go down in history!!!

Ask your child how we changed the words in red.  I'll post the directions later this week for those readers who don't have students in class.