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Hear it! Clap it! Write it!-2nd Grade

Using our classroom lap packs and dry erase markers second graders have been working on writing rhythms that they hear down using correct notation.  Right now we are working with ta and titi (quarter notes and eighth note pairs).

Instrument Investigations

Currently, 4th graders are reviewing instruments of the orchestra and instrument families.  In this project students are paired up and given a small poster that contains the picture of an instrument and other important information.  Students use an "Instrument Investigation" sheet to record the instruments name, family, how it produces sound and another interesting fact.

After their investigation was complete (about 10-15 minutes) each group presented their facts to the entire class.  I was so impressed with their presentations and the information they presented to us!

Teachers:  Get the worksheet HERE

S.O.W: The Star Spangled Banner

For the first week and half of school our Song of the Week (SOW) is the "Star Spangled Banner".  We have learned proper etiquette for listening to or performing our national anthem and practiced this in class.  To show respect we (1) Stand up.  (2) Put our right hand on our heart. (3) Keep our eyes on the flag.

In addition we've listened to several examples of the "Star Spangled Banner".  Here are some of the samples we've heard:
Whitney Huston
Dixie Chicks
Marvin Gaye
Kaitlyn Maher (3 year old singer)

Learn more about the Star Spangled Banner.

Senor Don Gato-Meow! Meow! Meow!

Do you remember the ballad of "Senor Don Gato"?  Many adults learned this song in elementary music and it is still one of their favorites.  Today some first and second graders were introduced to this cat through the storybook illustrated by John Manders.

Our lesson started with the song "Hola Amigos" and a discussion of what language the song is in and what the words mean.  Students listened as I sang the book and then we listened to a recording while singing the "meow meow meow" parts of the song.  A short video of the song and a discussion of the story and we were ready to retell the story on paper.  Using words and pictures or just pictures, students retold the key points of the ballad:
1. Don Gato sat on a roof and read a love letter.
2. A fluffy, white lady cat wanted to wed Don Gato.
3. Don Gato, in his excitement, jumped up and fell off the roof.
4.  The doctors came to try and help him.
5.  Don Gato died anyway.
6.  As the funeral procession passed the fish market the smell brought Senor Don Gato back to life!  ¡Olé!

Here are some examples of student projects:

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You SING?

Due to an unusual schedule I will see some classes twice in a quarter and then the next quarter a different class twice.  I LOVE that I get some extra time with my awesome students!  In Kindergarten and First Grades this "extra" class time will be used to explore the music and children's literature connection.  Our first project coincides with the Kindergarteners' reviewing colors in their classroom.  We read, rapped, listened to and sang "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" by Bill Martin Jr. with illustrations by Eric Carle.  The tune is the same as "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" so it was easy for the students to pick it up.  Before class was over we made and colored song books so that we could sing the story to our parents.

Teachers:  These books are available on the 1+1+1=1 website for free!

Mrs. King's Music Classroom Tour 2012

Welcome to the Music Room!

Each year I post a tour of my classroom and this year I'm so excited to share my teaching space with you!  Parents and students:  I hope that you enjoy this sneak peek of the music room.  Visiting music teachers:  I hope you are inspired!  If you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.  If I don't answer right away I'll try to address them some time this school year in a separate post.
This is my desk and planning corner.  I acquired a couple of filing cabinets this year and am so thankful to have some storage for my files, magazines and bulletin board supplies.  The computer is connected to the SmartBoard that you'll see later in this post.  Notice the fan under the desk? I'm one hot mama and use it all year round!

The shelf beside my desk.  The shelves aren't tall enough to store my books standing up, so they are all horizontal.  I don't love it, but it works.  I love that it is red though!  Cheery!

Ah!  Pinterest!  I saw these piano pots there and knew that I had to have some.  The flowers are fake.  I kill real plants.  It's sad but true!

A closer view of the shelf.  I have my things sorted by topic: Orff, Singing, General Resource, Holidays, Theory, History, etc...  The boxes on the top shelf are my goody box and sticker box.  The binders on the right are for lesson plans, attendance, sub plans and then a binder that stores all of my worksheets, graphic organizers, writing prompt sheets, etc...

The bulletin board on the right is actually on the side of a filing cabinet.  The clips are magnetic.  I plan to clip up schedules, memos, pictures from student, etc...  The shelf contains manipulatives that I use often.  The bulletin board on the left is for Songs of the Week.

This is a close up of that area.  I added some family photos this year.  They make me happy! Aren't my kids adorable? :-)

A closer look at the cabinet reveals cups for the cup game, some supplies for rhythmic dictation, musical Yahtzee, ribbon streamers and more. 

So, I use lots of props and other fun things.  On this shelf you'll find a rubber chicken.  Its great for passing during a game of Make Five or for singing and moving to "Chicken on a Fencepost".  There's a pop-up puppet used for vocal exploration, Bop-It and electronic Simon for centers, inflatable microphones for individual singing or vocal explorations, a hooty owl, bones for "Doggie Doggie", the Aflac duck and of course, a tiara!  I don't know why the Rubic's cube is there.  *shrugging*  Perhaps I'll solve it someday. :-)

The little shelf by the big shelf contains dry erase markers, magnetic abc letters hot glued to popsicle sticks (using those for letter recognition songs and games with Kinders), Lap Packs (Some day I'll write about these.), poker chips (rhythmic and melodic dictation and a few other charts), clothespins for Rocket Rhythms (Google it.  One of Artie Almeida's awesome products.) and a few other things like that.  The bottom shelf contains bottlecaps that I use with a treble clef staff for melodic dictation and composing patterns using steps and skips and teaching the younger students about lines and spaces.

A little peek at my word wall and my collection of pointers and flyswatters.  You can get some word wall kits here.  They are not what's in this picture but the word list is pretty much the same.

A view from my desk area.  Those doors hide some FABULOUS storage.  I'm so thankful for the previous music teacher that made that happen.  All of my books, bulletin board supplies, large props, Orff instruments, stands and even a fridge and microwave are stored there!  The rug was funded through Donors Choose (Don't forget we have a project up now that you can donate to!).  The chairs are mostly in the position that I use for most of the older grades.  The younger grades  sit most often on the carpet. 

 Back to school bulletin board "Whoo can clap OWL of these rhythms?"  Which features 4 beat rhythms on colorful owls.

 A view of the entire board.  Its behind the piano in the shot of this side of the room.
 New Boomwhacker storage made from coffee cans.  I like that this will make transitioning to activities smoother and love the pretty rainbow it creates!  They sit on top of the cabinet that I store my smaller classroom instruments in.  Rhythm sticks, maracas, triangles and other instruments are stored in containers there.

A view of the window side of the room.  You can see the instrument storage shelves.  The tubs on top are used for bass drums.  They are roped laundry baskets from WalMart and make a surprisingly lovely sound!

Yeehaw!  The swimming noodle ponies are in their stable and ready to go!  The other swimming noodles in the basket will be used for a couple of different things.  We'll use them as "swords" and bump them together to create steady beat or simple ostinato patterns.  I also plan to use them to...well...its kind of hard to explain, but look for a post later this year!

A launch pad area near the door.  Student papers that I need to pass back go in the mail box.  It also makes for nice iPad storage.  I have two now, but hope to snag 2 or 3 more to use them more efficiently with groups.  Under the table is a box of clipboards.  We use these all the time for writing activities.  The soda can bulletin board is available here.

A closer look. I love the polka dot labels!  These were created in PowerPoint with a simple text box and polka dot background.
Yes!  Books in the music room!  I teach many lessons that incorporate children's literature.  One of the summer school favorites was "Mortimer" by Robert Munsch.  When learning at workstations this center is very popular!  We love singing books and reading noisy, musical stories.

This is between my desk and the door.  I plan for it to hold some out the door activities like goodbye songs, rhythm cards to practice or just some fun things to share or talk about.  The trash cans on the bottom shelf aren't used for trash.  In one classroom activity I pass out instrument cards and then ask students that have a card from the woodwind family to feed it to Hungry Harry (that's the trash can's name) or Mimi the Muncher.  Then we go through each family and do the same thing.  Its silly, but a fun way to review.  I've also done a similar activity with rhythm cards, composer trivia, etc...  

The poster in the back is one that I designed and created.  Its the Depth of Knowledge scale as it relates to music.  Each section lists musical skills that fall under each of the levels.  I don't have a cost effective way to produce this yet so this prototype sits on my wall waiting inspiration.

A view from the far corner of the room.  The open space is used for movement and lining up.

The music room is ready for the 2012-2013 school year.  Now all I need is a room full of music makers!  Stay tuned!

Classroom Tour 2012 Part 1: Labels!

August 1st means that teachers can get back into their classrooms and start preparing for the school year.  The total music room reveal will have to wait for a few more small projects to be completed, but I wanted to post a few pictures in celebration of labels.  I made several different kinds of labels using polka dots.  Have I mentioned how much I love black and white polka dots?  Anyway...I made several labels and really just slapped them on some things I already had in containers. 
New boomwhacker storage!  I've had family members and parents saving plastic coffee cans for the last year.  We use them as drums in class which is so much fun!  Today I converted some of them into boomwhacker storage containers with a little spray paint.  Boomwhackers are pitched percussion tubes.  We use them to create harmony and play melodies.  Now that they are in separate containers it will make setting up boomwhacker songs faster and easier.  The labels show the boomwhacker pitch (letter name) and scale degree (number).

This is kind of a launch pad.  Several frequently used manipulatives are stored here.  Notice the pretty labels on the ABC sticks, lap packs and bottle caps.

Ahhh!  I hope this cabinet stays this neat all year! LOL...I know, I know, but a teacher can dream can't she?  These little baskets with the handles came from a regular classroom teacher who hadn't used them.  Hurray!  They were the perfect size for several manipulatives that I had previously stored in plastic baggies.

Polka dots!  Yay!  I also added polka dot labels to my tubs of crayons, markers, colored pencils, erasers and scissors.  Is it going overboard if I make something for my hand sanitizer too?  Cause I'm really considering it!

This picture shows my national standards bulletin board.  Last year I displayed the standards with a big dish of ice cream and this year I'm using soda cans. Teachers:  You can get this bulletin board here.