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Retro Groovy Classroom Tour

I am looking forward to have the grooviest year ever!  This year I decided to embrace the cool, retro vibe that is appearing in fashion, home furnishings and more.  I hope you'll enjoy this peek of my classroom.

Retro groovy music room decorations. Music classroom decor w a retro theme featuring mushrooms, VW vans, smiley faces and more iconic 60s & 70s decor
My desk is in the front corner of my room.  It holds every pen or pencil known to man and the mixer box for my classroom speakers.  I play music through my computer but it is set up to quickly play from my phone if I need to.

This wall contains my light up treble staff and the board where I'll post my student objectives for the week.  I am in the smallest room I've taught in and storage is limited for instruments.  On this board I have the descriptors for our grading scale. We use standards based grading and I ask students to check where they are with our learning goals for the day and show me by raising fingers to go with the scale below.  

The chicken's name is HENnifer Lopez.  She is sometimes used as a reward.

This light up treble staff display is one of my favorite things.  You can learn how to make your own HERE.  The butterflies are sitting on magnetic shelves.  As the school year goes on, I plan to display books that we are reading or that connect with a subject we are learning about.

I painted this rocking chair a few years ago and my students love it. Actually teachers and staff members love it too.  When they come in to talk they often ending up rocking and talking!  The light up mushrooms don't heat up and I love the way they look.  

Retro groovy music room decorations. Music classroom decor w a retro theme featuring mushrooms, VW vans, smiley faces and more iconic 60s & 70s decor
This corner is used mostly for storage.  On the shelves in front and behind the chairs is where I store my Orff instruments.  I really only use the chairs second semester but we don't have a place to store them until then.  
The Boomwhackers are stored in plastic bag storage containers from IKEA.  I have Boomwhackers in each container.

I use my cabinet doors for extra display area.  When we are studying instrument families or working in stations, I utilize this area as a reference for students.  You can take a closer look at these instrument family posters HERE.

Retro groovy music room decorations. Music classroom decor w a retro theme featuring mushrooms, VW vans, smiley faces and more iconic 60s & 70s decor
My media cart holds a classroom set of iPads.  On top there are groovy containers for Kleenex, hand sanitizer and spray and a stack of blank paper.  The cart is near my classroom door so that students can put their iPads up on their way out the door.  The cute mushrooms are from Schoolgirl Style.  

Retro groovy music room decorations. Music classroom decor w a retro theme featuring mushrooms, VW vans, smiley faces and more iconic 60s & 70s decor
This is the back of the room that displays some bulletin boards that I will leave up all year.  On the shelves my library is sorted by categories.  You can read about this organizational system and download some files to get you started by reading more about it in Organizing Books in Your Music Library.  
The pillows are used during workstation time.  Students love grabbing  one and sitting on it or laying on it during reading time

You can take a closer look at more of the files I used in my retro groovy classroom here.  I hope you have the best school year ever!

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Musical Things to Do While Waiting in Line

For one reason or another, I often find myself waiting with students in a line.  It can be challenging to keep them quiet because let's face it...standing in line is boring!  Here are a few musical things to do while waiting in line.

Steady Beat Follow Me
This quiet game is easy and engaging.  Lead students to keep the steady beat with you, but challenge them to stop on exactly the same beat you do.  To be successful, students have to watch closely and remain quiet.  I tap my head, chin, arms, stomach, knees and nose.  I clap with two fingers or snap.  I nod or shrug my shoulders to the beat and whatever else I can think of that makes no sound or very little sound.

As students are following me, I freeze occasionally.  If they are watching closely, they can freeze on the same beat that I do.  Vary the tempo to keep it interesting.

Snap on This Beat
As students are waiting in line I'll ask them to listen to me count a steady beat and snap only on the even numbers. 
|: 12345678 :|

When they have established that rhythm, I'll switch it up.  I'll have them snap on the odd numbers, on 1, 4, 5 and 8 or any combination.  Occasionally when I walk a class back to their room we will do this.  It makes me feel like I'm on West Side Story.

Silent Singing
This is great activity to use when you are working on memorizing songs.  As students are waiting in line, I'll silently conduct one of the songs we are working on.  Every line or two I will stop and either ask them what word comes next or have them change from silent singing to whisper singing.

After I have modeled this a few times, I choose student leaders to conduct silent singing.  They love the challenge and pick up on it easily.

What's in My Pocket
This is a silly game, but the kids love it!  Before we line up, I'll slip something into my pocket.  My kids know that my desk drawers are treasure chests of weird and wonderful things so I could be putting almost anything in my pocket.

Students may ask yes/no questions one at a time by raising their hand and being called on.  I try to keep the items musical or related to music.  Some great items to slip in your pocket:  a small metrenome, tuning whistle, a reed, whistle, egg shaker, triangle striker, castanets, a small slide whistle, a recorder belt, guitar pick, or mini maracas.

Okay, this isn't the most musical activity but since I rarely find time to practice spelling during class I use this line game to do just that.  Usually when you play Sparkle, you stand in a circle but it works in a line too.  I say an instrument name, musical term or name of a composer.  The first student in line gives the first letter, the second student the second and so on.  If someone gets it wrong, we start over with the next person.  The goal is to spell enough words correctly that we make it through the entire line.  Traditionally, Sparkle is an elimination game but I keep everyone in and participating.

I also use this Sparkle technique to work on memorizing songs in line.  The first student says or sings the first word of the song, the second student says or sings the second word and so on.  The challenge is to get all the way through one song without having to restart.

Do you have games or activities that you use while students are waiting in line to keep them learning and engaged?  Feel free to share them in the comments.

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