Sunday, November 30, 2014

Music Teacher Must Haves and Linky Party

It's time for Cyber Monday!



I can't wait - my shopping cart is full and I'm counting down the hours while I watch reruns of the Gilmore Girls. Let's link up with Amy over at Music a la Abbott!



From my store:

I'm really excited about my new Frosty Weather slides



My Kinders and firsties love this simple game: Circle, holding hands. Walk 4 slow steps around the circle. On "when the wind blows," take 4 small, quick steps to the middle and "shiver" while shoulder to shoulder.

After the song, I say, "Three steps back and-a 1 2 3!"

I use this in Kinder and First with these beat charts:




And then I bring it back in 2nd grade to practice re!



From other stores:

If you are looking for some centers for your classroom, I recommend the centers from Tracy King and Aileen Miracle.

I used the 3rd grade centers from Mrs. Miracle's Music Room at the beginning of the year with my 4th and 5th graders. It was a great chance to review some material they were already familiar with.


The Fuzzy Patterns station was a HIT. Literally. Throw the knit ball to the smart board, read the pattern, throw it again, repeat. :-) Super easy & super fun. 

And one more store that I just LOVE is Sonya DeHart's store - so many cute papers and fonts and have you seen her clip art?!

What's on your wish list?


Music Teacher Books: Perfect Pairings

It's that time again! Perfect Pairings!



One of my favorite Kindergarten/1st grade books is...

What Will Fat Cat Sit On? 
by Jan Thomas



I love the illustrations and the humor. It's also a very nice book to hold with slick pages. #BookNerd.


I use this to introduce Naughty Kitty Cat and do a little vocal exploration (animal sounds) in Kindergarten and to prep for rest in 1st grade.

I like to read this again at the end of Kindergarten because they can almost read it along with me. 
I point to the words as we read and by the end of the book they're reading with me. 

And if I have any Dog, Pig, Mouse, Chicken or Cow songs boom! transition accomplished. 




To Market, To Market 
by Anne Miranda and Janet Stevens



How cute are those drawings?!?!




My students love the hilarity of the lady going to market and buying animals that destroy her home.



Spoiler Alert! The animals take her back to the store and get the fixins for vegetable soup at the end of the book!

And that's why I use this as a perfect pair with Peas Porridge Hot and Chop Chop Chippity Chop!

We play a simple game with this: I have "vegetable cards" that I put in the middle of the circle. We sing "Peas Porridge" and blow on our soup (hands cupped & blow on the rest) while the student who is "it" picks one of the cards from the middle. They show it to everyone and we identify the vegetable and then pretend to chop it (to the beat) while singing "Chop Chop." That's it! Kindergarteners are so. much. fun.

Chop, chop, chippity chop!
Cut off the bottom and cut off the top!
What we have left, we put in the pot.
Chop, chop, chippity chop!


What are some of your favorite pairings?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Five Favorite Pins of November Linky Party!

It's time again for Five Favorite Pins!


I'm having a blast with the new Pinterest algorithm! So many great pins have come to my "wall" from people I'm not following. How cool is that?!

Here are the top five for November:

#1 A Perfect Pairing


I just love this book! What a cute way to introduce the Pilgrims and the Indians to your students. My sweeties in Kindergarten just love this song!

#2 I Heart Anchor Charts!



What a great chart! I need to make one for recorder hand position - thumb at 2:00! fatty patty! one candle! I see an anchor chart in my future.

#3 Word Picture



Cool Hot idea! I'm thinking fire safety week, complete with Scotland's Burning and maybe a cool listening for Charlotte-town.

#4 Vintage Mail Bag 



How cute would it be to use a messenger bag for Ida Red and the Post Office game?

#4 TP Roll Bee Puppet



And last, but not least a cute homemade bee puppet! Perfect to use with Bee, Bee or Hickety Tickety or even "I'm Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee!"

What are some of your favorite pins?

King of the Mountain: Roadkill-Style

One of my students' favorite games is King of the Mountain. The best thing about this game is that you can use this game to practice ANY rhythms or solfege.

Here's how to play:

Each student reads 2 rhythm cards - the card to the left of them & then their own card. 

See my cuties below to see the game in action!



And of course, when someone gets the rhythm incorrect, that person goes to the "bottom" of the mountain, where the roadkill card is located. Everyone below them on the mountain has to move up one card.

This is the game that helped me break into the hearts of my new students that didn't want to like me. It was challenging enough to be fun, but easy enough to be successful. Plus, it was super silly to get the rhythm wrong and be the "roadkill" so no one's "feelers" got hurt.

And when I brought the cards out again this year, my 5th graders perked up and told the new kids, "You'll like this." My. Heart.

I sell several versions in my TpT store!






Have you had a great game that your kids just love?

Share below in the comments! I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Currently November

It's November! Woohoo! I love the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Let's link up with Oh Boy 4th grade. It's "Currently November!"


Listening: Lately I've been getting my fill of some Rutter Christmas carols! My favorites are Candlelight Carol (recorded by the Cambridge Singers), Shepherd's Pipe Carol and Away in a Manger (recorded by the Choir of King's College), the last technically not a Rutter carol, but who's counting? "Hello, My name is Mrs. Sweet and I'm a Christmas music snob."

I fell in love with Rutter arrangements when I played in the Festival of Carols orchestra several years back and I've been exploring alternate and traditional carols ever since. I've never liked the traditional Away in a Manger, but in my opinion this alternate melody portrays the lyrics better and is even accessible to kids. This is a David Willcocks arrangement and I could listen to this every. single. day. Amen.



Loving: It has been in the 60's and 70's (my ideal temps!) for the past week! What a huge blessing to have a break of cooler temperatures before the bitterness of a South Texas winter. Giggle. Seriously though, this Texas girl has loved walking her sweet boxer puppy in the cool weather without sweating it up.

Thinking: My sweet husband has planned another AMAZING vacation for our 10th anniversary and my birthday. We're going to New York!! As if that weren't fun enough, he bought us tickets to some amazing musicals... Are you ready for this? Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella... Aladdin... The Lion King... and Les Miz on my birthday!!!!!! Wha?!?!?!

I'm seriously so excited it's hard to go to work every day. Must. concentrate. "Look down! Look down!" Must. do. lesson. plans. "Impossible... things are happening every day!"

Wanting: All I want is a little sweet tea and some Jesus.

Needing: More time! How does it all get done? I'm a pretty organized person, but there is just so much to do for every performance. I don't think people understand what all goes into a performance until they are responsible for pulling it off. I know I won't sleep much this week.

Move tambourines and ribbons and state cards and heart cards and music stands and binder with script and computer with music and my script binder with riser charts to the gym and... and... don't forget to set up the risers after morning meeting but before the first specials class of the day... and go pick up the flowers for the veterans... and tie the thank you notes on... and don't forget the letters to spell out AMERICA... and after school Monday decorating the stage with the parents - oh wait, the stage only has one curtain now - can we even use it?! where will I hide the ladders and poles they left behind when painting it BLACK... and maybe I can close the pretty new curtain and just have the speaking parts in front of it and... and make sure all the kids have a ride, especially my speakers and solo singers... and I have to teach 4 other classes a day in addition to the 2 mega rehearsals going on in the gym. my brain hurts already. ouchie.

Reading: "Interrupted, when God wrecks your comfortable Christianity" by Jen Hatmaker, closely followed by my morning reading "Cure for the Common Life" by Max Lucado. I'm sensing a theme here.


What are you currently up to?