Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Music Teacher Books: Perfect Pairings - Christmas Edition

I love using books in my music class at Christmas time! Iza Trapani's Jingle Bells and I Have a Little Dreidel are great for my Kinder and 1st grade babies.


Here are a few of my favorites:

5. The Story of the Nutcracker Ballet by Deborah Hautzig



I love this version because it starts on stage and then morphs into the storyline.



I like to read this and intersperse listening activities in the middle. I would love to find a good ballet book to pair with this for my older grades. Any ideas?

4. Jack Kent's The Twelve Days of Christmas




This book is so sweet because it shows the true mathematical power of adding on a gift each day.


And even better, it's a perfect pair with Letters of Thanks! I read the Jack Kent version to my 4th and 5th graders one week and then bring out Letters of Thanks as a follow-up the next week.


3. Letters of Thanks by Manghanita Kempadoo



I have loved this book since my mom introduced it to me as a little girl. This is a collection of thank you notes from the lady to her "true love" for each of the gifts. 

SPOILER ALERT: She gets very upset as the book goes on. Giggle. 

And the clincher - it was written by an 11-year old girl! My kids think that is awesome! It's definitely written on an 11-year old level. There's not too much depth to it and some awkward details that don't get resolved. (Her partridge is lonely even after the other bird arrive. oops!) It still ranks among my most favorite of Christmas books. :-)

2. The Missing Mitten Mystery by Steven Kellogg



Beautiful pictures!!

My 2nd graders love this imaginative story - the little girls loses her mitten and searches for it while imagining where it's gone. By the end, she decides it would be easier to plant the other mitten and grow a mitten tree! This is a fantastic pair with Frosty Weather or any snowy, winter song.

And of course, it's a Steven Kellogg so I love it! 

1. Santa Claus is Coming to Town illustrated by Steven Kellogg


It's another Steven Kellogg book. drool. I just love the illustrations to this song - and generally my students already know some of the words, so it's a fun read. 

I read it to my 2nd-5th grade students and they love it! It has a little story to go along with it - a little teddy bear has taken a trip to Santa's workshop and when he gets back, he's warning the boys and girls that Santa is watching.

What are your favorite books to use during the holiday season?


Saturday, December 13, 2014

What's on my desk?

My friend Rachel over at Music with Mrs. Tanenblatt is hosting a linky party! Fun!



You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their desk! Here's a sneak peek at my school desk:



What's on my desk? This was taken the first week of December - choir concert! orchestra tour! choir tour! choir field trip! eek!

1. Crazy pointers for beat charts, rhythm charts, pointing to the instrument posters and vocab words on the wall. :-)
2. Pictures! Captain Mickey and sweet husband. To keep my sanity.
3. Nolan Ryan cup with pens, pencils, markers. I have a thing for Crayola markers.
4. Water, water, DP and water. Just the essentials! (Singers pee pale. Giggle.)
5. Recorders to mail to students that moved. :-/
6. Keys: ACU lanyard complete with PE-grade whistle and spirit sticks. There they are!
7. Sketchbook. For ideas and to-do lists.
8. Unifix cubes - the perfect manipulative for visual representation of rhythm. Love them! And I made myself a set with magnets on the back so they will stick to the board. Some of the magnets are in need of repairs.
9. Slide whistle!! LOVE this.
10. Reindeer puppet. He leads the March of the Toys in Kindergartenland.

What's on your desk?

Don't forget to check out my wintery products - the sale ends today!


My Kinder babies LOVE this song - and I bring it back in 2nd grade to practice re.


Interactive White Board Games! 



Happy December!