Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday


Today was my second day of school with students. I love the summer but after the first day of school, I always have that "Oh yeah, that's right, I love to be with these kids and I get to teach them music! How lucky I am!" feeling. Yesterday afternoon I was pretty exhausted after the first day but I'm working on getting back into a good routine. My stamina will kick in soon, I hope!

I'm linking up with Mrs. Miracle's Music Room and her Wishlist Wednesday Linky Party to tell you about three TpT products I'm excited about!

Wednesday, Aug. 20th is a big day at Teachers Pay Teachers. They are having a Back to School Boost Sale. 

Additionally, many stores, including my own, will be discounted at 20%! The big sale is only one day, so don't forget to move those wish list items into your cart to save!

Be on the lookout for these promos:
(Thanks to Jena at Sew Much Music for the cute images!)
Several music teachers are coming together to help out a fellow music teacher in need. I'll be donating a portion of my Beginning Recorder Bundle to benefit this wonderful teacher during a challenging time for her and her family. Tomorrow search for TeachersHelpingTeachers at TpT for several music items for which a percentage of sales will go to our fellow music teacher.

Wishlist Item #1
I admit to being very discriminating regarding clipart. I am attracted to cute clipart, of course, but being married to the art teacher for 11 years has had an affect on my taste in drawings. My husband is primarily a comic book artist and I've grown accustomed to illustrations that are slightly more off-beat than the round, cherub faced clipart that has become very popular on TpT. I really like the look of A Sketchy Guy's clipart. It's kind of scruffy and cute. Here's a set that will be in my cart tomorrow.

Wishlist Item #2

Tracy King (AKA The Bulletin Board Lady) has many fun products in her store. One thing I've had my eye on is her Carnival of the Animals Listening Logs. For many years I've used my old Music & You textbooks for Carnival of the Animals listening and I've been needing an upgrade. These listening logs are just what I need; it guides student listening for dynamics, tempo, and instruments. The Cukoo in the Heart of the Woods and The Aviary are two of my favorite primary beginning-of-the-year listening lessons. I look forward to having a fresh look to accompany these pieces! (Tracy also has a bundle of Carnival of the Animals materials including bulletin board materials.)

Item #3

My last item to share is one of my own that I finally added to my store tonight.

Who Sang It? is an interactive PowerPoint game that includes embedded audio. 
Students press the speaker to hear a mi sol la melody sung. I recorded my 9 year old son singing the patterns on "loo." Children are best able to match pitch from another child's voice, so it seemed like a natural fit. Don't worry, he was paid for his time and performance, I'm just glad he's not part of the studio musicians' union, I can't afford their rates!

Two owls show two patterns notated and the student matches the written pattern to what was heard.

I really like that each correct answer slide includes the pattern so that students can sing it after identifying the pattern.

There are ten slides with patterns to match and two levels.
Level One shows patterns written in the melodic contour with solfa. Level Two shows the same patterns on the staff; sol is in the third space:

Thank you for reading! Have a great Wednesday!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

My Music Room Set-Up

Welcome back to school! I had an active summer with my family. We were happy to stay in Colorado this summer; I often forget how lucky we are to have so many beautiful places nearby. We took a fun road trip to Mesa Verde, Aspen, and Glenwood Springs and even tried white water rafting for the first time! (My 4 year old daughter loved rafting and enjoyed pretending that she controlled the rapids by conducting the water!)

School starts tomorrow for my family, (eek!), and I have been busy getting everything ready. I'm happy to link up with Mrs. Miracle's Room's My Music Room Set-Up Linky Party, (even if it is bit later then many other "beginning of the year set-up posts"!) Here are a couple of things I'm excited about!

My cabinets that hold all of my small percussions have been in need of a makeover. I also keep the boomwhackers near the orange cabinets in paint buckets, which take up too much valuable floor space. The small percussion signs were just a bit dark for my windowless music room.
"Before" Small Percussion Area

Then there's those boomwhackers and their cumbersome buckets!
I adore the colorful "boomwhackers velcroed to the wall" idea, beautifully displayed here from Jena at Sew Much Music.

Love it! Unfortunately, I know my students will peel off the bits of velcro from each boomwhacker. I know this because I have several "naked" boomwhackers where the clear labels have been stripped off completely by students. The naked boomwhackers don't bother me too much because I use moveable do. I'm not crazy about students seeing boomwhackers labeled in solfege that is usually wrong for the song we're playing and singing. (C major is not a great key for kids to sing in!) I simply write the letter name of the boomwhacker directly on the tube with a sharpie.

I was very excited to try a new boomwhacker storage solution that my friend, Carrie Nicholas, shared with me last May. I purchased thirteen plastic bag dispensers from IKEA and attached them to the cabinets, and voilà!
"After" Small Percussion Area
I placed the IKEA containers to the bottom left of each cabinet so that the boomwhackers would not get in the way of the cabinet door handle. The containers come with sticky tape to attach to a surface and that's what I used. You could screw them into a wall or cabinet if needed. 


Like many music teachers, I display maps in my room. It's wonderful to be able to point out the countries and states of where our classroom songs originate. I've had these maps on the wall for several years.
"Before" maps. OK, but a little small and drab.
A JoAnn's store recently opened near my school and I was excited to find world map fabric and US map fabric! It's sold by the panel and it's very large and colorful.
"After" US Map
"After" World Map: colorful fabric!

Here are both maps on the back wall of my room. The students will be adding descriptions to the music elements board during the school year. 
Music Elements and Maps
I hope to share other pictures of my music room set-up later this week, so please check back. Have a great week whether you're already teaching or getting things ready for your school year!