Saturday, June 21, 2014

Do you want to know a secret? Spoof on Frozen song.

This is a skit that a few of the teachers did for our 6th Grade Talent Show. Teachers always do one act at the end of the show.  It's hard to understand all the words, but the spoof was telling pretend secrets about some teachers - funny harmless things. The kids loved it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

SMART Board Lesson Plan - Tempo

Here's another SMART Lesson Plan teaching Tempo.

Tempo SMART Lesson Plan

SMART Board Lesson Plans - Carnival of the Animals

This is a lesson that I put together and posted on SMART Exchange.  If you have a SMART Board and you are not aware of what this website is you need to know! It is a website where people make their own lesson plans and share them for free! People can make them from scratch or borrow bits and pieces from other lesson plans from the exchange and tweek it to be their own.  When you share your own you agree to give up the rights to your plan - hence why it is an "exchange". It is great - Sooooo, having said all that, here is a lesson for The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint Saens.  If you have SMART board at school, if you don't use it much, you really need to check all this usage of this great technology and resource!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Bang! Note Name Flash Card Game

I took this idea from a game that our EA's (Educational Assistant - para pros) where playing with their students teaching them site words. All I did was change the site words into the notes on the staff and make the cards you see below.

Here's how to Play.

(sit in a group on the floor or at a table):  4-6? players.
Object of the game is to have the most cards at the end of the game.

One student is the "Teacher" who holds the deck of cards and shows the cards to the other students.  The "Teacher" shows one card to the first student. If the students names the note correctly they keep the card. Teacher shows the next card in his/her pile to the next student and so on and so on. If the student knows it they keep the card. If the student doesn't know it the "Teacher" shows that same card to the next student to name. There are a few "BANG" cards in the deck. If a student gets a BANG card on their turn then they loose all their cards, the Teacher takes them all and puts them down in a discard pile. It keeps going until all the cards in the Teachers hand is gone. Whomever has the most cards win. The kids loves this game.   I've played it as young as 2nd grade. (I teach notes on the treble staff in 1st grade.)  When I make the groups I always make sure there is a mix in ability - I make sure that each group has at least one student who knows the notes very well.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Rhythm Dictation with Popsicle Sticks

I have a baggie of Popsicle sticks for every child.  I use these in a variety of ways and activities. In these pictures, the students are "writing" the rhythm that they hear me clap. Depending on the class level, I will say the Ta and Ti ti, but ultimately the goal is for them to be able to write the rhythm without me saying "ta ti-ti" but by them just hearing the rhythm via clapping.  I will also have students clap a rhythm for the class to dictate. Student will pair and share rhythms that they write on their own. There are a lot of ways to use these. I love having them on hand. The kids like the hands on - another way other than  paper and pencil.


Monday, June 24, 2013

The Best End of the Year Music Activity!

Very simple. Very fun.

"Just Dance" video game. Game console not necessary.  Youtube videos of the kids favorite songs (school appropriate of course) and voila! Movement + Music + Entertainment + fun = BEST EVER lesson plan for the end of the year! What a hoot and I loved it too!

To make this easier, my husband (who is an IT, computer wiz) built me a media pc for school. I use this for all my music and videos  for teaching.  I put the youtube  videos on this computer, open them up using Media Center, and played them straight from my pc to the projector and it worked great! This would also be a great indoor recess activity!

Variation - I also found karaoke (sing-a-long) videos from Youtube of songs the kids love and they read the words and sing with the video/music (with the actual karaoke versions - not the music videos). This was very fun too!

Another side note: I don't know about you, but the end of the year is crazy and sometimes the PE teacher and I have found it easier, and more fun to combine our classes... these activities were perfect in the gym with a large class size.

Example videos:


Friday, November 16, 2012

Make Measures

I made these flashcards using index cards. I used one index card for each beat, so if it is a whole note, there are four index cards attached to each other.

One activity I do with this is "Make Some Measures". Students are paired together with a packet of cards.  I give the students a time signature, four example 4/4 and they need to make four measures (or rows) of four beats each.  Once they have the four measures they clap the rhythm with their partner.  Some groups finish faster than others, so for the pairs that finish quickly I will tell them to rearrange and make new rhythms with the same meter. When I see that all the pairs have made the measures and have clapped their rhythms, I will give the whole class another time signature and repeat the process.

I really like the visual duration the kids see with the attached cards. I've noticed it helped those kids who still struggled to remember the number of beats for each note. They see the duration of the notes and finally the light bulb turns on!

Interactive Turkey Time Bulletin Board

When teaching meter, time signatures, note values, measures etc., I like to use this "Turkey Time" board:

Each feather has two measures of varied combinations notes and rests to make with the same amount of beats.  Students choose a feather out of the folder and figure out what time signature it is and they attach the feather to the correct time signature on the turkey.  

I do this as a class, but also have used this as a center.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"Talent Day"

Twice a year each class 1st-5th grade (I teach K-5) receives a "Talent Day". This is a day set aside for those who want to perform for their class during regular music class time.  I usually plan the Talent Days at the end of October, and right before Spring Break.

Purpose: I believe that students need to have the opportunity to get up in front of their peers performing on any level. I also believe that students need to learn proper concert etiquette and proper audience behavior.  So here is how I set it up.

First of all, I make it clear that this is not a HUGE school-wide talent show for all to see. It is not a competition. Its informal (but important).

*I tell the student a few weeks in advance when they will have talent day and remind them often.
*Options for talents include but not restricted to: Dance, sing, play an instrument, gymnastics, juggling, hula-hoop, beat-box, comedy skit etc. As long as it's something they can do in my room that won't hurt themselves or my instruments (like ball throwing!).
*They can perform alone or with anyone else in their class.
*If they are using music, students need to get it approved by me BEFORE talent day or they can't use it. I need to make sure it is school appropriate.
*We discuss the importance of planning, practicing, preparedness.
*On Talent Day, I go over how to be a good respectful, encouraging audience. I make it very clear that if I see them laughing at, or making fun of, or talking etc during a performance they will leave my room  for the duration of Talent day (I will give them a "refocus"/problem-solving form I use for behavior issues) and they may not be able to attend then next time we have one.  I set up my class so that everyone can feel safe in front of their peers. It is VERY important to me so I am strict about it. I think for this reason I get a lot of students who will perform.
*If a student performs they get to write their name and teacher's name on a paper and put it in a drawing. After all of my classes have had talent day, out of about 475 students, I draw six names. The winners get a king size candy of their choice. :)
*It is great fun. It's a great activity for performers and the audience. Depending on the class, there might be extra time if everyone who wanted to perform has. At that point I will let students go a second turn if they want, or we will change the activity to a game, or whatever.

FYI - It takes a few times having Talent Day for the kids to "catch on" to the idea and to become brave enough to perform. You might find that not many students perform the first time but that is because they don't really know what to expect. Don't give up! The students who take private lessons will perform, and your strong singers and personalities will perform and be good examples to the rest. The next time you say there will be a talent day, you'll see more participate. The second year you do it, you'll have even more participate!!!

You'll find that each class is different. One class will have a lot of kids who want to do something, and some classes only a few.  That's OK.  That's just how it goes.

With the younger children, you'll find you will need to encourage them, coax them and/or to give ideas of what to do. For example, in a first grade class I will say, who would like to sing. It can be any song that i have taught you, or you know from camp, home, church etc. If one student wants to sing a song but is too afraid then I ask the class "Who else knows that song that wants to sing with Johnny". There is always someone who will get up and help their class mate. And they both sing. And all is happy.

You will also notice that with the younger kids, they copy what they see someone else do and that is fine! It gets them up in front of the class, even if it is a simple somersault!

I don't send anything home telling parents about it. Some parents might call and ask because their child mentioned a "talent show" that they are performing in. I let them know that its a casual in class activity. They of course are welcome to come but not necessary.

The students always look forward to Talent Day.  I have students ask me often "When are we having Talent Day?"  I have done this for the 14 years I have taught and I still see the value in it and the kids still like it.