Sunday, May 10, 2015

Five Favorite Music Freebies!

It's May 10th and school is almost out!  Our budgets and patience may both be both spent, but that doesn't mean we can't end the year on a great note!  Here is where Teachers Pay Teachers can really help!  A group of us are doing a "linky" party to share our Five Favorite Music Freebies on TpT! (the emphasis being on free!)

My first favorite music freebie is a new discovery!  I cannot get enough of them!  David Row's Favorite Folk Song Series is amazing!  He offers so much information about the folk songs we all know, love and teach.  And his Alabama Gal resource is FREE for you!  Check it out!

I'm kind of crushing on Pitch Publications right now.  Everything she creates is AMAZING!  I am a huge techie girl!  I learned about Aurasma a few years ago but it's the not most user friendly tool.  Her guide takes you step by step through Aurasma.  We used it during our Recorder Karate unit this year and the kids LOVED scanning images around the room to get help with their recorder lessons.

Every so often a new educational term or trend comes along and I immediately wonder - how will I make this applicable in music?  "Ticket out the door" and "Learning Target Exit" are just a few those terms.  I came across Linda Seamon's Learning Target Exit Question Card and I love it!  It's not just about knowing a vocabulary word or definition.  The kids have to apply the definition musically! This speaks to me in a powerful way!  I love it!

Oh, the ukulele.  How do I love thee?  We were gifted 20 ukuleles this year, then added another 10 this spring.  My students love strumming along to their favorite songs.  Problem is, their favorite songs have 3-5 chords in them, so where do you begin?  You begin with Malinda Phillips' Beginning Ukulele Song: Freebie!  It's the perfect resource to get your little ones strumming and singing!

And lastly, I am going to share with you one of my freebies!  One of my favorite things to do in my room is music centers!  Before you ga-faw at giving up that much time (or freedom) to your students - know that this is the most powerful day in my music room.  It's the day that I give up control and let my students teach themselves with no interference from me.  In fact, I sit at my desk and observe in utter amazement at what my students do.  Some go from center to center trying each thing.  Some stay at one center and rehearse a concept or skills we've been working on in class.  Some pretend they are the music teacher and teach little classes of friends.  I see things in students I would never get the opportunity to see, if not for this day.  Music centers will change how you see you students forever!

I hope you've enjoyed some of my Favorite Music Freebies!  Make sure to check Noteworthy by Jen's website for other music educators Five Favorite Music Freebie picks!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Making May Magical

Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with music.  Nothing.  Nada.

I'm going to take a moment to celebrate my miracle baby who just turned four on Sunday!  (I know, he's not a baby anymore...)

I love birthdays!  I love coming up with a theme that highlights who my child is at that point in his life.  The last few months, our lives have revolved around Super Heroes.  Even though he's seen very little of the cartoons, he seems to know everything about them.  It was only natural to choose a Super Hero theme for his fourth birthday.  Like any other crafty mom, I began scouring Pinterest for ideas.  (In fact, I have Pinterest boards for all four of his birthdays in case you want to check them out: Very Hungry Caterpillar, Sesame Street, Dogs)

There were so many great ideas on Pinterest that it overwhelmed me!  I decided to create a "training camp" for Super Heroes and leave it unstructured so that the little ones could play and roam at free will.  Here are just a few of the ideas I came up with!

 Simple decorations on the swing set made it the perfect
Super Hero hide-a-way!

 Every Super Hero in Training needs an obstacle course!

 If you're going to be a Super Hero,
you better be able to smash buildings!

 You'll need good aim too!
Can you get the bean-bag scarf into Wolverine's mouth?

 Of course, all Super Heroes should be able to
 leap tall buildings in a single bound!

 Walk the plank carefully!  There are lots of sharks,
alligators and crocodiles in that river!

 Could you knock the cans down with Captain America's shield?

The showstopper was the two evil villains who broke into the backyard.  
Thank goodness our Super Heroes were ready to take them down!

 After all that fun, our Super Heroes were ready to eat lunch
and celebrate a birthday.  Aren't these cupcake toppers amazing?

Everyone had a fabulous time - kids and grown ups alike!  

Capes were provided by SuperflyKids
Cupcake toppers were provided by Inscribing Lives
Check out my Super Hero Birthday Board on Pinterest

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Making May Musical

You know how we were just talking about how April Showers bring May Shopping Sprees?  Well, it really did!  TeacherPayTeacher is having a Teacher Appreciation Sale!  Many stores are discounted 20% - including mine!  And if you enter promo code "ThankYou" - you can receive another 8% off!

If you read my last post, you know I had a wishlist a mile long of things I wanted.  A few of us are participating in a linky party right now.  We're all sharing a resource we want, clipart we love and one of our own resources we think you will love too!  Check out my list!

Have you seen Pitch Publication's MayPole Mania Resource?  Amazing!  I'm a little late to the party, but this is on my list for next year!  I cannot wait to try this with my students next spring!

If you're like me, you love to spice up your interactive white board charts, notes home, awards, etc. with cute clipart.  My favorite go-to artist for everything clipart is Educlips!  Her art is amazing!  This is one resource I want for the summer months!

And lastly, if you are looking for a fun activity to do with your students at the end of the year (and still teach musical content), then why not try my Listen to the Rain activity?  It's based on the storybook, Listen to the Rain, by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault.  It's rich with vocabulary and imagery and provides the perfect context for discussing dynamics with students!  And using my resource, you and your students can create the perfect thunderstorm in your room (minus the wet!)

And here's the best part - remember what I said at the beginning of this post?  (Don't scroll up - I'll tell you again!)  TeachersPayTeachers is hosting a Teacher Appreciation Sale May 5th and May 6th!
You can get all of these items on sale RIGHT NOW!  Just remember to use promo code ThankYou for an additional 8% off!  Enjoy!