Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Cheer FREEBIE

Every time I watch the movie, "Elf", I think that I need to make a poster of the cute saying about singing loud for all to hear. I finally made it. I plan to post it in my room next year at Christmas.




Get it for free HERE.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Gifts for My Fellow Teachers and Some Neighbors

Every year, I try to find something to give my teacher friends, as well as my neighbors. 

Our family logo for Christmas has been Seamons Greetings for a long time, but just change it to “Seasons Greetings” and it works for anyone. I made it with both religious symbols and without for whatever you choose.

I saw this cute Hand Santa-tizer label on Pinterest and made a tag to go along with the cute Santa label made by “Dream a Little Bigger”. Get her cute Santa label there for both bigger and smaller hand sanitizer. While you are there, follow her wonderful blog. http://www.dreamalittlebigger.com/post/hand-santa-tizers-free-printable.html

Our school only allows us to use Germ-x sanitizer (probably because it doesn't have alcohol in it) and I found some with aloe at Walmart for $1.98. The green is very nice for Christmas. 


I made both small and large tags. 

Get my tags and Martinelli's label HERE.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Mason Jar Decorations for my faculty Room


Every year, our school asks each teacher to take one week to take care of the faculty room. That means cleaning up messes, and often bringing some treats. I signed up for the week after my Christmas concerts so there would be less stress in my life.

I brought in a couple of festive table coverings I had at home, some cute christmas stars that stack, and these mason jar treat containers that could also be gifts. I found this cute idea on Pinterest from the Polk a Dot Chair Blog HERE. . Their tag links were expired, so I made my own. Get the directions and tags for free Here.




Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Nutcracker day- Great Sick lesson plan

I started getting sick yesterday, but my concerts are this afternoon and this evening. Today, I have no voice at all. Since a special presentation of the nutcracker is coming early in January, I will ditch the regular curriculum and do Nutcracker today.

My Plan.

1. Show a 5 minute video of a synopsis of the nutcracker HERE.

2. Show a video of someone playing a celeste for the Sugar Plum Fairy HERE.

3. Read the rhythm of the Sugar Plum Fairy from Tanya LeJeune's Nutcracker pack HERE. Then play the rhythm on triangles along with the video of the Sugar Plum Fairy. I used this with the rhythm with older kids and just had the little kids play triangles along with it. We talked about whether the music was loud or quiet and about how to play quietly. Sugar Plum Fairy video is HERE.



4. If time, use the listening Glyph for Sugar Plum Fairy from Sara Bibee. HERE.

5. Finally, I found this wonderful modern version of the dance of the sugar plum fairy by Pentatonix, the acapella group.

HERE.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cyber Sale and Linky Party!

I am SO grateful for so many things this month and especially some of the great teachers I have learned from!

If you aren't following my facebook page yet,  find it HERE, or my TPT store yet, find it here. You'll get new ideas for your classroom, and freebies to use too!

Teachers Pay Teachers is throwing a huge Cyber Monday sale from December 1st through the 2nd. Check out all of the great products out there and get 28% off by using their code TPTCYBER. Thanks to the 3am Teacher for the cybersale banner!




I am joining up with a great group of teachers to have a linky party hosted by the fantastic Amy Abbott. Amy's Blog



I am going to tell you about three resources; one of my own, one of another fantastic teacher, and one of someone else on Teacherspayteachers.

A wonderful resource I made last year and have had so much fun with is my Around the world- Hanukkah set. My theme for last year was "Music Around the World". I did a whole year of ideas, intertwined with my regular curriculum of music from various countries.

My kids weren't familiar with Hanukkah or music from Israel, so we had a fun unit on Hanukkah, where we sang a fun Hanukkah song and did the rhythm and solfa, learned a bit about why they celebrate it, played with dreidels, and did a craft. I have added a new edible craft that we might try this year. This pack include all of the following:

-Music for “I Have A Little Dreidel”
-Directions on how to play the Dreidel game
-Fun facts about Hanukkah
-Solfa and rhythm for the dreidel song
-A promethean flip chart of the music and 2 more verses plus rhythm/solfa
-A Powerpoint of both the music, plus the rhythm and solfa
-I Have a Little Dreidel song sheet to use with recorder or just for easy singing
-jpeg files of the music and rhythm/solfa so you can make a smart board flip chart
-A 8 1/2 x 11 poster of the Israel map and some famous icons associated with it
-Video link for a great explanation about Hanukkah
-Craft Idea
-Edible Dreidel with video of how to make



I LOVE the Nutcracker. My daughter danced in it when she was young and it is such a magical Christmas tradition. I am excited to try out this new pack I bought recently from Tanya Lajeune. What I like about this pack is the variety and amount of fun and great learning activities. It has vocal play, rhythm play along, movement, AND form activities. I can't wait to try it in the next couple of weeks!


Finally, I have found some wonderful clip art to use in my files. I love the clipart of Edusong and have used in many of my files, including my greatly popular Chinese New year packet and a recent making butter file I added to my Fairy Seed packet. Here is the awesome Chinese New Year clipart:

Check out the store HERE.

Enjoy!!

Linda Seamons (Floating Down the River on the Ohio) lkseamons@gmail.com

Friday, November 21, 2014

Scheherazade- A fun website for introducing this beautiful music

My 4th, 5th, and 6th graders are going to the symphony on Monday. The teachers have asked me to prepare them. One of the songs that will be played is Rimsky Korsakov's "Scheherazade". It is a beautiful piece of music. I found this wonderful, interactive website that tells the story and brings the music to life for these kids. I plan to print out pieces of paper for them so they can explore the website more.

Go explore for yourself HERE.

Friday, October 24, 2014

5 Little Pumpkins was a big hit today

I have been working on this and have improved it some more. I did "5 Little Pumpkins" on my promethean today with my Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders. It was a huge hit. I told them that if they sang it really well, I would let them "roll out of sight", as long as they didn't roll on top of each other. They did so well!

I showed my 2nd grade class the coloring book and they begged to make one, so we will be doing that next week with Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade. I can't wait.



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mozart- I found a perfect solution for my 6th graders

I have written before about reading the "Getting to know the World's Greatest Composers" series with my 6th graders.



I only read a little bit a day. I then ask questions. If they answer a question or do anything in class, such as sing a solo, they get a raffle ticket. I do a drawing at the end of class and three kids get laffy taffy's. It is amazing what they will do for a laffy taffy. I do this in 5th and 6th grade.

I use my learning target Exit card sometimes to write down some facts that they remember. They have learned so much!

Once that book was done, I started reading the Magic Flute book retold by Anne Gatti. I had them listen to some clips from the enclosed CD. It was okay, but it is in german, so it isn't that interesting. I had bought a DVD last year and never used it until today. It is the Metropolitan opera version of the Magic Flute conducted by James Levine and directed by Julie Taylor. WINNER!! It is in English and is wonderful. I will show them one scene a day. They were very quiet and engaged. :-)







Sunday, October 5, 2014

150 followers on Teacherspayteacher- get a freebie

I have gotten almost 50 more followers recently and will be sending out a note telling people when I will post a new fun file for Halloween. I only need 3 more followers. If you haven't already, go follow my page. Floating Down the River on the Ohio


This is the file I will be posting soon, free for a short time:




Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Freebie celebrating my 100th TPT follower

I get so busy with teaching that I move slowly, but I just got my 100th TPT follower and made a fun game that your students will love.

The game is called "Roll a Rhythm". Your students will roll a dice in one of three levels, write down the rhythms, read them, clap them and show them to you for assessment if you like.



Please follow my Teacherspayteachers store at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Floating-Down-The-River.

I also have a new facebook page that I am just beginning to use. Go there to get this game for free and please follow me while you are at it. Click on this link to go to my facebook page and find the freebie there too!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Corners, a fun game adapted for music class

I had a day in the past two weeks after lunch where about half of my 5th grade class was lunch working and about 5 others were sick that day. We only had about 10 total kids, so we just played games. One of the kids suggested we play "corners", so we adapted it to music. The counter would sing the numbers, but you could also have each corner be a musical term or a rhythm, instead of just a number. They had fun. Here is a post about the game corners:

Corners

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My Christmas Choir Program

I spend a lot of time before every season listening and looking at music to try to make a balanced program that the kids will like, the parents will like and that we can handle. Since last spring, I haven't had any help with a 65 piece choir, so I have to really be sure we can handle the parts. We also have to sing one piece for Veteran's day, so we have a short season, given that we will have our concert at the beginning of December. That gives me some sanity to have about a month off before I start the next round of choir.

Here is my program for this semester with links to the pieces (most of them you can hear the whole piece) on the JW Pepper site:



Veteran's day

My America  by Joyce Eilers- Hal Leonard


I love that the kids can learn the traditional "My Country Tis of Thee" and that it is a partner song, making it very doable for us.

Get it HERE

December Program

1.  Good Cheer arr. By Audrey Snyder- Hal Leonard


This is a wonderful opening song. We will walk into the concert while singing this. Baroque instruments would be great, but I don't think we can get anyone to do that without a huge effort. It would be really awesome though. We will have a hand drum with this.

Get it HERE.

2. Christmas Bells are Ringing by Mark Patterson- Brilee Music Publishing

This is a nice arrangement with a descant. Handbells would be nice with this. I'm working to figure out how to find some sort of bells for this.

Get it HERE.

3. Zumba Zumba arr. by Jill Galina- Shawnee Press

This is a religious song in Spanish and English. It has a nice calypso beat. The kids will love it. We will have fun adding instruments to this. I always have my 6th graders play instruments in the concert. It is a huge privilege for my oldest students.

Get it HERE.

4. Shining Star by Victor C Johnson- Heritage Music Press

This is a gorgeous song with parts that aren't too hard.

Get it HERE.

5. Minka arr. by Greg Gilpin- Alfred Music Publishing

This is a wonderful Russian folk song

Get it HERE.

6. Walking in the Air by Howard Black, arr. by Snyder- Hal Leonard

This is a gorgeous song from the movie, "The Snowman". I have always loved the music from that movie and look forward to doing it with the kids. I plan to show them the movie so they are familiar with the story. This is the one piece that doesn't have a music clip.

Get it HERE.

7. The Night Before Christmas by Mark Weston- Heritage Music Press

This is a wonderful ending song but will be one of my most challenging pieces. It is the traditional "Night Before Christmas" poem with some "up on the housetop" and "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas" mixed in. I love how it ends with "Merry Christmas", making it a great ending piece. I am thinking of having an adult be Santa Clause and some kids act it out as well. We could have "Santa" give out a piece of candy to the kids in the audience at the end, but we would only have the acting out part at the night concert. It would be too much at our school concert during the day.

Get it HERE.

I am very excited for this concert. I start next Tuesday and have a lot of work to get ready to start.

Monday, September 1, 2014

My Theme for the Year- finally done- I Am a bucket Filler

When I saw the clipart from DJ Inkers of character words, I instantly knew that I wanted to use it for my theme this year. I spent a good portion of the summer working on it and after researching how to make it all work together, I came upon the Bucket filler idea. It was perfect and I am having so much fun seeing the kids do their best to be a bucket filler.

Citizen of the Day bulletin board

I made two bulletin boards. One is my Citizen of the Day Board. I have a person of the day every year around my theme. This year, my citizen of the day will be wearing his or her choice of 6 colors of peace sign glasses. The student will sit my well worn VIP chair, get first turns on games, lead vocal play first, and help with anything else that needs to be helped. Other privileges are to get a piece of laffy taffy, to get unlimited drinks during class, and to get to go to the bathroom one time without asking. (students normally are not allowed to go to the bathroom during class). I made 50 words with 50 definitions and used them in 50 sentences to put on my citizen of the day bulletin board.


Citizen of the day bulletin board


Bucket Filler Lingo on Citizen of the Day bulletin board
Word will be changed every week


The kids love being the Citizen of the Day


Every student has a citizen of the day card with their name and they draw a picture of something to 
do with  being a good citizen.
I check a box when a student gets a turn to keep track.

Citizen of the Day card



I Am a Bucket Filler Bulletin Board

Outside of my room, I have a bulletin board that says I am a bucket filler. It could also say "I am a good citizen". I had a hard time deciding which I wanted it to say, so I put included both in the pack. I have the word of the week there with a header so students can see the word as they go by, as well as many character words, plus the buckets with character words pictured on them. 


I Am a Bucket Filler Bulletin Board


Word of the week from the "I am a Bucket Filler" bulletin board

These are on my inside and outside bulletin board in different colors


"Caught you" cards and filling our buckets

I have "caught you" cards for 15 different character traits I want to see, plus a boy and girl beautiful singing card. I have every student and multiple classes a day, so within a half hour class, I will give out a few each day. When a student does something awesome, I will tell the class that I caught someone being kind (for example). The student will come get a "caught you being kind" card from me and will get a pom pom and put it into the class bucket. If you have one class all day, you could have one class bucket or even have a bucket for every student.  The bucket also affects the behavior chart, (see the next section).
One of 15 regular and two singing caught you cards


Our class buckets


Our bucket filling behavior reward chart

As I said in the last section, I give out a few (4-6) cards in a half hour class. I just make a colored dot on a student's name to keep track and at the end of the half hour, I put a sticker on or mark the behavior reward chart (see below). In a number of half hour periods, when the chart fills up, I let the kids have a special game as a reward. If you have one class all day, you could have each student have a bucket and give individual rewards or have a class bucket and give class rewards. Do whatever works for you.

I also have a card that you could use if you have time, especially in a one class all day situation where you or the other students can write nice things they see a student doing and put it into their pocket on the citizen of the day board. I have so little time in my half hour classes and so many kids coming in and out that this won't work for me, but I think it would work nicely in a regular classroom.

Behavior reward chart. When it is filled, I give a class reward,
such as a special game in music


The teacher or a student will fill out this card when they see another student doing something awesome.

Get this comprehensive bucket Filler theme pack HERE.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A New Year and Team Building

I am doing a whole character theme for the year and will write about it soon but I wanted to first write about our first day activity that has been so fun.

In every class, we are singing the song "Make New Friends" as a team building song, as well as for encouraging the kids to befriend other kids.

Once we learned the song, we are using individual tennis balls, borrowed from the PE teacher, to bounce on the strong and weak beat while singing. The kids just stay in their criss cross applesauce position or their chair (5th and 6th grade). I encourage them to just let it drop and not bounce to high to keep it on the beat. I am using a card reward system to encourage great behavior. I will write about that when I write about my theme for the year.

Once they get pretty good at bouncing on the strong and weak beat by themselves, I will have them bounce it to a partner. With the older kids, probably at least 5th and 6th, we will get in a circle and I will first get them to put out their left hand (palm up and not moving). They will touch their left palm and then touch their neighbor's left palm (to their right) in this motion- "touch and pass", "touch and pass". When they are pretty good at it, we will add in tennis balls while we say "touch and pass" and then we will add our song. If we get good at that, we will do it in a round. I do this exercise every year with my 6th graders and it is really a team building exercise.

The kids told me there is a second verse, but I have found many more:

Make New Friends

Submitted by Sue Lynch

Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.

A circle is round,
it has no end.
That's how long,
I will be your friend.

A fire burns bright,
it warms the heart.
We've been friends,
from the very start.

You have one hand,
I have the other.
Put them together,
We have each other.

Silver is precious,
Gold is too.
I am precious,
and so are you.

You help me,
and I'll help you
and together
we will see it through.

The sky is blue
The Earth is green
I can help
to keep it clean.

Across the land
Across the sea
Friends forever
We will always be


Monday, July 21, 2014

Outer Space Around the Universe Behavior/Reward Chart

For a friend, I made this Outer Space Around the Universe Behavior/Reward Chart. If you already have my Around the World Behavior Chart, this one includes some outer space background you can print out, as well as 15 new aliens, spaceships, or Star Wars characters to use with it.

Maybe I'll do an outer space theme another year and come up with more things. Get it HERE


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Recorder Mega Pack Finally Done

After 4 years of work, I finally have my whole recorder system on paper and ready to go.

I work at a low income school and have developed my system so that every student gets a black belt (9 belts with 24 songs) and many go way beyond.

A big reason why they do this is that they are so motivated by the 70 extra belt songs that they can pass off.

You can get my black belt system for free here:



Some of my kids advance so quickly that I developed a huge pack of activities and 70 extra belts with charts for displaying what they have done on my outside bulletin board. All of the kids are so motivated to work on it. You can read about how I use the fast finishers are tutors here: Differentiating With Student Tutors in the Music Classroom

Here are preview pages of the Recorder Mega Pack:






Friday, June 6, 2014

Parchutes and Ribbons and Scarves, Oh My-- A fun book with listening activities

I just discovered the book, "Parachutes and Ribbons and Scarves, Oh My!" at the end of the year and had a blast during the last week of school, when the other teachers are cleaning and having parties with their kids.



We talked about form, listened to great music and did a really fun activities using our parachute. I did it with 1st grade through 6th grade. It was a HUGE hit. Every class was able to do it and had so much fun.

This book is FULL of many activities that include instruments, scarves, ribbon wands, balls and lots of great music and form activities. It even has a DVD to show you how to do the activities! I LOVE IT!


Monday, March 31, 2014

The Phonics Song and Game

My kids love to sing the Phonics song, a folksong from Alabama, but I made a new rhythm game to go with it last year and finally wrote it all down including promethean flipchart and JPEG"S to make a smartboard chart. It always makes ti-tiki and tiki-ti the kids' favorite rhythm that they'll never forget.

Get it HERE.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

April Fool's Day

I wanted to do something fun to do for April Fool's Day.

A fellow teacher gave me this song:

https://www.msu.edu/~eulenber/John/Songs/April%20Fool%20Song%20with%20lyrics.pdf

A fellow teacher on Facebook suggested the following as a musical joke. I am going to try it with my choir tomorrow morning.

Tell them you are teaching them a new warmup. Oh-wa-ta-foo-li-am. Slowy at first, then speed it up and they're saying, "Oh What a Fool I Am". Haha. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dancing Ribbons Rings

Mrs King always has the most creative projects she makes over the summer. I am linking up with a wonderful post she wrote about singing rocks. 


I saw a post on Pinterest last year and bought wooden rings and ribbon. It took FOREVER for the ribbon to come. So... I made them this weekend. I am so excited to try them with "my kids"!!

I got my 3 inch wooden rings from HERE.

Ribbon is VERY expensive. I got my ribbon from HERE.

Check out this Pinterest post to get info on how to make it HERE. 

I took a picture of my kindergarteners dancing with the ribbon rings. Originally, I had intended to put 6 ribbons on it but decided to only put 3.

A couple of tips about making them:

1. the satin ribbon slips off, even after tying 3 knots. Use a lighter to melt the ribbon together slightly. Be careful not to do too much or it will burn a hole in the ribbon. (I learned this from experience)

2. Also use a lighter to melt the ends of the ribbon to keep them from fraying. Just melt it a little. There is also a product called "Fray Check" you can find at the fabric store.

Be sure to check out Mrs King's Music Room summer projects!

Monday, March 24, 2014

A fun game in honor of March Madness

I made this in honor of march madness. It would be a fun thing to do to review songs you want to get better. I am giving this away in honor of getting to my goal of TPT followers. PLEASE take the time to follow my TPT store and to rate this if you like it. Get it FREE Here.

Get it FREE Here but please take the time to give it a rating if you like it. Also please follow my TPT store. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saint Patrick's Day Activties

I just made a packet with lots of Saint Patrick's Day activities for both K-2 and 3-6. It is very inexpensive. Buy it Here.




Thursday, March 6, 2014

Rhythm Wall of Fame


I love helping my students to celebrate what they have learned! By the time my students are in 4th grade, they know the following rhythms:

Ta        (quarter)                   q
ti-ti      (2 eighth)                 sd
Ta rest  (quarter rest)           Q
too        (half note)               w
tiki-tiki ( 4 16ths)                xccc
tum       (dotted quarter)      r
ti ta ti    (8th, quarter, 8th)   a q a
tiki- ti   (2 16ths/8th)          xcd   
ti- tiki   (8th and 2 16ths)   sxc

Later in 4th grade, I add dotted eighth/sixteenth notes and 6/8 patterns. I don't test them on those two rhythms for the rhythm wall of fame, but they are ready by the end of the year to start recorder. 


I have a big pile of rhythms we review and one student at a time, one per class period, pass off the rhythms by reading the stack of rhythms in order to get their name on the Rhythm Wall of Fame. It is a big deal to get your name on the special bulletin board. At the beginning of this time,  I show the students various colorful fonts that I found on an old program I have called Scrapbook factory. Each student chooses a font for his or her name. I spend an hour or so making all of the students' names in his or her chosen font. Then I put each class's names into a ziplock baggie and randomly choose a name a day.

When a student passes off the rhythms, he then puts up his name on the "Rhythm Wall of Fame" and gets to choose a small prize I have, such as a bouncy ball or a porcupine character. 



When they are all finished, we have a "party" where, because I am from Ohio, I bring in candy "buckeyes" and play them some cool clips from the Ohio State Marching band and we play "Floating Down the River (on the Ohio). It is IMO, the best college marching band in the country with a rich tradition of great discipline and shows. I was in it while at Ohio State University. It is a great way to show a different kind of music to them and they really enjoy it. See my post about how to play "Floating Down the River" and how to make delicious Buckeyes. 

I have printed out the title "Rhythm Wall of Fame" for a bulletin board. Get the title for FREE HERE. Since no one else is going to have my old program, I thought of a way you can make your own names for your board. Many Clip artists on Teachers Pay Teachers have free alphabet letters. You could just choose a few for your students, and print them colored or let the students color them to make their own unique name. I searched for some of those for you. There are so really fun ones for you to choose from. Find some fun free alphabet letters for your students here. 

I use rhythm patterns that I color code by backing them with colored construction paper. I use a different color for each grade.