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

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:


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.