Saturday, March 26, 2016

Three Things: Jumping on the beat, Magic Mikes, and a Fun Book

I am linking up with Aileen Miracle's Three Things Blog post to tell you about three fun and useful things I did this week. See my three things and go to the link at the bottom to see Mrs Miracle's, as well as some other teachers' three things. 
In first grade, we sing a song called, "Frog in the Middle". We use it to help learn about steady beat. For some kids, this is really hard to stay on the steady beat and not to tap or jump on the rhythm. We later use this song to sing sol, mi, and do. 

I found these fun frog decorations at The Dollar Tree. I got 8 of them so my kids could jump on the beat for the length of the song. This makes it so easy for them to visualize jumping on the beat, even when we have eighth notes (we call them ti-ti at this point). I Had my kids take off their shoes so we could keep them nice and jump one at a time. It was so easy for them to "get it". My friend in this picture is wearing a cape because she is my superhero of the day (my theme of the year). We will go from here to passing a bean bag on the beat. Now I've got to take off the tags!

For my second things I used this week, I found these darling microphones at the store. I made a cute little label for them that says, "Magic Mike". 

You could use any microphone that you have. The kids are very eager to use the magic mike to sing to me and I let them choose their favorite color. After everyone has sung, they get in their circle spots and I blow bubbles from the microphone. It is magical! You can buy the Magic Mikes in my Etsy store if you don't have your own microphones. 

As one of my SLO's (Student Learning Objectives) for Kindergarten, we are learning to sing a sol mi song and to match pitch. For some of these kids, singing in the high part of their voice is very hard. We have to work all year to learn to do that. I sing "Hello, Zoey" (sol, mi, sol, mi). Then Zoey would sing back to me, "Hello, Mrs Seamons" (sol, mi, mi mi, sol mi). A majority of the kids can sing back to me on pitch, but there are always a few that need some help. Getting in the habit of doing it everyday is the first step. They get used to it. Another step is showing them my singing rubric, so they know what I am expecting. I talk to them about what a 4 (the highest level of singing) sounds like. The visual really helps them to understand our goal. 

For some kids, they still can't do it. I have started talking about reaching for a star and that helps the kids reach their voice up high. We are getting there one kid at a time. 

My last thing that we used this week was a fun book. When my school has book fairs, they give us money for a free book. I found this fun little book and my kids have loved it. It is a simple song, written by Joe Raposa for Sesame street in 1971. It was made more famous when the Carpenter's sang it in 1973. It is a lovely tune with a good message. You can see some videos of it being sung below, one from Sesame street which is also sung in Spanish and one with the Carpenter's song.

Listen to it at the following places:

Sing a Song Sesame Street Video

Link up or just find out about some other great ideas
 on Mrs Miracle's blog!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Music Madness Activities- Inspired by March Madness

Every year, March brings March Madness, the college basketball fun where the college teams have their NCAA and NIT tournaments. In honor of that, I have a super easy and inexpensive instrument to make and a fun March Madness inspired freebie. 

In March, I always see many cute plastic easter eggs in the stores. For years, I have thought of making those into egg shakers, but it has never happened until now. I saw these sports plastic eggs in Walmart the other day and I thought of how fun these would be for my kiddos and how easy and inexpensive these would be. These sports plastic eggs were only $1.98 for 12, but you could also get many other cute designs. The cost per egg is only .17 cents plus the TBSP of rice per egg and you can make them in minutes. That's a win-win!

The Walmart brand sports eggs are hard to get open and snap shut tight, but I will put some tape on them just to be sure they stay together, since some students are really rough on things.  I just put a Tablespoon of uncooked rice in them, snap them shut, add a little tape on the seam and voilá, they are perfect egg shakers. For tape, I would use Scotch clear mailing tape, also available at Walmart. 

I plan to use them to help my kids keep a steady beat. They are the perfect fun-just the size for kids instrument that won't drive you or the other classes crazy with noise! Aren't they fun!

I made a FREE Basketball March Madness pack last year and just revised it. You can print the 4 separate posters or display them or just display the 4 per page post so you remember what you do for each number of baskets. You also get a dice with suggestions for one of the options, as well as a blank one so you can write your own options. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Thank you! 1000 Follower Giveaway and Freebie!

I am so grateful for all of the people who have decided to follow my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I enjoy putting the ideas I use in my classroom on there for others to use.

I wanted to give a freebie that affects my teaching life every day. I chose to make some new station labels. I have only 30 minutes per class, usually even less because teachers often arrive late or we have drills that interrupt our classes. When we do a project of any kind, we need to quickly get our materials out so we don't waste time. My favorite mentor teacher I worked with when I was the 2nd music teacher had stations around her room to help students get materials. When I took over my own school, I came up with my own station set up and a simple song that has worked so well that I have kept this setup. I have a small room, so I put 3 stations on one side a few feet apart on the counter, one station on the other side by the drinking fountain and one station just as the kids enter the room on a table. Read about my station procedure in my new station label freebie. Don't forget to go to the bottom to enter the giveaway!

I found these wonderful music scarves that I love and am giving 9 of them away as a thank you! I have 5 tan with black music notes and 4 black with white music notes. You can enter the giveaway below with 3 chances of winning by following my Facebook page, following my Teachers Pay Teachers store, and leaving feedback on my Station Procedure and Labels Freebie.

Enter Below