Just a quick reminder that the Facebook Frenzy starts TODAY! I can't wait to jump on and download the 20+ amazing music freebies from music teachers all around the world! You can start the Frenzy at my Facebook page and keep clicking until you've snagged them all! Don't wait, it's only this weekend!!
I almost missed out on this one! I didn’t get to linking up last month and I missed it! Happy to play along this time!
Super fun idea to share links! Lord knows that I've already logged hours on Pinterest this month, why not share out some of my favorite things! Thanks to Mrs. Miracle's Music Room Blog for doing this! Love the idea!
#1 Musical Chairs Relay!
I love this idea but think I’ll want to adapt it before I try it. Basically kids walk around a set of chairs (like musical chairs) but when the music stops they have to be the first one to correctly notate something. You could make this as easy as “make a quarter note” to “write ta, ta, ti-ri ti-ri, ta”. I don’t think that I could do it with dry erase markers. Those things get squished and smashed do easily! But I love the idea!
#2 Worksheets for Listening to Music: BUNDLE!!
This is totally on my wish list! Listening to music is such an important part of our curriculum but we so often don’t do enough of it or do it as well as we could because we just don’t have the time to sit down and figure out how to follow up or how to write a worksheet/listening sheet that kids can use that makes sense. Assessment and helping kids use their critical thinking skills are big themes in this bundle (and when do those two things usually go together?). This bundle is a lifesaver with over 30 worksheets to fit so many different needs. I’m thinking about how I’d use this in class AND how I might be able to modify some things and leave them for a sub!
#3 Newsletter from the Specials Teachers
I think that it’s so important that we keep in contact with parents and leaders in our school community. Not only is it important for relationship building but it gives you a foot in the door if you end up needing help (costumes, staging, carrying stuff, parent supervision for a field trip, whatever!). Not only that, but parents want to know how and what their kid is doing. They get frequent reminders from classroom teachers about math and science and reading but a newsletter like this gives parents a look into our world! Mrs. Q has a great thing going with the other specialist teachers in her building when they write a newsletter like this. Just think, maybe one month it’s music and art and another it’s P.E. and library. That way you're not in charge of a whole newsletter (since you share with one of the other specialists) and maybe you don’t go every month (so even less stress!). It’s a win-win! You could do separate newsletters for each grade, though that would be lots of work, or you can do a whole school thing. Such a great idea.
I’m starting to compile some “Parents Contact” Pins, so if you see any more shoot them my way! Here’s the small list I have so far.
#4 Instruments of the Orchestra Resources
I’m always, ALWAYS looking for good resources to help and teach the instruments of the orchestra. This pin looks so promising with seating charts, instrument information, crossword puzzles, and lots more!
#5 Animal Themed Movement Cards
How cool are these! I love how students get the chance to use their critical thinking skills when coming up with movements. The great thing about this idea is that you give them a foundation (Lobster) but they have to make the connection to what that is, what it looks like, and what movement might go with it. It’s a great way to scaffold and give students ownership of their movement. Now, what music to pair it with…
Did I mention you can download the cards for FREE?
March Music Facebook Frenzy!!
It's happening, it's happening, it's happening!!! I've been thinking about this for weeks and it's finally here! This weekend if you check out and "like" the Facebook pages of a lot of elementary music bloggers/TPT sellers you'll get access to a really cool, totally absolutely FREE, Music/Wide Wild World resource! There are a ton of people involved in this one and you get a couple of really great things out of it. First of all, you get a cool freebie that a music teacher has crafted just for YOU.
Maybe even better than that, you learn what awesome and innovative music bloggers/resource creators there are out there! If you like their Facebook pages you'll start getting updates about the great things that they're working on and often you'll get more freebies! The last Facebook Frenzy is how I learned about The Totally Tuned-In Music Teacher (and a couple weeks later I got her "Zoom to the Moon" Rocket Resources in a flash freebie that I wouldn't have known about if I hadn't started following her FB page) and how I met Mrs. Miracle (and then after looking through her amazing resources found her super fantastic "Singing with a Substitute" resource)!
Don't miss it!! This Friday starting at 7 a.m. CST you'll have access to everyone's awesome files and you'll be able to hop from one music FB to another! Plan on it! I'm super excited to share my recorder/improvisation centers resources! I've been nearly bursting these last few weeks because I'm so excited about it! Can't wait to give it to you all for free!
See you on Friday!!
Our district has been working very hard to find a way to communicate learning goals and student growth with parents. I teach in an urban district and we battle with the usual inner-city problems of poverty, hunger, and communication issues among many, many others.
However, I would say that we are doing a really good job, and attempting a lot. We’ve started using a new grading system (and as I sit here waiting for the spinning wheel of “loading” death to stop spinning I can reflect that it’s a good idea… when the computer system works) where parents can always go online and look at student grades, see comments from teachers, and find better detailed information about how their student is doing. But as previously stated (spinning wheel of death) technology doesn’t always work the ways that you want it to. In fact, many of our families don’t have internet at home or can only access at the nearby libraries.
We’re not just going digital but are making other good changes. We’ve updated our grade card to add comments and give a better/more accurate idea of what students are doing but again a technology glitch has made last year’s music standards show on the card and not this year’s updated standards. This means that students are getting the right grades but what the parent thinks/reads that they’ve learned isn’t maybe what they’ve actually been learning. It’s frustrating!
And let's not even get into the language barrier and digital divide. If parents can access our online grade card (let's assume that they do have internet at home) they may not be able to read or really understand it. We do our best to translate everything but when you have 40+ languages it's hard to make it understandable for everyone. I'm lucky that most of my students are bilingual and that other language is mostly Spanish. There are other schools in my district where 3 or 4 other languages are spoken at home. We really do try hard (both parents and teachers) but sometimes the language barrier can be really tough.
As I sat and reflected (on a snow day… after having a lot of coffee), I thought that there were other things that I could do to try and communicate better with parents. I had been relying on the computer or the district to communicate learning goals and really my best moments of communication are when I pass a parent in the hallway and talk about what we’re doing or through the work student that I post in the hallway or when I see a family outside after school. I know that the message is making it when students get little notes from me from my mailbox (check out this post about how I send mail to kids!) and then take them home to show parents. The best moments are through those natural communications with parents. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I came up with a list of standards we’re working on, things that every grade level does, and other topics that we would cover through the course of the year and then thought how I could craft that into an “I Can statement.” I chose the I Can Format because we use that sort of language so often with parents they’ll already be familiar with it. I then sat down and crafted a long list, had it translated into Spanish, and then set about putting it into a pleasing visual format. I came up with a list of 60 different “I Can” statements that were easy enough for kids and parents to understand and written in a way that made sense to someone who maybe didn’t know our musical vocabulary.
One idea is to print out these statements as posters to put out in the hallway or up in the room around PT conference time or Open House days. But my main reason for making this file is parent communication through notes home. I remembered that with PDF files you can print them 4 or 6 or 8 to a page. I decided that any time I finish a unit or a particularly important song I could print off these statements with English on one side and Spanish on the other and send them home with students. It’s a way for me to communicate with parents and keep a musical conversation going on at home. It gives pride to students to be able to hand a note to their parents saying “I did this!”
I posted the file on my Teachers Pay Teachers page but wanted to share the idea here. If you’d like to get my file on TPT it’s already set out in English and Spanish and can be printed front/back with both languages. There are instructions in the file about how to do that. If you’d like to just use my idea and think up your own statements to send home that’s great too!
Oh, and by the way…. This file was FREE for my Facebook followers all morning! Follow Make Moments Matter on Facebook or on Teachers Pay Teachers and you can get in on freebies like this too!
This is a little trick that I do when I sell or give away CDs/DVDs of recent concerts to parents and kids. All you have to do is wrap the CD or DVD in a piece of paper to create a quick and cute little case/wrapper (and this is a lot cheaper to make than spending all the money on jewel cases or even those little CD/DVD envelopes). Spend a little time in Microsoft Word and you can make a template that can be reused over and over. It took me some time in the landscape format of Word to come up with the right dimensions but once I figured out what worked I was able to use it again and again. Now I can change the words/pictures of the document and then easily print so that I can wrap my DVDs.
Here are some pictures of the wrap and different versions I've made. You can add pictures, color, colored paper or whatever else you might want to individualize the wrapper. Just fold up, close with tape, and you're done!
Want to give them as a gift? Add this little band/wrapper to the DVDs or CDs and it helps to give an extra little touch for each person!
This is literally just a quick note typed in Word and printed in landscape format. You can cut it into strips on a paper cutter and it wraps around and tapes on the back easily!
Last week I was in the middle of teaching/testing a fourth grade class for recorder karate belts when a student came up and asked me how to do the fingering for F#. This student was busy working ahead on her own (which I was so happy and excited about) and she hit a snag. She didn't know a fingering and couldn't find the answer up on the wall anywhere so of course she came to me. I would have the answer, right? At that specific moment when my student asked me her question I was in the middle of ten other things and I realized that I had never gotten around to finding a good fingering chart to put up on my wall. It had always been on my project list and had never been done. It would be so easy to point up to the wall and say, "Check the chart!" but alas, I didn't have that resource...
That is, until now! I went home that night and sat down to see if I could make my own fingering chart. I wanted something that would be colorful and fun and easy to use. I got so carried with all the different options I could make that I created several different versions of the standard notes with lots of fun colors, borders, and options. All in all I came up with 14 different version of the fingering chart. AND THEN I realized that I could take the fingering charts I had made and turn them into a game (more on that in a minute)!
The next day at school I printed off my charts, laminated them, and ran to the paper cutter. I'm proud to say that the recorder fingerings are adorning my walls at school and the flashcards I made for fingering drill game will be used the next time I do a rotation for recorder stations/recorder testing. I'm super excited about how kids can use this resource to work ahead and also to use as a reference if they're having problems.
I've bundled up these fingering charts, included the fingering chart game, and posted them on my Teachers Pay Teachers page. In the bundle you get 14 different colored fingering charts (including one in greyscale in case you don't want to always print in color) and the fingering "Show Me" drill game. It was so much fun to make and a lot of fun to share with you all! There are more notes than you'll probably need (who gets to teaching the C# or G#, etc?) but it might come in handy if you have ever ordered those "Harry Potter for recorder" or "Star Wars for recorder" because they ask you to play some pretty weird fingerings sometimes.
If you choose to use this resource and need other notes or would like the chart in a specific color (like maybe your school colors?), please let me know. I had so much fun making these, I'd definitely be willing to adapt this resource to best fit your needs! Click the images below to see some pictures from the different charts I made!
You can find a link to the Fingering Charts on my Teachers Pay Teachers site HERE! I'd love your feedback and thoughts if you download! Again, let me know if there's something that needs to be altered or if there's something you'd love to see added.
OH, and one more thing... These fingering charts were originally FREE to my Facebook followers! In fact, Facebook Followers of the Make Moments Matter had 6 WHOLE HOURS to download these fingering charts! "Like" my page on Facebook and you will get the inside track to freebies when I post them!
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