Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thank you, PTA!

Our wonderful PTA purchased some wonderful new instruments and materials for our music classroom!  These include the following:

  • an African talking drum
  • African gankogui (agogo) bells with mallet
  • Shenanigans folk music CD
  • African shekere
  • frog guiro
  • Latin guiro
  • African seed shaker
  • Rhythmically Moving #2 CD
Many students will be playing these instruments for the first time this week as we discuss Kwanzaa, sing songs about Kwanzaa, and play African instruments to help us celebrate.  Action photos to come.  :)

Thank you again, PTA!

Instrument Labels and "I Can" Posters

I made these instrument labels for some of our classroom instruments.  These really seem to be helping some of the kiddos remember the names of the instruments, though I do occasionally have to remind the students that the "bass" xylophone is not a fish.  :)
Here is the PDF file for the labels.

Our school district is luck to have a wonderful music specialist who oversees the organization of our music teachers.  Every year, the music teachers re-evaluate the music learning targets for our students.  We have created "I Can" statements for each grade level. 

These learning targets are not meant to limit the teacher, but rather guide instruction.  For example, my kindergarteners have almost accomplished everything on their "I Can" chart, so I will elaborate on these learning targets and move on to new ones in the first grade category.  

I have these posters in JPEG format on my K-5 pages here on the blog.  This link will take you to the PDF file to download the posters. The posters will print on multiple pages.  I taped them together, laminated, and hung them in our music classroom. 

Happy teaching!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Support Our African Drumming Project!

Through Donor's Choose ( teachers can post school-related projects for which to receive materials.  The projects are funded by donations from anyone who would like to contribute.

I created a project for our school: African Drumming.  Our students will benefit greatly from having quality African instruments to play as we learn about African music and its impact on American music.

Half of the financial support is already given by the Whitney Fund of the Community Foundation of Louisville.  This is incredible!  Thank you Community Foundation of Louisville!

To support the remaining funds for this project that all of our 750 students will benefit from, click here and donate any dollar amount.  Thank you so much for your support!  The kids will be so excited to have these wonderful instruments!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Peter, Pumpkins, Pies, and Happy Notes

I finished what I hope is a user-friendly version of a "Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater" SMART board activity.  (By user-friendly I mean that I used the snipping tool to insert pictures in order to preserve the fonts.)  :)

Click this link to download the "Peter, Peter" SMART Notebook file.

Also, I have been giving "Happy Notes" to students who do a wonderful job participating and performing in music class.  Parents are telling me that these notes mean a lot to their children, so I thought I'd pass along the idea to other teachers.

This link will take you to the "Happy Note" PDF file you can download.

I hope these things are helpful for you teachers and your students!