Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Tuesday Book Club: The Snowy Day- A program illustrating the book by Ezra Jack Keats

I LOVE December! I love teaching all things snow, nutcracker, and Holiday AND coming up with Winter Programs is so fun. 



This year, my 3rd and 4th grade choir students performed a program musically illustrating the book
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.  This book illustrates all I love about winter so well. It was PERFECT for a program.

I had student narrators read the story and we inserted a fun song every few pages.

Songs we performed:
It's a Marshmallow World
Frosty Weather 
Snowpants from Music K8
Body Percussion to Trepak (Check out this twitter link for a video of the routine!)

Jingle Bell Dash by James Pierpont
In Summer- From Frozen
Winter Walk from Music K8 - We had an awesome 3rd grader play Violin along with this song!

Students seemed to LOVE all of our songs and had so much fun at our show.  What did you do for your Winter Program this year?

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Think Spring- Over in the Meadow Program

It may be December, but I am thinking Spring! I am so excited to be at a school that does Kinder programs and I am even more excited to have put together a program based on the song-tale Over in the Meadow. It is SO CUTE!

This is such an easy and fun program to put together because there are so many versions of the song out there.  I made sure that students were singing lots of animal songs throughout the year and then they got to vote on their favorites to piece the program together.  I had 3rd and 4th grade siblings singing the narration with the kinders chiming in each verse.

Songs we performed were:

Hello Song
Turtle- Tortoise from Carnival of the Animals- Scarf Routine
Fish- Aquarium from Carnival of the Animals- Finger Light Routine
Robin- Rockin' Robin - the original Bobby Day Recording- Plate Routine
Chipmunk- The Sycamore played by The Canadian Brass- Ribbon Routine
Bee- I'm Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee
Beaver- The Beaver Song (I learned this one in Girl Scouts when I was little but there are many versions online!)
Frog- Frog in the Meadow and On a Log, Mr. Frog
Lizard- The Lizard Song - It can be found on Youtube HERE.  I emailed the composer and got permission to sing the song in our program- he said he never actually wrote it down though.
Duck- Alle Meine Entchen (All the Little Ducklings) - we sang in both English and German!
Rabbit- The Bunny Hop Dance!

We also learned other songs throughout the year that matched other animals commonly in the Over in the Meadow song.  We learned Spider Songs, an Owl Flashlight Routine, another Owl Song, Fox Songs, Bird Songs and more!

The stage was super easy to decorate. I made lots of paper flowers and hung them up- easy peasy. Costumes were also super simple, as kids just wore their spring best!


If you want the routines I used, program templates, packs to teach some of the songs, and more- check out the program on TPT.  Or feel free to just use the ideas mentioned and make up your own! 

Get the program starter pack HERE! There are 4 song packs, 4 routines, programs, and ideas for over 15 animals all included! 



Friday, October 18, 2019

In the Hall of the Mountain King Round-up

One of my favorite stories to do in the fall is "In the Hall of the Mountain King".  There are SO MANY fun activities and videos to go with this song from the Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg. 

The version I read is adapted from Henrik Ibsen by Allison Flannery, Illustrated by Vesper Stamper and, of course, includes the music by Edvard Grieg.




After I read the book, we have a short conversation about how the story might fit with the music and then, the fun part, we get to act it out.  I read the story again, as students are up and walking through the forest, entering the castle, looking around, and then running from the Mountain King (all to the rhythm of the song). I am sure to freeze on all the rests! If it gets to crazy, I tell the students that we need to hide frozen like a statue in an open doorway of the castle and we freeze silently and look side to side to make sure the King doesn't see us. After I can tell we have calmed down a bit, we start to try to escape again. 

Rhythms- read or follow along with listening maps (Some people do quarter- rest at the end of the phrase and some do half note- so be prepared and make sure it matches what you do!)



Line Rider - This video is so fun, KIDS LOVE IT! Great at the end of a lesson or to introduce the song.


Following are some ways to take this song to the next level! 

Cups!- I love to add cups to anything I can.  For this song I do: 
Clap Clap Tap-Tap Tap
Clap and Pass (z)
Students love how it gets faster and faster and faster! 

Have boomwhackers? Students have so much fun with these play alongs.  They are great for working together, pre-reading of music, and more!



Musication Percussion Playalong- This play along is similar, but uses common un-pitched percussion.  My students like this even more than the boomwhacker one!


While preparing for this post I found some fun movement that mashes Head-Shoulders-Knees-Toes with In the Hall of the Mountain King.  This is perfect for the littles. 
  

A movement that is a little more complicated for older students can be done scattered or in a circle.  I saw this on Twitter a few years ago and it has become a staple in my room in October. The linked video is of me explaining the movement- but make sure to click and follow Mrs. Holsman [@Mrs_Holsman] on Twitter as I got the idea from her (and she got it from Traci Patterson [@snapclappat])!

Video in Google Drive: Mountain King Movement Explanation
Original tweet I saw: https://twitter.com/Mrs_Holsman/status/1057350915710246912


Trolls Mash Up- Right before the end of the month- it is so fun to learn the the Mountain King theme was sampled in the Trolls Movie! We listen first, and then have a dance party! What are your favorite In the Hall of the Mountain King Activities???




Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Waltz of the Flowers- Simple Movement



So I LOVE The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky and use it all year round (with special focus during December).

Most of my lessons have a loose theme (especially in younger grades) to aid in transitions, etc. and last week we were doing Trees, Flowers, Planting, etc.

In this garden themed lesson, at one point we BECAME seeds/ flowers and did some adorable movement to the beginning of Waltz of the Flowers. The movement includes practicing balance, cross-body movement, and form.  The explanation below is meant just as a reminder of motions- I recommend watching the video to really learn it! Watch the Video HERE

Intro: This movement starts out with students as seeds. They start to grow slowing, stretching and swaying during the entire intro of the song.

A Section:
Students lift rt leg, place arms above head to be petals and then "Bloom"
Repeat on left side
Blow in the wind (can they blow in the wind on one leg? I add this as an extra challenge!)
repeat

B Section:
Right arm up, left arm up
right arm down, left arm down
"wave" motion
repeat 3x
4th time Last time- right arm up, left arm up, sway arms back and forth.

The 2nd time during the A section I challenge students to "blow in the wind" on only one foot, making sure to let them know that it is ok if it is hard for them!

The 2nd time during B section I added some cross-body movement so you can see a slightly more difficult version.  You can do what works for your kids!

Other garden songs/ chants:
Bee Bee Bumble Bee
Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee
Meet Me at the Garden Gate
Down By the Bay (although watermelons are more a patch than a garden)
Engine Engine traveling to a garden
Queen Caroline planting seeds to the heartbeat or tiptoeing through a magic fairy garden

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Tuesday Book Club- Good Night, Firefly



Today's Tuesday Book Club is focused on the book Good Night, Firefly by Gabriel Alborozo.



This is such a sweet book!

Nina's electricity goes out and she captures a firefly to help her see.  As Nina and the firefly play, the firefly's light grows dimmer and dimmer. After trying to help her firefly in a few different ways, Nina realizes what she must do.

When I read this book, we sing one of my favorite Firefly songs every few pages (when she finds the fireflies, when she is reading by the fireflies light, and then at the end a few times as well).


After reading the book, I have students do simple movement to Fireflies by Owl City. This time, I did not use finger lights, as we still are working on movement expectations, but this movement would look awesome in the dark! It is purposefully very simple so it is accessible even to my new kinders.  Unfortunately, the movement video is too large to embed into this post directly, but you can check out the movement here. Feel free to change it up a bit, add in more cross-body motions, turns, or even locomotor movement to make it work for your students.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Room Tour 2019-2020

A new year is starting! I thought I would share my room set up for the year.  It is very similar to last year, but a few things have been changed, moved or added.

Starting with my desk area, I have it facing the wall this year, so there is more room for instruments and movement! I am rarely at my desk during the day, so having my back to the door isn't a big deal to me. I am also so excited about my new sub-tub! It will make planning for being out so much easier.


Moving around the room from my desk, I have a wall of 2 dry erase boards, as well as a TV that I can hook my computer into.  We face this direction a lot during class for sight-reading songs, interactive review games and more! The bookshelves under the TV house a lot of my movement props like scarves, beanbags, and plates as well as my lycra (which I use as a parachute) and stretchy band.  The piano is also on this wall- which I mostly only use during chorus time. 

The cabinet wall is where I have all my anchor charts hanging, as well as boomwhackers and student writing supplies.  I am a little worried this will get cluttered this year, but I am hoping it will work out. The anchor charts include elements of music as well as the 7 habits as we are a Leader in Me school.  On the end of the cabinets are dry erase boards where I post weekly 'I can' statements for each grade.  In the corner next to the cabinets will be a rest area nook for students to calm down if they are feeling overwhelmed.  There will be a few fidgets as well as a feelings chart. 


On the wall where students enter are my choir folders, my classroom library and one more dry erase board.  I also keep the student dry erase boards and markers over here. The filing cabinets you see in the pictures house choral music as well as some materials that are used less often.  I also keep some project materials on top like cardboard, paper, and more just in case students want to build when they are creating something!

I was so excited this year to be able to add to my Giraffes Can't Dance corner.  I found fabric with the animals so I made new fabric bookshelves to match the painting I already had (gifted to me from a student years ago!)

Also on the same wall is my bulletin boards, which are one of my favorite parts of the room! I have our music class creed (You can get one from Megs Music Room HERE) as well as a pitch reading bulletin board called 'Swingin' Through the Lines and Spaces'  My room has a slight jungle theme with the Giraffes Can't Dance things, and Lion watercolors above the sink, so I pulled out a favorite bulletin board from the past for this space. The flowers are recycled from the Over in the Meadow program I did with Kinders last year- and they are perfect for this space! Under the creed is also a "What I'm Reading" poster where I post the titles of the books I am currently reading to encourage students to read and talk about books!

In the middle is my staff rug, where students sit if we are doing board work, as well as a circle made out of floor decals (yay target dollar spot!)  I am hoping these decals stay long enough that kids get used to how and where to make the circle for games, dances, and more (and if they don't- they were only $5). 

Finally, I have my instrument shelves.  I have most of my instruments on tables or bookshelves and they are set up at all times.  I am so lucky to have a large enough room where we can sing, say, dance and play without having to move a lot of equipment each class.  The barred instruments sit on top the  while the small percussion is in bins on the shelves below. 

What is your favorite part of your room??? 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Tuesday Book Club - The Nutcracker, A Pop-Up Book



It's exactly 6 months til Christmas Ya'll!

This summer, I came across this AMAZING Nutcracker Pop-Up Book by Jenni Fleetwood and Illustrated by Phillida Gili. The Nutcracker is my favorite and this book will be my new go-to for telling the story to my classes.


WOW. That is all I can say.  I was literally gasping every single page.  The pop-ups and illustrations are multi-layered and perfect. Every time I look at the book I find more to be excited about. The story is also just-right for kids. It tells the story in a beautiful way without being super long winded or leaving out important parts.


The Nutcracker and Mouse King actually fight! 

The Dancers move! 

I cannot wait to use this in my classroom this upcoming year. Check it out!