Sunday, July 10, 2016

Summer Reading List

I LOVE summer.  I love hanging with Henry, hiking outside, and I love that I have time to READ.  I read for professional development and pleasure- striking a nice balance.

Here are 3 books I am reading this summer- 1 professional development book (well 2), 1 new song book, and 1 for pleasure book. What are you reading this summer? If you blog- link up and share! Directions are at the end of the post.

1. Kid President's Guide to Being Awesome

I am totally counting this awesome book as professional development this year.  There are so many great ideas to lead a more Awesome life.  Even just skimming through, I have already found joy through what is written on the pages.  The page that hit home most so far was "Put Down Your Phone"! I am always trying to take pictures of Henry (or my classroom during the school year) so I am not fully present in the moment. I have been consciously trying to leave my phone in another room and it is so fun to just experience every moment and take "brain pictures" rather than trying to capture it with my camera.

Chapters in the book include:
Life Is What Happens When You Put Down Your Phone
Focus on the Awesome
Wanna Be a World Change? Be a Day Maker!
Be a Party!
It's Okay to Get Discouraged. It's Not Okay to Stop
Change the Future
and MORE!

This book will help me be a better teacher by helping me to laugh, find my light (and share it) and most importantly, focus on the Awesome (all of which are SO IMPORTANT when connecting with kids).

Another professional development book I will be reading is:
Passionate Learners: How to Engage and Empower Your Students by Pernille Ripp

This book is geared towards Gen-Ed teachers but I still think it will have a lot of great ideas/ practices to make my classroom a better place.  It was tweeted by my principal and because our district slogan is "Engage. Empower. Excel." this book could not be more perfect.  From the Amazon Description, this book will help you to:

• Build a working relationship with your students based on mutual trust, respect, and appreciation.
• Be attentive to your students’ needs and share ownership of the classroom with them.
• Break out of the vicious cycle of punishment and reward to control student behaviour.
• Use innovative and creative lesson plans to get your students to become more engaged and intellectually-invested learners, while still meeting your state standards.
• Limit homework and abandon traditional grading so that your students can make the most of their learning experiences without unnecessary stress.
• And much more!

I am so excited to get started on these books. 

2. Roots and Branches

I got this book this summer and I can't wait to read/ sing through it to find new multi-cultural music for my classroom. Not only does the book have the musical notation, but also cultural context including maps, photos, and narratives.  There is a CD included as well so you and your students can hear an authentic recording of the song! There are songs from so many countries/ cultures- Korea, France, Ireland, England, India, Puerto Rico, Brazil, China, Russia, Japan, Cambodia, Mozambique, Israel, Navajo and many more.

3. My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business by Dick Van Dyke

Yay for reading for pleasure! I read so many YA dystopian future books in the summer, but this year I am also getting in some non-fiction.  Dick Van Dyke is one of my favorite performers and it seems he led such an interesting life. I am hoping this book is "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" :)

Other books on my summer reading list:
Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas
The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
First We Sing- Songbooks 1 and 2 by Susan Brumfield

Don't forget to link up and share your summer reading list. Happy Reading!

To link up here are the directions:
  • Save the "Summer Reading List" graphic to your computer, and include it in your blog with a link to this blog entry.
  • Blog about your summer reading list- including professional development and for pleasure books. Include pictures with links when possible.
  • Submit your information by clicking on the button below.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

5 Favorite Pins of June

Today I am linking up with Mrs. Miracle's Music Room to share my 5 favorite pins of June! Be sure to hop on over to her blog as well to get so many more ideas!

You may notice a theme with my pins- they all have to do with room set-up/ organization.  Can you tell what I am thinking about for next year already???

1. Fabric Bookshelves

The first is a great idea for shelves in my room.  The one in the pin is attached to the wall, but I acquired a freestanding frame at the end of last year that will work great for my music room.  I LOVE that you can SEE the front of the books.  Right now by books are stashed in a filing cabinet and this will make it so much easier for myself and my students to find the book we want! I did shelves like this in my sons nursery and I love it!

2. White Board Station

I also love this Mobile white board station from Mrs. King's Music Room.  Right now my white boards are stashed under a piano bench in my classroom.  This will make passing them out, putting them back, and keeping them neat so much easier!

3. Plan, Copy, Prep, Grade Post-it Organizer

This is such a great idea! I am definitely a list person and this organizer helps keep everything, well, organized so that it is easier to break down and prioritize tasks.  I am horrible at using my plan time wisely because sometimes it can get overwhelming with ALL THE THINGS that need to be accomplished.  I think keeping tasks broken down into groups will really help!

4. Construction Music Room Décor Bundle

Ok, I won't lie.  I pinned this just so I could include it in this post.  I am SO excited about this bundle! My school is under construction right now (well a new building is being build behind the old building), and teaching in a modular unit (AKA trailer outside) I will be hearing and seeing the construction daily.  I thought this was the PERFECT theme for my room this year!  It is so cute and has EVERYTHING I could ever want to decorate my room.

5. Small Instrument Storage Tips

Finally, I loved this blog post on Small Instrument Storage tips.  It helps this year, in my small room, and will help when I am setting up my brand new classroom for '17-'18.  Organized Chaos even has links to some other posts she has written specifically about Hand Drums and Triangles (which I need a solution for). 

In preparing for next year and getting my room organized, I am also organizing my digital files- and I have so many more to organize because of the awesome 4th of July event going on over at TPT right now! A bunch of music sellers got together to share freebies, discount products, and put whole stores on sale!

For July 1-4 there are a ton of freebies available!  Search #LetFreedomRingMusic and you will find everything available.  I have a new freebie up that is great for summer AND the school-year.  The 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge- Specials Edition will give you ideas for activities to de-stress your life and make your teaching joyful.  Check it out!

For July 2nd only- there are a ton of products marked down to only $2! I put my "Hello My Name Is... Music Symbols" game on sale.  It is a great review/ ice-breaker game for the beginning of the school year.  Students each get a card taped to their back, and then have to find their musical partner by figuring out their symbol with Yes  or No questions only.  So Fun! Search #RedWhiteand2 to find all of the great products on sale.

Finally, on July 3 and 4 my entire store will be on sale for 20% off! Many other stores will be on sale too. 

Happy Shopping and have a great long weekend!