Monday, August 29, 2016

Tuneful and Trendy

I am so excited to join this linky party with Christine over at Elementary Etudes.  It was a great first day with students (more on what I did today later) and choosing an outfit for the first day is still just as fun as it was when I was a student in Elementary School.

In first grade I always read "Music Teacher From the Black Lagoon" where it mentions the music teacher has music notes on her shoes, on her shirt, and on her ears.  So, for the first week of school I like to have at least one of these covered each day.  It is so fun to see the kids faces when they notice that I have music notes on my shoes, or my shirt, or my ears :)  I also love to show my personality so I wear a lot of bright colors, and skirts/ dresses. I plan on wearing my music shoes and earrings all week. I wore shorts today because it is HOT and most of the school is un-airconditioned AND I have bus duty before and after school.  Check out my fun outfit!

Yellow Shirt- Stitch Fix
Shorts- ModCloth
Shoes- Toms
Earrings- Birthday Gift a few years ago from Claire's.  I wore the Beamed 16th Notes today :)
Necklace- Mothers Day gift from baby Henry (it's his birthstone and his initial)

Many of my pieces are from Modcloth OR Stitch Fix.  I LOVE Stitch Fix- 5 pieces come to your door, you try them on and if you like them you keep them (and pay) and if not you send them back (they give you a shipping envelope so it is super easy).  There is a $20 styling fee, but it goes towards your purchase if you choose to keep something (and I ALWAYS do).  You can also get a discount if you purchase all 5 items, like I did with my last fix. Check it out!

*I am NOT being compensated for mentioning stitchfix- I just LOVE it so I thought I would share!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Terrific Teacher Tips to Motivate and Energize your New School Year

Have you started your new school year yet?  I still have a whole week before students come (though PD started already).  Our district is doing a lot of construction so this year and next year have a delayed start date for students.

In my planning for the new year, I have thought of a few things that I think will really help to keep students engaged and joyful during music.  I decided to link up with Sandra Hendrickson at to share!  Enjoy- and be sure to go back to her blog to read all the great tips from music teachers all over!

Here are 3 of my tips for the new school to keep you motivated and energized all year.

1. Celebrate! I have decided this year that instead of a regular "reward system" we are just going to celebrate when the time is right.  Students get all the answers in a game correct- 2 minute dance party. Behavior is awesome?  The following week we might start with a game I know is a favorite of that class. Students perform outside of school in a recital or other special event? Let them play during class to share and celebrate their successes.

2. Get the wiggles out. This year I am starting each class with a listening/ movement activity.  Students will enter and receive their prop (if need) such as scarves, ribbons, plates, or cups and we will go right into our movement.  After we will talk about the song for a second and if it was the same as the one they hear on the announcements that morning for our Mindful Musical Moments (see more HERE).  I am hoping that giving students the opportunity to MOVE right when we enter the room will help them focus when it is time.  Does this mean we won't move at all for the rest of the class- no way! We will still be learning other folk dances, playing singing games, playing instruments and more.  This will just be a way to focus students bodies and minds to get them into a musical mindset.

3.  Keep YOUR joy by reflecting, being kind, and having FUN! Students feed off of the energy of the teacher, so be sure you are teaching in a way that brings YOU joy.  Choose songs or projects that you love, and keep asking yourself if you would like to be a student in your class. Reflect on your lessons with questions-What worked in your lessons and what didn't this week?  Why did you become a teacher in the first place? Did students teach you anything this week?  Bring joy to others by random acts of kindness or silliness through-out the day/ week.  Have a joke written on the board. Do the WAVE after students sing a song really well, bring a fellow teacher coffee.  Need more ideas? Check out my 30 Days of Happy Teaching- Specials Edition- It's Free!  I plan to do it over and over and over this year.