Friday, October 26, 2018

#FlipgridFever Using Flipgrid in the Music Room

Ya'll! Have you tried Flipgrid?  If not- you need to NOW! It is seriously the best! It is so easy to use, and it's FREE!

What is flipgrid?  Flipgrid is a website where you can make "grids" for each class and then topics within each grid where students can record videos. Once they are done with the video, the are asked to "snap a selfie" and can add stickers to it.  This is what others see when they pull the grid or topic up. I have a grid for each grade, and then topics within each grade to break it down even more.  You can set the privacy settings differently for each topic.  Grids can be public, accessible within a certain email domain, or even accessible only with a code. 

I use it mostly for projects.  Some projects my students have done with flipgrid are Parodies, instruments of the orchestra, and more.  For the parodies, students wrote a parody and then recorded it using flipgrid.  Then others had the opportunity to respond to the parody to guess which original song was used.  This was a 5th grade GM project and they loved it. Some ended up just singing their song, while others got really into the video aspect and made up dance routines to go along with their music! 

For instruments of the orchestra, 3rd grade students worked in groups to research a family of the orchestra then used flipgrid to record a mini-lesson describing their family.  They could also upload attachments like slideshows or google docs to accompany their lesson. Students then watched the videos and learned about all the families of the orchestra from the experts in their class!  This was great before our trip to see the Columbus Symphony! After the field trip, we were able to record reaction videos saying our favorite songs or other favorite parts of the concert.  While everyone can respond and reply to videos- the teacher can always set each grid or topic so that approval is needed before a video is posted AND teachers can leave private feedback/ grades. 

I also use flipgrid to allow students to give each other shout-outs when they do something awesome or kind in class.  Each student recorded a video of just their name and then others can reply to this name video with a shout-out.  Students shout-out to each other for great singing, kind acts, awesome instrument patterns, being a good sport, and more. This has been a great way to build community in each class and grade.

Many music teachers use flipgrid for playing tests as well.  It is awesome for recorder karate and rainbow ukulele (or similar programs).

In addition to all the awesomeness from above, guests can be invited now! Make a highlights topic or grid and invite guests to view while keeping most your grids/topics private to the class.  This is an amazing feature that I am so excited to be using.  It is a great way to show off to parents and community members what is happening during music without making EVERY video or topic public!

If you want more ideas on how to use flipgrid you can check out their blog OR their "Disco" (discovery) Library where teachers from all over have posted grid topics they are using in their class.  You can search by keyword, subject, and level (elementary, middle, high, etc.). There are some awesome music topics in the DL. I found a 2 minute opera scene topic that my students will be doing soon!

Do you have #flipgridfever? Be sure to add me as a #gridpal!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tuesday Book Club- In the Hall of the Mountain King

It's October! It's Fall! It's My Birthday Month!

One of my favorite stories to do in the fall is "In the Hall of the Mountain King".  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.

When I introduce this story/ song, first I show the doodle chaos video.  Students LOVE this video.  As we are watching I ask them what they notice about the song. Because the movie is kind of funny, I am sure to remind them I want to know what they notice about what they HEAR not what they see.  We talk about dynamics, tempo, orchestration and more in grade level appropriate terms.

After we watch the video, I then 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).  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.

Students, and I, LOVE this activity and ask for it again and again and again. Have fun!

Get the book HERE

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

No One in the House but Dinah

I thought today that I would share one of my favorite 16th notes/ re songs!

Dinah used to be a song that students didn't like as much, because it was a song that we just sang beautifully. I know these types of songs are important, but as is typical for 3rd and 4th grade, students would always ask what the "game" was. 2 summers ago, however, I took my Orff Level 1 and wrote a super fun orff arrangement to this song and students are loving it!

Because I only see my students 30 minutes at a time (2x a week) I typically add one instrument part each week. I like to let every single student try it out so it can take up about half the period.  They LOVE at the end when we can put all the parts together!

To prepare the orff patterns, we play them "on our bodies" first and match the placement.  For the bass line, we tap our legs- hands together.  For the alto xylophone part, we tap our clavicle- alternating hands, and for the tambourine part we snap.

Each part is slowly layered in over time and students are encouraged to speak the patterns (see the words in the PDF picture) and do the body percussion even when it is not their turn at an instrument. When we put it all together we split into groups and do the same. 

Especially this year, my students are super excited to play and get the patterns correct.  They haven't played their orff instruments much in the past (it's my first year at this school) and it is really fun for me to get to see them improving each time.

Check out the arrangement and try it for yourself!  When you click the link it will make a copy of the pdf arrangement just for you! DINAH ORFF

I also just recently did learn a game for this song (thanks Facebook!).  Students stand in a circle while one closes their eyes in the center.  The teacher then chooses (silently) two students to make a gate the center student can escape from.  The gate students separate a bit and then DO NOT SING when the song starts.  Still with closed eyes, the center student must try to escape from the circle by the end of the song by listening for where there is a gap in the sound.  This game only works if ONLY the gate students do not sing.  My students have been really enjoying this game, and even reluctant singers join in to ensure the game goes off with out a hitch.