Friday, November 2, 2012

Can't Dance Josey


This is just one of my favorite songs to do with 3rd grade for tika-tika (4 beamed 16th notes) as well as in 4th grade for low so.

I have two games with this song- one is text improv, where students think of a silly excuse not to have to dance with someone- NO EXCUSES about physical appearance are allowed.  Things just as silly as Chicken on a Fence post.  Examples may be: The barn was painted orange, the sky is blue, hogs in the cornfield, etc.   This one we play the 2nd week the song is known.

The other game is a concentric circle game, played after the song is known well.  Inside both circles is a rubber chicken (or other object race to). I send two students to opposite corners of the room to hide their eyes.  I then choose two secret bridges by swinging the arms of 2 connected students in the inside and 2 on the outside. The students in the circles walk the beat (inside left, outside right) as we sing the song.  When I hit a drum, the students in the circles freeze, bridges arms go up and the students who had been hiding their eyes race to get to the chicken first.  They can only get to the middle by going under the previously chosen bridges.   This is a super fun game that the kids LOVE.  They are always excited in fourth grade when it comes back.

ALSO: Just for fun, read the solfa below and see if you can figure out what pop song it is!

d d r m s s
 l l l s m d
 l l l s m d r r
d d r m s s
 l l l  s m d
l, l, f m r d t,

Monday, October 22, 2012

Music Tag

Hey friends,
I just learned this game this past week from my fellow music teacher Dee Dee and I love it! It can be used in so many different ways!


Music tag works just like real tag in that there is an IT trying to catch other people.  However, in music tag ALL are singing and can only move on a certain part of the song- whatever concept you may be working on. Today we played with Long short (or dotted quarter eighth note) and the students could only step when this rhythm came up in the song.  I have also played where students sing and only move on the LAs in a song. The kids love it.

I do it so that if you get tagged you become the new IT- and if you move at the wrong time you are OUT.  You could also do, if you get tagged, it is your job to play the element on an instrument.  I have heard of only moving on the strong beat, only on the half notes, only on the do's, etc.  Just make sure the song you choose has enough of the element to make it fun.  If there is only one in a four phrase song, students are standing much more than they are playing tag.

Have a great week- I hope to have another post up by the end of the week!

Monday, October 8, 2012

3 Fall High/Low Activities

Here are a few ways I practice High/ Low with my first graders (no kdg so we are still working on High/Low pitches and then into so-mi)

1. Train ride into spooky places- Using my Power Point Pitch Exploration Book (get it on my wix site- click the WIX tab above, then click For Colleagues, then click Blog Files- the file is called SMARTboard pitch exploration book, but it is a PPT file) we ride our train into spooky places to visit ghosts- and then we have ghost conversations.  I learn the Ghost Conversations from Lillie Fierabend at a TRIKE workshop a few years ago.  Two ghost puppets are used and students use their "ghost voices" (oooh in head voice) to have convos with the teacher.  We also follow the Ghosts flying path with our voices, or a falling leaf.  Students can then draw their own line on the SMARTboard to follow. There are so many great Halloween and Fall vocal exploration files on TPT - check out some of mine bundled HERE.

2. Leaves are falling- I love this song! We talk about fall and how the trees change colors and students get to choose HIGH or Low at the end.  I have two special leafs - one says HIGH and one says LOW and a student hides both behind their back.  At the beginning of the last line the student shows the class one or the other and the class sings the octave note to match.  Such an easy, fun game- kids LOVE being the leader.

*Stick Notation picture to be added soon, but here is the words with solfa*

Leaves are Falling on the ground, Red and Yellow, Orange and Brown
      s      s     m   l    s    s       m        s      s      m   l          s        s       m

Will the leaf be high or low? Show our voices where to go!
   s     s    m   l     s     s     m      s        s     m  l       s      s   d (or d')

3. Hiram and Lois- I also have "pilgrims" named Hiram (a boy with a high speaking voice) and Lois (a girl with a lower speaking voice) puppets.  We use them for a lot of songs, but I introduce them with "Quaker, Quaker" and usually change it to "Pilgrim, Pilgrim". We talk about the old english just a little.  I start out as both voices, then all do both voices and eventually I hand off a puppet to another student to be either Hiram or Lois.  I Love the unexpected genders with these names- which I got from Sandra Mathias.  Usually students expect the boys voice to be low, and the girls to be high- but we all know that is not always the case with real people so this is one way to show them- and the names are too perfect not to change!
I usually start with Line 1 high, line 2 low, 3 high and four low, but then sometimes I switch it up when I am still the only one performing. 

What are some of your favorite Fall Activities???

Friday, October 5, 2012

3 Rhythm/ Melody Activities

Here are my favorite rhythm games.  I have never used them for melodies, but if your kids are good at singing melodies alone why not try it?  Most of my older kids are fine when reading a rhythm alone, but get nervous when singing alone for the class- even if it is only 4 notes.  I am hoping to bring up the little ones to be comfortable no matter what I have them do! (most of these activities were learned in Undergrad or Grad School)

Most of these games are used as transitions between songs.  I plan it so that we always end on a rhythm (or melody) that is in the next song and the students have to find it. OR- the rhythm starts the next song, etc.  

1. Beach Ball Rhythms- Write rhythms on a beach ball- toss it to a kid- kid reads rhythm.
                                    Sometimes for fun, I also play our listening example for the month and have them bat the beach ball around, and who ever has the ball when I stop the music reads the rhythm.  This version takes longer though- or you get a lot less people.  It's a fun version for right before a break or something.  I buy all my beach balls at the dollar store and write on them in Perm. Marker. My PTA gives us a little money each year to spend on classroom things, so this year, it was beach balls and tennis balls.  :)

2. King of the Mountain- students are sitting in a circle each with a rhythm card in front of them. Designate one side of the circle Royalty, and the other Normal People.  The "king" (sometimes me, sometimes a great rhythm reader) reads their card, then someone elses.  Person two then does the same- reading their own card and then another- so on and so forth until someone messes up.  When someone messes up (usually just by forgetting their own card) the have to move to the end of the circle (I know... weird right?) on the side of the king that was designated Normal People.  All between the person who got out and the King skooch one slot closer closer to the King.  The goal is to be as close to the King as possible.  If you mess up the King, you automatically become the King!  The goal of this game is to read fast so I say that students "mess up" if they take too long to choose a card to read.  They are supposed to have one chosen at all times.  The kids love this game!

3. I Have- Who Has? - This game has a little more prep than the others.  On a card- you write I have: II II II I  Who Has? II II I I  (or any other rhythms).  The next card must say I have: II II I I who has? ---  so that the cards always come full circle.  This is easiest once the students learn more difficult rhythms so you have a lot for your set.  Basically then the students read the card- matching the last rhythm someone read, with the first on their card.

I also use Poison Pattern, Rhythm Tik-Tak-Toe and plain old flashcards A LOT.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Musical Family Tree

I thought I would expand a little on my Musical Family Tree project that was mentioned in the Popular Music Post (read the whole post here).   This is a project that I do at the beginning of every year in 5th grade.  I have students make a MUSICAL FAMILY TREE and write a small report explaining their musical background.  This helps me tremendously in choosing "popular" songs to sight-read or read from handsigns in general music or chorus.  I also get to learn a lot about students and their families which is super fun.

Students are asked to make their Family Tree just like a normal one would look.  Then under each name in their family they put that persons musical background- Were they in chorus? Do they play an instrument? Did they go to Julliard? Did they play a concert with Prince? Do they just like to listen?  They are required to go back to grandparents- but many choose to go back further.  I tell them they can choose to be artistic or not. Some choose to make it really elaborate- while others make it more like mine.  I am not grading artistic ability- so as long as I can read it, I am happy :)

The report questions they must answer in their report are the following:
                           1. What type of music do you enjoy the most?
                           2. Who is your favorite musical artist?
                           3. What musical instruments do you play or wish to play? This includes your voice!
                           4. Who is your musical inspiration- who would you like to play/ sing/ dance like if you could choose one person in the world- this could be a family member, famous
person, a teacher- anyone!
                           5. Which family members musical experiences surprised you the most?
                           6. What would you like to learn in music this year?

This project is always so much fun to grade- I learn so much- and the kids do too! Uncles, Aunts and Grandparents are always more musical than we though!  It takes up only 5 minutes of class time to explain, yet kids always enjoy it a lot.

Check out a picture of my musical family tree below (yes, both of my parents were not allowed in chorus, and I became a music teacher :) funny huh... also- sister Gena is in a got cut off)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Teacherkit and Pitch Matching Assesments

One of my goals this year is to better assess my students.  I found this really cool APP for IPAD that I have been using and I LOVE!  It is called TEACHERKIT and you can type in classes, assignments, behavior note, and more.  It even weights assignments if you so choose.  Check it out if you have an IPAD- I LOVE IT!

The 1st assessment I have started this year is pitch matching.  I assess pitch matching in different ways.

One is just singing a greeting to a student and having them sing back.  The question at the end is always different.  This also helps me get to know a little about my students.
       Hello Susie                                  Hello Miss Jencson
       How Are You Today?                 Awesome
       What did you do this weekend?    I got my ears pierced

The 2nd way is call and response or repeat after me songs.  At first, for these songs, I am the leader, but later, the students become the leader.
       One of my favorites for 1st grade is: This is my Singing Voice
              The teacher chooses different types of voices for the students to echo - being sure to do a lot of
              singing voice.
              When the students are the leader I let them choose 3 different voices to lead- but they MUST do
              singing voice at least once.

       Another is Doggie Doggie- The class the first two lines- Doggie Doggie where's your bone? Someone stole it from my home? The doggie (who had their eyes closed) sings "Who stole my bone?" and the person with the bone sings "I stole your bone."  The doggie must then guess who took the bone from them.  I give my first graders 3 guesses, and my 2nd graders 2 guesses.

Doggie Doggie Where's Your Bone
  s    s    m    m       s          s      m

Someone Stole it from your home
  s   s         m    m   s      s       m

Who Stole My Bone?
   s       m     m   s  m

I Stole Your Bone?
s   m       m    s   m

A third way is to have the students "perform" a song we learn.  We all sing it a few times and then those who choose can perform it for the class- complete with bows and clapping.  Many, but not all, students LOVE to get in front of the class- if I have a student who doesn't I never force them.  

This can also be done with a story such as "Mary Wore Her Red Dress."  Read the book, and then have students come up so the class can sing about some of their clothing- Gena wore a purple skirt, purple skirt, purple skirt... etc.  Be sure the person you are singing about is standing right next to you so can assess them, even while the rest of the class is singing.  You can get the book here


These are just a few ways I assess pitch matching.  When I grade it is on a 1-3 scale.  1 is monotone/ speaking voice.  2 is headvoice with the right contour but not matching the pitches and 3 is matching exactly. For the 2s I am sure to note if they are higher or lower than the pitch I am singing in my notes.

Monday, September 17, 2012

6th Grade- YAY!

I have to admit- 6th grade has always been a challenge for me.  In my school, elementary is K-6 ( I teach 1-6) and by the time students get to 6th grade they are ready to leave.  That's why I was SO EXCITED when each time I taught my lesson last week a 6th grader stopped me to say "Hey- that was a really fun music lesson!" (Don't worry they learned too). Many of these activities were learned this summer in my Level 3 Kodaly Pedagogy Class at Capital University (thanks Joanne!) and I am so excited to try out more! I am going to copy a short version of the lesson below with all the songs, transition games, and everything below.  This is a 55 minute class.

This is a practice all notes (s,-l,-t,-d-r-m-f-s-l-t-d') and prep tom ti (or dotted quarter-eighth)

Here is a list of everything I did- in order - see below for more detail
Sing songs in Lesson
Al Citron
Liza Jane
Change the Rhythm
Our old sow
Read from solfa ladder
Ebeneezer Sneezer (some classes added instruments)
Haydn 94th Symph (surprise), try tennis balls again

I ALWAYS start with the students warming up.  They stand as if they are a choir and sing some songs from the lesson, not in order. This not only gets their voices warmed up a bit, but also gets some of the songs in their heads to prepare the subconsciously for mystery songs later.  This time they sang all the songs listed above except Liza Jane because that was the new song.   

Al Citron: I had the rhythm and solfa written on the board like this (with no words and the dotted quarted- eighth written as ------ -): 

The students took 15 seconds to read it in their head and then we sang it together out loud.  Once they figured out the song, we sang it on words, then rhythm, then words again as we moved to a circle to play the game.  They are still learning the game- which is passing the rhythmsticks to every other beat- but on Triki Triki- taping both sides of your knees before passing again (delaying passing by one measure).  Hopefully soon we will be able to make it faster and maybe add an elimination component. 

 Children are seated in a circle. Each child has a pencil on the ground in front of him or her. On the upbeat each child picks up the pencil. On the first beat of each measure the pencil is put down with a bang on the ground in front of the neighbor to the right, who on the following beat picks it up.  This continues around the circle.  At the words “triki, triki,” it is held and banged on the ground to the right and left of the child; on the word “tron,” it is passed on to the right. Any child breaking the eliminated, until only one is left. 

*When students are out, have them choose an instrument to play the downbeats of the song to help with the passing and give them something to do! Idea from Brian Petit, 2012

After the game they all turned to the SMARTboard and we played KOOSHkwest with ------  - long short (what we are calling dotted quarter-eighth rhythms right now).  Students throw a koosh ball at the smart board and each circle has a rhythm attached- they read the rhythm that pops up.  If you have a SMARTboard and have never used this game go to SMARTexchange and look it up right now or email me!  The kids LOVE it! 

We ended koosh rhythms on the rhythm ------ - ta ta and I asked the students to find that rhythm in my next song- Liza Jane.  Once they found it, we learned the words by me continuing to ask questions about the song- how many phrases total, how many DIFFERENT phrases, etc.  By the time I was done they knew the words.  I then gave them a preview of the hand clap game that goes with the song.   

Game: Handjive Pattern learned from Bruce Swank who learned it from Rose Castleberry

X  R  X  L  X  F  B  F (2x)

X  R  X  L  X  ^  v   ^ (2x) 

X= clap own hands    R= pat partners R hand with your R hand    L= Pay partners L hand with your L hand 
F= pat palms with partner    B= pat back of hands with partner 
^/v = pat right hand palm down on partners upturned left hand, then switch

While they were practicing the hand clap game, I changed the Liza Jane rhythm to the 2nd half of Our Old Sow.  They read the rhythm and figured out what song it was.  We then sang on words, rhythm, and figured out the solfege together to sing that as well.  We played the remote game where they start on words and when I hit a drum they switch to either rhythm or solfa syllables.  We did this 3 times, and then went to the fence game (which they LOVE) and played that 3 times.  

Class stands in several straight rows, all facing same direction with both hands on the shoulders of adjacent pupils.  (They are the fences.) At each rest, the whole group turns 90 degrees (switch from facing “front” to facing “side”.) During the singing of the song, sung at least 3 or 4 times, one pupil (farmer) attempts to tap the “old sow” who is moving among the class. Neither “farmer” or “sow” is allowed to duck under the arms of the class (fence). 

Advanced: Instead of turning on rests, students turn when T. or chosen student taps drum.  

After the game we turned to the solfa ladder and did some scale patterns (drm-rmf-mfs- etc) until we settled on the pattern for Ebeneezer Sneezer.  Some classes had time to add instruments (xylophones) to this- today just playing along with the notes were singing.  We have also done boomwhackers in the same way with this song.  We will soon be making up an accompaniment to go with it.  

Next came S-L-M.  This is basically poison pattern. I loo a pattern and they sing it back on Solfa UNLESS my pattern has the notes s-l-m in it (salami)...   They love this game when they learn it in 2nd grade and I continually make it harder.  During the game I did the pattern dd-mm-ss-m a lot which led us to our final activity.

Haydn's 94th Symphony- Andante- the Surprise Symphony.  This is our listening example for the month.  We have listened to the song many times by now and have figured out the rhythm and solfa to most of the A section and will be looking at the rhythm of the B section next week. We have added a Tennis Ball activity to it where the students are in groups of 5 and they bounce the ball to each other in the pattern of a star.  They start with one tennis ball and if their group is successful, the can get all the way up to five.  They LOVE this activity.  They HAVE to bounce to every other beat to make it work.  

Try out some of these Activities- or the whole lesson.  They were all a hit- which as I said, is rare for me in 6th grade!  More to come soon!  Have a great week! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rhythmic Manipulatives

Wow, last week was Crazy!  I had no plan time at school *(well very little) because I was administering AIMSweb testing (a reading fluency test) and had either a May Festival Rehearsal or Concert every night.  It's always the short weeks that feel the longest.  I can safely say now though, that I am finished with AIMSweb and my concert is over.  We still have our once a week rehearsals, but it's not so stressful with my school plan time back. :) 

Now onto some ideas I have for rhythm manipulatives.  Just some pictures of a few things I do:

Foam Hearts- right now I only have ta/ti-ti hearts (quarter note on one side, paired eighths on the other) but I plan on making rest/ tika-tika hearts and ti-tika/tika-ti hearts as well.  These are great because students just put them in order, rather than having to take time to use a marker to write out their rhythms.  It goes MUCH faster.  They are also great for students with special needs- really easy to work with and hold, even if writing is a problem.   (oops, the pic is upside down!)  These I made with hearts from Michaels or Joann Fabrics. They were super cheap!


Popsicle Sticks- I am sure you all use popsicle sticks too, but I decided that I would use Big sticks for ta and little for ti-ti.  This helps with the visual of Ta being longer (a full beat) and ti-ti being two half beats.  

Note Blocks- These are stackable notes where the height corresponds with the note value.  ti-tis are half the height of a ta, half notes are twice as tall as a ta, etc.  Only down fall with these is that the eighth notes are never paired- only with flags, which can be confusing to some kids the first time they are used.  They are great because the students can check if their answer is the right amount of beats by stacking their answer next to the correct time signature.  If they are the same height- they have the right number beats. You can order them here.

Note Magnets- Also from the notelogic company, I have note magnets.  These do not show the beat in any way.  You can, however, find magnets, where they do show the beat in that the size of the box that the ta, ti-ti and tika-tika, etc. are all in.  All one beat rhythms have the same size square, with the half note magnet twice as long etc. I have sets of both.

I use all of these things for diction as well as composition.  Sometimes I clap or play a rhythm and the students "write" it, other times they compose their own rhythm and the class reads it.  We also do rhythm worksheets, and of course, rhythm SMARTboard activities ALL THE TIME!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Pinterest and question...

This may seem like a silly post, and it will be short and sweet. 

If you are not on pinterest- sign up now here.

I use pinterest ALL THE TIME!!! I have gotten so many teaching ideas and links to great blogs that I would have never thought of on my own.  I was just on and saw Music Rhythm DOMINOS!!!! you match the last beat on the domino laid down with the first on one of your "tiles".  Who thinks of this great stuff??? There are great videos, activities, posters, etc.  Even if you ONLY sign up and follow music education pages, I still encourage you to sign up. 

Check out all the other ideas I got from pinterest by looking at my Music Education Board here

This is one of the greatest websites ever. I promise :) 

Topics coming up include: beginning of school review lessons (with lessons and song sheets attached) and my favorite rhythm manipulatives.  

Also- I have a 7th grade assistant now for many of my 2nd grade classes.  She LOVES music and is great singing along etc, however, she is blind.  Any ideas on what I can have her do to help me out so she isn't just sitting off to the side singing along?  Her mobility is not that great.  I will be making her a Braille Music song book of many of the songs we will be using in 2nd grade this year so she can help read the rhythms, etc. and they currently turn things into her instead of me, but I would LOVE for her to feel more involved with teaching, etc.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

ASK ME sheets

So, with the "1st week of classes" done for me and my first newsletter written, I figured I would write about something that I hope to add into my newsletter this year.  They are called "ASK ME" sheets.  For each grade, in the newsletter, I am adding a section where there is a question parents can ask their children about the previous month in music.  Because we have only had one class so far, the August questions are pretty straight-foreward and based on review.   ASK MEs can be to sing a song, read a rhythm or teach a game.  I got this idea from a Lillie Feierabend workshop at Capital University a few years ago and am really excited to implement it this year.  Lillie has them as separate half sheets of paper that she sends home so the kids can then make a song book for the car by the end of the year.  I am trying to use as little paper as possible, so I am just adding them into the newsletter and then posting the songs on my website for the parents to find.  I have copied below my first newsletter of the year.  The ASK MEs are in italics and underlined. Obviously the newsletter will get more detailed as I go on, because I will have much more to say!

(Also- if you are wondering how I got the handsigns to show up, I use a font called "MUSICEDFONT" and I bought it online for $25.00.  You can download it to more than one computer once you buy it.  The link to that site is here:   It has rhythms, time signatures, articulations and handsigns.  It is GREAT!)


WOW! The first week of music has gone by so fast! As of today I will have seen all of the classes once and we are off to a great start! Everyone is doing a great job of remembering what we have learned in the past.  See below for a few specifics on each grade and something you can ask your student about! 

1st grade: In first grade we are exploring music and talking about comparatives this month- fast/slow, loud/quiet, and high low.  We are also working on moving our bodies to a steady beat , though we won’t the name for that for a while.  ASK ME to sing you Doggie Doggie! It is a fun song we learned in class this week! 

2nd Grade: 2nd grade is starting right where we left off last year- we are continuing to practice reading  qand  sdas well as the notes so and mi.  Soon we will be learning about rests and another note that is higher than so.  We are singing, dancing, and having fun!  ASK ME to sing you Doggie Doggie (a favorite game from last year) while showing you my handsigns for so p and mi i!

3rd Grade: In third grade we are also picking up right where we left off.  We already know quarter notes, eighth notes, rests, and half notes and this year we will be learning 3 more types of rhythms to read.  As for our notes, we know la, so, mi, and do and will soon be learning a note between do and mi.  Dancing, listening, singing and playing instruments are all a big part of 3rd grade music! ASK ME to sing you Apple Tree (a favorite game from last year) while showing you my handsigns for la [, so p, mi i and do y!  

4th Grade:  WOW! This was my first 1st grade class and they are getting so big!  The fourth graders are practicing many rhythms as well as starting to learn some multi-cultural songs for our big program at the end of the year.  Stay tuned for more information! Those students in Orchestra are really excited to get started playing their instruments and Miss Jencson can’t wait to hear a song!  ASK ME to sing to you AMMA LAMMA (a favorite game from last year) and teach you the hand-clap game to go with it! 

5th Grade: We are having fun getting to start out Band and Chorus this year.  In general music we are continuing our work with the scale (we have one note left to learn) and our rhythms.  Our goal this year is to learn 4 new rhythm patterns (2 sets of opposites) as well as learn lots of folk dances and even more multi-cultural songs and games!  ASK ME to sing for you MY PADDLE'S KEEN AND BRIGHT (also called the Canoe Song) and maybe even teach you the ostinato (repeated rhythm pattern- dip dip and swing, dip dip and swing…) so we can sing in two parts.  

6th Grade: Wow- veterans already! Band and chorus students are eager to get started again and in general music we are reviewing the whole scale and hoping to learn 4 new rhythm patterns (2 sets of opposites).  We will be doing lots of singing, instrument playing, and dancing. ASK ME to sing for you SHOO FLY maybe even explain the dance so we can try it out as a family!
Chorus: Stay tuned for more info! Handbooks and shirt order forms (if needed) will be coming home Wednesday for the 6th graders and Friday for the 5th.  We have a lot of fun things planned for Chorus, Orff and Glee this year! I can’t wait to get started!   

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

School Year Resolutions

This post is more of an accountability thing for me, but I though I would share my "School Year Resolutions" for General Music and Chorus.  Some are repeat goals, and some are new and there are 10 overall.  Feel free to share ideas, etc.

1. Music TV- have students present on the morning video announcements once a month.  Either a song they have learned with it's background, a spotlight on composers, etc.   I did this with ART in my elementary years and it was so fun to have an extra chance to be on the announcements.  I remember being Picasso in a skit and others doing a dance to encourage people to go out and vote. 

2. Music Newsletter- my school has what they call the "PawPrints" and I hope to add my own page once a month on what is happening in General Music, Chorus, Glee, and Orff including what we have learned, favorite activities, links to websites, and important dates.

3. Blog- Continue to post on the blog with pictures, lesson plans, ideas, and SMARTboard lessons at least twice a week.  

General Music:
 1.  Keep better track of all assessments I do in class.  I am great at notating grades when we do paper/pencil, but the numerous mini-assessments I do often are not always documented as well as they could be.  I want to keep a class list by my side at all times to mark the points of whatever assessment may be happening.  This could be KOOSH rhythms on the smartboard- did they read it correctly or not? Random singing checks- are they in tune, in their headvoice, etc.

2. Stay organized.  I showcased my new storage bench in a previous post and I just hope that I continue to use it, as well as type out all of my lessons, etc.  I am great at thinking of new ways to organize things, but not always so good at following through after a month. 

3. Have a listening lesson in every lesson.  I really used to be bad at making sure my students were listening to great music that they may not be exposed to otherwise.  I typically had one listening lesson a month.  I hope this year to have approximately one song a month, but be sure to listen every week to really get to know those songs.  The first week of a song may be listening and noticing the form.  The second may be reading the rhythm from the board.  Third may be adding movements to show they rhythm as it is played (same goes for melody too).  Hopefully I will have another post on great listening lessons later this year. 

4. Use the SMARTboard in every grade, in every lesson.  I am sure now that the SMARTboard in my room will be staying in my room so I can now make files for all of my songs and melody and rhythm activities.  I will only have to make visuals once instead of writing things on the board every day.

5. Connect Music to Art and other core subjects.  I specifically said Art because in my district, starting in 4th grade, they go through the major art eras which can easily be connected to Music History.  Other subjects are addressed through the song literature that I choose. 

1. Be sure to sight-read random melodies and rhythms every class.  (Sometimes seemingly random rhythms may actually be part of an unknown portion of the song).  I want my students using more solfa when they are learning to do more of them READING than learning by rote.  We have two big concerts and a musical so there will be lots of opportunities for this.  

2. Stick with my ideas for student jobs.  I keep saying I want students to be able to take attendance, roll equipment to the cafeteria or gym, pass out music, etc. but for some reason it never happens.  It needs to this year to help me go less crazy!

So anyways, those are my school year resolutions for this year.  Hopefully I stick to them, rather than have many fizzle out in a few months (as tends to happen with New Years Resolutions).  Have a Great School Year!