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: http://www.musicteachertools.com/musiced.   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!   


  1. I've been including a challenge similar to your ASK ME sections in my newsletters for a few years and parents really seem to like it. Every quarter my newsletter tells parents which concepts we're covering, listening examples we've heard, and a challenge.
    I love the tree picture, too!

  2. What a sweet blog! And I love the tree. Just had to say :-)