Saturday, September 15, 2012

Where do I put my paper? - A tale of Sponge Bob

It's inevitable that whenever a class of students complete written work, the question as to where to place the papers is always the topic of conversation.  In an effort to recycle items, I decided to began using a SpongeBob Square Pants popcorn tin to hold our written work.  The students quickly identified where to place their papers every time and it helped eliminate continuous questions.  The flow of the class for line up is now great, and the kids love to take a look at SpongeBob on the way out the door.
The tin has a different facial expression on each side.  This could easily be made by simply using a box and drawing four different faces.  I have also thought it might be fun to have four different composers on the box and each day turn to discuss the composer.  Maybe even using music symbols might be a fun and little extra way to add music vocabulary into our day to day activities.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

This Is America

Designing a stage for a show can be time consuming and we all know the limitations of the clock when putting together a performance.  For Veteran's Day, it was decided that we would make something simple, classy and respectful.  The name of the show was "This Is America" and many of the songs for the performance came from the MusicK8 website.

A musical to honor our Veterans

The back wall was covered in dark blue butcher paper and the United States map was made of syrofoam from the local hardware store.  It is important to use paint that will not melt the syrofoam.  We used classroom paint and it worked well once it was dry.  Long pieces of paper were hung from the ceiling to form this unique look.  By adding the title of the show and the flags on the stage, parents and students alike were thrilled as the curtain slowly opened before the show.

I have found great success in using musicals and songs from the MusicK8 website.  Not only are the shows kid friendly, but the show tracks sound amazing!

Click the red title below to find ideas for show songs.

Good luck with your show.  And God Bless America!

Magical Mozart - A music marker for students

One of my favorite times of the day in music class, is when the kids are singing and reading music.  Watching them follow along with such great anticipation to get every word, dynamic and note right is a thrilling moment.  But when a student is lost in the music, I would find myself bent over towards the ground trying to help them discover where we are in the song. Ultimately, I would end up not being very helpful since the book was so far away (my sight has sure changed with age) and end up with a head rush as I stood back up.

Music marker for students
That is when "Magical Mozart" was created.  "Magical Mozart" is a puppet on a long stick (about the length of a yard stick).  Mozart helps kids find their place in the music, divides the class into groups and whispers things into my ear when he has a musical thought about what he is hearing or seeing in class.  The kids love to see Magical Mozart and do recognize him as an historical figure, who is sometimes mistaken for George Washington.

A composition by Mozart is hummed or played as he is waved over the heads of the kids.  They seem to enjoy this and sometimes hum along.  Well, if the kids could become familar with Mozart in this fun way, what other important musical figure could be used...
Music marker for students
None other then the "King of Rock and Roll"!  The students just love to see Elvis.  As a matter of fact, they love him so much, they will pretend they are lost so Elvis will point at their music.  What a joy to see kids engaged and interested.  And all I really would like to say to my Magical Mozart and Elvis on a stick is......"Thank you, thank you very much!"