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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

DIY Mini Erasers

I have been on a student whiteboard kick, using them for informal assessments and loving it. The only thing that was annoying me about them is that I was having the kids use paper towels as erasers and they were leaving them on the floor and I hate when my room is messy. So I decided to make some student erasers today. I cut up an old cardboard box and some left over bed foam I had from making crate seats, and hot glued them and decorated. Then I place one in each of the "under the chair" boxes I made out of paint liners. SO easy and convenient. 

First just cut up some old cardboard and foam.

I put glue on the "messy side" so the other side I could sharpie decorate

Attach the foam.

Cut off the extra pieces

Press down to make sure it's stuck for realz.

Then I added their seat numbers and just scribbled on the edges for decoration.

And Voila. Done. I'm very pleased with the outcome.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Recorder Notation

While I do have my recorder students always mark their music with the note letter names, just so I can get a quick informal assessment of whether they understand the lines and spaces or not; I also have them mark their music with the recorder hole numbers.

I took a song from the 2nd grade curriculum (Making Music, Silver/Burdett), a Puerto Rico song (which is great cross-curricular and can tie in with the Spanish teacher's lessons) and decided to use it on the recorder. My first group to attempt the little diddy was my most advanced group. They loved it, and the students who forgot their recorders (there are always a few) sang along with them. I accompanied on the ukulele and it was a really fun class.

The was a great break from Recorder Karate and individual testing. It gave them a sense of "band practice" which is what I'm trying to get them excited about-leading into middle school.

The next group I tried was my lowest group. They were...challenged to say the least. They just don't practice or really care about improving so they kinda got stuck because they realized they can't play together as a "band" if they never work on it individually. It was a rude awakening for some of the kids. But, even with these challenges they found a way to have fun.

Here are some pictures of the song and markings.

This is our "recorder cheat sheet" where I have labeled all the recorder hole markings.
This way they can identify and label both numbers and letters in their music. 

We really worked on rests and counting on this piece. The meter is 3/4 which is different for them, so it proved to be a little challenging. I have them highlight all rests and notes they will have to "hold out" like half notes etc.

Just close ups of the piece above. I inserted these pictures into a slide show and used that on my large TV screen because I don't have a projector or an elmo. It proved to be quite successful.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Bullitan Board Ideas

I made these little worksheets for the 2nd graders to do during multicultural month. It goes along with the song "All the Way Around the World." I just drew a picture and then wrote, "what makes you happy" on the sheet and they filled in some things that make them happy. I don't have my own board, so I sticky-clipped them to the wall outside my door. I finished off this display with a poster I drew of the same picture, and had all the 1st graders sign it. Super easy, super cute, and helped the kids personalize the song.

The poster I made for them to sign.

I just displayed a few of the completed sheets. But it made a really sweet impact.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fill In the Beat Box

We are learning about 4/4 time in first grade. This week they learned how to fill their "beat box" (personal white board) with the correct number of beats using either quarter notes or 8th notes.
This was a fun, exciting, and personalized activity that allowed the students to be creative within the parameters of the 4/4 measure. I was also able to assess,very quickly, the students who understood the rhythms and who needed more guidance. We are only using "ta" and "ti" right now.

First part of lesson learning the values of the difference stems/heads.

Student Example 1

Student Example 2

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dancers In School: #proudmotherhen

The Carolina Ballet Company sent two of their members to our school today. It was fabulous to experience the strength and beauty of ballet, up front and personal. The two dancers demonstrated their daily stretches, partner work, choreography, discussed how to stay fit and flexible, and gave tips for the students in their daily life (eat well, sleep, exercise, etc..) The kids enjoyed the jumps and spins, and the fancy "couple work" they did (as one 5th grader put it.)
Being "choreographers" for the selected 5th graders

Teaching the 3rd graders "floor work" and "jumps"

Demonstrating bar work for the students

The stage set-up with portable bars, something I would LOVE to purchase for my classroom and for the after school ballet club I'd love to teach one day. Note the BEAUTIFUL costumes in the corner of the stage.

It was interactive too, while I would have changed the layout a bit myself, for the first time out I thought they did a fine educational job. I tend to be picky when it comes to assemblies, so I won't post anything negative.
They even taught the fifth graders choreography!

Before the assembly I gave one third grade class a pre-test and it asked questions like, " What is Ballet?" and "Name a few famous ballet pieces..." I was incredibly pleased that all my students named the Swan Lake, Peter and the Wolf, and the Nutcracker! I felt like a proud mama when I knew my kids were listening to me in class all those months back :)

While some of the answers are, obviously, incorrect (i.e. boys don't wear pointe shoes) I'm SO excited that they were MOSTLY correct on all the PRE test knowledge. #proudmotherhen

Monday, April 7, 2014

Multicultural Day Collaborations

I am fortunate to be really great friends with the P.E. and Art teachers at my school, so this type of collaborating was really easy for me. We decided to work together to merge all the arts into what they were learning in the classrooms ( VERY cross-curricular we were!) The P.E. teacher taught traditional folk dances to each grade and their prospective area of the world they were representing in the festival. The Art teacher had the students do art work, and the art club design flag-decorated-letters. It was a beautiful hallway display! I had to show off the kid's (and teacher's) hard work :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Multicultural Day: A Hit!

I'm looking through all my pictures thinking... man I wish i had taken pictures of the actual performance!
I never get pictures of the events, just leading up to them, because I'm running around doing seventy different things- I don't have time to take pictures.
This Festival was a huge success, however, and something I am incredibly proud of. I planned 6 week unit plans for each grade, assigning a different area of the world for each grade to focus on. This was great because they didn't get overwhelmed (and I didn't!) feeling like they needed to have knowledge to share about the WHOLE WORLD. So I assigned each grade to a different geographical location, and this worked out so well. The students shared with the rest of the school what they learned, and I felt that the whole world was somehow included in our special day!

Here is a sneak peak at some of the fun things we did in class.
World Instrument stations/band.
more to come....