Monday, November 13, 2017

Lesson Plan with Me: Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, it is time for all those turkey songs and more pumpkin songs!  I love the festiveness of each holiday, it is so important to teach the how music is incorporated with traditions, though I want to keep my kiddos on track.  I try to still stay true to what we are focusing on while also having some fun!  Here is two lesson ideas I have planned for this thankful season :)

*Fonts by A Perfect Blend
 *Clipart by Little Fox Digitals

Super Turkey 

This song is just for pure fun!  I sing it once a year with just about everybody!  Depending on the year and group of students, I might not with fifth and sixth, a little too cool for school!  But for the most part, they love it! This is one of those rare songs that we sing just to sing.  No game or instruments with this one.  Just sharing the joy of singing a hilarious song.  

I have looked for original source of this song and I can't seem to find it!  It's a mystery!  If any of you do know please tell me!  I just came across a powerpoint with the lyrics.  If you google "super turkey song powerpoint" the first link will lead you to it.  It does say by Anne Lyon, which I am assuming is a music teacher, though I can't find her online. I did some more investigating and I found some youtube videos of the tune. 

This awesome teacher and student duo do a great job.  I used this as inspiration, though I sing it a little bit different. 

A Pumpkin Ran Away 

This song is about a pumpkin who rolled away so he would not become pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving day!  An adorable song! You can click the above picture to check it out!

So this is were I mentioned, that I wanted to stay true to what my students are working on.  While it is great to celebrate the holidays, sometimes I have found that I get behind in content when including all the fun holiday songs.  Not with this one!  Fourth grade had some seasonal fun while practicing dotted half note! 

Here is how I used it: 

To introduce dotted half note

Break down what a dot beside a note does

Boomwhacker Melody and Accompaniment Fun



If you have ever heard of One, Two, Three, O'leary, the game works perfectly with the song! It goes along with the idea that the pumpkin is trying to roll away!  I even have seen pumpkin playground balls out there, that would be so cool with this!  Maybe I can find some for next year ;)  

What do you have planned for the Thanksgiving season?  I would love to hear about it!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

TpT Newbie: 3 Things I Learned

This summer I had a lot of time on my hands!  My summer also is about 6 weeks long due to the modified year round schedule, so I don't have much time to get a summer job.  Which I really enjoy! I take no shame in staying in pajamas and watching Netflix all day.  Though, after about a solid two weeks of this I start to get a little antsy!

Which brings me to TpT! Teacher Pay Teachers is so amazing!  I am so inspired by the creators on the site.  I have talked about how I would love to take a crack at creating my own resources to friends and family for almost two years!  After about two weeks of sitting on my butt, I thought to myself, you have this time you need to actually put this dream into motion!

So far it has been so fun!  Trying to push yourself to create resources and be creative each day is a fun challenge! Will something come of it?  Haha who knows?? But, I am really enjoying it :) Which is really important to me!  I am doing this for me, the bonus is if anyone else finds my resources helpful in their teacher lives!

There is a bit of a learning curve when first starting out.  I am still learning too! I would like to share some things I have learned starting up this process.

1. Clipart and Photography

Images are copyrighted, yo!  Just like we have to worry about music copyright, you also have to be mindful to the rights of visual artists.  This is the part that really scared me about starting my own store!  I didn't want to mess this part up.  Good news though, there is so much out there that is available for free or little cost.  Look for the terms on the product before buying or downloading, it must say you can use it commercially if you are planning on using it in your creations.  For the most part, I have found that most clipart is out there for teachers to use in personal and commercial scenarios. You just need to make to give proper credit to them by adding a credits page with a link to their website or store. Usually there a details about what specifically the creator would like in their terms of use.

Favorite places to find Clipart and Photos:
1. Teacherpayteachers - especially for free clipart - just search for ascending price and you will find so much for 0 dollars!
2. Etsy - Watercolor anything has been so popular right now and you can find the most beautiful watercolor clipart here.
3. Pexels - This site is filled with photography that is free to use commercially and you do not have to give credit.  These photos fall under the Creative Commons Zero License, which allows free use of the images.

2. Links don't transfer to PDF...

Power Point is a very user friendly program for creating TpT products.  Of course, to protect the amazing clipart and fonts used most TpTers export their finished product as a PDF.  I have found that when your file includes links they do not work after becoming a PDF document.  Which is a problem especially when giving credit to various clipart artists, as stated above. As I started to research how to solve this problem, I found a pricy solution. You can use Adobe Acrobat which is about 15 dollars a month ($180 dollars a year).  Which really isn't horrible, adobe acrobat is an amazing program! If you have the money this would be the easiest option.  Though, I am trying to save in any way I can, so I continued to search.  I came across an app called PDF Expert.  This app is $9.99 for iPad and iPhone.  If you can deal with a smaller screen for adding in links this would be a great fit.  Ten bucks, paid once, and you have a PDF editor for life!  It also, is an available app for mac computers though the price significantly jumps to $60.00.  Though, still better than paying a monthly fee forever!  I have found the app has worked out just fine for me.  It is a little annoying sometimes going between the laptop and iPad but I think it is well worth it! 

3. Social Media 


All social media is your friend!  I have never been much of a social media person. I don't think I have changed my Facebook profile picture for about a year!  Surprisingly, I really have had a lot of fun setting up my teacher accounts.  This is a way to promote your products, interact with other teachers, and find inspiration.  It is hard at first to put yourself out there!  I have always struggled with "tooting my own horn" and never wanting to come off pushy.  I remember doing fundraisers growing up and procrastinating going door to door because I didn't want to pressure anyone into anything.  Thinking back though, it was just cookies....haha who doesn't love cookies!?  The internet is a vast place and putting your products on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, even Twitter is just going to cover all your bases!  Not everyone is on every social media platform.  And if they are, oh well! That person probably loves being in the know and doesn't mind seeing some of the same content. As teachers we should be lifting up each other and supporting one another! I have had to tell myself don't think, just do!  I love when teachers share and share and share! Why would other teachers not like it when I do it? 

There is so much more, but those have been my top three when starting out on Teachers Pay Teachers!  I hope this helps any other teachers just starting out like myself!  Sharing and community is one of my favorite things about being a teacher!  Every idea has benefit!  We are in this together! 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Yakety Yak

Wow, it has been awhile!  Life got in the way there for a moment (more like a year lol) and I haven't been able to focus on blogging.  But I am back everybody!  And as excited as ever to be sharing again :) 

Now that I have that out of the's a Back-to-School, easy-breezy activity!  A wonderful teacher in my district shared this gem at a meeting and has allowed me to share with all of you!  Thanks, Karen!!

"Yakety Yak" by The Coasters is a wonderfully playful song about a parent listing off chores that their teenager needs to complete, with the child, in true pubescent fashion, responding "Yakety yak!", followed by the parent retorting "Don't talk back!"  

Day 1:

First, I start by playing the song for the students and leading a discussion of its meaning.
Once we have discussed the meaning and how we shouldn't talk back to our parents, we practice some motions!  

Fonts and Clipart by: AGFonts and EduClips

I ask the students to look at the slide above and ask, "What 'action words' do we have?".  Next, I ask them, "What do you think those motions look like?".  Then, I continue with how many times will we be doing the first three (Out, Floor, and Shoulders) and so on.  We practice "Out" (hands out in the air like you are going to give a high ten to a friend), "Floor" (pat the floor), and "Shoulders" (tap the shoulders) to a steady beat on a drum.  We combine the three movements when we get to "out, knees, shoulders, titi ta".  Students will do each motion once for this portion then clap "titi ta" followed by three rests before repeating the entire A section. Once comfortable, I transition to having the students pair up to practice with the "out" motion now being a partner clap. 

The last thing I do for Day One of this activity is to add Lummi or rhythm sticks. Students will now tap their partner's Lummi sticks for "Out".  Everything else stays the same.  The students practice and perform with the music. 

Day 2:

For our second day, we review the A section, then practice line-by-line the rhythm of the B section.  Students may also choose to improvise this section for an added challenge.  Finally, the students will perform the entire piece!

*Optional Idea for FUN*

My music teacher boyfriend (I know, I'm so lucky to have one!) had his students use a pool noodle "light saber" instead of the Lummi sticks, which made for an absolute blast! It did create some management issues, but also pumped up the fun!

Here is a slide with a learning goal and scale to keep everybody on track! 

This has a been a wonderful lesson to review form, rhythm, and steady beat!  I have used this for Fifth grade, though it could easily be used for 3rd-6th graders.  

Hope you are all having a wonderful start to your school year!