Sunday, August 17, 2014

Books... and MORE.. Part 2

Books Part 2

Wonderful book with great illustrations of the varied ways vegetables grow.. up, down, and around.  Explore various ways to move arms, legs, whole body, etc., then teach song:

Begin with exploring moving up and down; play slide whistle and have students move up and down, vary playing slowly, quickly, legato, staccato, etc.  Then ask them to move one arm ONLY, then elbow only (very funny), hand only, thumb only.  It's an interesting thing to observe! 
Teach song; every time students sing "up" they will move higher, "down", lower, and they can choose HOW to move "'round and round".  Perform movements and song with book, then divide into small groups to create rhythms in 6/8 based on words like:  seeds, grow, plant, flowers, sunshine, and various names of veggies.  Develop first as a class and display. One rhythm possibility:  Eat your veggies.. ta, ti, ta, ti.  Play around with creating these ostinato, transfer to UPP (unpitched percussion) and add as a "B" section to song.  Perform again with book.
I LOVE this book!! The pop up version is the best.. truly!  I used this to teach and label rest with kindergarteners last year and it worked so very well! 


 My lovely friend and fellow music teacher, Noreen Hofmann wrote this song to Mortimer.. it is my favorite of the many "Mortimer" songs I've heard. Divide class in half once orchestration is learned; half will play/act the characters from the book, other half will play orchestration, switch.

Spring Is Here is a cutie patootie book your kids are sure to LOVE! A great lesson from fellow teacher and blogger, Thom Borden!  Recorder lesson, too!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Books, Books, and MORE Books!

I LOVE BOOKS!!! Yes, the paper kind.. I'm a little anti-digital when it comes to the printed word!
I also love using them in the music room; they are a perfect vehicle to teach, review, sing, create, and play around with! 
Here are a few favorites; each one of these is a picture file you can download, print, and use!

*A note about organization; begin to make an excel spreadsheet or word doc that includes grade levels you would use the book with, what skills/concepts can be taught, and when you might use this during the year; for example, when I introduce rests with kindergarten students in the spring after experiencing it, now we're ready to label it, I will put in my Kindergarten sheet,  "Wide Mouthed Frog", SPRING, quarter notes, eighth notes, rest, LABEL rest, song, rhythm, Orff instruments.   
This helps me to keep track of not only what concepts/skills I can work on using that book, but when I might want to use it! 
Also, print a copy of the lesson, fold it and place it into the front page of the book!
Sorry the Mitten in the Snow visual organization page is out of place.. couldn't move it and it's late.. :)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Books and Music

On the Facebook AOSA (American Orff Schulwerk Association) page I noticed a lot of chatter about children's literature and music... sometime this week I am going to put a much larger post out here about how I organize and cross reference books and skills (yes, I keep a document.. necessary evil) with grade levels.  It really helps; took a bit of time to do, but it is oh so helpful.  One thing to get started.. take all your books you use and the lesson you have developed or the one from that fabulous workshop you went to last year, photocopy it and make an envelope that will fit on the inside cover of your book.  Use packing tape to tape the envelope to the inside cover or, if your lesson is small enough, tape it directly to the cover.  If using an envelope, fold your photocopied lesson and tuck it in the envelope; now you always have the lesson and the book together! 
I also keep the books on my bookshelf in the section labeled, "Book with Music Activities".  For the books I use with Artie Almeida's "Mallet Madness", I have a separate section with that title so I know where these books are.  I also have books that are songs and these are organized alphabetically.  Halloween/Fall books are by themselves and labeled accordingly, as are Winter/Christmas/Hanukkah (oh and check out Hanukkah Hop! GREAT book), and "Books About Music".  I have found this system works sooo much better. 
Several to buy AND are great with subs; I record myself singing them and put a CD in the front inside cover.. they each take about 6-7 minutes to sing.  I also have some where I have students use UPP and after each number they play that number on their instruments then rotate.. great for a sub!  I also love the illustrations on Over in the Jungle and Over in the Ocean- these aren't your typical paintings, kids!  The artist used polymer clay.. the colors and details are simply amazing!