Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Excitement

There are so many things to look forward to in December in addition to the holiday excitement and one of them actually starts tomorrow!  
Check out this ADORABLE pic by a very talented friend at Whimsy Workshop. 
Click here! 
Also, if you love adorable clip art and more, click on her link on the left side of my page.
I think the internet may freeze tomorrow night when we're all online trying to grab our goodies. 
 Remember to enter CODE: CYBER in your cart
So the BIG CYBER SALE at TpT is the first bit of excitement and then, cue the suspenseful music...
(Thank you, Lindsay Jervis for making this adorable advertising poster for us!)
What's a "Frenzy?" 
A Frenzy is a great event where the teacher-authors involved offer a FREEBIE for their Facebook Page fans as a "Thank You" for following their page/store, etc.  It's a circle of freebies! 
The dates for this Winter's Frenzy are December 6-9th and this time around,
there are also a bunch of MUSIC TEACHERS involved, like me, and many others who are offering amazing FREEBIES!  Simply click on the tab on the facebook page and there will be directions on how to download your freebie and a link to hop over to the next FB page involved in the Frenzy!
All you have to do is "Like" the page and collect your freebie. 
So make sure to mark your calendars to stop on by my facebook page, and look for this tab:
I can't wait to gather up the freebies from the other music teachers involved like Lindsay Jervis,
Amy Abbott, Aileen Miracle, Chrystine Tinney, Linda McPherson, and many, many more!  Click on their names to check out their awesome blogs.
Another exciting December moment will be my school's Annual Winter Sing Along.
It is always such a positive, uplifting experience for my sweet little school community.  I love how music truly brings us all together. 
I do love it, but I have to be honest and tell you, my fellow musical readers, that over the next 3 weeks, I have to find many, many different ways to not go insane from singing the same songs with many many grade levels.   It's also a challenge to get the kids to memorize music selections quickly, yet musically, when you see them once a week; however, I'm really hoping that this year especially, it will bring us all a lot of laughter and happiness like it has in the past. 
Do any of you do something similar in your schools?  Please comment below!  I'd love to hear about it!  :) 



Sunday, November 24, 2013

Almost Turkey Time

It's almost turkey time!  3 days until Thanksgiving (2 full and 1/2 half days of school and oh boy do we feel the need for a little break at this point.)  Here's one of my newest creations for note reading practice:  It's called "G Clef Gobblers" and I was laughing as I made one page of it trying to come up with what a turkey would rather us eat on Thanksgiving.

I have found lately that one of the best things to do to keep charge in my batteries, is to slow down.  And watching the kids laugh as they were figuring out what the turkey suggested they should eat on Thanksgiving, was one of the things that definitely helped me last week.

It's been quite a whirlwind since my last post and I apologize if anyone has missed me! LOL! I don't know if I'm just talking to myself here or what, but my hope is that if there are readers reading my posts, that you find some of my ideas for your classroom helpful and inspiring.

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving! 
Enjoy some time with family and friends and gobble up some goodness!!!

Next post will be about the December Facebook Frenzy!  It will have a MUSIC FREEBIE section!  I have been so happy to meet other inspiring teachers from around the globe via social networking and teachers pay teachers.  Please feel free to leave me a comment below and a link to your blog so I can follow you, too!

Remember, throughout the upcoming holiday, no matter how stressful they can get, kind. 
It truly matters.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Halloween Fun

When I was little, I remember that my Dad would be outside raking the leaves for hours and hours and he would ask me to come out and pick up the twigs around the yard.  I can still think back to running around the yard, suddenly stopping and breathing in that "scent" in the air - I would tell my Dad, "I smell Halloween, Dad!"  And get so, so, so excited that it was almost time for Halloween. 

Click here for my newest item on TpT - Halloween Fun - Note Identification Sheets
Remember, if you give feedback on items you've purchased on TpT, you receive credits you can use for your future purchases!  Follow my store by clicking the star under my picture and you'll know when I've uploaded new items.  :)  Thank you to those of you who are following already or have made purchases from my store so far! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Introducing...Singing Snoopy

And now...the big reveal! Singing Snoopy, the music room mascot has a new house!

Once upon a time, in the land of music, there was an adorable dog and his name, was "Singing Snoopy."  The truth is that his true name, was originally "Singing Sammy," but the very first time I introduced him to a class, Singing Snoopy came out of my mouth instead and well, it stuck. WORKS! 
See, "Snoopy," the music room mascot, is not like other dogs.  He is always "snooping" for "Snooper Star" singers in the music room.  You know - the kind of kids that are sitting up tall, singing with their best singing voices, and hard workers.  Snoopy can only talk to me - and I understand Snoopy language.  He tells me songs he wants to hear the class sing, he notices kids who are trying really hard that day, and well, of course, he does his very own special "Snoopy celebration dance" when the music makes him happy. 
The children love when his ears go up while he's listening to their singing! 

Singing Snoopy has been a very, very special part of my classroom and teaching for almost 14 years now and well, it was time for him to have special recognition for helping my classes run smoothly. 
About two years ago, a little girl came into my classroom one day with the biggest smile on her face and presented me with a "dog house" for Snoopy.  She was so excited to give him his handmade "dog house" and giggled as she showed me.  So clever and sweet.  But then, well, it became a "thing" among students to "make Snoopy a home."  Oh my goodness!  By the end of last year, I had more "Snoopy houses" than I knew what to do with (Imagine a "Snoopy Mansion" with windows and doors made out of a giant cardboard box).  I had to somehow help the kids understand that I enjoyed their creativity and Snoopy was very grateful, but he didn't need any more new houses! 
Soooo...I came up with the idea of having my father-in-law build a dog house this past summer (designed by my very talented hubby) and once the kids saw it the first day of school I had a story ready about Snoopy's plan to buy a new home.

Well, Snoopy's "family" has since grown, and it was time for Snoopy to put his dog house on and sell it so he could hire a builder (my father in-law) and a decorator (yours truly) to build him his new home.  Snoopy has a wife and many mini-snoopy-versions which have come to me as gifts from my singers!  I think it's so sweet and funny at the same time.  I love that they adore him - they write him letters and draw him pictures.  And make him dog bones AND furniture for his house!  ha!  And yes, he has a mailbox, too!  (I'll admit it - yes, I'm jealous - he gets more mail than I do.)  The best is when they write him songs and rhythm patterns, of course!  Adorable. 
The "Snooperson Family"
Snoopy, Snoopy, jr. and Snoopy jr.-jr.  (LOL!!!)
I'll take some more pics of the rest of the family and post them soon. 

My next project involving Singing Snoopy is going to be creating "Snoopy-Grams." I want to send home little notes to students when Snoopy finds a "Snooper-star Singer." I am just not exactly sure how to manage that piece yet...should I do one every music class and keep a checklist?
Any suggestions are welcome! 
What is something unique you do in your classroom that has turned into an awesome classroom management tool?  I never expected "Singing Snoopy" to become such an invaluable part of my teaching!  Even my 4th graders still like him.   

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Popsicle Stick Seating Idea

I was so incredibly happy when this beautiful carpet became a part of my music room. 
One day, last year, I was thinking about how competitive some of my students were when they would walk into the room and race to get to a certain spot on the carpet.  Not only did it become a safety concern, but it was incredibly time consuming and draining to have to continuously reiterate or have students model how to walk in and choose a seat wisely.
I decided to solve that problem by making these popsicle sticks "choose" for them. 
Now, the students come in at the beginning of the year, take a popsicle stick, walk in, find their own special "music spot" and as long as it works out where they are seated near others they work well with, they can keep their spots each music.  Once I trust the group later in the year, (especially with  upper elementary kids) I'll surprise them and let them choose their own spot. 
One afternoon, I walked around my carpet and took individual pictures of each symbol.  Then, I printed them out, mounted them on white cardstock, laminated them and attached them to large popsicle sticks.  Not only are they useful for seating choice, but for choosing turns for games!!! 
It's been so nice!  Certain classes are more competitive with others, so choosing in a very random way takes care of this issue.  It's fantastic.

Check out the seating chart I created below. It's perfect to leave for a sub.
You are more than welcome to use it to fit your needs if you have the same circle carpet. I couldn't seem to attach it to this blog post, but if you comment below,
I'd be happy to share it with you via email!

Classroom Seating - Music Carpet Circle

This has been one of the most helpful time-saving ideas I have come up with yet.  
Do you use seating charts in your classroom?  Do the students choose where they sit? 
What has worked best for you and your classroom? 
Please feel free to comment and share your ideas below! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My organizational dream come true!

Finally!  Labels for my new shelves and drawers are made, mounted on white cardstock, laminated, put on rings to attach to drawers and.......voila!  It is so nice and neat looking AND EASY to find the instruments and a few other items in the music room now!

Yippee skippee!  It took many attempts to figure out how to label these, but I finally found the CUTEST black & white, polka dotted labels on TpT!  And, best part, they were...FREE!  

You can find them here...from Miss Kindergarten Love's store on TpT

How do you organize your instruments in your classrooms? 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Fun Freebie Time!

 Freebie time!  Freebie time!  Freebie time! 
 Blank Treble Staff
Click on the picture below to upload this FREE pdf file
This prints beautifully! 
I use water bottle caps as music notes for the students to place on the staff. 
They are the perfect size for this printable.
I love using a large blank treble staff when first introducing note reading to my students.  You can print these out, laminate for longer use, pass them out to individuals and do all kinds of note reading activities with manipulatives.  I am all about re-using and recycling and had my students help me collect water bottle caps one year.  I took them home and bleached them (LOL - yes, yes, I'm a germ-a-phobe!)  and we use them as notes to place on these staves!  That hands-on kinesthetic approach works wonders for so many kids -  they are so engaged "placing" their "notes" on the staff.  (And yes, of course, there are always a couple who are busy stacking them and tossing them and rolling them across the carpet.  Do I tell them to stop?  I'll be honest, if they are showing me respect, by looking at me while I'm speaking, demonstrating understanding, and not distracting others, eh...what does it matter if they "play" a little bit?  Go ahead, stack 'em as high as you can, but make sure you can tell me how you got the correct answer.  I mean, I feel like children don't have enough time to play anymore...they seem to be so incredibly over-scheduled and truthfully, I'm sure I was one of those kids, too!  ha!)
You can even write the letter names on the caps in sharpie marker for differentiation purposes.
Enjoy!  Just click on the picture above and it should take you to my TpT store where you can download it for free.
Remember if you click on the little red star under my store name, you'll be notified when I've added new products to my TpT store.  Did you know that you get TpT credits every time you leave feedback for an item?  I didn't know that for a very long time! 
Those credits can be used toward a purchase as a discount!  Save them up, buy lots of your favorite tpt items and clip art and files and get $ off your total - woohoo. 
Easy way to save a little bit of money, right?!?!? 
Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Note Reading Assessment

One of my most favorite things to teach children is how to read the notes from the treble clef staff

Here's a quick assessment I like to use to find out where my students are at the beginning of the year.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to how to reinforce note reading skills.  I have seen so many BRILLIANT teacher's ideas posted and reposted all over the internet, I don't know how we lived without it in the past! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Call me "Build-it-Barbie!"

I have wanted to organize my small percussion instruments in a different way for years and today was the day!  I finally found what I've been looking for...and, the best part, you ask?  I was able to build them all by myself!!!  Lol...of course, not without a silly true totally-tuned-in fashion.
During construction:

Voila!!!  What do you think?!?  I am so incredibly excited to get back into school on Monday during our non-directed teacher day...And organize the instruments into the drawers.  And I am sure I will have room for other things!  But my question for you should I label these drawers???  Hmmmm.  They look so nice just plain and simple...but I feel like I will absolutely need to put in place a system for the kids to find things in the music room!  Lol...can u imagine if I said..."oh, go look in the purple drawer" to a student???  It would take forever!!  Any ideas welcome!  

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Just as I was about to give up on getting crafty tonight...somehow, just picking up a pencil and putting it to paper got me in my zone....and of course, it's almost 1:00!  Lol.  After I type this post, yes, yes, I'll go to bed.  But I just wanted to share a little preview of my bulletin board theme for this year.

Heeheeeheee!  Well, I sure hope this little guy will get that message across!  I was inspired by clip art and paper pieced him together...  How cute is that iPod???  Thank you, Glitter Meets Glue Designs!  She seriously has the coolest clip art I've ever seen.  I don't know how she does it.  Well, I've got about 3 characters finished and still need to work on many more, plus the title and all my details to make this "Musical Jungle" come to life!  Hopefully before we go back to school.  Thanks for looking!  If you have any ideas you think I should include, please feel free to share!!!  I love collaborating and get so inspired by all the amazing teachers out there.
Stay "Tuned!"

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A funny moment - not teaching related - just me related!

Sometimes, the most ridiculous things happen to me. I'm taking a class this week and it's at another school in my district. (BTW - it's iPad Core training and it is EXCELLENT so far.) 
During my class, I had to use the restroom and as I was in there, the lights go out. Ok - so no big deal, right - they're motion sensored. Clap on! Clap off! LOL - nope...complete and utter PITCH BLACK in there. I mean - PITCH BLACK DARKNESS. No windows. And it's a H...UGE long bathroom -I've been in there maybe once??? I have to find my way OUT! First, I can't find the slide-lock on the stall...where is it? Where is IT?!?! I start to panic b/c I want OUT of this germ-filled space. I get out, and I teeeeeeny-tiny-Frankenstein-step-by-step-with-my-arms-straight-out-in-front-of-me to find my way to where I think the door may be...the whole time my eyes peeled WIDE, I can't see a thing, and I'm thinking "Get. Me. Out. Of. HERE!" (And wimpering, btw!) Right as I open the door, the frikken lights go back on and I swear I yell, "You BASTARD!" to noone in particular. I then run back in to wash my hands as fast as lightning and have to compose myself to walk back into my class and act like, "Oh yeah, I can pay attention now...even though I just had a traumatic experience in a bathroom at school!" And now I laugh about it thinking...only me.
So - I had to share this moment, just because this is one of those things that seem to happen to me...and happen often enough that I swear I am being followed by "Candid Camera" or some kind of "the joke's on you" type of reality show. Of course, at the time of it happening, there is no laughing, it is NOT funny, I can't believe it's happening, I'm flipping out...but after the fact, I have to laugh and can't stop telling the story because I know there have to be people who can just picture this in their minds (especially if you know me - lol!!!) and shake their heads saying, "OF COURSE, this kind of thing would happen to you!"  haahahaha!!!  
Thank you for reading my "Funny-but-not-funny" story of the day.  I am sure I'll have more to come in the future - knowing me.  Next post, will be teaching related...hahaha...well, hopefully!

Monday, July 29, 2013

A little secret

Ok...this is a little secret I have kept for a long time, but I am feeling this need to admit to someone and I just cannot hold it in anymore!  I...cannot...walk into a CVS without walking down the seasonal aisle.  So can either laugh at me for being absolutely insane, or do the right thing and comment on this post saying you do the same thing, too and I am not as crazy as I think I am!  Yes, yes...I think that would be greatly appreciated!  Lol!
So...I think the reason I was thinking about this is because it happened again.  I went to CVS to return something, but just HAD to take a little swing around the store first...and where did I end up...yup.  Right in front of all the cute summer stuff in the center of the store.  Well don't think I didn't notice they were just starting to change it over and put out the dreaded, yet quite enticing "back to school" supplies...but that could not pull me away from this.  Yes, this below, is what grabbed my attention:
It's a flower!'s a fan!  Wait!!!
It is a flower fan!!!  And I could NOT resist its adorable-ness!  And oh yes, I must add, you can plug it into your USB port on your computer.  So yeah...I did my return, and basically did a trade...for this flower fan.  For my desk at school.  Uh huh.  And know what?  That right there is an example of the "little things" that make me happy.  (or a little insane.). Hahaha!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Little Squirrel - Freebie!

I enjoy writing lyrics much more than writing melodies.  I don't know why, but it just has always been something that came easy to me.  Time to admit something kind of ridiculous - for some reason, I get all my best the shower.  Yep, yep I do!  My poor sister can attest to that fact.  She would come running with a notebook to "write this down for me please!!!" just so I wouldn't forget!  That's the definition of a truly great big sister.  Thanks Shelley!  xoxox

I have truly enjoyed writing many of my own steady beat chants to use in my classroom.  I think this one may be my Kindergartener's favorites:

Here is the beat chart I have Kindergarteners tap as they speak the rhythmic rhyme:
Here is a PDF of the file for you as a treat for visiting my blog!
You may project it or print as needed for your classroom and students.
Click on the picture above!
Remember to follow me on TpT, too!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

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"Little Jars of Happiness"


I woke up this morning, no alarm clock, just woke up happy and thought to myself.....ahhhh, summer.  How I love thee.  As I was about to walk downstairs, I noticed there was some laundry to do - so....get this - I did it.  I just walked over and put clothes in the washing machine, and folded the ones in the dryer!  Can you believe that???  Hahaa - if you're a teacher, you understand why this is a BIG DEAL.  I mean, during the year, that laundry is....such...a...burden!  I would NEVER just stop what I was doing and fold that load.  No, no, no - I've got THINGS to do!  I am NOT doing that right now!!!  And the funniest thing was that I was singing to myself happily as I folded and put away (WOAH) that laundry.  I. put. it. away.  WHAT???!!!  I'll admit, if it wasn't summer, those clothes and towels in the dryer would have just been stored there and taken out as needed.  Yup. 

So as I then mosied myself (yes, I used the word "mosey") down the stairs and looked around my house...stretched, yawned, pet the kitty, looked out the window and thought, gee...I don't know what I want to do today.  And SUCH a GOOD feeling.  Having that freedom.  Ahhh FREEDOM.  If I want to go to the post office - oh, how nice!  I can!  If it's not too hot, maybe I'll grab my ipod and go for a walk.  Oh, wait!  I have some things to return to Target!  Oooo!  Oooo!  Maybe I should call my friend and see if she wants to go grab some lunch!   Wait a sec - where's that book I wanted to read all those months ago?  Wow - is this what it feels like to have no "have-tos!"  I like this feeling.
Therefore, I've decided my newest summer goal is to figure out a way to bottle up summer and sell it as "Little Jars of Happiness!"   For sale!!!   

Look what I just found on a blog.  Hey!  I had time to just surf???  What?!  It must be summer.  
Maybe...I'll go make one today!  And I love that if I was in the mood to do this, I could just go do it, because, it's SUMMMMMMMER!

Oh and I can wear flip-flops every, single, day!!! 
I hope you are enjoying some summer happiness, too! 
What makes you happy in the summer?


Monday, July 8, 2013

I just can't decide...

In the words of The Beatles, "HELP!"  I don't know what to do first! I balance enjoying summer time and accomplishing items on my "to-do" lists??? 

We've only been out of school for a little over a week and I have this insane need to stay up all hours and try to "build Rome."  For example, here I am, at almost 1:00 a.m. and I'm typing a new post for my blog, but I'm thinking as I type that I want to go upstairs and read some more of the novel I started last week.  (It's so good, btw - called, The Peach Keeper.)  I also should go to bed since I now am in the vicious cycle of staying up super late and of course, sleeping - (((I don't want to admit it))) 10:30...ish.  Or later.   Eeeeek!  Is that, totally embarrasing or what?

I have so many "want-to's" and a bunch of "have-to's"...but my brain is too busy to organize them all.  Honestly, I am quite the organized person and have many to-do-lists around my house, but that's the problem:  I keep writing my to-do's in different little notebooks or sticky notes!  Duh!  I wonder if there is an app for that???  Ha!

Well - I guess I should say "goodnight" and get off this couch before I start yet another new project, stay up till 4 and sleep till noon!  ('s nice to know I can if I really wanted to!!!)

Thanks for stopping by! 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Music Room Rules

When I walked into my friend Mrs. Walter's beautiful art room, I noticed on the wall an adorable paint palette with her rules stated clearly and simply - Respect the Art Room, The Artists, The Art. 
I was thrilled when she allowed me to borrow that idea and change it to music, because all year long, I could quickly refer to my poster above and say, "Are you being respectful of the musicians in this music room?"  At the beginning of the year, I hung up this poster.  I had a conversation with each class about what each of these rules meant - for example, respecting the music room means to be respectful of every item in the music room, take care of the instruments, put things away if you took them out, etc.  My best advice to a beginning teacher is to set your expectations and be consistent - even when they smile at you and blink those little eyes with a "I-am-so-cute-you'll-never-be-mad-at-meeeee" kind of look!  Children respond well to an environment where there is structure - it makes them feel safe which in return, makes for a class that runs smoothly. 
Alright, alright - for the most part!  LOL! 
You can find a printable version of these rules in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store:

New Beginnings...!!!   Trying to get my blog started up and all I keep doing is typing BLOB instead of "blog!"  LOL!  The main focus of this blog is to share my love of teaching elementary music with interested teachers out there and hopefully inspire others to share ideas that work well in their music classrooms, too!  Please visit "My Music Room" Page by clicking the tab on top and let me know what you think as I upload more photos.  Thank you for visiting and come back soon!

Cute graphics are by Dancing Crayon Designs - aren't they awesome?!?!?