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!