Saturday, August 16, 2014

"Ricky Recorder"

As I was starting to set up my classroom for the new school year, I came across one of the cutest things I've ever made!  I couldn't believe that I COMPLETELY forgot to bring this out last year!  I think what happens to me is that my brain can only hold so much the memory in a computer.  Mine lately truly feels the need for an update.   Anyway, here "he" is....I present to you..."Ricky Recorder!!!!"  (Said like "Ricky Ricardo" from "I Love Lucy," of course.)  heehee.

To help my students learn about the responsibility of having their own instrument, I like to have them think of their recorder as their own personal "Musical Pet."  Then I ask them things they need to do with a "regular" pet.....and they say, "Take care of it" - Ok.  Soooo, how do you take care of it?  They usually list things like "Play with it, clean it, watch it."  And I say, well, the same idea for your recorder.  As your musical pet, you'll need to do some things.
1)  Play with it!  It LOVES to be played with.  Well, how?  PLAY IT!  How often does your dog like to played with?  Every day.  Or as I recently started to say, "only on the days you eat."  ha!
2)  Watch over it.  Know where your recorder is.  Give it a "home."  It should "Live" in your backpack.    Like a dog house.  When you're done "playing with it" put it back in your backpack.  This truly has helped my students to remember to bring them to school.
3)  Clean it.  Yes, even needs to "take a bath!"  Especially if you're sick.
4)  Let it rest.  What?  Well, like your pet needs to sleep, so does your recorder.  If you're too frustrated with a song, take a break, let your recorder take a nap and go back to try again later.

The first time I used the "Musical Pet" analogy the next day, the cutest thing happened.  One of my students came in with googly eyes on their recorder.  And she named it.  And put a "leash" on it.  It was the cutest thing ever.  And so, "Ricky Recorder" was invented and the phenomenon of very clever recorder pets invaded my school.  I loved seeing my students use their imaginations.  And honestly, it connected them so much more to their instrument.  Less children "forgot" to bring them to music because they were so excited about it being their OWN.

So - I made the cute little "Ricky Recorder" character out of foam and googly eyes, put him on the poster board, wrote down his reminders (Left hand on top, etc.) added a piece of dry erase board (I cut it like a speech bubble) and each day when 4th grade came to music, I'd write a little "note" from Ricky about their goal for the day, or what to practice, etc.

Well - "Ricky" Recorder will be coming to music again this year.  I'm so glad I found him and hope you've enjoyed this cute little idea to help your kids with the responsibility of having an instrument.  :)  Do your students have their own or do you have to clean them and keep them in your music room?  Do you have any great "recorder" tricks you'd like to share?  I'd love to hear about them!  Feel free to comment below!

Sing-ya Later!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Products for Prep

Time to link up with some music buddies and take the opportunity to share some great products that would truly come in handy when setting up a music classroom for a new school year!

With the BIG Back to School TpT Sale going on right now, it's always an exciting time to go through my wishlist and grab a bunch of goodies!  There's just SOOOO much to choose from now, so I'm going to highlight a few items of my own and a couple from some music friend's stores that I can't wait to grab.
A big thank you to Jena Hudson from "Sew Much Music" for the adorable graphic above!
My entire store is 20% off plus with this code BTS14, you can get an additional 8%!  And my BUNDLES are already 20% discounted or could honestly save 48% on some of my products!  I love to be a smart shopper, don't you?!  We call my Dad the "Coupon King" because he sends me coupons in the mail.  Isn't that so cute???

 So here are some products that you might like to have as you set up your music room this year! 
Anyone need an eye-catching, sparkly MEGA set of music vocab for a Word Wall?  I did and I went a teeny bit overboard!  282 Words that print BEAUTIFULLY.  A great way to reinforce music vocabulary and of course, your Principal will be happy with that "reading" connection.  Worried about ink?  
There's an INK SAVER version as well - and with this sale, it's actually 48% off!  Holy Savings, Batman!
If you click the above picture, it will take you to a HUGE bundle of Treble Clef "Note Reading" printables.  One thing that I have NEVER gotten very good at is being prepared for being absent.  Setting up for a sub is one thing, but with us, as I'm sure you've experienced, setting up for a non-musical music substitute is always a challenge.  These printables are perfect quick assessments for elementary music teachers like me who see their classes just once a week in a short block of time! BUT, they also could TOTALLY be useful for sub plans!  I finally made folders for every month that I can grab easily if I'm going to be out sick and because there are over 44 pages, I grabbed a bunch to put in each folder - they're appropriate for many levels, too!
  AND!!!  I plop these into those folders, too!  AND they're WONDERFUL for those days when your voice, just isn't 100%!  The kids ask me for more.  By popular demand, I bundled up all my "into Rhythm" and seasonal "Rhythm Fun" worksheets!  These are SO MUCH FUN and this set, is made up of 10 PDF files - 131 pages of printable note reading/identifying/musical math FUN!!!

Now onto my MUST HAVES List!  On my THIS "TREASURE" from Linda McPherson at McPherson's Music Room

It's a GAME and ASSESSMENT and it's just......perfect for note reading engagement and FUN.  My kids sure "ARRRRRRGH" going to be excited about this "treasure!"

 AND this one, too!  So adorable - from Elaine at Mrs. Ford's Melodies, it's Treble Clef Notes Matching Game!  It's such a cute ice cream themed game where students simply match the note  ice cream scoop with its name (ice cream cone). This would be perfect for centers, flash cards, or as a quick and easy assessment.

And honestly, so many more that I seriously am starting to think I have an addiction to TpT.  Oh wait!  I think I already knew that!  There's so much clip art in my wishlist, too!  HELP!  Creative people out there are definitely taking a tole on my wallet!  But I love it and that "inspired" feeling I get when finding great "treasures" like the ones above.  

So if you have a wishlist, get it ready and go shopping!!!  Most items could be up to 28% off! Remember to use the Promo Code BTS14! Thanks so much to Aileen Miracle for hosting this fun linky party.  Check out all of the amazing music teacher's blogs and great items they're talking about for prepping their school year who have linked up on her page here.

Thanks for reading and HAPPY SHOPPING!  

I'll be back with some exciting news in a couple of days!