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December 19, 2016

How to Create Teacher Holiday Happiness

Happy Holidays!

I don't know about you-but if I leave a mess in my classroom in December--I start the new year off with a bad attitude. I have teacher friends who will leave school and return over their break to clean up and get things ready in January. That might work for you--me? I usually travel to see family during the breaks, so I have to have things in order before I leave. I may have to work on some of my power points and planning, but my room is pretty well tidied up and ready for that Monday morning class.

As you can see, I've covered everything up so that when the custodians come in there's not a lot of dust all over my instruments. I even have my January puppets set out on top of the piano so I can use them to greet students when we return in January. I'll do a mini review the rules of the classroom with Mr. and Mrs. Snowman. They also help me teach some new songs.

Since I've been teaching a while now, I have a lot of different resources I could do. Sometimes my biggest challenge is now what to do-but which one of those lessons do I WANT or SHOULD do?
I've learned to keep that first week back very simple. Everyone's going to need some adjustment time. 
Everyone is now going to be working hard on Rhythm and Notation whether through a Kodaly song, or an Orff arrangement, Guitars or Ukuleles, or Keyboards. We'll start the year off with some games for reviewing rhythms and then week 2 I'll get right into Pitch and Notation.
The third quarter is the best learning quarter and so I take put some of the hardest concepts in play during JANUARY, FEBRUARY AND MARCH.
Here's a couple of lessons I'll be using:
First Graders will be working on their program "Making Friends Around the World Through Music"
They'll be singing an original song: "I LIKE YOU"
                                                 FRIENDSHIP SONG "I Like You" *GAME*MP3 *PRINTABLES *WRITING
A song from Japan, Denmark and ZIMBABWE
I purchased this amazing bundle from "Organized Chaos" because it's authentic!
Ame Ame: Japanese song lesson set to teach pentatonic, 6/8
3rd Graders will Continue learning to play Ukulele's . I've been using Pitch Publications "Rainbow Ukulele" program and it's a fantastic resource. The lessons focus on note reading and playing chords. I love the fact that there are tons of materials, songs and recordings, student books and more that I can use to help students learn to play instruments. I don't purchase many resources-but this is one I highly recommend. I did not receive any remuneration for presenting this resource to you! 
Ukulele Program - Rainbow Ukulele {BUNDLE} - Lessons, Pres 

It's a great time in the school year to get down to the basics. This music theory resource covers grades K-6 with most rhythms and note values including lesson ideas and printables to help students develop Music literacy skills.
    Music Theory Note Values *I Can's *Rhythms Levels 1-2-3
4th graders are learning more about notes and playing instruments. This original song is a hit with them. 
Orff Game Song: "New Year, New Year" Unit of Lessons with
My 6th graders will continue with Guitars learning folk songs in the Key of C, G and A. "Dragonfly" is a muli-use resource to learn Solfege along with Chords for Ukulele and Guitar and an Orff Arrangement. 
Music Class Kodaly & Orff Lesson: Song"Dragonfly" with Uku
My Chorus will be singing: "ALL AROUND THE WORLD"

I also using Activity songs with K-3 and I'm looking forward to this one as it's one of my favorites. I made the video using puppets and the kids love it because I have the real ones help me teaching!           "Hey Mr. Snowman" Movement Activity and Literacy Resource         WINTER BRAIN BREAK ACTIVITY SONG *WRITING *VIDEO *PRINTABL


Some people have an easy time with this--I don't. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about things I need-should-want-to do in regards to my classroom and lessons. I'm hoping this year to make some progress on letting go better. For me, I love to watch old movies, and so I'll be watching "It's a Wonderful Life", which is my favorite and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"...and of course I'll watch some that my grandchildren will pick out for me.
I'll also listen to some of my favorite Christmas songs and groups. And I'll try to catch some kind of a concert or at least a televised special.
Mainly, it will be time to spend doing things with my family who live far away..I just pretend that I'm Santa and have to ride in my sleigh to get to the houses where I'll deliver my gifts of joy!
I hope you'll check back at the store often-I've always got products on sale and new ones at 1/2 price.
Most of all.....
Happy Holidays to you!

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