Music With Mrs. Tanenblatt

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Three Stars and a Wish 11-18-14

Happy Tuesday! It's hard to even believe, but there's only three more student days until Thanksgiving! Next week we have parent conferences on Monday and Tuesday, which means plenty of time to get prepped before the December music madness sets in. Here's my Three Stars and a Wish for the day.

If you would like to share your own "Three Stars and a Wish," you can download the template for free here. Please share the love, and don't forget to link back to my blog! 

1. I always know I have a hit on my hands when I actually hear a student say, "This is fun!" I saw this song posted in the Music Teachers Facebook group, but I can't remember who came up with the lyrics. If you know who this is accredited to, please let me know in a comment.

To the tune of "Charlie Over the Water:"

Turkey in the barnyard.

Turkey in the tree.
Turkey in the kitchen
But you can't catch me! 

This was perfect for my primary students, especially since my first graders learned "Charlie" a few weeks ago. I slightly modified the melody to end on low do since that's what I was presenting in the lesson. (As I've mentioned before, I'm not a trained Kodály teacher, but I do try to use the three p's as much as I can in my teaching.)

2. In the past, I have saved center activities for the end of the school year as a sort of lighter way to review concepts. This year I have a class of 33 5th graders. I'm finding that doing too much teacher-centered instruction with this large of a class just does not work. So I decided to change the way that I would normally teach the treble clef by adding centers. I picked six activities that I'm very excited about- one of them was painstakingly handmade by me and I hope the kids enjoy it! I'm going to start introducing the centers when I see that class on Thursday, and I will blog more about the centers after I've implemented them.

3. Since I am an itinerant teacher, I am not the music specialist responsible for chorus at either of my schools. For me, as a graduate of Westminster Choir College, this has been kind of a bummer. 

Fortunately, this year my colleague at one school wants to add all third graders to the winter chorus concert. (The regular chorus is a 4th and 5th grade pullout program.) Since we both teach third grade general music, we collaboratively taught our classes four songs for the concert. 

The kids are thrilled to be included in this special performance. I used to think I hated the idea of a mandatory all-grade chorus, but now that I'm teaching it I actually think it's a great thing because it exposes students to the experience so that they can make an informed decision about whether they want to be in chorus next year.

A Wish: At one of my schools, I teach in two different portable classrooms on the different days I am there. (Everyone who was involved in making this decision knew that it wasn't ideal, but it was the only option.) Today was our first real freezing, windy, day. The students have to transition outdoors from the gym to my classroom, and.... let's just say I will be reminding them to bring their coats to music class for the next few months!

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