Thursday, July 19, 2012

Do You Prezi?

For the past few years I have been using more and more powerpoint shows to introduce and review concepts in my class. I'm always amazed at how focused the kids are on a big screen!  My projector is my most used classroom tool, so I'm always looking for new ways to use it.  Enter Prezi.  Have you seen this?  It's like powerpoint on steroids!  It adds movement to still slides.  I can't wait to use it more and create some introductions to composers for my classes.  AND, you can import your existing powerpoint so you don't have to completely start over!  Woohoo!

I'm just a novice right now, but here is a small portion of my first week presentation:

Keys to Musical Success   (BTW, I can't figure out how to embed the actual vid. Any experts out there? Leave me a note if you can help me figure it out!)

By the way, I totally stole borrowed the Keys from Cara at Miscellaneous Me.  I may change them a little to fit my school this year, but you still get the idea. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Musical Rollercoaster

Check out this amazing video on Vimeo!

Visualization of the 1st violin of the 2nd symphony, 4th movement by Ferdinand Ries in the shape of a rollercoaster. The camera starts by showing a close-up of the score, then focuses on the notes of the first violin turning the staves into the winding rail tracks of the rollercoaster. The notes and bars were exactly synchronised with the progression in the animation so that the typical movements of a rollercoaster ride match the dramatic composition of the music.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Beth's Music Notes: Sixteenth Note Game

Today on Pinterest, I ran across this board game for practicing sixteenth notes.  She explains clearly how she plays the game with the whole class. I love this!  I'm thinking this would be a good review for fourth grade at the beginning of the year, then I can make a smaller version of the game for center games later on.  Thanks Beth!

Beth's Music Notes: Sixteenth Note Game

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Organizing Binder

Hello friends!  I hope you are having a wonderful summer break and are taking some time to relax and rest!  This is the time in the summer when I start organizing my brain for next year.  My room is not ready yet--my hall is always the last one to get cleaned and polished--so I'm not even going to think about it until the end of July.  Meanwhile, though, I can get my School Notebook ready. 

I have been using a notebook to keep my school life together for several years.  It's the only way I keep it together some months, especially when I am on several committees and projects.  *Let me say here, that I love technology, and I keep everything I possibly can on my computer, but sometimes, you just need a pen and paper, or a place to put handouts, etc.*  I've seen blog posts about classroom teachers' binders, but not music teachers, so I thought I'd share my version with you.

First, I got a 1-1/2 inch binder.  One inch is not enough for me, and 2" is too big to carry around, so this works for me.  I have to make it cute so I enjoy looking at it every day. :)  I found this subway art on Pinterest (don't you LOVE Pinterest?) and matted it with some cute scrapbook paper.

I've divided my notebook into eight sections:

1.  IMPORTANT INFORMATION:  This includes the district instructional calendar, class schedule, duty schedules, and probably a monthly calendar as well.  I use my Outlook calendar for everything, but sometimes it's easier and faster to look at a paper calendar. I'll either hole punch the freebie we usually get in August, or  print out my Outook calendar to put here.

2. CURRICULUM:  This includes TEKS, our District Specific Objectives, and instructional calendars as needed. That stuff you need to refer to when lesson planning. :)

3. LESSON PLAN IDEAS:  My formal lesson plan is done online, but this is where I sketch out the six weeks plans.  I made a planning sheet so I can see the whole six weeks on one page, just to know where I'm headed with each grade level.  This is also where I write down those brainstorms for future lessons.  I keep blank paper here for those ideas so I don't lose them forever (because if I don't write them down. that's what would happen!).

4. MEETING NOTES:  I started out with a different tab for each section of meeting notes (team meetings, committee meetings, faculty meetings, district music meetings), but I decided that was just too many tabs.  I put them all in one section, but with a piece of cardstock separating each.  You could do it either way.

5.  BUDGET PLANNING:   I don't have a huge budget, but I do have enough to get to make some purchases for my classroom each year.  I use this section to write down things as I think of them, so when it's time to spend my budget money I can remember what all I wanted to buy.  Because seriously, I cannot keep that stuff in my brain!

6. COMPUTER & SOFTWARE:  First, I have a spreadsheet of all of the (many) programs we use in the district, with username/password listed.  Plus all those teacher sites I've joined so I can get great ideas, my choir site account, etc.  Again, I will not remember how to log in to my stuff after a month, so this is important!  After that, my notes about new software, how to do things I only use twice a year, etc.

7. CLASSROOM STUFF: This is the catchall for things that don't fit in the other categories, like bulletin board ideas, games I want to make, music advocacy stuff, etc.

8. And finally, PROJECTS:  As the music teacher, we get asked to do other things outside of our classroom curriculum.  Like programs, contests, and campus celebrations.  Last year I wanted to start a Veteran's Day celebration on our campus, so this is where I kept those notes.  They don't really fit into any other category, but I needed a place to keep them straight.

And that's it! My beautiful little organized piece of the world!  It looks so pretty now, I almost hate to mess it up....Ha!  No really, I can't wait to start filling it up with the joys and challenges this year will bring.  I take this notebook with me everywhere--and when my computer dies (like it did last April), I am not completely lost! 

This post is linked to this awesome linky party--if you love organization, you must check out Delightful Order!