Instrumental fish is a fun, handmade game! This idea came to me from an awesome music teacher in a neighboring district. The materials needed are: a poster board pond, laminated fish with instruments on one side and a magnet on the other, and fishing poles with magnets attached to the line.
Here is how we play the game:
1. Students are divided into two teams. One person from each team comes up and catches a fish. The fish are instrument side down and magnet side up. No one gets to see the fish but me.
2. I take Team #1′s instrumental fish and give them 3 clues about the instrument. They have one minute to discuss with their team. If they guess correctly, their team gets a point. If they guess incorrectly, Team #2 gets a chance to guess and steal the point. If neither team gets it correct, that instrument becomes a bonus point question at the end.
3. Then, Team #2 gets a chance to guess their fish.
4. After both Teams have gone, it’s time to send up another student from each team to catch another fish!
This game comes after an in-depth discussion on each family of instruments. My 4th grade students just love it! We go over instruments at the end of the year, usually in April, because they will have the opportunity to choose a band/orchestra instrument in 6th grade. I want them to have prior knowledge of the instruments!
Sometimes when looking at a blog, you don’t have time or get a chance to read articles written a year or two or three ago! So to help you out, here are posts from past Decembers!
Newest Puppets: If you haven’t already embraced the idea of using a puppet or two in your classroom, you should try it! Just start with one. Click here to read more!
It’s a Jungle in the Music Room!: “We’re Wild About Music” is the theme of my music room for the next several weeks. From the poster by my door, to my animal print clothing/accessories, to my books, to the lesson plans, to my puppets, to the instruments… all jungle and safari themed! It’s going to be a fun couple months! Click here to read more!
Flannelboard & Felt: After my workshop with Lynn Kleiner this summer, I added these resources to my classroom: a sky blue flannelboard and lots of felt!! Click here to read more about how I use them and what www.musicrhapsody.com says about using felt visuals!
Mega Sphere: It is official! The Hoberman 4.5 foot Mega Sphere is back in stock and back on the market! For $120, you get an exciting toy for your classroom. Why would I want this fun object in my music classroom, you ask? Well, it just so happens that a K-2 student fits perfectly inside this ball of colors and can use it to demonstrate their knowledge and recognition of high sounds versus low sounds. After students are familiar with the difference between high and low sounds, and know a few songs that demonstrate the two concepts, individual students can get in the mega sphere and when they hear high sounds the child expands the mega sphere by standing up, and when they hear low sounds the child squats down. Click here to read more!
VoiceSaver: My recent purchase: Califone VoiceSaver. This personal amplifier is perfect for projecting your voice and reducing strain. Click here to read more!
At a recently attended workshop, I purchased a great book called The Book of Movement Exploration by John M. Feierabend & Jane Kahan. Here is what Amazon says about this book: “This book is for ages 3 to 9 years. These activities bring out the strong movement impulses in children, who love to burn off energy by spontaneously dancing around the living room or running from place to place. Children will develop an awareness for their bodies, time, space, weight, locomotion, flow, and shape. Performed quickly or slowly, with music or without, solo or in a group, these activities make for fun, engaging educational experiences for children.”
I have been going through all the activities in the book and love them! Great way to incorporate movement into every music class. Or if you notice you’re losing your student’s attention… or if you’re needing to give your students a wiggle break? Perfect activities! I am very excited about incorporating these movement activities into my music classes!
There are many Toss ‘N Talk Balls for all different subjects. They a great for social skills, ice breakers, and a way for students to use their imagination and reading skills. Here are the two I have for my music class:
The Toss ‘N Talk Movement Ball is a great way to add movement to your music class! It is a blow-up beach ball, with tons of movements for students to perform. Students use their imagination and creativity to act out the movements. There are several ways to incorporate this ball into your class room. My favorite is passing the ball around the circle with music, and when the music stops, the action under the student’s left thumb is the action they should perform. Great for a brain break! Here is what Amazon says about the Toss ‘N Talk Movement Ball: Illustrated with over 80 imaginative range-of-motion, stretching and simple movement activities, such as “Sway like a tree in the wind,” “Dance hilariously” and “Reach up and pick 5 apples from a tree.” Players simply toss, catch, read and react! Includes activity idea sheet. 24″.
The Toss ‘N Talk About Music Ball is geared towards older students, and can be modified for younger ones. I will use this with my 4th graders with a couple modifications. It combines music and physical activity, along with reading. Here is what Amazon says about the Toss ‘N Talk About Music Ball: “Add some physical fitness and a whole lot of fun to your reminiscing sessions. When players catch the ball and their thumb is touching a red category, they must name a song title; if it’s touching a black category, they must sing or hum a verse. 24″ with game and activity ideas.”
Using YouTube in the classroom can be a great way to supplement lessons and incorporate technology. Plus, kids love it and think it’s cool. YouTube has very educational things on it, but always watch things first, beware the user comments below the video, and turn off the pop up comments!
In addition to the educational benefits, it can also provide some humor and expose kids to some really unique, cool stuff! See below:
Most teachers are out of school now and enjoying their summer. I, however, still have 12 days left. I teach at a “non-traditional” or year-round school. We are only allowed 5 weeks for the summer and school must begin on August 1st. The majority of the time, I LOVE this calendar. We get extra weeks off during the year, to make up for not getting many during the summer – 2 weeks in October, 1 in February and 2 in May. Usually the weather is MUCH nicer during those breaks, and they break up the year nicely. Waiting for three more weeks until school is out, when all the other schools are out is the most difficult time of the year. But it will be here soon enough for me.
In order to pack up my room, take everything off the walls (painting!) and clean all furniture, my students will be completing music activities without my constant instruction and observation. This will allow them to review concepts learned this year in fun ways (and be in a group with friends!) while I am completing the end-of-the-year time consuming, tedious stuff. Here are a few things my students will be doing:
This week, I will be setting up stations around my classroom. In groups of 4, students will rotate to these stations every 7 or so minutes and complete each activity. Here are several examples of activities I may have set up around my room:
The last full week of school, students will be making their own musical bingo card with musical symbols and terms I give them. Then we will play bingo and students that get bingo will either get to choose a “smarties” candy because “they are smarties in music!”. Or, they can choose a “dum-dum pop” because “they ain’t no dum-dum in music!”. At the end of class, if the majority of the class has had a great day, the students that did not receive a treat will also get one. The students that get bingo are allowed to eat the candy in my classroom (as long as they throw the trash away). The students that receive their treat at the end must take it out of class and eat it during lunch or when their classroom teacher gives them permission.