Puppets, puppets, puppets!
My students looooved using the turkey around Thanksgiving with the song and activity “Shoo Turkey” from Farm Songs and the Sounds of Moo-sic! by Lynn Kleiner. The pig (Christmas present from my parents) will be used when I acquire more farm puppets. I have the cow already. Also, the elephant (also a present) and lion will be used in my upcoming jungle lessons.
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. Since I teach piano lessons at my school, all profits have to go directly into the music fund. So I am able to buy many extra resources this year… instruments, a megasphere, puppets and a voicesaver. And thanks to my PTO, I have a new footNOTES music rug, a class set of finger cymbals and a class set of triangles.
“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!
I will be using the books Down in the Jungle, Conga Crocodile, Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain & The Animal Boogie, along with lessons from Lynn Kleiner’s Jungle Beat.
I am in the process of writing lesson plans for these books and many activities from Jungle Beat (a new resource for me), and I will post them on my lesson plan pages as PDF’s when they are finished. After spring break, it will be time for “Dive Into Music” and Kleiner’s S.O.S: Songs of the Sea.
After my workshop with Lynn Kleiner this summer, I added these resources to my classroom: a sky blue flannelboard and lots of felt!! Here is what www.musicrhapsody.com says about using felt visuals:
“Young Children Love Visuals! These bright, high quality felts are engaging as they encourage participation and stimulate language development as well as singing. Point to the appropriate felt piece and you will be rewarded with responses from even the quietest music makers. They love to hold them too, singing when it’s their turn and being rewarded with a chance to add something to the felt board.”
Because this is a new resource for me, I have only used this board with one visual so far this year – “Turkey Feathers” from Farm Songs and the Sounds of Moo-sic! by Lynn Kleiner. However, I do have visuals for “Apple Tree” from Farm Songs and “The Chubby Little Snowman” and “Warm Wendall” from In all Kinds of Weather, Kids Make Music. I will be trying the two winter activities out with K-1 in January or February and the apples in the spring with my older students!
Because I had the funds, I purchased the large flannelboard from www.amazon.com but the medium size should also do just fine. So if you are looking for a new visual, adding a flannelboard and some felt manipulatives is a perfect way to engage all students.
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.
I have my students already stand up/squat down when learning high and low sounds, but this is something extra special that will catch the attention of your kiddos that may have a hard time with these sounds or are not your best participators. Also, this helps you as a teacher individually assess student’s ability to differentiate between high and low sounds without students even realizing it!
This Mega Sphere is available through www.amazon.com, but I bought mine through my local school store with a PO. They were able to order it and I could pick it up in store. I just got it on Friday and immediately hopped inside for a few minutes of fun!!
My recent purchase: Califone VoiceSaver. This personal amplifier is perfect for projecting your voice and reducing strain. I plan to use it when I am losing my voice (had laryngitis for the past two weeks), for rehearsing musicals (125 students on stage) and for lessons when I am speaking over music (folk dancing).
This product is available from www.westmusic.com. Here is the information from their site: ”Perfect for mid-sized groups, classroom presentations and business meetings, this multi-purpose personal amplifier is light enough to wear on a belt, but also has a stability-formed base for desktop use.Its ability to also connect with projectors and laptop computers makes the PA-285 more versatile than other personal speaker systems.”