I just love half.com! It is a great place to get cheap, used books, and the shipping prices drop if you purchase 2 or more books from the same seller. Here are some great deals on books I got yesterday! (All of these books are available at West Music as well, which is where I would’ve written a PO to get them from, if the deals weren’t so great on Half!)
There’s dreadful news from the symphony hall – the composer is dead! In this perplexing murder mystery, everyone seems to have a motive, everyone has an alibi and nearly everyone is a musical instrument. But the composer is still dead. Perhaps you can solve the crime yourself. Join the Inspector as he interrogates all the unusual suspects. Then listen to the accompanying audio recording featuring Lemony Snicket and the music of Nathaniel Stookey performed by the San Francisco Symphony. Hear for yourself exactly what took place on that fateful, well-orchestrated evening. Very Good Condition, $7.24 after shipping. $14.50 from Amazon. $17.99 BEFORE shipping on West Music.
In this book, students are introduced to great music through great works of art. From “The Flight of the Bumblee” to “The Four Seasons” to “Night on Bald Mountain,” music is illustrated by great works of art, and the text and accompanying CD urge students to listen for certain instruments. Can you hear the car horns honking, played by clarinets? Can you hear the horses’ hooves, played by castanets? When each CD track is played, students will stop, look, and listen as never before.
Classical music is filled with unforgettable images. In this book, great examples of pictorial music are matched to masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, for an introduction to both music and art appreciation for young listeners. Included is a CD featuring 12 short works and an introduction to the orchestra and the instruments. Very Good Condition, $9.82 after shipping. $12.89 on Amazon. $18.95 from West Music BEFORE shipping.
This is a simple way to combine music and math, with instruments and counting. This book offers an introduction to beginning multiplication. Students learn to count by twos, threes, and fours as they follow a group of monkeys parading down the street. The monkeys are playing instruments! The rhythmic text adds to the parade theme, while the animals’ shenanigans make counting fun. A note to adults gives suggested activities to reinforce the ideas presented in the book. Good Condition, ex-library hardback book, $4.74 after shipping on Half. Paperback only available on Amazon.
Great for Kinders and young students at the beginning of the year. In this story, Howard gets into a lot of trouble for not listening. When he becomes a better listener, his life improves dramatically. Teacher and counselor endorsed. For more reviews, the Listen Up song and other free, fun resources that support the book, visit wedolisten.org.
A picture-book version of the nursery rhyme/song about a boy tending to all the animals that live on his farm. Color illustrations accompany the text., An old English rhyme names all the animals a farm boy feeds on his daily rounds.
Perfect for supplementing Lynn Kleiner’s “Bought Me a Cat” lesson from Farm Songs and the Sound of Moooosic!
Paperback only available on Amazon. Hardback from Half: Good condition, ex-library book, $3.24 after shipping.
Another great bargain I got my hands on from a teacher transferring to a higher grade, is a Pizza Fraction Fun Jr Game. When teaching rhythms and helping students understand the fractions behind the rhythms, I always refer to pizza. Not only is it delicious, but it’s something the kids can all relate to.
Now, for a buck, I have 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 and 1/8 pizza fraction pieces! No more drawing unrealistic pizzas on the board to explain fractions and rhythms! In order to use these to easily teach, I put magnets on the back of each piece, so they will stick to the whiteboard. The junior set unfortunately does not contain 1/16 pizza slices; however, the regular version does!
Interested in more food/fraction resources? Check out the book Eating Fractions by Bruce McMillan.
I am always looking for ways to incorporate the core curriculum into my classroom. One way is through literature. Here is my find of the day!
A third grade teacher at my school is having a “garage sale” in her classroom after school this week. Me, being a bargain shopper that loves to get first pick and good deals, went digging early today and immediately after school before the other teachers migrated down the hall. I purchased several things that I’m thrilled about, especially the two “guided reading beach balls”. One ball has six open-ended phrases, and one ball has six questions to reinforce comprehension skills. Using these beach balls will be helpful in reviewing the many stories read in my music room. Students can toss the colorful beach balls around the classroom for a fun, hands-on guided reading lesson!
These beach balls are available for purchase here for $6.95.
I’ve had several emails questioning what “echo chain” means on my lesson plans and where to get one. Basically, I use it to help teach and reinforce solfege.
There is an ever-increasing need to make music visible in schools and cross-curricular. Every subject, including math, science and literacy, can be integrated into the music classroom. When I was younger, music was a separate subject from everything else; however, today music and literacy go hand in hand. Using books in the elementary classroom is a strong belief of mine. The “Reading Corner” in my music classroom consists of about 100 books that help teach music. Many of these stories are non-musical and can be made musical by adding instruments or singing a song about it.
There are millions of children’s books out there and only a tiny portion of those are music related or can be used in the music classroom. So how do you know which ones to use and what musical concept to teach with them? Use my Elementary Music: Book List & Musical Concepts spreadsheet to help you get an idea of some books and what musical concepts I use them for!
Also, find out more about my “Reading Corner” and tips on Music & Literacy in the upper right navigation bar.
Looking for K-4 lesson plans? Well, look no further because I have some for you!
These pages are a constant work in progress. Currently uploaded are my lesson plan templates with Arkansas and National Music Standards for each grade. Also, I have a few K-4 PDF lesson plans uploaded. Please feel free to download them, print them, use them, take ideas from them, and change them to fit your specific style! They are located in the drop-down menu beneath the “Lesson Plans” tab in the upper right. Just click on the grade desired!
Also, several lessons can be used in other grades depending on what level your students are. So, some I have posted in multiple grades. Or, if you like a lesson geared toward the younger grades, you can always add something more challenging to it for your older students.
On my lesson plans, I include a couple resources and abbreviations that may peak your curiosity when you see them. Here they are with a link to where to get them/learn about them:
Echo Chain = A way to warm-up voices and teach solfege pitches/hand signs at the same time. I cannot find this resource online, but students echo a 4 pitch pattern and follow along with a chart.
Expectations Rap = Be Respectful! Follow Directions! Raise Your Hand and Wait Your Turn! Always Participate! Stay In Your Seat! Huh!
Sitter Chant = 1, 2, 3, 4, Put your sitters on the floor. Fold your hands into your lap. Now before I clap clap clap!
Hear Your Heart by Paul Showers is a book idea I received from an elementary music teacher in my district. She learned about this book from a clinic.
The book includes science and physical education content, and can be tied to music. Some of the book is technical heart talk about veins, arteries, and valves. But a lot of it is about heartbeats and PULSE. Specifically the SPEED (or tempo!) of heartbeats! This is a perfect book to supplement a tempo lesson and it is cross-curricular! Win win!
It also has a way for students to make their own stethoscope (paper towel or toilet paper roll) and listen to a friends heart to compare tempos. So, get saving those empty rolls!
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: