Several months ago, I wrote about keeping kids moving in the classroom. Believe it or not, keeping kids moving within certain parameters actually cuts down on classroom management issues, keeps them engaged, and helps the brain. Well, now, of course, is spring. It's early spring, and it might be a while before some of you will be able to take your students outside. SHOULD you take your students outside? Why not? It's a change of pace for you and for them. It helps them learn how to work in an even less restrictive environment. It can help with frayed nerves. It's good for them physically and mentally. It's good for YOU. These are the types of things I would do with my classes outside: DRUMMING This had to be the absolute favorite of my students. Usually, I wouldn't start this until second grade so they would be big enough to help carry the drums out.  I woud plan the following activities: Question/answer Call/response Echo Grooves I discovered the students benefitte...
A few years ago, I wrote about ideas for calming the kindergartners because, as we know, kindergartners can be a big challenge, especially since their development is different from child to child. Kindergartners are a mixed bag of experiences . We have kids who are expected to not only know their letters, but need to be ready to read by midterm. We have kids who aren't just counting, they're counting and grouping. We have kids who attending school since infanthood. We have kids who have a couple of years of preschool. We have kids who never had preschool. We have kids whose parents spent time playing music to Mommy's tummy and reading to the child in the womb, playing music constantly, and singing to their children. We have kids whose parents plop them in front of the TV.  We have kids whose parents prepared them for school through social interactions. We have kids whose parents give in at the first sign of a tantrum and "NO!". We don't do naps for kindergarte...
  We know what those are like. The jitters whenever we face anything new. And the first day of school for newbies is ESPECIALLY jittery, even for new teachers. This adorable book by Julie Danneberg and illustrated by Judy Love is about a person named Sarah. Sarah refuses to get up to go to school. Mr. Hartwell tries, but he has a huge time budging her. He tries opening the shade, talking to her calmly, until he has to give her a 5 minute ultimatum. Sarah tries hiding under the covers, begging, whining......and finally drags herself to breakfast.  In the car, she was extremely nervous. She meets the principal and gets scared. The principal, Mrs. Burton, shows her around and finally takes her to the classroom, where she states: "Class, I would like you to meet........your new teacher." via GIPHY At least, we HOPE your kids will be surprised (unless their classroom teacher has already read it to them. ) Even so...... This book lends itself to some cute musical opportunities, eve...
  It's summer. It's time to chill with Netflix binges and poolside lounging. Some of us obey when we hear people say things like, "It's summer. Get your mind off of school!" Of course, then your hackles get up when people say, "It must be nice to have three months off." and you want to be able to prove just how busy you were on your more-like-two-months-break. Or, you just try to get in as much living as you can and you don't worry about what others say.. Go, you! But, for many of us teachers, it's also a time of ruminating what went wrong last year and endless PD book reading, workshops, and fretting.  I get it. I was there! Anytime I was on vacation, and my husband and I traveled, he got pretty peeved when I wanted to take my computer. Computer stayed home, but sometimes I was busier using my phone to check school email (as little as there was in summer) than I was taking pictures of gorgeous mountains. When we splurged on that Danube rivercrui...
One of my most favorite assignments ever in my teaching career was teaching summer school music at the elementary level. The coordinator of summer school when I taught it knew the students needed down time. They needed enrichment. They needed higher level thinking. Summer school offered enrichment options for kids whose parents choose to have them attend. Then there were the "remedial" students. They could not sign up for classroom enrichment and could only attend "specials" if their work was finished. You know, those kids who needed art, music, and P.E. the most? But that's another soapbox for another time.....Anyway, after three years, the district assigned another coordinator. Gone were all the enrichment opportunities, including (you guessed it).....art, music, and P.E. Still another soapbox, but I digress.......Summer school music opportunities were a treasure for both the kids and me.      If you are considering teaching summer school or have been assigned...
Disclaimer: I am an Amazon Associate. When I link items to Amazon in any of my blogs, the link leads to them item. If you purchase through the link, I get a small percentage. So, you don't have to, buy if you do purchase through the link, I really appreciate it! We've all had them. We have our usual concepts that we teach year after year. But somehow, we tire of the same presentation. We might want to create a new theme. But, we've used the usual holidays, music themes, general sports themes, etc.  Why not try crazy holidays? There are various websites that list things like "National Ice Cream Day" or "National Save the Kumquat Day" (OK, I don't know about that one). Consider the fun it would be to introduce these to your kids! Here are some ideas for holidays January-April.   JANUARY January 21 is "Squirrel Appreciation Day." I don't honestly appreciate squirrels when they're in my birdfeeder, but they're cute nonetheless. Ther...