Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Getting to Know You BLOG HOP

Dear readers, I am so excited to share that I've decided to join a FANTASTIC group of music educators to form a blog tribe called, "The Mix Tape." In this group we will be blogging about the benefits of mixing various musical methodologies and teaching practices. Before we delve right into educational content, we are sharing a little bit of information about ourselves with this blog hop! Check out my responses below, and then hop over to the next blog!

  • What state/region are you in?
    I live and teach in the state of Maryland! My husband and I recently bought our first house in a great Baltimore neighborhood and I'm so happy to call Charm City my home.
  • What is your background education/experience?
    I received my bachelors degree in Music Education from Westminster Choir College in 2011. While this degree qualifies me to teach band, orchestra, chorus, and general music for K-12, my preferred instrument is my voice! I am a singer primarily and I use this skill as I teach elementary general music. I have been teaching for three years and am gearing up to start year number four in the fall.
  • What is your favorite musical concept to teach? 
    My county curriculum breaks the school year down into five main units: rhythm, melody, form, harmony, and tone color/timbre. If you've been following my blog this past year, you've probably noticed that I center many of my posts around teaching each of these five units. I love it because I teach the same unit and concept to every single grade at the same time.

    For example: In the melody unit, while I'm teaching treble clef notes to third grade, I'm prepping that with reading a two-line staff in first grade, and identifying high and low sounds in kindergarten.

    ANYWAY, of the five main units, my personal favorite to teach is form. This is my favorite because there are so many ways to engage multiple learning styles. I use a LOT of movement activities and folk dances to get students listening for changes in between musical sections. I use listening maps that are great for my visual learners. And, as in all of my teaching, I have students singing and playing instruments. Form can be tricky since it is kind of an abstract concept, especially for young students with little to no musical background. However I think that approaching it from multiple angles is great fun and helps students to make meaningful musical connections. 

NEXT STEPS: Thanks for reading my post! If you're planning to enter our giveaway, be sure to comment on my post with your answer to this question: What is your favorite musical concept to teach? 

Then, head on over to your next stop, Mrs. Stauffer's Music Room!



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Planner Tag

I can't believe that I'm already starting to plan ahead for the next school year! Summer break is a great time to regroup and get reorganized. I've done that this week by designing and creating my own plan book for 2015-16. Jennifer from The Yellow Brick Road and Elizabeth from Organized Chaos have put together this planner tag for some of us to share some details about how we choose our planners and how we keep ourselves organized.

In years past I've organized my lesson in plans a couple of ways:
  • I've used the generic Squibb's lesson plan book provided for free by my school
    (This was nice, but the planning pages didn't really suit my needs as a music teacher.)
  • I've designed a planner and had it professionally laminated and bound
    (This was awesome but expensive.)
So now, I'm customizing my own plan book but doing it in a more cost effective way: a binder! The total cost to buy the binder/supplies and print the pages was $33.70. Still not as cheap as I wanted - my home inkjet printer couldn't quite handle the workload of printing 100+ pages double sided- but it's a nice custom option that works well for me. 


Check out this video to see how I did it:




Don't forget to head over to the planner tag to see everyone else's videos!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

July, July!

July is here, which can only mean one thing... summer vacation!
Teachhub.com
I always feel like my summers go by so quickly! I want to make sure that I make the most of my summer vacation and use my time wisely. To help me stay accountable with my summer goals, I am linking up with Jennifer from The Yellow Brick Road for a July Small Goals linky!


Here are my goals for the month of July:

  • Practice the piano regularly
    My husband inherited his grandmother's baby grand piano, so now I have ZERO EXCUSES not to practice! Especially with my angry Beethoven bust on the piano. He's just sitting there. Waiting for me to practice. Staring.


  • Hang my pictures/wall decor
    We just bought our first house on May 1st (hooray!) and as you can imagine, it's been a whirlwind of home improvement projects and attempts to get organized. We finally finished redoing the hardwood floors and painting in the living room. Next, I am planning to put up a Pinterest-esque gallery wall above the sofa. I'm sure that will make our new house feel like a home.
  • Swim, swim, swim!
    Our new house came with an above ground pool. This is the first time I've ever been a pool owner and it is definitely a lot of work with all the maintenance. But I'm pretty sure it will be worth it.


  • Add a few products to my TpT Store
    With all the moving house craziness, I haven't made a single new product for my TpT store in two months. Yikes! I have so many ideas and haven't had any time to sit down at the computer to make them happen. Now that things are settling down I look forward to digging in an putting some great new things up in my store. 
Now that I've written down my goals for July, I hope to hold myself accountable for them! We'll see how I do when I check back in with them at the end of the month! 

Don't forget to head over to The Yellow Brick Road to see everyone else's small goals!