I am truly honored and excited to announce that I have reached 300 followers in my TpT store! I want to thank you for your support, suggestions, and e-mails throughout the last few years. Also I wanted to offer a special week of giveaways and freebies for my followers! Check back here often this week to find information on flash freebies!
If you are a follower of my TpT store, you will be receiving an exclusive follower freebie this week! If you are not currently following, you can find my store here, and simply click "follow me." Plus, you can enter to win a $10 TpT Gift Card and a product of your choice! See the Rafflecopter link below. Just be sure to enter by Sunday, February 18, 2018, 12:00 AM.
If you're looking for some rhythmic instrument activities perfect for February, here are two of my best sellers over the past two weeks:
This is a folk song to which I added my own original lyrics. Also I have included 4 rhythmic ostinatos and 2 melodic bordun/ostinatos to accompany the simple melody.
Also this is one of my favorite arrangements right now - especially with the Olympics on! My students and I absolutely loved it in class this past week! If you haven't picked it up yet in my store, you can click on the picture for information.
If you ever have any specific product requests that you would like to see added to my store, feel free to e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope this note finds you warm and in good health!
Are you suffering from "winteritis"? I don't normally have a problem with winter weather, snow, ice, below freezing temperatures, etc, etc, etc! But this year has already been pretty bad in my area. Currently, I am on my 5th day of the weekend, because school was off for MLK Day and cancelled the last 2 days for snow! The week before, we had an early dismissal and delay for -25 degree wind chills. And the first week back after Christmas, we had 2 more snow days. I love my job, and I just wish I could actually get out of the house to do it!
All of this cold has made me think and look forward to the upcoming Winter Olympics. When I was a kid, I absolutely loved watching both the Summer and Winter Olympics with my family. Well, not much has changed - I still get together with my brothers, sisters, and parents and have an Opening Ceremony viewing party. To see the athletes march in, to hear the Olympic theme, and to watch the torch light up - it's such an amazing feeling!
I wanted to share some of those feelings with my students this year. After all, the Winter Olympics only come around every four years. In a lot of my spare time from weather cancellations/delays, I've been working on some Olympic-themed rhythmic and melodic games, as well as some rhythmic play-alongs.
The Olympic Fanfare and Theme was arranged by the famous American composer, John Williams. His music is heard on a large variety of movies, including Harry Potter, Home Alone, and Jurassic Park. I'm sure your students, even elementary age, would recognize his music if they heard it. The Olympic theme was actually borrowed from a piece by Leo Arnaud called "Bugler's March," written in 1958. Then in 1984, Williams used the opening theme by Arnaud, adding his own lovely melodies and captivating rhythms.
Because I teach Kindergarten through 3rd grade, I decided to create 2 different rhythmic arrangements to accompany this work. For my Kindergarten and 1st grade classes, I made a very simple version, with one instrument playing the steady beat during each of the sections. Then for the older grades (could be used with 2nd through 5th grade), I wrote a more difficult arrangement, using several different instruments with specific rhythms to perform.
I absolutely can't wait to use it in my classroom - if we can get rid of this snow and get back to school one of these days! If you would like to try it out with your students, you can find both versions here in my TpT store.
I'd love to hear from you - about your favorite products, what kind of things you need, etc. Click on the picture below to complete a short survey, and you will receive the simplified version of the Olympic Fanfare for free. Don't forget to include your e-mail address so that I can send it to you.
Another year has come and gone, and now we begin 2018. Many start with resolutions and hopes; some with fears and uncertainties. Whatever your mindset is during these first 5 days of 2018, just remember – each day is a fresh start. You can wake up in the morning to a brand new day. Whether yesterday was a partial or a total disaster, you have the choice to make today great! I am trying to start my new year with that perspective, rather than beating myself up today because I didn’t finish my to-do list yesterday. Make goals realistically and then work towards them.
At my school, I have morning bus duty, as many teachers do. Each morning I stand out at the bus lot and greet the 1000+ elementary students as they step off of over 50 buses. It is pretty normal for at least one or more homesick “criers” to lag behind reluctantly. As they are consoled, I often hear my principal say these words, “It gets better on the sidewalk.” I’ve heard her say it so many times, but it really struck a chord with me a few weeks ago when I needed encouragement. In this situation, it was meant to encourage lagging students walking from the bus parking lot to the school sidewalk. You may not want to, but just keep going – it will get better! These young students reach the sidewalk, the school entrance, and finally their classrooms, and have totally forgotten their earlier worries. Sometimes I feel like that: If I can only make it to the sidewalk, to Friday, to the end of this class, to lunch time. Although we as teachers love our job, I don’t think it is unhealthy to make little goals like the sidewalk. Just make sure your goals are realistic – or you may run out of tissues before you reach the sidewalk.
My school and town have been battling a Nor’easter and MAJORLY cold temperatures. We have had the last 2 days off for -25 to -35 degree wind chill (yes, negative!). So I look ahead to my current sidewalk – Sunday when the temperature will reach 12 degrees – YAY!
This is what I’ve been thinking about over these first few days of 2018, and I hope my thoughts and words make sense. I'd love to hear from you! What are your resolutions this new year?
I'm excited to announce another TpT Gift Card Giveaway and a big TpT Cyber Sale! My entire store will be 20% off, and you will receive an additional 5% off your order from TpT. Check out some of my Christmas, Nutcracker, and winter products and stock up!
To enter to win a $10 TpT gift card or a product of your choice from my store (under $4), click below. You will find several ways to enter, but just be sure to complete it by Monday, 11/27, at 11:59 PM.
Veterans Day - a time to remember those who have served and who are actively serving our country in the various branches of the military. It was previously named Armistice Day, but then renamed Veterans Day in 1954.
You may wonder why I am telling you this. Well, today at my school we had a brief Veterans Day assembly for all of the 2nd and 3rd grade students. This is the third year we have done this special event, and each time, I have come home feeling honored, blessed, and thankful. This year's assembly, however, was unique for me. This feeling was because my dear Grandfather just recently passed away in August. He was an amazing man, husband, father of ten children, inventor, hard worker, wonderful musician, and a veteran. He served in the Navy during the Korean war from 1948-1951. His recent death made this Veterans Day somehow feel different to me.
The day began with the high school band welcoming students off the bus with patriotic tunes. Then our assembly began with the national anthem, sung by some high school choir members, followed by Taps. After a slide show with pictures, including my Grandfather, and a brief presentation by a guest speaker, the program concluded with a rousing performance of "Thank a Vet" (Music K-8, by Mike Wilson). I have been teaching my students this song for over 3 weeks now, and I know the incredible power a beautiful melody and arrangement can have on a person. It was just an amazing feeling to have a part in directing nearly 600 students in singing this tribute to the 20 Veterans present. It was an amazing feeling, and I know my Grandfather would have been pleased and honored.