Saturday, August 23, 2014

Planning in the Music Classroom 2014

School started this week!  I'll post more about that later, but I wanted to give you an idea what I did to plan for this school year.  I spent way too many hours on Facebook and Teachers Pay Teachers this summer watching and waiting for freebies and sales.  I was able to snag a LOT of great finds!

The first find is from Lindsay's Kodaly Inspired Classroom.  I purchased her Race to the Finish Line file last year, but I wanted to see what she had for the beginning of the year as well.


Although I am not following the Kodaly method specifically, I was able to take Lindsay's information to get started on my own long term planning for the year.  It was nice to see what someone else does and how it is laid out.  This file also comes with a great list of songs and activities based on music concepts.  I know this will make my week to week planning much simpler!

I am planning to teach my students music based on John Feierabend's First Steps and Conversational Solfege methods.  I purchased the First Steps bundle a few years ago at a conference, and I like how he wants students to become "Tuneful, Beatful, and Artful" before they begin learning music concepts.  I think it also lets the younger students just have fun when they come to my class and not realize that they are learning at the same time.  The books for First Steps are very simple to follow based on their set up.  There are also enough lesson plans and long term plans for three years of school.  The Conversational Solfege books are also set up well and come with ready made long term plans and a few lesson plan guides.  These really helped me last year for planning, and I will still use these as a guide this year.  I feel like I finally started figuring out how to use the method by the end of last year, so I am ready to get to work on it this year!  I am hoping to add in some more folk dances and instruments as well this year.   

I am also excited about some of the teaching files that I purchased this summer.  

The first is a music centers bundle from Aileen Miracle.  I have wanted to do more with centers in my classroom, but getting them designed is so time consuming.  So, I decided to purchase this bundle.


All I have to do now is print them out, laminate and cut out (this is the step I am on right now), set them up, and put them around my room for students to use!  I like that Aileen has included a center for the teacher to be included in for assessment purposes.  When I sent students to centers in the past, I felt like I was left to walk around aimlessly watching all of them.  This will give me a purpose, too!

Another file I purchased to teach recorders was from Music with Sara Bibee.  


I taught recorders to my fifth graders last year using the Recorder Karate method.  I like that method, but I found that most of my students did not have the musical foundation to jump right in to it (last year was my first year at the school).   I love that Sara's recorder method comes with so many songs to get students learning to play recorder at a slower pace and with lots of repetition while keeping it interesting.  Her method is definitely how I started to learn to play flute, and I think it makes sense :)  I also like that she included worksheets to reinforce learning and give the students a chance to create they own pieces of music.  And the best part is that all of these songs are connected to videos that she has on youtube through the QR codes so my students can practice at home.  I work in a low income area, and I know that many of my students will not be able to do this at home but it is available if they are able.  I am planning to use this for my fourth graders this year so that when they get to fifth grade, they will have a better foundation for Recorder Karate (or maybe I will change it all up by next year!)

I purchased so many things over the summer that I am not able to talk about them all in one blog.  But, I promise I will be talking about them over the year as I use each item.  

I hope everyone is planning away and finding great ideas to use this year in your classrooms!  Please feel free to comment below with your great finds!

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