Friday, July 31, 2015

Three Things I've Learned This Summer

Hello there!

    It is definitely out of character for me the past few months to post twice in one week, but maybe I'm starting to get back into the swing of things! Since I wrote an original post yesterday, I thought I'd link up with Aileen Miracle at Mrs. Miracle's Music Room today for Three Things I've Learned this Summer.

1) It is best to go on a big trip with a time change right at the beginning of summer break!

I posted a couple days ago about my big trip out West. It was an awesome trip and we had SO much fun! We were really only tired from the trip out there on the first day, and from then on out it was easy going! When we returned home to the East coast, we were exhausted and we ended up sleeping in late the next morning! This almost NEVER happens to me in the summer, since I'm so used to getting up for school that I just get up around the same time in the summer- but not this summer! I love it!!

2) I love mid-summer teacher meetings!

Yes, I may be a nerd, but I love seeing my teacher friends over the summer! Plus, I feel ten times more excited when I see them AND we are doing productive things for the upcoming school year! I had two days of PBIS planning last week and a half day teacher forum about personalized learning yesterday and I got to see teachers that I hadn't seen in over a month at both! We so rarely get to talk without our teacher issues from the year getting in the way. So much excitement was shared about weddings, engagements, and awesome vacations!

3) I don't care what anyone says, my iPhone 6 is amazing.

If you aren't the type of person who looks forward to your phone upgrade every two years, then go ahead and judge me, but oh man was I excited recently when I got my iPhone 6! My iPhone 5 battery died so quickly, the phone part didn't work so I always had to use speakerphone, and it was just getting slow in general. I love the new features- touchpad ID, Shazam using Siri, and the larger screen! I'm going to go off and revel in my new phone glory, especially my cute penguin case!

~Ms. Patrician

Thursday, July 30, 2015

First Day of Music Emoji Activity

Hi everyone!

     Yes, you read that title correctly. I am using emojis for my first musical activity in grades 1-5. After all of our procedural talk, seat assignments, and tour of my classroom, I wanted to have a fun activity that gets the kids excited and involved right away!

I honestly have no idea where I got this idea, other than the slight possibility that I was perusing Twitter and someone had tweeted something and included a TON of emojis (which usually drives me crazy...but in this case, thanks to that random person!)

I will have two different groups of students depending on grade level and class- those who have personal learning devices (in our case, iPads) and those who don't, or who have not received them yet. For those students who will already have their personal devices- 3rd through 5th graders- I will ask them to take out their devices and open the "Notes" app, where they can access emojis using the alternate keyboard. 

For those students who do not yet have devices (1st-2nd), I will hand out a blank sheet of paper and have an assortment of emojis printed and cut out for them to choose from and glue onto their paper.

I will play a musical selection- haven't chosen the song yet- for each class and they will respond to the question "How does this music make you feel?" using emojis! They will not be limited to just one- it will be up to them to choose how many it takes to express their feelings. It will be a short enough activity that students will be able to share their reflections before either the end of the class period or our next activity! I may even decide to do this as a group activity for the first day of Kindergarten using the SmartBoard!

What are your thoughts? Do you like this idea or have anything to add? I'm open to suggestions and I'm so excited to see how this activity turns out in just over a month!

Hope you are all enjoying your last couple days of July!
~Ms. Patrician

Friday, July 24, 2015

My Trip Out West

Hi everyone!

    I keep trying to motivate myself to write each week! Not that I'm busy or anything, I just tend to disconnect from school thoughts when I'm at home relaxing- and this blog reminds me of school! Just one month until we go back, which is crazy!

    In any case, I was lucky enough to go on a two and a half week trip right at the beginning of summer. Here's how it went:

  1. With friends, I flew to San Francisco and we spent 2 1/2 great days in the city- Giants Game, Golden Gate walk, Mission District, Alcatraz, and a great dinner with my high school chorus teacher, Jeff.
     Giants Stadium with Emily and Madeleine
     Golden Gate selfie
    Alcatraz Jail Cell selfie
  2. From SF we drove to Napa, where my roommate's very generous family put us up while we relaxed, hiked, ate incredible food, and, of course, visited wineries, including the family's new vineyard and an incredible tour through the caves of Schramsburg- awesome champagne.

     Jumping in the beautiful yard
    We found a rope swing on our hike!
    Gamble Family Vineyards
  3. After Napa, we drove down the Pacific Coastal Highway (beautiful, though sometimes terrifying), to Cambria, where one of my best friends from high school, David's, family was nice enough to lend us their beach house for a couple days. David and his wife Jess live in San Luis Obispo and were wonderful hosts- we spent the day exploring wineries and a wonderful olive oil place.
    Pacific Coastal Highway selfie!
    Heart Hill at Niner Winery with David and Jess
  4. From Cambria we drove all the way to Vegas. I can tell you quite certainly that I never need to do this drive again because it is booooring! The only highlight was seeing the last place James Dean stopped before he died (we also drove through the intersection where the accident was). Vegas, however, was super fun! My boyfriend and a few of our other friends met us there and we spent a fun weekend staying at Paris and exploring the city!

     With Brad (and John) in front of the "Eiffel Tower"
    Near the Venetian (note the statues behind us)
  5. On Sunday, my roommate and I drove from Vegas to a hotel near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We woke up at 3:45 AM on Monday to catch the 5:15 sunrise off the Bright Angel Trail. This was a big highlight of the trip!

    Emily and I with the cloudy sunrise in the background
  6. We spent Monday and Tuesday in beautiful Sedona, Arizona: home of many Red Rock formations. We did a Pink Jeep Tour- which is a must do if you go to Sedona- where we were able to explore the rocks with a guide. It was a very unique experience! We also ate Cactus Fries, Rattlesnake, and many different items using Prickly Pear Syrup.
     Pink Jeep Tour
    Emily and I making an All Star (our school mascot)
  7. Wednesday and Thursday were spent in Mesa and Scottsdale, AZ, where we were able to visit some very good family friends of mine (one set is in the picture below, one is not) and explore the city before heading back to D.C. on Friday morning!
    Me with Kelsey and her daughter Mary

    So that is how my summer started out...what have you been doing the past month?? Any suggestions for where I should take a big trip next summer? I'm thinking overseas again...

    ~Ms. Patrician

Monday, July 13, 2015

Music Education Blog Carnival July 2015!!

Hi everyone!!

    I had volunteered to host the Music Education Blog Carnival this month, but I was on my big trip out West until this past weekend, so I am just now getting around to posting it! So sorry for the delay, but I've got some great blog posts for you below! These are a sampling of music education blog posts from the end of June/beginning of July!

Dip Tray Workstations: Instrument Families and Note Values from Tracy King- The Bulletin Board Lady (@tracyking): Tracy tells us about her latest summer project Dollar Store find- dip trays! She explains a fool-proof way to use these for center activities to practice identification of note values and instrument families.

Pool Noodle Rhythms from Aileen Miracle- Mrs. Miracle's Music Room (@aileenmiracle): Aileen shares a great summer project- could be used in centers or as a group lesson. She explains her process when repurposing 4 pool noodles to make rhythms, time signatures, and bar lines to string on clothesline!

Music Lesson for 'Bear Snores On' from Elizabeth Caldwell- Organized Chaos: Elizabeth shares her lesson using a wonderful children's book that, in my experience, most children will recognize. I have used this book in conjunction with the song "Grizzly Bear," but this is a new approach to it that I think I may use this year. She has her classes create sound stories with different timbres- they pick out the sounds that they want to create using body percussion, instruments, voice, and found sounds/objects.

How to Move Files from iTunes to External Hard Drive from Shelley Tomich- Pitch Publications (@PitchHillMusic): Shelley gives us a quick tutorial about moving music files- something that I'm sure the more technologically challenged readers might be interested in! With all the new music we gather each year, we may need to move some of the music to an external drive.

View Pure: another safe alternative to YouTube from Jennifer Hibbard- The Yellow Brick Road (@theylbrickroad): Jennifer offers us another way to view YouTube videos safely and without inappropriate ads. The beta version of View Pure is up and running and she explains the features it offers, which are pretty great and very different from SafeShare, which many of us have been using this year!

High and Low Worksheet Activity from Brittany De Laruelle- Making Music Memories (@bndelaruelle): Brittany shares a great High and Low sounds assessment worksheet that she uses with her younger students. She shares her success with the worksheet, as well as suggestions for making the activity work better in your classroom. Bonus- the worksheet is offered for free in her TpT store!!!

Musical Road Trip- Folk Dancing from Jena Hudson- Sew Much Music: Jena shares her experience with folk dancing in the classroom. She shares eight tips for folk dancing in the classroom, including some great resources and classroom management tips!

Music Education: How Does It Effect Behavior in the Classroom? from Rosalind Hayes- Unsung Potential: Rosalind shares her insight about using music to reinforce concepts in the regular ed classroom. She enlightens us about the research there is out there that supports her view.

~Ms. Patrician