Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Are You Using This Favorite Activity In Your Music Room?

Welcome to Mrs. Stucki's Music Class & Happy Holidays!
My library of musical stories is, hands-down, one of my classes favorite activities. Children love musical stories and I love how adding music to a story fills their hearts with joy. A musical story helps to train their ears for musical pitch reading in your lesson. It also prepares your class for part singing. I take a turn singing as I tell the story and then the children take their turn singing their part in the story. This back and forth singing prepares them to do part singing in the future. My class enjoys books so much that they are glued to my story. Here are two musical story books I use for December. 

Musical Books

  • Enriches their vocabulary
  • Builds reading literacy
  • Keeps their attention longer
  • Instills a love of reading
  • Ignites interest in reading
  • Builds confidence for younger readers

Building A Classroom Music Library

  • Most books can be found in your school library
  • Check out Used Book Sales
  • Ask your school PTA to buy some
  • Ask your principal to buy some
  • Borrow books from classroom teachers
  • Buy some yourself and don't forget to tell your family to give book gifts for your birthday or Christmas 
Classroom Donations
Another excellent source of classroom books is from donations. Reach out to former parents or put a note in your school newsletter stating that you are trying to expand your classroom library and are seeking any gently used book donations. You'd be amazed at how many picture books families have at home that their children have outgrown. 

Using Music Storybooks for Your Subs with Zero Music Experience 

Subs love musical story time because they are good at using storybooks. Many books come with a CD so the class can sing along with the story. I use these sample pages to go along with the books for my music sub lessons. If you would like it just click here.   

I would love to hear about your favorite musical book being used with your music class by leaving a comment below. Have fun singing musical stories! Sherry Stucki :)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Looking for Halloween Songs & Activities For Your Music Class?

Welcome to Mrs. Stucki's Music Class!
Halloween is right around the corner! I've put together a few classroom ideas and activities for you to use with your music classes. 

Halloween Activities for K-2nd Grade
1. Candy Bar Rhythms: Use rhythm sticks or drums to play the rhythm syllables of each candy bar. (place magnets on the back of the candy bars so they will stick to your white board). The older classes will also love doing this.

2. Ghostly Rhythms-Singing Game:
Create a simple S-M melody for your class to sing from any of the rhymes below. This will be the "A" section of the music. Use ghost game cards to create the "B" section and repeat rhythms 2 times. If you would like these ghostly rhythm cards for your class, click here to check them out. 
(Select 1 Rhyme below for the "A" Section)

  1. Trick or treat, trick or treat.Give me something good to eat.
  2. Pumpkin, pumpkin round and fat. Turn into a jack-o-lantern just like that.
  3. Bubble gum, bubble gum in a dish. How many pieces do you wish.
  4. Up and down, up and down, This is the way to chocolate town.

3. Bats & Cats Movement Game:
In scattered formation, the teacher calls out different ways for the children to move at the end of each verse of the song (move like a bat, vampire, mummy, ghost, robot, etc.) Music is found in Holiday & Game Songs Music Play-1 by Denise Gagne. 

Halloween Activities for 3rd-6th Grade
1. Mystery Composer Game:
Exciting Balloon Popping Activity on your smart-board. Select a student to pop a balloon on the smart-board. When the balloon pops, read the important fact about your mystery composer. The last balloon will reveal the mystery composer. It also includes Bach's Toccata & Fugue in D minor music attached to the smart-board file. Just tap the spider and it will play the music. Bach's song sounds like scary Halloween music. The student's may be surprised they already know this music. If you would like this Mystery Composer Game for your class, click here to check it out.

2. Fun Halloween Songs:

  • Adams Family
  • Tons of Halloween songs from K-8 Music Magazine
  • "Do the Igor" is one of my classes favorite songs from K-8 Music Magazine. 
  • "Skin & Bones: Select 5 student volunteers to perform "Skin & Bones." Each student sings one verse and refrain as a solo. The entire class sings the final line "She opens the door and Boo!"
3. Movement: Ghost Buster Song (teach AB musical form)
"A" section of the music: the class joins hands and walks to the steady beat around the circle. "B" section of the music: the class stops walking and does a group wave. Teacher starts the wave by quickly lifting up the right hand followed by the left hand high in the air and back down to the legs. The next person in the circle will do the same thing, passing the wave motion all around the circle until the "B" section of the music is done. Repeat the "A-B sections again until the end of your song.

What other ideas do you have? Share them with us in the comment section below. Have fun teaching  Sherry Stucki :)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Looking for "I Can" Music Statements?

Welcome to Mrs. Stucki's Music class!

I hope everyone is off to a good start for the new school year. One of my favorite things to do at the beginning of each year is to see how other teachers are decorating their classrooms. So I wanted to share one new way I’m jazzing up my room. I decorated my “I Can Statement Boards with a cute polka dot duck tape. You can take a peek at them in the picture below.

How to Make These Cute "I Can" Statement Boards
1.Drill one small hole in each corner of the top of a whiteboard.
2.Attach picture wire to the holes (wire spans across the back of the board.
3.Place designer duck tape around the top of the whiteboard.

4.Laminate numbers and place them in the upper left corner for each grade level. Then they are ready to display in your classroom.

Need a way to quickly find your "I Can" Statements?

      These “I Can” statements are sorted into color coded categories to help music teachers find a certain music skill quickly for their lessons. It includes categories such as: tempo, dynamics, singing skills, instruments, composers, rhythm and many more.

Why is it important to use “I” Can” Statements
Research studies show that ……..“I Can” Statements:
1. Provide students with a goal or focus for learning.
2. Act as a guide for students to track how far along they are progressing within the lesson.
3. Help students connect what they are doing in class to what they need to learn.
4. Builds  intrinsic  motivation for students to set their own goals.
5. Decreases student anxiety when they clearly know what they need to accomplish.
6. Has a positive impact on student learning.

7. Has shown increased learning and higher test scores.

8. Most importantly, it helps your students feel successful whenever they accomplish a goal. 

I often introduce new music vocabulary words as part of my “I Can” objectives in class.

      I use these music vocabulary cards to help my class learn about music vocabulary and keep track of their new words by placing them on my music word wall. If you would like to get them for your own class, just click on the picture above to check them out.

Share your favorite way to decorate your class by leaving a comment below. Have fun decorating your new boards! Sherry Stucki :)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Score Back To School Freebies!

Welcome back everyone,

I can't believe summer is gone and it's time to go back to school. I think the best part of going back to school is getting new things for my classroom and scoring some back to school freebies. So I think you will love this back to school freebie I created (see picture below). 

Instant lesson plan freebie:
All my teacher friends really love my kindergarten/1st grade lesson plans and keep asking me to post them so they can use the fun games and visuals in their classrooms. So I'm giving away a fun lesson to use with your younger students. This lesson comes with an exciting cup game, includes free sheet music, visuals and activities. The great thing about this lesson is you can use it for several grade levels and use the game in other lessons throughout the year. 

Want more freebies?
Please leave a friendly comment below and let me know what other kinds of freebies you would like me to create. (If you like this lesson plan, please send your friends to my website to get their own music lesson & lesson visuals for free). Thanks for visiting my teacher blog. Have a great school year!  Sherry Stucki :)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

4 Fun Choir Party Ideas For The End of The Year!

4 Fun Choir Party Ideas For The End of The Year!

My end of the year choir party is one way I reward my students for participating in chorus. They really look forward to the party all year and are eager to join the choir next year so they can continue to participate in the fun and games. Today I'm sharing some party ideas that work well with my 5th and 6th grade choirs.

Fun Games
If you want more boys in your choir, playing some type of sports game with them can be just the ticket to reel-them-in to your chorus. My choir loves this Balloon Volleyball Game. You can get this game for free by clicking here for this game. 

Line Dances

I like to use line dances and folk dances in my general music classes throughout the year. My students like to get together and do these dances as part of their choir party at the end of the school year. My choir really loves the Cupid Shuffle and Cha-Cha Slide.

Party Snacks

Pizza is always a big hit with choir students (especially the boys). You might want to work out having the PTA buy the pizza. I also have my students sign up for a variety of goodies to bring the party such as donuts, soda, chips, candy or cookies. If pizza is out of your budget, don't worry, your students will love any type of treat. You can't go wrong with providing food and drinks for the big party day.

This might not seem important, but taking the time to have a few decorations kicks up the party excitement to the next level for them. I keep the decorations simple with a table cloth, balloons and welcome sign.  These little details create a festive feel to your party and your students will really appreciate it. Please share your favorite party ideas by leaving a message for other choir teachers. Hope to hear about your cool party ideas and see you back again soon! Sherry Stucki :)

Looking for more fun activities and ideas for your music class? be sure to Sign-up by email on my side bar to claim freebies, teacher tips & tricks,  Sherry :)

Check out some of my favorite games and activities!

Smartboard Music Games     Substitute Music Plans

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New Way to Use IPads For Music Class!

Welcome to Mrs. Stucki's Music class!

Using IPads For Music Class!
I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I found out I was going to have Ipads to use in my music room this year. I work in a rough inner city school where many of the older students tend to be negative, rude and disrespectful to all the teachers. Many of them would frequently interrupt the lesson. Nothing seemed to motivate students even after calling parents, changing their seating chart, setting rules, giving talks about respect, doing fun music games, earning fun days or movie days. I was excited to find something fun to motivate and involve them in musical learning. 

Fun Ipads Music Games: I quickly started looking for games and fun activities to put on the ipads. I found that the sky is the limit with so many apps to chose from. Two of my favorite apps are Tiny Piano and Story Bots. Both of these apps are free and easy for students to use.

Motivating Tough Students with IPads Games: My plan was to use the IPads for music centers but realized that I could use them to motivate my older students. It worked like magic. After two weeks of using the IPads in my music room, my class no longer resembles a tough inner city classroom. The older classes are now respectful, participating in class and doing their work without being negative.  What a big change from when they started at beginning of the year.

How It Works; Since I have 5 IPads, I divded my class into groups of fives with one person on an IPad. At the beginning of the class I announce what group will be using the IPads today. I remind students that if they interrupt the lesson, they will lose their turn to play on the IPads when it is their assigned IPad day.  I stop teaching the last 10 minutes of the class and let the assigned group play in the IPad center. The rest of the class will play a music game, folk dance, boomwhackers or other activity.  A different group of students would get to use the IPads on the next day.

 Swat Game In Action

Try using IPads as a way of changing bad behavior if you teach tough inner city kids that are disrespectful. IPads have worked better than any other behavior plan I've used in the past. Teaching music is a joy again and my classes are taking responsibility for their own musical learning.  Leave a comment below and let me know what you are doing with IPads in your classroom. See you back soon for my next blog! Sherry Stucki :)

If you are looking for more fun activities and ideas for your music class? be sure to Sign-up by email on my side bar to claim freebies, teacher tips & tricks,  Sherry :)

Check out some of my favorite games and activities!

Smartboard Music Games     Substitute Music Plans

Saturday, February 27, 2016

10 Fun Music Center Games

Welcome to Mrs. Stucki's Music Class!

I was thrilled to be selected as one of the presenters at the Idaho Music Educators Association Conference this month. I got to share 10 Fun Music Center Games with other music teachers and make some new friends. The music games focused on three areas: Rhythm Reading, Note Reading and Instrument study/ for music listening logs. Here are some of the games we played at the teacher conference. Click on each picture to read more about that game.

1. Exciting Rhythm Games: 
Add more music games to your class and watch your class quickly improve their music skills! My class loves working on their rhythm reading with these games.

2. Fun Note Reading Games:
I use the games below to help my students quickly learn the names of their music notes and music symbols.
Instant Note Reading Game! Grades 3-6th 

This game is played like the Candyland Game
( using candy hearts or skittles for markers and music note cards from the music staff)!

3. Play More Instrument Games:
In order to get my class writing better reflections for their music listening logs, I realized that I needed to teach them the names of music instruments. Since the instruments are creating the music, they needed to connect the music to what the instruments are doing in the music. I have seen a huge difference in their music reflection logs  by playing more instrument games (see pictures below. 

Grades K-8th

Instrument Matching Game K-2nd

Students love playing music games! Your class will love working on their music notes, rhythms, music vocabulary, composing songs and more with exciting music center games. Leave a comment below or let me know about your favorite game. Hope to chat with you soon! Sherry Stucki :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

4- Fun Valentine Day Music Activities

Hello Teachers,

I'm really excited to share 4-Valentine activities that work well in my music class. Valentine's Day is such a fun holiday and my kiddos look forward to celebrating it with fun activities in music class. 

Musical Candy Note Game:
3rd & 4th graders love playing this game while learning the names of their treble clef notes. I use candy hearts or skittles as game markers to play this game. They have to match the treble clef note cards from the music staff with the letters on the game board. The first child to get to the end of the game board wins the game. I let the children eat the candy when they are done playing the game. If you would like to play this game with your class click here to learn more about it.

Line Dancing (grades 4-8th)
My class loves dancing to the cupid shuffle and request this dance every year. My 6th graders had so much fun with this dance that when they heard the Cupid Shuffle music playing during one of their school field trips, they all decided to stop bowling and show their dance moves right inside the bowling alley. I was thrilled when the classroom teachers told me about the flash dancing at the bowling alley. If you want to try this dance with your class, you can get the dance directions and a Valentine mini-music lesson by clicking here.

6th graders doing the Cupid Shuffle!

Valentine Games: Lucy Locket Lost Her Valentine
My younger student (grades k-2nd) love this game. One student leaves the room as another student hides a Valentine card. The student in the hall returns to the room to find the hidden Valentine card. The class sings Lucy Locket Lost Her Valentine to help this student find the hidden Valentine. The class will sing the song loudly when the student is close to the Valentine card and they will sing softly if the student is going away from the Valentine card. Here are the words to the song: Lucy Locket lost her  Valentine, Kitty Fisher found it. Not a single candy in it, only ribbon 'round it (use same melody as the Lucy Locket game). This game is a favorite with young children.

Playing Candy Rhythms
Valentine's Day is not complete without candy. I place different candy bars on the whiteboard (see picture below). Then I point to each candy bar on the beat and have the class tap out the syllable names of each candy bar on percussion instruments. Then I have them echo play ta and ti-ti rhythms. Now I have them end the music by playing the candy bar rhythms again. My class loves playing candy bar rhythms on percussion instruments and it's fun to move the candy around to create new rhythms for them to play. 

Candy Bar Rhythms

If you are looking for more fun activities and ideas for your music class? be sure to Sign-up by email on my side bar to claim freebies and teacher tips & tricks,  Sherry :)

Check out some of my favorite games and activities!

Smartboard Music Games     Substitute Music Plans