Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ringing in the New Year with a New Product

I have a new product available in my store.  This new resource is a 3rd grade rhythm card pack.  In this pack there are 20 4/4 rhythm cards containing Sixteenth Notes, Quarter Notes/Rests (ti-ti beamed and single), Half Notes/Rests (including tied half notes), Dotted Half Notes, and Whole Notes/Rests.


To purchase your copy of Mrs. Q's Third Grade Rhythm Pack click here:  Mrs. Q's Gumroad Store.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

5 Favorite Pins of December


1.  Santa, Santa

I just love this simple solo singing opportunity from Helen Russel Music.  Would be cute to do with the little ones around the holidays!

2.  Linus and Lucy

I'm not sure where you can purchase this sheet music but I love the idea of including the music from Charlie Brown in a holiday concert.  Hmmmmm.....I may have to work with some of my students to perform this on recorder next year.

3.  Reward Board


I've seen this reward system a couple of times around Pinterest but isn't this display so cute?

4.  Sweet Treats


Wouldn't these make cute little treats for students in your performing ensembles.  I don't know if I would get that detailed with the ornaments but otherwise a pretty simple and cheap treat for the holidays.

5.  A little holiday surprise!


I've been keeping a little secret!  My husband and I are expecting our first child.  I was so happy to find out yesterday that our little one will be a boy.  What a great Christmas treat it was to find out this bit of news! We are over the moon excited.  Our little boy is due at the beginning of June, so I thought I'd let you know to expect a bit of a blogging break during the summer!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Burn Little Candles

I know this is a little late but I wanted to share a Hanukkah idea.  Maybe you can use it next year!  :)  In the 3rd Grade volume of Game Plan there is a nice orchestration for the song Burn Little Candles.  I've been doing this piece with my 3rd graders but added a spin to it.

About a month ago I happened across this image on Pinterest.  The post is about using flashlights for In the Window, another great Hanukkah piece.  I loved the idea, so I used it with Burn Little Candles.


I had 9 students, each with a flashlight, as the Menorah.  As we said the word light in the B section, the shamash (center candle from the menorah that is used to light the others) went to each candle of the menorah and lit it.  In addition to the flashlights in the B section we had a triangle chime each time we said the word light.  We dimmed the classroom lights and it was a really wonderful experience.  I think this would be sweet for a winter concert.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cleaning up Scarves

Cleaning up scarves shouldn't take forever but sometimes it just does!  You have those sweet little girls that are trying to be helpful and who make the most meticulous effort to fold their scarf into a perfect square.  What I have found speeds up the process is the Ball it, Dunk it approach!

1.  Ball your scarf into your palm.

2.  Then dunk it in the basket.

3.  Go back to your seat.

3 simple steps that K-5 can easily do.  It's all about semantics.  I've tried other ways to get scarves quickly cleaned up but this seems to work the best for my kids.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A New Trick!

It's always difficult for young students to remember the bars we are using in a bordun, so today I tried something new.  Now, this is probably not earth shattering but for me it was a "duh" moment.  I can't believe I haven't done this sooner!


This is my xylophone visual that I use whenever I'm teaching an orffestration.  If we are setting up in pentatonic I have black slips of paper that I place over the bars that need to be removed.  I've never really had anything that worked for indicating the bars for a bordun.  Today, spur of the moment, I grabbed a couple of magnets that I had at the front of the room and stuck them above the bars we were using. 

What a life saver!!!  I never once had to repeat it.  I saw many students reference the visual when they rotated to the bass part but I didn't have to waste time saying it.  Don't you just love those magical moments when you do something smart!!!

Hope you all had a wonderful, restful Thanksgiving break!!!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Early Cyber Monday Deal!

It has been a while since I offered a deal on my products, so here it is.....


From now until Monday evening (Dec. 2nd) you can purchase my word wall pack or my primary rhythm pack for 50% off.  Click the link below each image to take advantage of the sale!





Thursday, November 21, 2013

5 Favorite Pins of November


Mrs. Miracle is hosting another Linky Party!  You can check her site out here.

1.  You might be a music teacher if...


Lauren at Rhythm and Glues recently posted an article about being a music teacher.  This is such a well written post I found myself nodding in agreement with many parts.

2.  Forte/Piano Assessment


This is a great assessment piece for 2nd grade.

3.  String the Lights


Isn't this the cutest center idea!  I can see having a bunch of cards and a basket full of light bulbs.  I'm going to have to work on this.  It would be a great activity right before winter break.

4.  Dream Snow


I haven't read this book but I'm interested in taking a look at it.  How could you not?  The cover is so beautiful.  Anyone used this book in their room before?

5.  Jingle Mix Up


This would be another fun center for before winter break.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sub Tub and Freebies

I'm not sure why I keep calling it a sub tub, it's really a basket.  No matter what it is called, it is my new favorite thing in my classroom.  I have spent a good amount of time copying, creating and organizing resources that a sub can use in my absence. What I'm really excited about is this won't just serve as an emergency basket!  I will be able to pull things for a planned absence.  No more writing lengthy sub plans!!!


There isn't anything razzle dazzle about my sub basket just yet, I'm still working on the finishing touches but I wanted to share what I've done so far.  There are 5 sections of the crate; four are for the four quarters in the school year and the other is lessons/activities that can be done any time of year.  In each of those sections there are 3 categories of lessons/activities; Any Grade, K-2, and 3-5.  Inside of those sections are folders containing the lessons/activities.


On the front of each lesson/activity folder are the directions.  Under the title of the activity I make sure to indicate the quarter and grade level(s) it is appropriate for.  I also list all of the materials the sub will need and where they can be found.


Inside the folder is a sample, if applicable, and any worksheets or small items that fit.  All larger items will be stored in plastic storage containers.  I haven't found what I want just yet, so when they are all put together I will take pictures.

Since we are in the 2nd quarter of the school year in my district I've been focusing on activities and lessons that would be appropriate for my students.  Most of what I have added are worksheet based lessons but I plan to add more soon.  Here are some of the things I have in my sub basket for the 2nd quarter:

Second Quarter (K-2) 


Color by Note Umbrella - I found this free color by number image online and then altered it using Photoshop to suit my needs.  This worksheet is perfect for 1st graders who have learned ta, ti-ti and rest.  You can request this worksheet in the Freebies section.


Color by Note Penguin - Another color by number that I altered. This is great for 2nd graders because it includes half notes/rests. Even though I may not teach the half rest until late in the 2nd quarter, it's great to have students start looking at and naming this rest. This is also available by request in the Freebies section. 


Dances from the Nutcracker - I found this resource on Elementary Music Methods. There is a K-2 and a 3-5 version of the worksheet on Cassandra's site. I plan to have the sub read the story, discuss the history, simple ballet explanation, and then listening activity with the worksheets.


Winter Rhythms - This is one of Denise Gange's Resources, I found the link through Pinterest.  This is a great activity for 1st and 2nd graders.

Second Quarter (3-5)

Dances from the Nutcracker - See K-2 description.


Color the Turkey - This is great for 3-5 students.  I found this resource on DIY Music Room.


Pyramid Race - Stem direction is one of those things that I feel gets left by the wayside.  I always seem to throw it into a lesson or when a kid asks a question.  I know I need to do a better job of explaining it.  This worksheet helps students practice stems.  I found this on Ear Training and Improv.


Color that Note - I find that students struggle with identifying low D and C on the Treble Clef staff. While we haven't labeled these notes or started playing them on our recorders, it's good for students to start seeing them.  You can download this worksheet from Making Music Fun.


Color the Feathers - Another Treble Clef Recognition worksheet.  This is a quick activity, so I would pair it with something else for a sub.  You can download it from Susan Paradis.

I realize this is a lot of worksheets.  While I'm not a fan of them all the time, they are great for a sub, especially when I'm not sure who that sub will be.  Plus, they do help reinforce skills that you have already taught.  It's better than just a movie.  I have many more ideas for the 2nd quarter, so look for more posts on what I'm adding to my basket.  As the year progresses I'll share what has made it's way into the other Quarters as well.




Saturday, November 9, 2013

5 Golden Rings

A few years ago my chorus and orff groups performed 5 Golden Rings by Randy and Jeff.  It was so much fun to put together this wonderful musical.  I look back at the pictures from time to time and remember it as one of my favorite productions.  Since the holidays are coming up and I know some of you have asked about this musical in the past, I thought I'd post some pictures of our costumes.


Since our school opened Mrs. M and I have wanted as much of our large productions to be kid done as possible.  For 5 Golden Rings, art club took on the back drop for our off stage set.  They used old refrigerator boxes and painted this beautiful scene.  The picture on the mantle was of our principal at the time and the names on the stockings of his two beloved dogs.  The chairs are just your typical student chair covered in fabric.  They weren't perfect covers, just sheets of fabric held on with safety pins but it looked better than just the chairs themselves.  The ornaments on the tree were mostly kid made as well.


12 Drummers Drumming!  These costumes were so cute.  The hats are just plastic buckets that I found at Michael's after Halloween.  We added some glitter foam and feathers to give them detail.  They are held on with string and we stuffed the hats with tissue paper so that they wouldn't rock around.  The kids wore solid black pants and solid white shirts.  The belts were made from ribbon and a bit more glitter foam for the buckle.


10 Lords-a-leaping!  These were the simplest of all the costumes for this production.  A simple belt made to match the fabric of the ladies skirts.  The kids wore black baseball pants, white dress shirt, white socks and black shoes.

9 Ladies Dancing!  Skirts made by a mom in a variety of colors.  They had a matching scarf for their head.  I asked each girl to wear a brightly colored shirt and leggings so that they could slip their skirt on easily for the performance.

The Cow!  In this production there is a cow.  This was the only costume I purchased.  Unfortunately, I can't remember were I got it.  Sorry!



From left to right.  8 Maids-a-Milking!  The skirts were made by one of my chorus Mom's from some brown fabric purchased from JoAnn's.  The aprons are from Oriental Trading and the hats were borrowed from a fellow music teacher.  He uses them for his Thanksgiving production as pilgrim hats but they worked very well for maids.  The kids wore leggings so that they could just slip their skirts on and white shirts.

7 Swans-a-Swimming!  These are so sweet.  The kids had to provide a white leotard, stockings and socks.  A chorus Mom made white tutus using tulle and elastic band for the waist.  The S's are glitter foam.

6 Geese-a-Laying!  I wrote about the geese awhile ago when I shared how much I love sweatshirts for costumes.  These are men's gray sweatshirts with a bit of black and white fabric under the arms for wings. The eyes and bill are felt.  These were a no-sew costume.  Everything including the beaks and eyes were attached with fabric glue.  The kids wore orange leggings and I made some simple felt feet.

5 Golden Rings!  The kids wore all black and a chorus mom made the rings from cardboard forms she found at the craft store.  She covered them in gold ribbon.

4 Calling Birds!  Another sweatshirt costume.  These were made the same way as the geese.

2 Turtle Doves!  The kids provided pastel colored leotards, leggings and ballet slippers.  Then a mom added fabric under the arms.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Sneak Peek: Sub Tub

Here is a sneak peek at one of the projects I've been working on.


It's a sub tub!  I'm dividing things up by quarter and grade level.  I'll post more soon on how everything is getting organized, lesson plans and a cute label for the front of your tub!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

5 Favorite Pins of October


Aileen Miracle is hosting another Five Favorite Pins Linky Party.  Here are my favorites pins from October.



These are super cute Fall Rhythm patterns that are great for K or 1.  Check them out at O For Tuna.


I love this advocacy piece from Beth's Music Notes.  I think I will add this to the advocacy area outside my classroom.

My last post was a link to a cute downloadable image of the 5 Little Pumpkins.  Here is another cute image.

This display is super cute.  I think I will have to try this out next year.  Each student writes their name on an eighth note to create a music tree.


I love children's books and I don't have this one in my collection.  Maybe I will add it soon.

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