25 January, 2014
Monday Music Manipulatives: Staff Writing with Erasers

Monday Music Manipulatives: Staff Writing with Erasers


Today I'm excited to once again link up with Lindsay Jervis for her Monday Music Manipulatives linky party, to blog about staff writing with erasers.

Staff writing: Strategies for having students write on the staff in a fun way! Could be adapted for any holiday!


Today will be a simple and short post about staff writing with polar bear erasers! My first graders have been deep in sol-mi preparation. I've been getting them used to finding lines and spaces on the staff, and then figuring out which line or space (3rd line, 4th space, etc.)

Once students were comfortable with that (which took a few lessons of working on the skill for a few minutes), I handed a staff paper to each student, as well as two polar bear erasers, which I found on Oriental Trading.

Then, I had students put one polar bear eraser off to the side, and the other on the second line of the staff (or wherever you want.) I circulated around the room to make sure students were all finding the second line. I gave the students a few more places to find with the first eraser--fourth space, third line, etc. and each time I checked all of the answers to make sure everyone was getting it. If I saw that a student was not correct, I said to him/her, "You have your eraser on the ____________." Can you find the _____________?" and waited to make sure he/she was able to find the correct line or space correctly. This was a great formative assessment, as I was able to provide intervention to students who needed it and give feedback to others who were finding lines and spaces correctly.
After working with one eraser, I had students add their second eraser next to their first eraser. For example, you could have students put their first eraser on the third line and the second eraser on the second line, to the right of the first eraser. The most common mistake was for students to write it backwards, wtih the first eraser on the second line and the second eraser on the third line. I modeled the mistake on the SMART board and then discussed how to fix it. This is a simple and effective way to prepare students for writing on the staff with sol and mi!

Thanks to Lindsay for hosting this linky party, and to friend Mia for her wonderful ideas! Make sure to click the picture below to read all of the other ideas!

19 January, 2014
Five Favorite Pins of January

Five Favorite Pins of January

Hope you have had a wonderful start to your year! Since we are well into January, I figured it was time for my Five Favorite Pins of January!


If you are a blogger, feel free to join the linky party by following the directions at the end of this post. Here are my five favorite pins this month! You can click on each picture to be taken to the original pin.

#1: 36 Clever Ways to Decorate Your Classroom

There are SO many great ideas here about how to decorate your classroom, like contact paper to spice up your file cabinets, stenciling quotes or phrases on your walls, and so much more! I will especially be looking at this at the beginning of the school year next year when I'm re-decorating my classroom!

#2: Fiddle Sticks

This game was designed for vocabulary words, but it could easily be adapted for rhythm patterns, for use in centers! A student pulls a stick; if he/she reads it correctly, if not, the stick goes back into the cup. If a student pulls a stick with the red tip, then all their sticks go back inside the cup. The player with the most sticks at the end of the time is the winner!

#3: Tweet Music's "Clip it" game

This is one of my favorite purchases on TpT, because it is such a great formative or summative assessment tool! Students listen for a specific pattern and then put a certain colored clothespin on that pattern. The teacher can circulate and see who can identify the patterns and who still needs help. So far, I've bought the sol-mi set, the ta and ti-ti set, and this set (and each time a new set is posted, she's been putting them on sale for 50% off for a limited time!) This week, I used the sol-mi set on my SMART board; I had a sample card on the board, and played a pattern on the recorder, and students had to vote on which one I played. Oh, and even better...you can use them any time during the year, because she has included cards for many different holidays and seasons!

#4: "I like winter" bulletin board

This is a cute bulletin board in and of itself, but for the music room, wouldn't this be cute if all the cups were music notes, and the heading was "I like music because..."? I will have to work on that!

#5: Civil Rights Picture Books

With Martin Luther King Jr. Day tomorrow, and Black History Month coming up in February, I'd really like to find some of these books and see how they could fit into my lessons. The website posting this list is an amazing resource for all sorts of children's books!

That's it for January! Make sure to click the links below to read the favorite pins of other music bloggers. Happy pinning, and happy teaching!

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