21 December, 2015
In a music room far, far away...

In a music room far, far away...


With all of the excitement lately, I've been seeing lots of great activities for music lessons related to the one of the best movie series of ALL TIME, so I thought I'd put together a list of freebies, products, and activities that could work to get the kids excited AND teach them musical concepts!

In a music room far, far away: Great "Star Wars" themed ideas for your music lessons!

#1: "Imperial March" listening lesson
I put together this free listening lesson to help students practice tim-ka, or dotted eighth/sixteenth. I used it with my 5th graders last year and they LOVED listening to the piece, and it was a great connection from what they learned in music class to music they love. Click the picture to download it.

In a music room far, far away: Great "Star Wars" themed ideas for your music lessons! Includes a freebie for "Imperial March"!


#2: Beat swords
I saw these on Tracy King's blog, and think the idea is just fabulous. Plus, they'd be great to reinforce steady beat! Click the picture below to see Tracy's blog post!



#3: Star Wars Bulletin Board
I found this on Pinterest....so cute!! This is the brainchild at the couple at Music Teachers Rock. Such a cute way to teach about form! If you click the picture, you can see the pin on Pinterest.


#4: YouTube video
This is an awesome video about the role of music in the films!


#5: Rhythm Wars
My friend Amy Abbott created this awesome set which looks like the opening credits, and has students read different rhythm patterns! If you don't want to buy the entire bundle, you can buy the individual sets.



#6: Musical form with a parachute
If you have a parachute, this is an awesome activity by Cherie Herring to practice musical form while listening to the theme! (This makes me want to get a parachute!!)


#7: Jimmy Fallon's rendition of "Star Wars" music
So much could be done with this. I love how the vocal parts are layered, and how they take music that is typically instrumental and make it choral. SO FUN!



I hope that you get a chance to see the movie soon, AND to use some of these activities in your classroom! What are your favorite activities for the movies?

19 December, 2015
Apps for Gradekeeping

Apps for Gradekeeping


Over the years I've tried out several different grade-keeping apps. Below I'm describing my favorites; most of the apps can be used even if you only have one iPad in your classroom!

Apps for gradekeeping: Great apps for keeping track of data! Could work in any classroom!



Numbers
When I first bought an iPad mini, this is the app I used for grade keeping. It is like the Apple equivalent of Excel, so you can build your grade book like a spreadsheet. Here is a screenshot sample:


In the screenshot (which is on my Mac, but the iPad app is very similar), the default is set at 4, but each cell has a dropdown menu so you can select whatever you need as you grade. It took a little bit of time to figure out how to do a dropdown menu, but once I figured it out, it made grading on the spot so much easier! If you wanted to change from a number to a letter (depending on a grading system), this is easy to do. (See this article about how to create a dropdown menu.)

Simply type in your students' names and then enter their assessments as they happen. As I said, if you need to grade on the spot, you can tap the screen on your iPad to get the dropdown menu to appear.

iDoceo


After I tried out Numbers, I moved onto iDoceo. This app is a pretty powerful app, as it has the ability to detail schedules, assign seats, AND create a grade book!

One of the great features of iDoceo is the ability to not only grade with letters or numbers, but with icons, such as smiley faces! Even better--it has the capability of calculating grades for you! Here is a sample screenshot (with made-up names):


At $10.99 in the app store, it is pricier than a lot of apps out there, but it is a very comprehensive app with lots of features that I didn't even get to explore in the year I used it!

Powerteacher

I just started using Powerteacher this year, as my district as a whole is using it. From what I understand, you'd only be able to use it as a grade book if your whole district was using it...but I have to say, I'm pretty excited my district has made the jump, because this app is amazing! With the other two apps above, I had to input all of the students' names by class, but with Powerteacher, it's done for you! Not only do you see the students' names, their pictures are there too! (AND when I have students moving in or moving out, the info is changed by my secretary, so I don't have to worry about deleting or adding!) When I add assessments, I am asked to connect them to standards, so it's great to have so much information in one spot. If your district is looking to revamp its grading system, you'll definitely want to check out Powerteacher. Here is a screenshot; I had to cut off the students' names on the left, for privacy purposes, but that is where you would see their names as well as their pictures.



One note though--I don't have the latest update for Powerteacher, and the reviews don't look great, so my comments are about the previous version. Since my grades are due soon I want to wait until after I've entered them (and hopefully at that point the issues will be fixed!)

The three apps above for tracking individual student assessments in a grade book format. The two apps below are great for documenting assessments, which can then be entered into the grade book format:

SeeSaw

I recently found out about this app from my friend Andrea Halverson-Forsberg (read her technology blog here.) The app is free, and can be used to document student learning. There are several ways students can begin their portfolio: video, photograph, drawing, and more! Their work can also be shared with their parents. I'm just beginning to delve into the app, but if you want to read more from someone who has used it more, check out this blog post.

Plickers

This is one of my favorite apps. You know those response clickers students can use to enter their answers? It's like that...but it's free! I recently used this app to take an assessment for identifying instruments in the strings family for my third graders, and instruments in the woodwind family for my fourth graders. Once students understand how to use it, it goes much quicker, and you have information on how each and every student answered! You can then use this information to input assignments into one of the three grade book apps above! Just a note about the app--it works MUCH better on the iPhone than it does on the iPad. Read more about Plickers here.

If you're looking for more help with data-tracking and grade-keeping, check out this set:


Check out my Pinterest board for music apps:

What are your favorite grade keeping apps? Feel free to comment below, and good luck entering grades!
10 December, 2015
Five Favorite Pins of December

Five Favorite Pins of December

Hi everyone! Since it's December, here is my five favorite pins linky party!


Here are my five favorite pins this month:

#1: Stretchy Band activities


I just bought a stretchy band from Bear Paw Creek, and am SO excited to use it, so was thrilled to find this pin with some great activities! So far, I've only used it to help students remain in a circle for a circle dance (which did totally help!) so I'm looking forward to using the band in other ways.

#2: Christmas version of "Bow Wow Wow"


Such a cute way to weave Christmas music into your lessons, using "Bow Wow Wow" as a melody! You can see another version of this on Amy Abbott's Facebook page.

#3: All through the night

Cool arrangement of "All through the night"! Love seeing kids in action, performing on Orff instruments and recorders!

#4: Sleigh Ride Cup Game


I am SO excited to use this cup game this week and next to help practice form while listening to a GREAT piece of music! 

#5: Composer ThingLink


This is so amazingly awesome....each picture has links to pieces by each composer! What a fun and interactive way to practice listening and learn more about music history!
To see more pins like this, follow me on Pinterest. Make sure to check out the other bloggers who have linked up with their five favorite pins!

Have a wonderful December, and an amazing holiday season!




02 December, 2015
Tips for directing a sing-along

Tips for directing a sing-along


The singalong is an event I first became familiar with my first year in my district. It's an opportunity for the entire student body, parents, family members, and teachers to all get together and sing. We do this in the thirty minutes before the holiday parties, the last day before break, and I have to say, I have really grown to love it! It's so wonderful to get such a big community of people together to sing songs...such a great way to get into the holiday spirit!

So what is a singalong? It is an event to which students, parents, family members, and staff are invited. Everyone sits like we would in an assembly, the lyrics are projected onto a big screen, and we SING!

Here are my tips for putting together your own singalong. Please note that these tips are more directed toward a winter holiday singalong but could work well for any other kind of singalong, like a patriotic music singalong for Veteran's Day.

Tips for directing a singalong: Ideas for putting together a holiday singalong for your school community!

#1: Keep special performances to a minimum
My first year in the district, when I was asked to help direct the singalong with the other music teacher, we made the mistake of having too many performing groups. We had the band play a piece, the orchestra play a piece, and a clarinet trio play, on top of all of the songs the kids were singing. Needless to say, it was too much...too much time needed for transition, and not enough whole group singing. Since then, I'll have small things added into the singalong, like:
  • The choir leading "Deck the Hall" (They sing "Deck the hall with boughs of holly, and the school sings "Fa la la la...")
  • 1st graders playing rhythm bells on "ho ho ho" and wood blocks on "click click click" for "Up on the house top"
  • A grade level leading an echo song (like "Che Che Kolay," to honor Kwanzaa)
  • A grade level singing the introduction to a song (like the intro to "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer")
  • A talented student pianist playing Christmas music as the students enter the gym to sit down
This way, certain groups/ individuals can shine without interrupting the flow of the singalong, and it's mostly focused on the whole group singing.

#2: Save the lyrics file as a PDF
My first year in the district, the other music teacher put together a really nice Powerpoint with fun fonts and backgrounds. Then, she had to transfer the Powerpoint to another computer in order to project the file...and she didn't realize until very shortly before the singalong that all her fonts had not transferred over with her Powerpoint. So if you need to change computers, make sure to save as a PDF, which you can easily do by going to "file," then "save as," then choose "PDF." That way, your fonts and formatting are all saved!

#3: Have a balance
Personally, I like to have a balance of types of accompaniment. Some songs we sing acapella, some songs we sing with student accompaniment (like with wood blocks and rhythm bells for "Up on the housetop,") some we sing with CD accompaniment, and some with piano accompaniment. That way, I'm not stuck behind a piano the whole time, and it gives the singalong some variety.

If you're looking for good recordings for accompaniment, you might check your textbook series for recordings without voice, or karaoke songs on iTunes. You can simply search "Jingle Bell Rock karaoke" or whatever you're looking for, and you should have quite a few to choose from.

Before the singalong, I put together a CD with all the tracks I need, and make sure to have someone to work sound when we need recordings.

#4: Represent all holidays
For our singalong, we sing mostly Christmas songs, but also have a couple Hanukkah songs (click here to see my all-time favorite Hanukkah song!) and a Kwanzaa song. For the Kwanzaa song, we sing an African song to honor African culture. You might also sing a Diwali song. In my mind, it doesn't matter if the whole community is Christian; it's great to teach students, staff, AND parents about different holidays, cultures, and customs through music!

As far as religious music goes, you will have to talk to your administrator about this. Because we are honoring several different cultures and religions through the singalong, we do sing one specifically religious song (this year will be "Silent Night," one of my favorites!) Some administrators and communities may want more than this, and some may want no specifically religious songs.

No matter what your administrator decides, it is wonderful to have a few holidays represented so students can learn about different cultures, if not different religions!

#5: Change it up every year
I like to change a few songs each year, just to keep it fresh and exciting. I usually have 10 songs for the 30-minute assembly, and each year I change a few of those ten. There are some songs I just have to do each year because they are SO much fun (I absolutely LOVE the rendition of "Feliz Navidad" by Chino Espinoza, which we just sing with the recording because I haven't found a karaoke version.) And there are some songs that I don't mind switching out (there are only so many times I can hear "Jingle Bells"!) It's nice to keep some songs standard, as it is that much easier to prepare the students for the singalong each year!

I typically take the two weeks before the singalong to get the students ready. I use the Powerpoint with lyrics I compile, as well as some books found in this blog post.

If you're looking for a good place to start, here is my Christmas singalong set which I'm using to compile my Powerpoint:


Here is an infographic I created with the suggestions:

Tips for directing a Christmas singalong: Easy steps to put together a singalong!


Have you done a singalong? Feel free to comment below with your advice. Happy singing!
19 November, 2015
Adapting to a new schedule

Adapting to a new schedule


A year and a half ago, my music schedule drastically changed, from music twice a week for 35 minutes to music once every 5 days for 50 minutes (on an ABCDE rotation)...with some slight variations, which I'll talk about in a minute.

Needless to say, I was a bit tentative and scared. I was disappointed I'd be seeing the kids less. Almost my entire career, I have taught music to each grade level twice a week for 30-35 minutes (with the exception of Kindergarten, which was once a week for 35 minutes.) Now I had to see pretty much everyone ONCE a week? How could I get through all of my concepts? Would they still retain the information as well? Would my 1st graders be able to pay attention for 50 minutes? Here is what my schedule actually looks like, what I love, what I don't, and how I have adapted.

Adapting to a new schedule: Tips for special areas teachers to adapt to a new schedule, especially a block schedule and/or longer class periods!


The bones of my schedule:
Last year, I saw Kindergarten once or twice a week for 25 minutes...depending on the week.
1st and 2nd grade came once a week for 50 minutes during one semester and twice a week for 50 minutes during the other semester (but during one semester, some classes were coming once and the others were coming twice, and then they flip-flopped! Is your head spinning yet?)
3rd, 4th, and 5th grade came once a rotation for 50 minutes, but once every four weeks, they had an extra music class.
This year, it's a bit more streamlined! Kindergarten comes once a week for 35 minutes. 1st, 2nd, and 5th grade come once a rotation for 50 minutes. And 3rd and 4th graders come twice a rotation...but once a rotation they come to me, and the second time they go to my colleague. We have worked out a great system, though, where one marking period she teaches all the traditional lessons, and I teach the extension lessons, and then we switch.

What I love:
I have to say, I never realized how much I had to rush through my 35 minute lessons until I had 50 minutes and could actually breathe. Like, have conversations with kids about what they did this weekend, or have time to get into a deep conversation about rhythm or melody or the purpose of a barline.

I LOVE the ABCDE rotation. You know how the classes you have on Monday and Friday get way behind every other class because of how many Mondays and Fridays you miss? That doesn't happen with ABCDE rotations, because if you miss on a Friday due to no school or a snow day, and Friday was supposed to be a C day, Monday becomes a C Day, and those kids still get music. Woo hoo! The only time you have to worry about kids getting behind is if you're sick, there is an assembly, or there is a 2-hour delay.

I love the consistency of the schedule. Most of the time, all of my classes for the week are on the same exact lesson, which is amazing!

What I don't love:
Although with the ABCDE rotation does even classes out a bit, I still see them for less time than I did before. This year, though, they did change it so that all 3rd and 4th graders get music twice a rotation (1st graders get art twice, and 2nd and 5th graders get P.E. twice.) So maybe in the end, it evens out! I am still very aware of less time, though, and constantly have to check to see where I'm at concept-wise and if I can cover everything I want to...and if they will be ready for it!

Which leads me to what else I don't love...I have noticed less retention. It's not as bad as I feared, but there still is at times less retention.

How have I adjusted?
As I wrote about above, because of the longer classes, I've been able to have more thoughtful conversations with students, which is great! I took a course called "Making Thinking Visible" through my district, which is based off of this book by Ritchhart, Church, and Morrison. I've been able to implement thinking routines, and am hoping to do this more and more. 

At times, I have to "catch" a class up to where all the other classes are, because they had a holiday party during their special, or we had an assembly, or I was sick. I used to occasionally do this with my former schedule, but I tried to not do it often, because in my mind every lesson is important and shouldn't be skipped. However, with music only once a week, I am very mindful of all the concepts and skills I still need to cover with them...and the schedule is so streamlined that it's easier to keep everyone on the same lesson if I can. So sometimes I do something my friend Matt calls "Frankensteining a lesson"...I piece together a part of this lesson and a part of that lesson and I catch them up!

I am now much more streamlined in when I write lesson plans. Previously, I wrote lessons as I needed to, which was at times a bit confusing. But now, on the A day, I don't lesson plan, I just teach the new lessons and see how they go. On the B day, I write Kindergarten and 1st grade for the next rotation. On the C day, I write 2nd and 5th grade. And on the D day, I write 3rd and 4th grade. Then on the E day, I make sure I have all the materials I need for the following week, print my lessons up, and type up my agenda.

Instead of throwing in a few more singing games to tag on 15 minutes to the lesson, I've added more variety to the lesson. Students might be playing instruments, doing creative movement, reading a book, or delving into a listening lesson. The variety seems to work really well. It's also much easier to do a more time-consuming activity, such as dictation on dry erase boards, composition, etc.

Before this new schedule, I was definitely purposeful in my planning, but now I feel like I'm even more purposeful. Only seeing most of the kids once every five days, I have to make sure that I get through everything I need to, that they know the songs they need to know, that they are retaining the information, etc.! Even though I already have year plans (which you can learn about here), I find myself sitting down every couple months to really look at what each grade level will be learning over the course of the next several weeks.

By adapting to this schedule and making these changes, I really feel like I've made it work for me and my students. Have you had to adapt to a block schedule like this? How has it worked for you? Feel free to comment below!


14 November, 2015
Five favorite pins of November

Five favorite pins of November

Hi everyone! Since it's November, so here is my five favorite pins linky party!


Here is my list for this month; just click each picture to view that pin. Also check the end of the blog post for a fun Pinterest contest!

#1: Dalcroze Eurhythmics Exercises

I just created a new Dalcroze-inspired board, and was excited to pin this to the board! These exercises could easily be used in the general music classroom as  way for students to internalize beat, improve inner hearing, and more!

#2: Composing with stickers

I just pinned this to my new board, Composing in the Music Room. What a fun way to have students write on the staff! 

#3: Land of the Silver Birch, Canoe Song, and Counter-Melody

I have done Land of the Silver Birch and Canoe Song as partner songs, but have never heard this counter-melody with it. Beautiful!

#4: Drum Circle Ideas

Elizabeth from Organized Chaos wrote a really comprehensive blog post about doing drum circles in your music classroom. SO helpful!

#5: In the Hall of the Mountain King movement activity


I know Halloween is over, but this is so fun! (And who says you can only listen to "In the Hall of the Mountain King" during Halloween??) 

For more pins like this, follow me on Pinterest, and check out this great blog post by Lindsay Jervis about other music pinners! Also make sure to see other great pins by viewing the link-up below!
Have a wonderful November!



10 November, 2015
Thanksgiving in the Music Room

Thanksgiving in the Music Room


Since Thanksgiving is just a couple weeks away, today I'm going to blog about my favorite Thanksgiving activities for the music room.

Thanksgiving in the Music Room: A game, a song, and a book for Thanksgiving music lessons!

Thanksgiving this year happens to fall on my birthday, so I'm feeling especially festive. :) Here goes!

Turkey rhythms
I wrote this blog post about using foam turkey feathers and paper plates to build rhythm turkeys. Here is a picture of my students working on it. It was a fun group activity and a great way to practice ta and ti-ti! You could use it with any rhythmic concept.

Turkey rhythms: A great way to practice rhythm! Blog post includes other great activities for Thanksgiving in the music room!


Grateful
I found this book on Pinterest last year, and finally got around to ordering it for next week's classes. It features a beautiful song by Art Garfunkel, and illustrations by John Bucchino and Anna-Liisa Hakkarainen. Excited to use it as a way to discuss meaning of lyrics, discuss what it means to be thankful/ grateful, and improve listening skills! (Note: I first ordered the book on Amazon, but it's out of stock, so I then reordered it on Books-A-Mllion. You can see the link by clicking on the picture of the book below):


Grateful: A beautiful picture book that could work really well around Thanksgiving. Blog post includes other great activities for Thanksgiving in the music room!


Native American music
Native American can be taught any time of the year, but if you're looking to do a unit on Native American music, Thanksgiving is a great time to do so! I just finished researching and creating sets about the Chippewa, Iroquois, and Ottawa tribes, and it was musically so interesting to look at the similarities and differences in the songs, when looking at songs from specific tribes. I found quite a few gems that are great for teaching low la, like this song, which is from the Chippewa/Ojibwe tribe:

Fox Hunter's Song: A Chippewa song.  Blog post includes other great activities for Thanksgiving in the music room!
I just found this website that has several great links and resources for teaching about Native Americans during Thanksgiving in a culturally responsive way.

The bundled set below includes several songs like the one above, slideshows to help teach musical concepts from the songs, as well as background for each tribe, including customs, geography, and more; you can also buy the sets individually by tribe.



Looking for more Thanksgiving activities for your music room? Check out this Pinterest board:

Looking for more games and activities for Thanksgiving? Check out these:

       

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
07 November, 2015
What I've learned about interactive notebooks

What I've learned about interactive notebooks


This year, I embarked on the journey of trying out interactive notebooks with my students. (You can read about why I started the notebooks in this blog post.) So far, I've been able to try them out with my third graders, and because this is so different from anything else I've done with my students, I thought I'd share my initial thoughts. Here is what I've learned so far about interactive notebooks:

Tips for interactive notebooks: Blog post is about using them in the music classroom, but tips could apply to any classroom!

1. Be prepared.
Before your students can walk into your room and begin their interactive notebooks, you'll need to prepare your room. I had thought about how to store my notebooks; here is a picture of my bookshelves and magazine racks from IKEA:

Tips for interactive notebooks: Blog post is about using them in the music classroom, but tips could apply to any classroom!


Up until a few days before my students used the notebooks, though, I hadn't thought about how to store the scissors, glue sticks, and crayons. Thankfully, I had bought these jungle-themed bins from Target, having no idea how I'd use them (oh, Target dollar section, how I love you so!) Here is a picture of students working on their notebooks with the bins in sight.

Tips for interactive notebooks: Blog post is about using them in the music classroom, but tips could apply to any classroom!

You'll also want to think about how many bins you need, and how you'll hand them out. I had students work in small groups of 4-5 and share the scissors, glue sticks, and crayons.

Another note, as you can see from the picture above, is that the notebooks can get pretty messy. However, I was really impressed by how quickly students could clean up in a matter of minutes! Maybe they are used to doing this in their grade-level classrooms?

2. It's okay to spend time coloring.
I fretted about this a bit as I watched students color for twenty or so minutes. I'm selfish with my time with them, and a few thoughts ran through my mind, like "They could be singing right now!" and "They could be preparing ti-tika right now!" But then I watched how relaxed and happy they were as they colored, and I thought of the articles I'd read about how coloring can relieve stress, and I thought, "Maybe this isn't so bad." The coloring doesn't last that long (it was mostly for the cover page) and aren't kids working ALL THE TIME in school? Is it so bad that they color for a little bit in my room and get to relax?
All right, guilt averted.

3. Have extension work available.
Some kids work faster than others, something I was reminded of as they worked. My third graders were working on the half note lift-a-flap page from my third grade interactive notebook set, so I quickly created another half note lift-a-flap page with different rhythm patterns, and those ready for students who got done sooner than others (and will soon be adding extra pages to my third and fourth grade interactive notebook sets for that very reason.) I also let those who finished both pages play their patterns on an instrument of their choice. It's good to have options for your early finishers so they are not twiddling their thumbs!

4. Be ready to take student suggestions!
Pretty soon after we began work on these, I had a student suggest that they were able to create their own songs and put them into their notebooks. Um...brilliant! So this is my next project with them. That way, they can glue down their work as they go, and I can easily see their progress!

5. It's different...but good!
Interactive notebooks are definitely a different kind of learning than my typical lessons. There is no whole-class singing, no games, no activity on the SMART board, etc. BUT they are still a valuable teaching tool. Students are making sense of what they've learned in an interactive and different way. I'm excited to continue this journey!

Looking for interactive notebooks for the music room? Try these:

    
       

Have you used notebooks in the music room? Feel free to comment below with what has worked for you!
29 October, 2015
Technology Tips for Choir

Technology Tips for Choir


As I started my choir this year, I incorporated technology in a way that hadn't before with choir, to save time and be more efficient. Today, I thought I'd share those strategies in case it helps save time with your choir!
Technology Tips for Choir: Using Google Forms to have students sign in to choir, but could also work with band, orchestra, or any other musical ensemble. Such a time saver!

Sign-up with Google Forms
Before I started recruiting for choir this year, I had a conversation with my friend Matt, who also directs a choir at his school. He mentioned that he was using Google forms to sign up students for choir, and I was so excited to try it with my students! In the past, I've always had students fill out half a sheet of paper with their information (like name, teacher's name, grade level, etc.) and then I collect all of the half sheets and enter the information into an Excel spreadsheet. Matt's idea, though, was ingenious, as it saves SO much time! Instead of them handing you a half sheet of paper which you then have to enter, I simply include a link in the parent letter home which they then go to, fill out the information, and then it pushes it to a Google spreadsheet with all of the necessary information. Brilliant!
You might try a URL shortener so you don't have a super long web address to share with parents. I've used Bitly, and just found out about tinyurl, in which you can customize the short web address.

Sign-in with Google Forms
Once my students are all signed up, it's time for the first rehearsal! In the past, I've had students sign into choir on attendance sheets posted outside my door. This works fine, but I have to admit that one of my least favorite tasks is to take the sheets off the wall, then enter the information into an Excel spreadsheet. I loved using Google Forms to have students sign up for choir, so thought I'd try it for sign-in! I am lucky enough to have eight i-pad minis in my room, so I use them to have students sign in. I split up the kids by their grade and first letter of their last name, so the 3rd graders whose last name starts with A-L go to one iPad and the third graders whose name starts with M-Z go to another iPad, etc. I have signs posted by each iPad, so students know where to go. Here is an example of the form I use. To create this, in Google drive, I went to "new," then "form," then added the question "What is your name," chose multiple choice, and typed in student names. To add more student names, click "click to add option." Then, when you're done editing, click "done."

After I created each form (you might have several, depending on how you chunk up your students), I then had to get it to my iPads. Instead of worrying about going to Google forms on each and every iPad, I instead made a QR code for each form and printed out this list of QR codes for easy access. Then, before each rehearsal, I scan each respective QR code on each iPad and the sign-ups are ready to go! If you don't have as many iPads as I do, you could make longer lists (like one per grade level), and put one on your iPad, one on your smart phone, and one on your computer and have each grade level or group go to the respective device. The Google form pushes it to a spreadsheet, and your information is all there! Instead of taking down the attendance sheets and entering into a spreadsheet, if you do it this way, you already have all the information you need!

I've created this Pinterest board with more ideas for choir:



Which technology tips have worked for you with your choir or musical ensembles? Feel free to comment below!

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