Monday, October 7, 2013

Beginning Belts for Recorder

It's recorder time!! My 4th grade classes have been playing for two weeks now. We have been working on fundamentals and playing with a pretty, soft sound. I've also been crazy about articulation. I don't know why but a "fwah" attack drives me insane!

I am doing a couple things differently this year in order to reinforce all these great fundamental habits and really motivate the students. First, like recorder karate, we have 3 beginning belts: Black and Yellow striped, Pink and Sparkly.

Black and Yellow: "B Belt"
Hold a B with a soft, pretty sound for 20 counts with left hand on top and good posture. We practice a breathing exercise every time they come to music up to 24 counts.

Pink: Tonguing Belt
Tongue 4 notes in a row with a tah attack on each one

Sparkly: First solo
Play Hot Cross Buns for the class. I make my students leave their recorders in the classroom until they can play a song as a class. It is a great motivating tool and keeps them from going home and reinforcing bad habits.

Here is a picture of my recorder with the belts attached. I use pipe cleaners and they work like magic. The kids can get them on easily and they stay on! For the B belt, I just twisted yellow and black together. My fifth grade class came up with pink for tonguing. Everyone has gotten a kick out of that. And of course, sparkly is the most exciting belt.

Second, during class I am watching for students who are putting forth great effort and doing the fundamentals well. When I see or hear something great, I give the student a ticket. (Those carnival ride tickets...2000 on a roll for 4 bucks) They write their name on it and place it in the box. At the end of the six weeks, I will draw out x number of tickets and we are having an "Ice Cream Sundae Party."

As a review of fundamentals and a ticket opportunity, I sat in front of the class and performed things wrong, like posture, left over right, breathing, tonguing, etc. I asked the class to figure out what I was doing wrong and when they knew, raise their hand. If the person I called on got it correct, they got a ticket. Every hand in the room was up!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Carnival of the Animals Listening Tickets

Last year, my third grade classes were split by semester. This year we have year long classes with 3rd grade, but they are HUGE!

The good thing is that I can revisit Carnival of the Animals! The librarian and I have decided to do art activities with 3rd grade (because our art teacher travels to the high school after lunch) and I am incorporating that into my Carnival of the Animals unit with 3rd grade. This also coincides with their field trip to the zoo!

As an intro to each lesson, I have decided to play the piece and have the students make a prediction about the animals that is being depicted.

You can get the tickets HERE.

Fossils has a special ticket asking for the name of a familiar song. These tickets are included in the PDF.

Football Rhythms

In 5th grade, I have a room full of boys! I mentioned in an earlier post about playing the rhythm football game. Everyone loves this game! It is definitely worth the 3 bucks! As an additional activity for 5th grade, I created a word rhythm matching worksheet with NFL teams.

I let my classes work with a partner to sound out the teams and match them with the rhythms. My 5th graders are especially interested in college teams so I added a page for them to figure out the rhythm of their favorite college teams.

You can get the PDF file HERE.