Five Favorite Pins of April – 2014
#1 – Marzano Scales the Kids Can Understand
Our district is working to adopt the work of Robert Marzano into our teaching practice (apparently he’s the new Bloom, the new Mazlow, the new… well he’s not that new). One big thing that dominates nearly all of our professional development is work around scales and rubrics and often it seems like the work takes us places that kids cannot really understand. I’ll be honest, sometimes I end up with my eyes crossed and my head spinning… it’s not always easy for teachers to comprehend!
That’s why I was so excited to find this awesome free resource that makes scales a little easier for kids to comprehend. This product puts the scales and rubrics into kid-friendly language. The scale is easy to adapt for a variety of settings. Oh, and did I mention it’s free?
#2 – Learning to Identify Instruments by their Sound
Here’s another cool freebie that I found! It’s a great place for you to go and hear excerpts of the instruments of the orchestra. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s youth outreach hosts this website and has a ton of great resources. You can hear each instrument play an excerpt of their own music, play a scale (or something like it), and almost every instrument will play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I LOVE that aspect of the site because then you can play two contrasting instruments like the bassoon vs. violin or flute playing the same song. It’s so easy for kids to hear the differences in timbre this way. How can you use this? Consider putting it as a center activity at your computers or with an iPad. Kids can tool around on the site and hear lots of different instruments. You could even give them an easy listening worksheet so that they can talk about the contrasts that they hear.
#3 – Ideas for Creating with Cardboard
I’m constantly looking for ideas about how to create sets/props/accents for stages and for future music programs. I don’t have a very large budget for this and am constantly trying to find “hacks” and workarounds to turn straw into gold…. or butcher paper into landscapes. You know what I mean.
This pin takes you to a blog post that gives you LOTS of ideas about how to create things out of cardboard, what cardboard to look out for, and how to find cardboard to use for projects and concerts. The blog isn’t run by a music person, but the information she goes through is something that all of us can use! It’s a great reference, if nothing else, and has some wonderful tips.
#4 – 100+ Sites Where Kid Can Make Music Online
We’re starting to talk about the “Summer Slump” in my building. You know, that time where kids have their “long” summer vacation and lose some of the information that they’ve learned all year long. Now, the classroom teachers can see some of this information loss from year to year, but I feel like specialist teachers like Art, Music, P.E., Library, etc. really feel the brunt of this since we actually see kids from year to year and can track their growth. The website linked in this pin is something that I’m definitely going to post on our school website and give to my students. The one site has links to hundreds of great music making websites where kids can go and explore on their own time. It’s a great place for them to find fun and exciting ways to make music. You should check through the sites too and see if there is anything that you can incorporate into your classroom to help illustrate concepts!
#5 – DIY Easter Egg Shakers
NOW IS THE TIME! Go and get discounted plastic Easter Eggs NOW so that you can make these awesome little maracas for your classroom. All things Easter have just gone on sale and those hollow plastic eggs are on sale everywhere. The egg shaker/spoon maracas seem super easy to make with spoons, eggs, and colored duct tape. This is the kind of project/instrument you could use and pull out at Eastertime/Springtime for a seasonal lesson or even use all year long. This is a super fun idea and SERIOUSLY something you should go out and buy now while all those Easter eggs are on super sale! I’ll race you to the Dollar Tree!