Five Favorite Pins of November – 2013
#1 – Favorite FREE Teacher Fonts
I learned my first year teaching that fonts can be really, really fun to play around with. However, for younger minds (and especially for ESL students) extreme fonts can sometimes make reading more difficult and actually make it harder for kids to decode words.
When I stumbled across this pin I knew it was a winner. Here is a variety of fonts that are easy to read and fun and a TON that feature the lowercase “A” without the little hook on top that some of my kindergarten teachers call the “fancy a.” You see the “fancy a” all the time in fonts and typing; it’s the little “a” of the font that this blog post currently uses. However, the fancy A it is hardly ever taught to new writers/readers as they use the “a” that you see in the picture on the left. When young learners see the “fancy a” they try and emulate it in their writing instead of using the “a” that they’re taught. For that reason I try and find fonts without the fancy a so that kids are focused on reading and not on the odd-looking font.
#2 – Multicultural Kids Clip Art
I love this pin! I needed clip art for my “December Round the World” bulletin board and this was the perfect match. The kids in this clip art set run the gamut of cultural backgrounds and have different heights and body types. There’s a kid with braces, a child with glasses, and a student in a wheel chair (which I know will mean a lot to my students who are also in wheel chairs). I like to find graphics that are inclusive of all people and teach kids to accept diversity. So often in our musical text books, kids books, or song lyrics the faces and names are so white and European. This set of clip art is perfect and will be something I come back to use again and again. Well worth the $4.
#3 – DIY Corn Shaker
I love this idea since it’s perfect for fall and harvest season. Creating something like this (either making it with the kids or on your own) gives you a ton of things to talk about with kids. You can help them relate the corn to harvest but you can also talk a lot about the science of sound. For instance, you can talk with students about shaker instruments in general and how they work and also the differences in sound depending on how much corn you put in/the bottle size and type/whether you put anything in with then corn (like corn AND beans). Or you can just make the shakers and use them with your favorite fall song. So many options!
#4 – Nutcracker Prezi Presentation
This is the time of year to start gearing up for Nutcracker Season and this is another awesome Nutcracker resource to add to your list! If you’re not familiar, a “Prezi” is just an online, animated presentation. Think of it as a PowerPoint with a little more kick. This pre-made presentation about the Nutcracker ballet will be a great starter to give kids an overview before we watch the Nutcracker itself. The Prezi would also be a great pre-lesson if your school travels to see the Nutcracker ballet live at a local venue. The presentation would help kids to know what to look for and would give them insight into the characters before the show actually happens.
#5 – Do As I’m Doing Action Cards
These fantastic movement cards were created for a specific song and activity that I’m not familiar with. That said, I think they could be used and adapted for nearly any movement activity that you like. You could print off the pictures and glue them onto craft sticks (as the original article suggests) so that you can hold them up for kids to see when moving. You could also potentially add the images to a PowerPoint presentation to make the image a little bit bigger and easy to change.
If you spend any more time on this designer’s website you’ll find a lot of things for Sunday school and church services. Everything is free and such a wonderful quality. Tons of resources especially for baptism if you need images for that!
#6 – Food for Celebration!
This final pin is just for fun and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with music education. However, I’ve visited quite a few Pinterest pages of music teacher out there and while we all have boards and boards with thousands of pins about music education… there’s also usually one or two boards with Food Favorites! This Lucky Charms party mix is quick and easy and amazingly good! I’ve made it for professional development, holiday parties, and for random occasions where I need to bring something to share. Check it out.