Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November....Thankful for Much

It's the last day of November, and our school district is having Snow Day #2 already!  Two days in a row the snow has fallen and the wind has blow it into drifts everywhere!  Sounds like a good time to write a blog!  November has flown by, as it always seems to do as we enter into the holiday season!  

Third Graders are preparing two songs on their recorders for their performance on December 13.  We have now learned five different note fingerings:  B-A-G-high C- and low E.  
Students did an activity that is part of the Candy Corn Music Puzzle Bundle by Tracy King on TPT.  The bundle includes puzzles for Dynamics, Notes and Rests and Recorders.  In this activity, students matched up note names, notes on the staff and the corresponding fingering on the recorder.  It was an enjoyable way to learn!
The highlight of our month was the entire school performing for our Veterans on Veterans Day.  We sang "Thankful for the USA" written by Teresa Jennings.  It's a fun, upbeat song, and we enjoyed learning it.  With the audience, we also sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", a song by American writer Julia Ward Howeusing, the music from the song "John Brown's Body".  Students sang three verses to this patriotic song, and from Kindergarten to Sixth grade, it was a favorite!  Students dressed up in their patriotic attire and proudly honored the veterans who were able to attend.  Many classes helped decorate the gym, with many many art projects.  It was great!
A special part of the day was that the Veterans stayed and shared lunch with the students.  Two of our grandchildren were happy to share some special time with Grandpa!

"I'm The Fastest Turkey" has to be students' all-time favorite musical game to play at Thanksgiving time!  The game is an echo game, with elements of Duck Duck Goose involved.  My beautiful turkey puppet is used as a prop.  Mr. Turkey gets lots of petting too!  For me, it gives me a chance to hear the students sing alone, to assess their singing voices in areas such as pitch, rhythm and dynamics.  I think that even high school students would play this game if given a chance!

Students in grades 4-6  in technology class have been blogging this month.  They are finishing up blogs on a favorite book they have read recently.  If you have one of these students in your family, ask them to share their blog with you!  Third graders will begin blogging.  Students are required to apply what they have been taught in other subject areas when they are writing....good grammar, correct spelling, appropriate sentence structure.  There are different specific requirements for each grade level, corresponding to what's required of them in their other classes.  
Integral to writing is the skill of proofreading.  Students not only proofread their own writing, but work together with a partner to proof each other's work.  It's always good to have another set of eyes look at your work!

The holidays provide a variety of games that not only work on computer skills such as mouse control, Internet navigation, typing etc. but also skills from other academic areas.  Kindergarten students reviewed counting by 1's, 5's and 10's while completing this turkey activity.  

Students in all grade levels continue to improve their speed and accuracy when keyboarding.  "Awesome posture" is something we visit about frequently as well!
Holiday Concerts are coming soon!  Hope to see many friends and family there to share the joy of making music with our students!