Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Back to School Bulletin Boards

Hello!!! Wow has it been a wild and crazy month?! My plan was to blog more when school was out in May, but oh my, I have been busier this summer than I was in school! So now I am making it a goal to up my blogging game! I am beginning by linking up with David Row at Make Moments Matter for his Back to School Bulletin Boards for the Music Classroom! 

First, let me begin by saying, I LOVE, and I mean LOVE, bulletin boards.  Along with my handy dandy Cricut and many trips to the fabric and craft store, I go all out with my bulletin boards.  Since I am at four schools, I do not change them much through out the year.  So I begin each year with at least two big and bold bulletin boards at each school! 

To begin, I will show you my Recorder Karate bulletin board!  I use this bulletin board to keep track of my students' progress throughout the curriculum (along with my own paper version checklist).  It also holds my students' accountable because this bulletin is displayed in the hallway for all the parents, students, and teachers to see their progress! I adopted this display system from my mentor teacher, Jenni Koenemann.  Instead of using a bulletin board, however, she actually used felt-covered frames to display her students' progress.

I use the Recorder Karate system with my 4th grade recorder students.  When they pass their belt song, they not only receive their karate belt, but they also get to move their music note on the bulletin board for everyone to see.  I purchase these music notes from Punkydoodles. After laminating each music note, I write each student's name on the music note with a silver sharpie.  They then move their music note to their correct belt color on the board in the hallway. Since it is the beginning of the year, there weren't any music notes on this board yet :(  Below is a picture from last year of the bulletin board with the music notes.  I have done a LOT of improvements since last year :)

More details about the bulletin......layer! I think layering the borders makes it POP! Both borders are from Creative Teaching Press.  I also added the cute little poms at the top corner, inspired by School Girl Style.  These are 8 inch tissue poms that I just ordered online! Even though you can't tell in this picture, the background is a fun music fabric! I always use fabric for my bulletin boards so I can reuse them for years to come! (And they are fadeless!!!)  The karate kids are part of the Recorder Karate curriculum.  I not only printed out these cute kiddos, put I painted them, and laminated each one! Lastly, I made the belt signs, recorders, music notes, and header on my Cricut! 

Here is my second bulletin board at use at each of my schools: 

This bulletin board is my Piano Rewards system that I use for every class, except kindergarten.  With this bulletin, each class has a clothespin with their teacher's name on it. (They are currently being updated with new teacher names.)  At the end of each music class, the students rank themselves in 5 categories: making their best effort, using good posture, stating something they learned, pointing to someone who inspired them, and cooperating with others. Each category is worth up to 5 points and was also created by Jenni Koenemann, my mentor teacher.  

Students hold up their points they think they deserve in each category.  I then take the class majority and place that score for their points.  If students score a PERFECT score, they get to move their class clothespin up two piano keys.  If they get a 24, then they get to move their clothespin up one piano key.  Anything below a 24, the students do not get to move their clothespin for that music class.  The first class to reach the end of the piano will receive a prize.  Prizes include a dance party, folk dancing, music videos, sing alongs, or even candy.  The students really work together in achieving a perfect score each music class! The teachers also really join in on the competition between the classes! 

I hope you enjoyed my bulletin boards! I can't WAIT to show you the rest of my classroom in my upcoming classroom tour post! Eek! I am getting excited! To check out other bulletin board ideas for the music classroom, visit Make Moments Matter by clicking on the top photo! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July Currently

Hello SUMMER!!!! Today I am linking up with Farley 
at Oh, Boy 4th Grade for the July Currently. 

Here is what I am currently doing, or thinking, or hoping for the month of July! 

Listening: I am currently listening to the Today Show.  I really love this news show and miss out on it when school is in session.  

Loving: I am LOVING summer, no bed time, sleep however late I want, hanging out with teacher friends, eating lots of great food, making impromptu trips, and so much more! 

Thinking: I am thinking about my AMAZING dinner I had last night.  One of my great friends from high school is a chef at Sydney Street Cafe.  (Side note: if you are ever in St. Louis, you must go there!!!) He is home this week so we all decided to take a day trip to Nashville to eat at Husk (a 3 hour drive, one way).  Let's just say we had 6 appetizers, 3 entrees, and 2 desserts among 3 people. It was delicious! And another great part of the day: the boys let me go to the Vera Bradley Outlet and snatch up some awesome deals! 

Wanting: I am definitely want to swim and get my tan on on this beautiful summer day.  It is supposed to be in the mid-80's for the rest of the week! Sounds glorious to me! 

Needing: Oh am I NEEDING to get my homework done for my online grad class.  I don't know about these online classes.  They just give you all the assignments the first day, and it is all due at the end of the semester.  This is bad for me....I am a procrastinator.  Wish me luck that I can get these done! 

4th Plans: I plan on spending a long weekend with my husband and wonderful in-laws at their gorgeous lake house. Boating, skiing, fishing, paddle boating, canoeing, and swimming.... I CAN'T WAIT! Oh, and did I mention lots of food and fireworks! 

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you are enjoying your summer!