Friday, September 18, 2015

Swat that bus!

If you've ever looked around this blog, you'll know that I love fly swatter games.  They are great for individual assessments - and the kids don't even know you're testing them!  You just split them into teams, and 2 at a time come and try to identify the rhythm that you clap.

Here are all the makings of a great lesson:

We first read the book "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!" by Mo Willems.  You can see that book here:  

After every page, we practiced saying the phrase "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus."  The kids love the pigeon books, and so do I :)

Anyway, after the book was read, we figured out the rhythm together.  We decided it was "ta ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti ta rest rest rest."  We've been learning about bar lines, and it was a great moment to decide where the bar line was, and how many rests we needed to fill up that measure!

I found these foam buses in the dollar bins at Target.  I love foam manipulatives!  I have drawers and drawers full of them.

For only $1, it came with 10 pieces.  I was able to write different rhythms on them with a sharpie, and the fly swatter game commenced.

Great day!  We were able to incorporate literature, aural dictation, and aural assessments all on one day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Room design - oh what a nerd I am!

So, I am a huge nerd when it comes to certain TV shows.  I know they're kind of dumb -  for a select group of people - , but I love them anyway.  I'm not ashamed to admit it.  One of the shows that my husband and I like to watch is "Dr. Who."  It's definitely not for everybody, but we really like it.  I like that it's generally clean (family-friendly), and the premise of the show is good too.  Dr. Who basically travels around, saving people from bad things in a non-violent way.  Yes, it's cheesy.  But, it's also awesome.

Based on this love for such a silly show, I've decided my entire theme for my classroom this year is "Dr. Who."
I even have a door to my storage room designed to look like the TARDIS (Dr. Who's traveling space ship).  I wish I had darker blue butcher paper, but I had to make do with what I have :)

I've decided to use this door for my composer units.  My 3rd graders will be learning about Woody Guthrie very soon, so I put up a "Wanted" picture with him on it.  As we learn more about him, I'll add facts to the blank blue spaces on the door.

Next to this door, I have my rewards chart (I do a star chart) with a Dr. Who quote hanging up.  It says "900 years of time and space, and I've never met anyone who wasn't important."

I have various other Dr. Who quotes/plays on words as well:

I also have some music rules posted on the way into my room with this theme:

And, one of my favorite touches is my row of hats (the center one is a fez that I still need to hang up) - representing the different cultures Dr. Who, and our music classroom, can discover.

My students love it - even if they haven't seen the show.  Always a good thing :)