I teach full-time K-5 elementary music in Kansas, while supporting my husband through his PhD. I have a wonderful family: a musical, handsome, and very funny husband, and the most wonderful 5-year-old daughter in the world! We are currently completing paperwork in the hopes of adopting another child sometime soon. I am certified in Kodaly and have taken Levels 1 and 2 Orff Training (hoping to take the rest soon) - and love to incorporate both approaches in my teaching.
A few weeks ago I was at Dollar Tree (I really should by stock in that store since I get a lot of stuff there) and found these awesome fly swatters:
Just for an idea on how big these really are, here is my 4-year-old daughter holding one up:
My students absolutely love them! One student told me that these were big enough to "whack an elephant!"
Love it! You must go buy them now!
I have blogged before about my "fly swatter" games that I like to play in class. I have recently uploaded a few products to Teachers Pay Teachers (some free) that would be great to use these with:
1. Rhythm flash cards (one set is free, the others are a bundled set). I like these because they are color-coded by rhythmic concept. I include large flash cards for large-group practice, and smaller flash cards that you can print, cut out, and laminate for small group practice, fly swatter games, memory games, etc.
Here is an example of one of the printable pages. You cut them out, laminate, and swat away!
3. I don't just advertise my own stuff. I would be nowhere without the examples and help from other music teachers. One of my heroes - never even met her - is music teacher Amy Abbott. Read her amazing blog here: Amy Abbott's music blog. Anyway, she has recently uploaded a lot of "fly swatting" games to TpT - with rhythmic, melodic, and recorder skills. She has them for sale individually, in bundles, and more. Check them out here: Amy Abbott's fly swatter games.
I am actively practicing notating sol, la, and mi on a 3-line staff with my 1st graders right now. We have recently used the song "Doggie, Doggie," which I'm sure most of you are familiar with. If not, here it is:
I recently made a PowerPoint presentation of this song, which teaches rhythm and solfa, which you can find here: Doggie Doggie presentation
This song is great to review staff notation. I usually use a 3-line staff with my 1st graders, and get to a 5-line staff in 2nd grade when I introduce "do." We do a lot of activities where the students read staff notation, write staff notation, and improvise staff notation. With this song, I created a simple game where I made 4 different cards with the staff notation. The students received these cards and had to sort them in the right order:
Afterwards, we practiced singing them in a different order. The kids got a kick out of this - they thought it sounded so funny!
This song has a very simple guessing game that goes with it that helps the students practice "solo" singing:
It is a great, non-scary way to get your kids to sing by themselves. It helps me assess whether or not they can match pitch. However, sometimes my kids get restless and I added a part to this game that keeps them playing it longer, so I can assess more kids :) If the "doggie" guesses the "thief" correctly, they get to chase them around the circle to try to get the bone back! Just that one little addition that gets the students moving a little bit makes the game so much more fun, and my kids just beg and beg to play it.