Thursday, June 26, 2014

Artsy Fartsy Friday {Linky Party}

And another busy week of summer has past! It is Friday and time for another Artsy Fartsy Friday linky with Lindsey Law at Miss Law's Kinders and myself. 

We have been so busy this week with presenting at our district's conference, Digipalooza, part of the Department of Education's Summer of eLearning Tour, that I was unable to do any of the artsy fartsy projects I was wanting to accomplish.  But we didn't want you to miss out the fun and showing off your crafty projects.  

If you have missed the linky party in the past, and are unsure of what it is, check out my previous post here with all the details on the linky party. 

Happy Artsy Fartsy Friday to you!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Artsy Fartsy Friday {Linky Party} Classroom Tree

It is time for another Artsy Fartsy Friday Linky with Miss Law's Kinders and Sew Much Music. This linky will continue every Friday all summer long!  Still don't know what this linky party is about? Check out my previous post with all the details right here

Want to link up? 
1. Grab the Artsy Fartsy image and link to one of our blogs. 
2. Blog about a craft or project you have been working on this week. 
3. Link up at the bottom! 

Now on to my Artsy Farsty project for this week: Classroom Tree!

I have a songbird theme in my music classroom.  I have always wanted a tree painted in the corner of my classroom so I could place little songbirds on the branches.  I got my wish! 

Along with my wonderful mother-in-law (the true artist), we created a real-life tree mural in the corner of my classroom.  It is only in the beginning stages.  I hope to add some green pompoms for leaves and some little song birds. Maybe a music quote, too?!

Here is how we did it:

1. We began with a sketch of the tree. This was clearly my mother-in-laws sketch! I am not an artist, AT ALL!  

2.  We then went to Wal-Mart to buy the paint! Hint: buy the small paint samples.  You will only need one of each color! We purchased a dark brown, medium brown, and light brown.  You will need a quart of paint for the base color. 

3.  Next, draw the tree outline on the wall with a pencil.  Tip: Make sure to step back to check for correct branch proportions.  

4. Fill in the outline with the base color.  We used a small roller to do the wider parts of the tree, then a hand brush for the small branches. 

5. Add more color! This is the fun part!! Using a 2 inch paint brush, lightly dip the brush into the lighter colored paint.  Apply very gentle and dry brush strokes over the base color to get a "brushy" look! (Is that a word?!). Once you have finished with the lightest color, do the same with the darker color. 

6.  Finally, using a very small brush roughly outline the tree with the darkest color. You can see my outline on the right side of the photo above! 

7. Masterpiece! 

I LOVE that my tree goes all the way to the ceiling and looks realistic! I can't wait to add the final touches and show you! 

Thanks for stopping by for Artsy Fartsy! Want to link up? Add your link below and don't forget to comment on the two link-ups in front of you and the linky after you!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Artsy Fartsy Friday {Linky Party}: Filing Cabinet Makeover

We are so excited to bring you our first Artsy Fartsy Friday Linky Party.  Miss Law's Kinders and Sew Much Music are collaborating to host a weekly linky all summer long!  Still don't know what this linky party is about? Check out my previous post with all the details right here

Want to link up? 
1. Grab the Artsy Fartsy image and link to one of our blogs. 
2. Blog about a craft or project you have been working on this week. 
3. Link up at the bottom! 

Now on to my Artsy Farsty project for this week: filing cabinet makeover!

My very fun craft project for this week was to revamp my filing cabinets.  Along with my great friend Lindsey at Miss Law's Kinders, we transformed our filing cabinets from boring to extraordinary! Here are the final results: 

To begin, you will need the following:
  • Spray paint (2 cans for 2-drawer cabinet, 4 cans for 4-drawer cabinet)
  • Gloves
  • Painter's tape
  • Tarp
  • Contact paper
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Exacto knife
  • Squeegee
  • Wrench or screw driver 

Step 1: Prepare to Paint
Take the drawers out of the filing cabinet. Place the filing cabinet on a tarp outside. Make sure to tape down the corners of the tarp so the wind does not blow it. Using painter's tape, tape off any areas that you do not want painted, such as the school inventory label or locking devices. 

Step 2: Paint
For my classroom, I wanted a bright pink filing cabinet! I selected to use the Rustoleum Ultra Cover spray paint that I found at our local Wal-Mart.  The color I selected is called Berry Pink.  For my 2-drawer filing cabinet, I needed 2 cans of spray paint.  The taller, 4-drawer cabinets, require 4 cans of spray paint.  Also, make sure to wear rubber gloves! We learned the hard way :)

Next, begin to paint the filing cabinets with slow, wide sweeps.  Once you get one coat done, wait for it to dry, and then apply another coat.  It required three coats to get the finished look. 

Don't forget to paint the metal pieces between the drawers! I completely forgot about mine the first time!  Keep remembering to be patient even when your fingers are cramping up! 

Step 3: Drawers
While the paint is drying, it is time for the long and detailed process of applying the contact paper to the front of the drawers.  But don't worry, it is SO worth it!  I found a great deal on gray chevron contact paper on Amazon.  You get two rolls for only $10.99, plus free 2-day shipping with Prime! This company creates a variety of chevron colors and other prints.  You can cover eight drawer fronts with one roll of contact paper.  

To prepare for the contact paper, take of ALL the hardware on the drawer front.  Trust me, I learned the hard way.  We tried to cut around the metal parts, but it just resulted in bubbles and wrinkles.  At first, I didn't think I could take off the handle, tag plate, and latch, but oh, was I wrong.  You have to take the whole back cover off! Undo the one screw and then pop the back cover off.  You may need a flat head screwdriver to help pop it off. 

Once the back is taken off, simply unscrew remaining bolts and push out the latch.  Note: some items may not be able to come off the drawer.  As a result, you will have to cut around the item with an Exacto knife. Your drawer should now look like this: 

Next, measure your drawer front and add 1/4 inch to the measurement in order to seal around the edges.  Cut the contact paper to fit the drawer front. This type of contact paper had a very easy grid on the back.  Simply measure your paper and cut!

Follow the directions on the contact paper for application directions.  Start at the top of the drawer. Peel back the top of the paper and evenly place the contact paper on the top of the drawer.  Using a squeegee, or other type of similar tool, like a plastic ruler, smooth out the air bubbles.  While working down the drawer, slowly pull off the back paper, continuing to push out air bubbles.  Do not push on air bubbles too hard because the contact paper can rip.  

Once the front is all on, smooth the edges of the contact paper over the drawer edges for a good seal.  Do the same for all drawer fronts.  If you still have some bubbles in the contact paper, simply poke the bubbl3 with a safety pin and push the air out. 

Reattach hardware. I just poked my screws through the contact paper.  If you feel more comfortable, you can use the Exacto knife to cut the contact paper.  And yes, my arm is a nice shade of pink! And it is not a sunburn :)

 Step 4: Assemble
Place your drawers into the filing cabinets, and viola, a complete transformation! I am so pleased with the results!  Even though a little time consuming, this filing cabinet makeover was simple, and oh, so beautiful!  Don't you think?!

Want to learn all the details about the yellow filing cabinet? Check out Lindsey's blogpost for Artsy Fartsy Friday! 

I look forward to sharing many Artsy Fartsy Friday projects with you throughout the summer! Don't forget to link up at the bottom to share your classroom craft projects!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Two for Tuesday {Linky Party}

It is Tuesday again and that means it is time for another link up with The Teaching Tribune for Two for Tuesday!  This Tuesday is even extra special since it is officially my first day of summer break!  For this linky, I will be marking two of my TPT products down to 50% off!

With lots of sunshine and relaxing in my future, I thought I would mark down  one of my newest summer graphic sets of Neons

This bundle will be marked down to only $3.00!  It is filled with over 50 bright neon digital papers, banners, borders, frames, and even flower clipart!  
It includes over 100 neon graphics! 

Secondly, the Primary Scribbles digital paper pack will only be $0.75! 

This primary scribbles are a fun addition to any digital design! Papers come with white backgrounds and transparent backgrounds. 

Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to catching all the other great deals on The Teaching Tribune! 

Artsy Fartsy Friday {Linky Party}

I am teaming up with Lindsey Law at Miss Law's Kinders to bring to you a summer long linky party featuring all your classroom and crafty projects.  This linky party is to display your 'artsy fartsy' side to other educators and is intended to bring the best projects to you all in one place each Friday over summer break! 

If you would like to join this weekly linky this Friday, June 13th, simply grab the image above, blog about your artsy fartsy project, and link up at the bottom starting thursday night at 9:00 p.m. EST.

1. This linky party is not intended to advertise personal items.  We are huge advocates for Teachers Pay Teachers, but we want this linky intended to showcase great projects that others could do in their own classroom.

2. We love the rule of three!  Please visit and comment the two links ahead of you and on the one link after you.  This helps to provide feedback and generate traffic to each others' blogs. 

Don't forget to link the linky image to either Miss Law's Kinders or Sew Much Music!

Check back starting Thursday night to join in on the 'artsy fartsy' fun!!! 


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Monday Meet Me

Today I am linking up with The Teaching Tribune for Monday Meet Me! 

Here is a little info about me:

I look forward to meeting you as well! Head over to The Teaching Tribune to link up or leave a comment below so I can get to know you, too!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Perfect Poolside Planning {Blog Hop}

Welcome to stop #3 here at Sew Much Music! I am so excited to be participating in this blog hop with wonderful music educators around the world. Thank you to Lindsay Jervis for hosting! 

After just finishing my last day of school, I can't believe it is already time to start planning for next year.  My summer goal is to revamp my entire curriculum as my district begins a new curriculum mapping system.  What better way to plan, then planning while laying by the pool?! If only we really had a pool! So as I sit here throughout the summer planning for next year, I will just have to imagine a nice cool pool!!! Maybe this will help :)

If this is your first time visiting my blog, I'll start by explaining my current position. I am the only elementary music teacher for my district. I, along with my music aide, teach at all four elementary schools. As a result, I am the one and only person in charge of creating a curriculum map for my district...yikes!  I look forward to hopping through these blogs to learn some new strategies for year long planning in order to help with my curriculum mapping adventures.  

For today's blog hop, I will discuss daily lesson planning in my classroom, along with my favorite curriculum resources. I will also provide some links to useful and excellent lesson plan templates.  

Daily Lesson Planning

Being the only music teacher in my district, I have a music aide that teaches the same lessons as myself.  Even though he has a musical background, he is not a certified teacher.  We operate on a two week rotating schedule, where the students see me every two weeks.  They then see my aide during the weeks I am not there.  In order for my students to stay on the same page in the curriculum across the district, I provide my lessons to my music aide.  As a result, I provide extremely detailed lessons. (And I mean extremely detailed.)  My lesson plans are typically two to three pages long, due to immense detail dedicated to the teaching process. 

To begin my lesson plans, I always list the unit title, lesson title, and grade level at the top of my lessons.  I then make sure to include the lesson objectives, state standards, and national standards.  Next, comes the list of needed materials.  Listing the materials needed for a lesson is a huge time saver when prepping for your classes.  Just glance at your created list, and set the items out so you are ready to go! Following the materials, I begin my very detailed process of teaching the concepts.  To conclude the lesson, I always list my assessment process.  

As I began to write this blog post, I realized I needed to find some other templates that could be useful when planning for music classes.  When looking on TPT recently, I found a couple of music lesson plan templates that each have their own special features that I really enjoy. I hope to give these a try as I begin my summer planning. And the best part, they are all FREE!

1. Lesson plan template from Fruity Music and Things. It fits my typical lesson planning style, but with clear boxes and divisions. 

Like many available templates, you will just need to update the standards to the new National Coalition for Core Art Standards that were released this week! 

2. Lesson plan template from Marissa Colon. I LOVE the clear, color-coordinated boxes in the lesson plan template. With the check boxes, it makes it simple to just go through each category and mark the boxes. It also provides a section for ESL/ELL accommodations. 

3. Lesson template by David Row at Make Moments Matter (Also, the next stop on the blog hop.) 

In this lesson plan, David includes a section to mark the lesson focus, along with the national standards and assessment tools.  However, my favorite feature of this template is that he dedicates a section to transitions. In college, there wasn't a lot of focus dedicated to transitioning in the classroom.  This was an area I really struggled with during my first year of teaching (along with many other things as a first year teacher.)  By having a section to record the transition activity, it allows the teacher to plan what type of transitions will occur. 

What does my daily classroom lesson look like? 

On a typical day, my lessons are always filled with movement, singing, dancing, and playing.  Having my first two levels of Orff Schulwerk training, my lessons greatly reflect this approach to music education.  Like many of you, I try to incorporate movement activities and songs around a specific theme or music idea for a lesson in a unit.

When writing my lessons for the week, I could not plan without some great curriculum resources.  

Here are a few of my favorite resources: 

Even though I don't follow this curriculum exactly, I find that this active Orff-based music curriculum is an excellent resource! I recently purchased this series last summer during my Orff Level 2 training. Even though it is a little pricey, the elementary curriculum is totally worth the investment.  The set does not come with student books, only teacher manuals and visuals.  Each grade level book contains 35 weeks of lesson plans. Each plan is estimated for a 60 minute lesson. This series outlines musical objectives in a logical progression that are developmentally appropriate throughout the entire elementary curriculum. 

2. Any book by John Feierabend

John Feierabend is the author of numerous, and may I say fabulous, music resources.  From circle games to movement activities, Feierabend has written a book that engages students through the traditions of folk music and creativity.  

Feierabend's "The Book of Movement Exploration" has seen a lot of use in the past couple of years.  He includes activities that are not only fun, but also develop students' knowledge and awareness of time, body, space, locomotion, flow, and shape. 

Another one of Feierabend's books that I continuously reference is "The Book of Beginning Circle Games." 

From stationary circles to traveling circles, this resource includes a variety of circle games. Even though I use most of these activities in the younger elementary grades, there are activities for all ages. 

I hope you enjoyed my favorite resources for lesson planning, along with the sharing of some music lesson plan templates. Do you have a favorite lesson plan template or lesson planning resource? I would love to hear about them in the comments below! 

Now hop on over to David Row's blog, Make Moments Matter, by clicking on the picture below for more planning ideas! Then you can go take a dip in the pool! Have a great summer!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Two for Tuesday

Today I am linking up with The Teaching Tribune for "Two for Tuesday!" 

Along with many other great teachers, I will be offering two of my products for 50% off on Tuesday only! 

Since summer break is only four days away for me, my Lovin' Summer clipart set will be on sale for only $2.75! This set is filled with over 80 graphics! Banners, frames, and lots of digital papers!

I will also have my new Chalkboard Flower Frames on sale for only .75! The frames come in two styles: solid colors and polka dots! 

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check out all the sales over at The Teaching Tribune!