Saturday, October 22, 2016

Music Resources for FALL!

My friend, Sally, at Sally's Sea of Songs, has created an amazing resource list chock-full of ideas for just about any time of the year.  Since we are currently in the Fall months, I thought I'd feature her resource lists for Fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving.
Check them out by clicking on the pics below.
Enjoy browsing through the many fabulous products.  I hope you find the perfect one that fits your classroom!  Happy Fall Y'all.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Celebrate America - Part 3


Welcome back to Celebrate America.  Let's recap this great deal happening on TpT through July 4th. Click the pic to head on over to my store for this new Western Music Decor - Welcome Banner. #LetFreedomRingMusic gives you the opportunity to hunt down some crazy FREE products from nearly 50 music educators.
Today and tomorrow I'm celebrating with 20% off my entire store.  Grab your wishlist items - everything from music room decor to Boomwhacker activities, from drumming to rhythm cards. Click the pic to visit The Bates Clef and shop the sale!
 Thanks for stopping by.  Have a happy and safe holiday with your family and friends :)

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Celebrate America - Part 2

Have you had a chance to visit #LetFreedomRingMusic yet?  Time is still available to catch your FREE music products through July 4th. Just click the pic!
 Today brings more exciting news.  It's #RedWhiteAnd2 time!  Many music educators will have a chosen product for $2 TODAY ONLY!  Be sure to go there to grab some super deals. Click the pic below to grab my Camo Music Orchestra Posters while they're on sale!
But wait...there's more!  Come back tomorrow for 
Celebrate America - Part 3!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Celebrate America!

Happy 4th y'all!  Come celebrate with me, and other fine music educators, on TpT for a few days while stocking up on some most AMAZING deals!
The first deal is #LetFreedomRingMusic.  It's all happening now on TpT.  Find FREE products from today through the 4th of July!  CLICK the pic below to pick up my new Western Music Decor - Welcome Banner.

 Come back tomorrow for another sweet deal to celebrate America!


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Three Summer Goals

I love summer!  It's a time to rest, rejuvenate, and accomplish those mundane tasks I've been avoiding during the school year.  I've linked up with Mrs. Miracle's Music Room today to discuss my 3 Summer Goals.

1. Family Time!
I am a family girl at heart.  I love spending time with my husband and three kids.  Whether it's all five of us snuggled up in the living room watching tv, or riding go-karts and eating sno-cones, my fave thing is doing life together. It's been a while since we've taken a family vacation, so I'm really excited about our week-long water trip.  It's nothing fancy-in fact, our destination is only about 5 hours from home, but we'll be swimming in a natural swimming hole, riding tubes down a river, visiting one of the world's largest waterparks, and exploring other relaxing adventures.  Making memories is top on my list for this summer :)
2. Organization!
My house is a wreck.  I've gone in and out of my closet for the last few months thinking, "I need to clean out and organize."  With summer months upon me, now is the time.  Not only will I be tackling my closet (and other areas), it's time to sort through all the kids clothes taking out what doesn't fit any longer, and making room for the new school clothes that will soon come into our home.
In addition, I've moved my whole classroom to my garage over the summer due to changing schools in the fall.  My plan is to organize my files, throw away old stuff, gain some new ideas, and start lesson plans.  My brand new school won't be open until the week before kids come, so I've got to buckle down and be prepared.  Thank goodness for summer!
3. Shape Up!
Whew!  This is a tough one that requires time and dedication.  Often times we think of "shaping up" our bodies and this is definitely a serious area of concern.  I'm trying to eat more healthy and workout at least 4 times a week.  I hope to shop for school clothes in a smaller size when August comes.  My physical appearance is not the only shaping up that's on my agenda, however. 
My spiritual self is way out of shape too.  With summer schedules open, the time has allowed me to focus more on my faith and belief in Jesus Christ and developing my relationship with him.  Summertime shape-ups are in full swing!
I've set my summer goals.  What are yours? 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

First Year Flashback


Ahhh....the early years.  For me, there's plenty of memories from 1995.  Not only did I graduate and get married within weeks of each other, but I also moved back to my hometown to begin my life-long adventure of teaching.  Welcome to my "flashback."

 1.  What subject/age and where was I teaching?
 I began teaching K-5 music in the hometown where I was raised - a small town south of Dallas, TX.  Funny story...I actually replaced a high school friend's mother who had long taught music.  Talking about BIG shoes to fill.

 2.  What was my first classroom like?
 Actually, the room was awesome.  It was odd shaped, but HUGE.  I remember the students sat on benches that could be moved in and out, or rearranged - about 4 kids to a bench.  They were a nightmare because the kids would wiggle, and the benches would fall over.  Now, we would call that a "safety hazard."  Hahaha.

3.  Was I given supplies and materials?
 I remember having a class set of music text books and some rhythm instruments, also a CD player.  Nothing else really sticks out in my mind.  The room was pretty sparse.

 4.  What do I remember about my first day?
 Other than wondering "what on earth am I going to do with these children?", I don't remember much else.  I think I lived in a fog from then on.

 5.  What was the hardest part of my first year?
 Other than crying A LOT, the hardest part was jumping in and trying to figure out what I was doing without any help.  Many new teachers have the luxury of working with a co-teacher or team.  I was all alone on this journey.
 6.  What was the best part of my first year?
Truly, I think the best part was the end when I could finally look back and reflect on my survival and accomplishments.  Sometimes it's hard to see the good when you're covered in stress during the year.
 7.  What did I discover during my first year that I didn't learn in college or student teaching?
 Pretty much everything.  I learned how to do fundraisers, monthly PTA programs, a large end-of-the-year school-wide program, how to plan, how to communicate with parents (BIGGIE), etc.  College is great for prepping you with knowledge of your content.  Student teaching is great for introducing you to school life, but there's nothing like figuring it out as you go.  That's real life!

 8.  From where did I draw most of my lesson plan inspiration?
 With limited internet resources back then, and few tricks in my bag, most of my first year lesson plans came from the text books.  I pretty much followed it from start to finish.  Now I hardly EVER open a text book.

 9.  What is one thing I know now that I wish I knew then? (except I have more than 1 thing:)
 I wish I had known:  
  • kids are forgiving and certainly won't remember if I make mistakes during my lessons  
  • programs eventually come together - no matter how bad it seems the week before
  • parents want to hear the good things their children do - not just the bad
  • colleagues are willing to be supportive and helpful if they are asked
  • life would be so much easier if only I would delegate
Visit Pitch Publications for more 1st Year Flashbacks from other music educators.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Valentine's for School

Valentine's Love @ Home

How do you handle Valentine's Day at home?  In years past, I would rush out to the stores to purchase our family's chocolate treats or stuffed animals, then display it on the table on the morning of Feb 14th.  This system worked just fine - the kids and husband were pleased and satisfied to receive their "love" for the one day during the month.  I, however, was thinking something different for this year.  We've all been stressed with school, work, activities, etc.- I'm stressed, my husband's stressed, all three kids are stressed.  In an effort to combat this problem, my solution is love and encouragement.  Take a look at what I'm doing...

My journey began at a local store where I found these super cute little pouches.  Adding them to the shopping cart challenged me to look for sweet fillers that my kids and hubby would enjoy. Thinking in terms of smallest to largest, I picked up chocolate treats and some fun office/school supplies.

Next, my cart made a bee-line for some family favorites - snack cakes.  These are quite a treasure and speak volumes of love to my bunch. Out of the box, each little package will fit perfectly in the pouches.
Finally, making a stop by the seasonal aisle, led me to the perfect big box hearts for my special people.  Each design matches their individual personalities.
 In my brainstorming process, giving a treat to the family for fourteen days in February wasn't quite enough to express my love and appreciation for each of them, so I sat down and began creating.  
After some careful thought, I came up with this...

 Love Letters was created so I could personalize daily encouragements for each of my family members (husband too:)
Now that my supplies were collected and created, the assembly and delivery were easy.  Family members receive a treat and note of encouragement in their pouches each morning for 14 days,  beginning on the 1st of Feb.  The contents begin small and gradually get larger, eventually leading to the Valentine hearts that will be paired with gift cards for the children, and a date night for the husband :)  Though the gifts are nice, I feel the encouragement and love given from the notes will leave a lasting impact on our family.
 How do you celebrate during the season of LOVE?


Monday, January 18, 2016

Baby It's Cold Outside!


Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!  Life has been busy.  Blogging has taken a backseat, BUT creative productivity is definitely on the rise.  I've posted several new winter-themed print-and-go activities that I'll be using in my classroom over the next few weeks.  
Maybe you'll enjoy them too.
To help my students review and recall treble lines and space, these winter notespeller worksheets provide a quick and easy assessment.
I love giving my students bookmarks in holiday gift bags.  These valentine's day inspired treats have quotes about singing that are perfect for any young choir.
Some of my students needed a quick review of SML after Christmas break.  These hot cocoa cards were created to provide a way for us to play games and asses understanding while bringing in the winter theme.

My classroom rhythm strips needed a major over-haul.  With winter on hand, I decided to act now and create some cards that could be used today.  Though posted individually in four levels, I've also bundled this pack for an easy print-and-go resource. 
 Here's hoping you have a great winter season.  Maybe you'll find something from The Bates Clef that is helpful to you and your students.  Until next time...