Second Grade Music Sub Plan

This sub plan was designed for January in a high-needs school. Lots of my students have a tough time in January. This is not the case for affluent schools. Affluent schools have lovely January teaching months. But kids from trauma have fresh disappointments and stresses that hit them full-force over the break. They are still processing the fall-out from that. This lesson is designed to get their brains in gear and their social and emotional skills dusted off after the long break. Let me know how it works for you.

Materials You Need

pencilsworksheetsa fake gold ring (I got my for about $1.29 on Amazon)video and a way to play it for the students. Here's the link. a drumPopsicle sticks with student names on them or some other way to randomly choose a student. 
Opening Games1.1.As with third grade, do “Getting to Know you Game”
a.This group needs LOTS of structure. Go slow. i.Only touch the floor ii.No noise iii.Freeze when drum stops iv.Step to the drum b.Student models i.What did…

Third Grade Music Sub Plan with Videos and Written assessments

Welcome to 2020. I'm getting a new room, so I needed sub plans for the first couple days of school so I can unpack into the new room. I'm not doing a lot with recorder this year. The kids know two notes right now. They will learn one (maybe two) more. My goal is not to get them to a certain skill level technically. My goal is to ready them for the reading and playing in their future. I want them to look at music reading as an excellent adventure. I don't want them to be intimidated. I want them intrigued. 
Manners and class citizenship are an ever-increasing struggle. I'm emphasizing manners and direction following in this plan. There are two videos and a Googledoc I am sharing with you today. The document is the lesson plan. The videos supplement. I hope this year is a great one for you and yours. 

Bonus Video

Beginning the School Year With the Best Attitude


Starting Chorus Off Right

Chorus has always been the bane of my existence. My piano skills are lacking. I love to sing, but can't play piano and pay attention to conducting and classroom management at the same time. It's harrowing. I teach in a building with no piano. I am thrilled about that. But I want to give my students an outstanding choral experience.

I think every music teacher feels like a hack at some component of their practice. It could be classroom management, keyboard skills, teaching winds or brass or strings, melodic Kodaly elements, any number of things. There is so much that we have to know. I've been struggling and working through my shortcomings and have landed on some procedures and techniques that I think you can benefit from too. Here they are.

Responsive Classroom
This concept is an oldie but goodie. I've touted this in previous posts, but this has really saved my life in chorus. I have found that the goal-setting, form of morning meeting, teacher language, and interacti…

End of the year survival guide

Let's face it, you've had it. Time to register the grades and just have fun. I recently discovered these songs and sites. It would be wrong of me to keep it to myself. Enjoy!

Open strings on ukulele are so much fun to play! You can do all your so-mi-la songs, so-mi songs, do-mi-so songs, do-mi-so-la songs on uke open strings! So write out some in stick notation and put on a backing track. Pluck away.

Step 1: tutti reading the rhythms
Step 2: tutti reading numbers in rhythm
Step 3: 30 seconds of practice for the children
Step 4: put on the track and play it over and over.
Step 5: play the stick notation piece interspersed with kids improvising on the open strings in any way that is non-strumming. They can pluck, pinch (two strings) and explore.

Ukulele a la Timberlake These two Justin Timberlake songs are clean and only use two chords!
Can't stop the feeling
Play 8 C chords and 8 a minor chords. Easy peasy. When there is no highlight, just pat the ukulele on the off-beats.…

Black History Month: Duke Ellington

My two-year professional development goal is to develop 8 sub plans that a non-musician substitute can use and still be effective and musical. This is my Duke Ellington plan. It's fine for K-3 and consists of two parts: creative movement to Ellington's music performed by Ellington and his orchestra, and a reading of the picture book, Duke Ellington as the children do an Ellington coloring page.

The plan is below. You are free to use it yourself but please, have your friends print it off this site themselves. My goal is to get more readers.

Black History Month: Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson is an American Classic. Her contralto voice is beautifully controlled and a gift from God Himself! But God put that voice in a brown body, and that was terribly inconvenient for racist America. So Marian Anderson suffered. And America suffered because she was kept from us.

Racism is part of American history and part of the American culture. We have a Black History Month to acknowledge that black Americans are indeed Americans. Marian Anderson was a great American Opera Singer, just as amazing as Beverly Sills or the great divas of Europe: Lily Pons or Maria Callas. She was great like Yo Yo Ma is great on cello or Itzak Perlman is on violin. She's a great singer, not a great "black" singer.

Sorry to start off with a rant, but I've just been witnessing so much racism lately that I think this needs to be said. If you think it is too "political," I guarantee you are a white person. If you are offended, feel free not to read my blog. But I hope y…