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Friday, August 31, 2018

August Favorites 2018

What a glorious month it has been! I've been on vacation with my family, welcomed a nephew into the world, and just this week my students came back and I got to go back to one of my greatest loves: making music with my kiddos! Here's a look back at some of the highlights from this past month, including some of my favorite new ideas for this school year.

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1. New books for the music room

While we were on that family vacation I mentioned, we stopped at a fun, quirky used book store where I found SO many great new books to add to my classroom library! I seriously only brought home about half of the ones I initially picked out! I hope to share more specific lessons and uses for each of these books in future blog posts, but for now here is a compilation of all of my favorite lessons using children's literature that I've shared already, and if you're interested in the specific titles I picked up, here's the list:

The Bat Boy & His Violin
Grandfather's Dream
Whistle for Willie
Snake Alley Band
Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky
Sam and the Lucky Money
Nine in One, Grr! Grr!
Chanukah Guess Who?
Nine O'Clock Lullaby
Passover Is Here!
Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs
The Journey
The Little Banjo

2. New word wall replacement

I mentioned this in my classroom tour, but I got rid of my word wall this year. It was a great idea in theory- I had all of the new vocabulary for each grade up on the wall, sorted and color-coded by grade- but I frankly never used it and the students rarely did either. So instead I decided it would be more useful to have one poster that lists every major concept that I cover in each grade. It's basically straight out of my scope and sequence, but condensed into more concise wording. If I'm really on the ball, it will be a great way to check in midyear and see how much we've covered so far and how much work we have left to do, and also use it as a review tool at the end of the year. Even if I don't do that, it's still a really concrete way of showing the progression of skills from grade to grade and giving everyone a better sense of the scope of what we do!

3. The end of summer, the beginning of school

Also, dollar spot sticky notes. I have a bit of an obsession with the colors and designs on the teacher-themed sticky notes (and matching washi tape) from Target dollar spot- the planner spread above is almost entirely made up of those items. I show you this week in my planner mostly, though, to signify the end of summer and the beginning of school. This was the last week of summer planning in my planner, because Thursday and Friday I went back to work for teacher work days, and the following week I got back into lesson planning! I didn't accomplish everything I had hoped for home, school, or Organized Chaos, but I am satisfied with the pace and balance I kept over break, and I felt ready to get back in the classroom. Here's to another amazing school year!

4. Back to school music teacher blog posts

If you want to see more peeks into my life like the snippets above, you'll want to head over to Instagram- I pulled all of the pictures above from my Instagram feed and I share these kinds of tidbits there throughout the week. But to see all of my favorite reads from other amazing music education blogs and websites, you'll want to head to Facebook! I share great posts I find every Friday, and I've compiled all of the ones I shared during the month of August below- just click on the pictures to read each post. Tons of great reads this month that you won't want to miss!

I hope you found some fresh inspiration in this post, and I hope you all had a wonderful month! I'd love to hear your highlights from August- share them in the comments below! And if you want to stay on top of all things Organized Chaos and get exclusive access to content I don't share anywhere else, be sure to sign up here for the Organized Chaos Newsletter.

Happy September!

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