Thursday, October 24, 2013


This year I have a little more access to iPads than I have previously had. One of the ways I am using the iPads is with the Edmodo app. I am using Edmodo with 4th and 5th graders. Each student has their own account. We've used them enough that they should know how to log in by now, but if not, please contact me for user name and password information.

Edmodo looks a lot like Facebook, but it is specifically for schools and students and is much more secure. For instance, students are unable to send messages to other students. They are able to post messages that the whole class can see (if I give them that option) and they are able to send messages to me. Parent accounts are also available. The parent account allows you to see items your child has posted, items I have posted, and any messages that are exchanged between your child and me. If you would like the code to create your parent account, please let me know.

So far I have used our Edmodo accounts to give additional information to students. They have had links to some videos that relate to what we've worked on in class. They also have access to their recorder music in their "backpack" of Edmodo. Students can earn badges (awards) for their Edmodo profile for completing various tasks. I will be giving badges for Recorder Karate belts and other accomplishments. Sometimes I have students access their Edmodo accounts during music class and work on tasks I've set up for them there so they are still engaged in learning while I have some time to work with smaller groups or individuals. It has been a great tool!

Students are not required to use Edmodo outside of the school day, but they can if they would like to and have computer/Internet access. The free Edmodo app is available for iPad/iPhone/iPod and for Android devices. You can also access it from a regular computer at yme.edmodo.com.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Trick or Treat - Playground Ball Activity

Mrs. Ims' second grade class is doing a ball bouncing activity to a rhyme called Trick or Treat. Students say the poem while bouncing the ball every two beats. The purpose of the activity was to prepare to learn about half note, to practice keeping the pulse of the poem, and to give the children a solo opportunity. After the recitation of the poem, the students each had a solo to tell us their favorite candy. You'll have to turn the volume up really loud to hear the solos. This was an impromptu recording without much preparation. It is not polished (and was not meant to be). :) Look for your child if he/she is in Mrs. Ims' class. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Big Black Cats

Here are a couple of pictures of K/1 students playing instruments in music today. Students played ta (quarter note) on the woodblocks and ti-ti (eighth notes) on the glockenspiels in the song Big Black Cats. Students sitting by the stars were being singing super stars. Ask your K/1 student to sing Big Black Cats for you at home.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Free Ukulele E-Book

If you have a Kindle or the free Kindle App on some other mobile device, you may be interested in this ukulele eBook that is available today through Wednesday (Oct. 23). It is usually $3.99. The book is called 21 Songs in 6 Days: Learn to Play Ukulele the Easy Way. I have heard good things about the book, but I have not used it personally. I just downloaded it and will take a peek when I have a moment.

Fifth graders may be interested in the book since they will be using the ukulele in class later this year. Fourth graders may be interested in downloading the book since it is free and they will get to use the ukuleles next year.