Saturday, September 5, 2015

Start off Music with a Kahoot!

Kahoot is a super cool online game platform that can be used by anyone, for any purpose!  Teachers are using it for review games and such, but I've even used it at family dinners just for fun!  It is not an app, but an online game where players use their personal devices (iPhone/iPad/Smart Phone/Tablet) to compete against each other!  Check it out HERE!

I decided to spice up my Back to School procedures and reminders for 4th and 5th grade this year by making a Kahoot!  Some questions were tricky, some were ridiculously obvious, and some were just plain fun!  Here are a few examples:

We are a whole brain teaching school and when I read the question, all the students responded Yes! and looked over at me!  I laughed so hard!!
 Umm...duh!  You're in music class today!

Read all the options before answering!

I had a fun time making this question and distracters!  

This was a fun way to review some quick procedures that the 4th and 5th graders should know already anyway.  It was also a way for me to introduce this new platform to the students so teachers will have an easier time implementing it in their classrooms as well.  (Being the technology coordinator, I always try to introduce new apps and technologies to the students to get them excited and entice teachers to start using them too!)

A couple more details:
  • This app will NEVER allow a tie because it awards for speed as well
  • I put students in teams of 2 for this game, but wouldn't hesitate to have groups up to 4 players per team
  • After joining the game, each student/team will have to supply a name.  This tripped up my students at first because they only have 15 seconds to type in a name.  We had to practice that once before they were all able to get in.
  • Be sure to know exactly how many players you expect because it is possible for someone to not join the game in time and get left behind
  • I would suggest anywhere between 15-20 questions.  More than 20 questions gets a little long and 15 questions gives just enough time for teams to make a come back!
  • After each question, a leader-board will show the top scorers!  This REALLY adds to the competition
  • When starting the game, you have the option to make the game play on it's own or to require a "game show host" to page through.  If you'd like to talk in between questions, don't have the game automatically move through questions 
 It's games like Kahoot that make me really want to be a classroom teacher!  I don't know how many times I'll be able to use it in music class (since I'd much rather be playing or moving to music) but maybe a fun way to review song lyrics before a performance or review Christmas carols before break!  Any other ideas come to mind??

Friday, September 4, 2015

Cleaning up those Glockenspiels!

A local church called me up a few months ago saying they had some old Orff instruments that they would like to donate to my program.  I was ecstatic!  I saw the instruments and politely smiled with a Thank You!

They weren't kidding when they said they had some OLD instruments!  One of the instruments was a glockenspiel that included rust, tarnish, rubber band stickiness, and striped pegs.  It played in tune, but getting my students past the stains and discolorations was not a battle I wanted to fight.

Since it was donated, I was willing to try and fix it up, not knowing if I would accidentally ruin it.  Thankfully, a parent was working at school the day I tried fixing it up and she suggested baking soda and vinegar!  Seemed like a safer bet than chemicals so I gathered the supplies and tried!

Baking Soda
Medium Cup
Soft Cloth (I used a disposable dish cloth)
Clean Water
Metal Oil (I used rotor oil because that's what I had)

Fill the cup about 1/2 full with vinegar and place a bar in the cup.  Slowly add about a teaspoon of baking soda.  WARNING: baking soda and vinegar volcano! (that's why we filled the cup only half way full!)  Soak the bar until the bubbles eat away all the grime.  You may have to add more baking soda to elicit more reaction.

As needed, soak the flip side of the bars as well.  Use a soft cloth to gently rub the bars.  Rinse the bars in clean water and wipe a small amount of oil on the bar with another cloth.



The rubber band stain didn't come off, and they don't particularly *shine* but the rust is off and they look much cleaner!  I put new rubber tubing on but am still waiting to buy new nails. Tuning is still spot on too!  I'm quite happy with how it turned out!