Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Classroom Tour: Me and a Friend!

It's TIME!!

It seems like forever ago that school ended and summer began!  I spend my summers as the technical coordinator of our little private school so most of my summer is at school playing around with computers and projectors and iPads, but it's finally time to start thinking about students again!

Not much has changed in my room this year, but a few GREAT upgrades!
My instrument wall!  New shelves for my class set of handchimes, new xylos, new mallet storage and more!  Check out that new digital piano too!!  witwoo!                      
Front of the room

I put my drums on the wall last year!  It worked out so well!

Another view of the front of the room.  Notice my beautiful rug and SitSpots!  I love being able to tell students to put their toes on the green circle, or sit in the purple and blue...  My SitSpots I use for line up dots!  So simple and no arguments or running to get in line or touching other people or MY things!  Best $50 I ever spent on classroom management!

New vinyl decor I designed myself!  I got a Cricut cutter last year and have been using it well!  You can get the cut files here.

My new movement banner!!  I saw this pinned on Pinterest from another music teacher and had to make one for myself!  I am constantly asking my students to move interestingly, but now they have some words to help them brainstorm what interesting means to them in the moment!  Can't wait to dive into my movement activities!

LOVE my xylophone shelves!  Nothing new this year, but just another shout out to Jena Hudson from Sew Much Music for her fabulous orff instrument labels!  I print one large for the instrument and one small for the shelf so students know how and where to put the instruments away.  Get them here! I added pictures of mallets too so students always get the right ones!  This small step saves me so much transition time!

You might remember my instrument shelves that were BIG and not much to look at...  My friend Cherie Herring from Just A Little More shared a DIY post of how she turned her shelves into bulletin boards!  So now I covered my ugly shelves, and have some extra wall space!
New shelves!!  Our enrollment is going up up up so our storage space is going down down down!  I have to store all our musical props and costumes in my room now so a dad built me a shelf over my chairs and stands.  Thanks!

HOLY SMOKES!  This is my favorite addition to my room.  Again, Jena Hudson from Sew Much Music designed this sign!!  I found outdoor vinyl (supposedly it will last for 5 years in the elements) and used my Cricut cutter once again!  LOVE IT!!!

More Cricut, more Jena Hudson!  Totally her idea for the blown up clip art!  The bulletin board reads: Planting the seeds of music for a lifetime of growth.  You can get the cut files here.


I'm super excited about my new classroom management approach for upper elementary.  If a student gets removed, they need to scan the QR code and explain themselves.  It links to a Google Form with questions about what's happening in class and why there were asked to sit out.  I also reserve the right to email their form to their parents!    

That's my classroom, now here's a friend's BRAND NEW classroom! Chrissy Hutzel from Hutzel House of Music has had quite the journey with her classroom! Here's her story:

Chrissy Hutzel
Hutzel House of Music

I am so fortunate to have just moved into a brand new building! After teaching for 8 years in an older building that was falling apart, it has been quite a journey to get where I am today. We spent the last two school years planning and constructing our new home. This pic was taken in September of 2015 when the teachers went on our first tour of the new “building,” long before we had any walls up in place.

Breaking Ground.jpg

The goal was to have the walls and roof up by December to avoid dealing with our winter weather conditions on the inside of the building. Construction stayed pretty much on schedule, and by March we were ready for a tour inside the building. At that point, my room had been built. I am on the stage, which opens up to the cafeteria. Here you can see the unfinished walls and floor of my classroom from the perspective of the cafeteria.

 March 2016 Under Construction.jpg

Fast forward to the last quarter of the 2015-2016 school year, when I had to pack up an entire music classroom. What a task! I had 50 years worth of stuff to sift through, decide what to keep, what to donate, what to trash… it was quite the undertaking! Here’s a pic of when I FINALLY got it all done in June. I had 76 boxes and a large number of big instruments and equipment that had to be moved by hand.

 Moving Out.jpg

The week before we got to move in, I got this photo from my principal. My room was completed! It was exciting to get a glimpse of my new space, but also terrifying to think how much work had to be done… and that I only had a week to set up the entire classroom!

 Before Moving In.jpg

I finally got to start working on Monday, August 15. We did not have access to the building on weekends or evenings that week, and our work days (full of meetings) started on Monday, August 22. So I had about a week to pull together this classroom from scratch and get it ready for the kids’ first day of school on Wednesday, August 24! Check it out!

Front of the room: In the front of the room I have a huge interactive whiteboard, with a portion including staff lines. I have a music room sound system that can be used to make recordings, play music, and mic the teacher. In my last classroom, I had a boombox. You could say I’m excited about this! Another great feature about the front of the room is the staff lines that are part of the flooring. I was so excited to have this option. It’s so easy and cheap to do this when you’re building a room- if you’re ever in this situation, you should definitely ask for staff lines! In this pic, you can see a few products that are available on Teachers Pay Teachers. On the left side, I have The Bulletin Board Lady Tracy King’s Growth Mindset Bulletin Board Set. On the right side of the room, you can see my non-pitched percussion bins labeled with Lindsay Jervis’ Color Burst Instrument Labels.  Above the board is my handmade CARE poster which illustrates our classroom rules of Cooperation, Acceptance, Respect, and Enthusiasm. I also have the start to my Dynamics area (I will be filling in under the purple strip with individual dynamic signs) and my recorder fingering charts, colored to match the Boomwhacker colors. 

 Finished Front of Room ALL.jpg

Here’s a photo of the back of my room. The small risers are called Flip Forms, and they are made by Wenger. These ones were from my old school. We ordered new ones, but they haven’t arrived yet. I seat kids three across on the top and bottom rows. Behind the students is my folding partition wall that separates me from the cafeteria. On that wall I have two bulletin board areas and three magnetic whiteboard sections. 

Finished Back of Room All.jpg 
On the first bulletin board section, I have my Recorder Orders bulletin board set, which is available from Hutzel House of Music on Teachers Pay Teachers. This set gives all the rules of recorder playing for my students. Next to that, I have the first section of the whiteboard set to be the area for me to post my Learning Targets, or “I Can…” statements. I typically have separate statements for each grade level, but since today was the first day of school, we all have the same learning target! These I Can cards are available from I Heart Teaching Music.

Recorder Orders and I Cans.jpg

On the second bulletin board section I have my Recorder Olympics board. This is my own variation on Recorder Karate. I used to use Plank Road Publishing’s Recorder Karate method, but I was having trouble getting through all the songs to get to the black belt in a year. With Recorder Olympics we just do five songs, one associated with each Olympic ring. I also have my pentatonic scale signs up on the back wall along with the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner. Those will probably not be in those spots permanently, but they already had magnets on them, so that’s where they ended up for now!

Recorder Olympics.jpgI hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of my classroom! I am so excited to be in this beautiful new space. If you’d like to see a video tour, please hop on over to my Facebook page, I hope you have a wonderful school year! Here’s to having the #BestYear in 2016-17!
Musically Yours,
Chrissy @ Hutzel House of Music

HUGE thanks to Tracy King from Mrs. King Rocks! for hosting this classroom tour linky!! Be sure to check out more classroom tours here!