I'm excited to be linking up with Mrs. Miracle and other fellow music teacher bloggers to bring you three exciting ideas/lessons/things that worked for me in my classroom this week!! 

First graders are full of energy and are still at that young stage & age where you must have a constant bag of musical tricks to keep them engaged.  Over the past several weeks, we have been prepping for the formal introduction/presentation of Solfege tones "Sol" and "Mi."  In my classroom, I use the concept/story of "Melody Street" to introduce/present these Solfege tones to my students.  After I presented the story of "Melody Street" and brothers "Sol" and "Mi" living in this neighborhood, we immediately put our new knowledge into practice by taking the song Doggie, Doggie (which was already a known song to them) and began to make conscious the fact that what they had previously learned in Kindergarten and early 1st grade as "high" and "low" sounds in reality is "Sol" and "Mi."  Talk about mind blowing, light bulb moments and huge smiles on faces from kiddos who realized they had just discovered my "secret."  They also LOVE the game that goes with this song!  They beg for it over and over.

My second graders have been studying the classic story, Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens.  This is one of my favorite units to do every year with 2nd grade, so much so, that over the years, I have created, tweaked, re-created, re-tweaked many visuals, teaching aids, & resources to help enhance my unit so as to draw in and engage the students in a more in depth way.  One thing that I have loved incorporating into my unit this year is my newly revised interactive Carnival of the Animals Power-Point which helps guide the students (and teacher) through this classic story.  You can check it out by clicking on the picture below.  The other must have resource that has been an essential for me throughout this unit is Jena Hudson's Carnival of the Animals Listening Glyphs.  Be sure to check out both of these must have resources to add some pizzazz in your unit!  The students absolutely love the suspense element of trying to guess which animal they are hearing throughout the story as it unfolds.

Black History and African-American music is one of my favorite things to study with my upper elementary age students.  Since February, my 4th grade students have been captivated with learning how music from slavery and the civil war has shaped who we are today.  We began the unit studying slave songs, code songs, African-American spirituals, field hollers, work songs, etc.  As of last week, we have made our way up to the Dixieland Jazz era with an in depth look at Louis Armstrong and his music.  One thing that I LOVE doing with all ages in my elementary music classroom is incorporating children's literature & picture books into lessons whenever I can.  Each year, I can't wait for this particular Louis Armstrong lesson because I know that I get to share one of my favorite books, If I Only Had A Horn.    Click on the picture to find this book on Amazon.

Thanks for reading!!  Be sure you are following me on Facebook, Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, and here on my Blogger.  Click on icons to hop on over to follow me!!




Where did IT go?  That big IT I'm referring to is SUMMER!!! Every year they rush by faster and faster and before we know it, it's that "Back-to-School" time yet again!  

I'm excited to be linking up with some of my fellow music teacher colleagues to bring you some exciting information about an upcoming SITE-WIDE TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS SALE which is set to happen this AUGUST 3-4!!!  My store, along with many others, will be discounted at 20%, When TpT adds their additional discount, that will be a fabulous savings of 28% when you use code BTS15 at checkout.  We are calling this linky party "Wish & Dish."

In this linky post, I will feature 3 items that I am promoting and purchasing during this site-wide sale!!  

  • Are you needing fresh new production and/or performance ideas for your young elementary music students?  These original scripts/musicals are just for you!!  Come check them out by clicking on the first picture below!  These are sold in a 3 Set - BUNDLE but are also sold individually in my TpT store as well if you'd rather purchase them one at a time.  These are appropriate for a range of students grades K-3. 

  • Another great product that I can't wait to get my hands on made by fellow music teacher, friend, and colleague Amy Abbott at Music a la Abbott is her Body Sign Posters set.  These look so adorable!!!!!

  • Finally, I must say that I can't praise this clip artist enough because anything she does is extraordinary!!  Educlips is by far my favorite clip artist on TpT and ANYTHING in her store is money well not to mention wisely spent, however, this one particular newer set is just calling my name!  The Little Red Hen set is just adorable and is one you'll definitely want in your clip art collection.

Hey!!  Did you know that you can earn points/credits towards future TpT purchases when you leave feedback on your current purchases?  Yeah, that's right!!  Credits earned actually help you with those future purchases by helping bring down the total dollar amounts in your shopping cart (once enough credits are earned).  Here's how you earn credits/leave feedback!  It's very easy AND sellers greatly appreciate it!!
First, go to the top of your menu bar on your TpT home page to where it says "My TpT," using the pull down menu, select "My Purchases."  From there, you can sort your purchases.  In the picture below, you'll notice that the example shows purchases have been sorted according to the purchases that still need to receive feedback.  It's as easy as that!!!

Thanks for checking out this link up.  Be sure to hop on over to my TpT store Mrs. Kuchta's Corner; An Elem. Music Wonderland, to shop for more fabulous resources for your music classroom.  While you are there, make sure you are following me by clicking on that little "Follow Me" star so you are first to be notified when anything new is added to my inventory!!

You can also follow me on these other social media venues!!

Have a GREAT 2015-2016 school year!!!


November, 30th, 2014

TpT Site Wide Cyber Monday/Tuesday Sale 
Rockin' Resources Linky Party

First item of business!!!  Yes, you read that correctly!  Teachers Pay Teachers is doing it again!!  Super cyber site wide sale begins tomorrow, Monday Dec. 1st and continues through Tuesday, Dec. 2nd!!  Up to 28% off your purchase using code TPTCYBER at checkout!!  You can begin your shopping extravaganza by clicking/following the link to my store and from there you'll be able to search other fabulous sellers and stores.  Happy Cyber Monday & Tuesday shopping!!

Now onto the next item on our agenda!  Several of us music teacher sellers on TpT like to link up on special events like these in hopes of promoting and boosting each others stores and products.  Its our way of supporting each other.  Our fabulous linky party host this month is Amy Abbott over at Music a la Abbott.  You can find her blog by clicking on this picture below.

The purpose of this particular blog post is to highlight some of the TpT products we think are stellar for buyers during this time of the school year.  The first product I would like to share is one of my very own.  I know we are all bombarded with the story of the Nutcracker during the holiday season, however, I must say that I'm pretty proud of the resource that I have made available to my buyers over the past few years.  This year my Nutcracker unit has seen some upgrades and face-lifts as well as some expansions.  In fact, my interactive Nutcracker listening maps can be purchased as separate individual files or in BUNDLES both in SMART NOTEBOOK format as well as in POWER-POINT format depending on your need.  When you are in my store at TpT, simply search in the Christmas category under the "custom categories" menu on the left hand side of the screen and there you will find all of my Nutcracker related products.  For your convenience, I have included links to the two BUNDLE products, the SMART NOTEBOOK format of the product as well as the PPT format.



This year, I am anxious to use Tracy King's Nutcracker Listening Glyphs in my classroom as an addition to my Nutcracker unit!!  Tracy, these look FABULOUS!  I can't wait to see how the kids react to them!!  You can find these gems by clicking on the picture below!!  

Finally, let me tell you about a clip artist that I have recently found that I'm loving!  Artifex - adorable clip art sure to grab you and your students' attention right away!!  Visit their store's link to view a sampling of some of their colorful artwork!!

Thanks for checking out this post and have fun reading all of the other great posts linked in this linky party!!!

Have a great holiday season and have fun CYBER SHOPPING!!!!

Erin, Mrs. Kuchta's Corner:  An Elementary Music Wonderland

Back to School 2014 - 

Today I have the privilege of linking up with Mrs. Aileen Miracle to talk about the importance and practicality of setting up your elementary music classroom so that it works the best for you and your students!  This topic always excites me as I LOVE the start of the new school year.  Even the simplest pleasures like freshly waxed floors, the clean whiteboards, the walls waiting to be decorated, the new ideas that have been swimming around in my head all summer long, the new TpT purchases that I've made throughout the summer waiting to be created and executed, and so much more get my energy and creative juices flowing .  But even with all of those fun and exciting things, the functionality and space of your classroom is a KEY ingredient to the success of your classroom.

This year, our "school-wide" theme is "Board Games."  All classrooms, including specials, are to incorporate a board game theme into their classroom decor/theme/lessons/etc. for the year.  SO...I decided to tweak and twist the ever popular app game "Words w/ Friends" and turn it into something appropriate for an elementary music classroom.  And that, my friends, is how my Bulletin Board for this year was born - "Music With Friends."  This is what will greet my kiddo's this year as they enter the music classroom as this is on the wall right outside my classroom door!!  I had so many music teacher friends and colleagues commenting on how adorable it was after I posted a picture of it on Facebook that I decided to turn it into one of my products on Teachers Pay Teachers.  You can purchase the Music With Friends Bulletin Board Kit for your room by clicking here.

Music With Friends - Bulletin Board

I must say, I am very blessed to have the classroom I have.  I teach in a district that has 5 elementary buildings, this building being the newest of the 5.  This year is the beginning of the building's 6th year!  As new as it is, would you believe that we are already bursting at the seams with enrollment and are needing to put an addition on?  In this picture, you will see 2 different random views of my classroom as a whole.  All it needs are the kiddo's!!!!

I LOVE my beautiful rug!  We use it all of the time!!!

The first area in my classroom that I will focus on is the corner towards the front of the room where I keep all of my Kodaly hands-on manipulatives, games, visuals, flashcards, charts, puppets, ribbons wands, etc.  I have several organizing bins, baskets, tubs, etc. that I keep these items in so that they are easily accessible at all times.  I store these on the bookshelf and/or writing easel center.  BTW, I could not live without my portable magnetic writing easel!!  I use it all of the time.  I also cannot get enough puppets.  In fact, I have 5 more on their way from Amazon and I can't wait to add them to my puppet family!!

Notice the puppet tree loaded with puppets!!  I'm a puppet addict!!!

One area of my classroom that I'm truly thankful for is my under-the-counter storage cabinets!!  I have an entire wall that is lined with these cabinets and this is where I keep the majority of my instruments.  My large Orff instruments do not fit in these cabinets so I have to store them in my storage closet.

When my classroom was being built, the original plans had a small area set apart from the rest of the classroom, sort of like a little nook area, for the "teacher's space" which I absolutely LOVE.  These photos show you my personal working space which sets back away from the rest of the activity in the classroom.  I'm very picky about my "personal work space." :):):)!!


Within my "personal work space," I have a designated shelf that is specifically assigned as my "Kodaly" shelf.  It houses all of my Kodaly materials/manuals/yearly plans that I use regularly, from my Levels Binders to Teachers Manuals to Song Collections, etc.  In the other photo, you will notice that I have a tray assigned to each grade level.  I put everything that I'm going to need for the week in these for each grade level such as lesson plans, a children's picture/literature book that I'm using with a certain lesson, a specific visual or chart, worksheets, etc.

Speaking of children's picture/literature books :), this next photo shows my personal collection of children's picture & literature books.  ANY opportunity that I have, you will find me incorporating books into my lessons.  This is one of my obsessions and truth be told, probably another addiction!!  As you can see, I lost my "wind" when it came to organizing the top 2 shelves so you'll have to forgive me as I'm not quite finished alphabetizing the piles.   The other bookshelf holds the very dated Making Music text book series that we may have used once last year in 4th grade during our African-American Music unit of study :)!!

The back wall in my classroom has two bulletin boards and also has the ever popular (or maybe not depending on who you are :) "rest area."  My "rest area" is getting a face lift from my fabulous art teacher.  She is currently working on refurbishing/painting an old fashioned desk that I stumbled upon in a flea market for me so I'll post pics of that at a later date when it is completed.

Finally, I am very lucky to have a large walk-in storage closet in my classroom.  I am able to store my overflow supplies, costumes, program sets and scenery, etc. in this closet.  If you're not careful, things may jump out at you when you open the door :)!!!  Oh, the things we music teachers hoard!

Well, that's all I've got for now folks!.  Thanks again Aileen for hosting such a great topic to blog about!!  If you aren't already following/subscribing to my blog, PLEASE be sure to do that before hoping over to the next link stop.  You can also find and follow me on these other fantastic venues!!  Just click on the links to be taken directly to my sites to begin following me.

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