And the Winner is…….

First, I apologize for the length of time that it has taken me to post the winner of the “Favorite Back to School Activities” post.  Five people submitted their ideas, and they were all so good that I had to go beyond our panel of 3 and add two more music teachers, Mrs. Carol Dzurenda and Mrs. Elizabeth Weinlein.  Of the 3 original panel, (me, Melanie Hazelrigg and Stephen Rivera), each of us chose a different idea….so I needed to add a tiebreaker.

The winner is……(drum roll),


Here was the lesson that she posted:
After quick rules…I do much more the following classes. We play a getting to know you game.
K- If they aren’t all crying. ;) Hicketty Ticketty Bumblebee. Throw a ball or a bean bag across in a circle. 1st/2nd- Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?
3rd/4th- Black Socks (I don’t know this person in this video. But this is the tune ( only I sing it much higher in my head voice- rant for another day…) I play it kind of like musical chairs. I put a tape square on the floor (in a circle) for all but one student. “it” stands in the middle. 1. Sing Song 2. “It” tells something they like (ex. a food, a sport, song etc) Everyone who likes that thing switches spots. (Fun chaos!) The person who doesn’t find a tape is “it”. 3. Do it all again. Kids love it and want to play EVERY class….

I got Hickety Pickety Bumblebee out of 150 American Folk Songs (Boosey & Hawks) but just found this via google. (no melody though.). :)

I will be sending Stephanie a brand new copy of “From Sea to Shining Sea; a Treasury of American Folklore and Folk Songs”.

We got so many great ideas from this little contest that I’m going to do it again!  I still have some of my unused retirement books to give as a small prize, and we all win by sharing lessons and activities.    All of the activities that were posted can be found at    Just scroll down to the comments boxes.

  Thank you to all who took the time to post.  I look forward to hearing from you again!


Week 3 Sequence of Lessons

Here are the links to the 3rd week’s sequence of lessons:


Grade 1 Literacy lesson number 3, continues working on steady beat.    You’ve gotta try Bo-wo-wones! 


Primary lessons: A rehash of Grade one, plus grade 2 review activities on quarter and eighth notes, mi, sol and la.

Intermediate lessons:  9/11, Star Spangled Banner and other patriotic songs.  Vocal production.


These lessons are in the calendar drop down near the bottom of the page under September 2011.  Clicking the forward arrow from there will take you into the next sequence.

Thanks for reading!


What’s Your Favorite Back to School Activity?

Some teachers have already gone back to school, some will be going back next week, and others within the next 3 or 4 weeks. SO…… What is your favorite back to school activity to do with your students?  Submit yours by August 13 by typing it into the comment box.  All submissions will remain on the blog for others to use.   Stephen Rivera, middle school general music, Melanie Hazelrigg, k-5 general/vocal music and I will select the winning  submission.  The winner will receive  “From Sea to Shining Sea.  A Treasury of American Folklore and Folk Songs.”.  Brand new, hard cover, 399 pages of songs and folk tales.  It’s win/win!  Everybody gets multiple back to school activities to try, and one person wins a book!  The winner will be chosen on August 20.

From Sea to Shining Sea

Week Two Sequence of Lessons….links


Grade 1, Music Literacy lesson #2 – continues work on  warm ups,phrase, steady beat, Song to Read: Michael Finnegan

Grade 2, Music Literacy Lesson #2 – Introduce half note, review mi, sol and la, quarter note, quarter rest, eighth notes, Curwen hand signals.

Grade 3, Music Literacy lesson #2 – fermata, line and space notes,  do, re and mi read from the staff, quarter note, eighth note, pick up note, and Curwen hand signals.

Grade 4, Music Literacy Lesson #2 – do, re, mi, sol, la, half note, quarter note, eighth note, bar line, measure, and double bar.

Grade 5, Literacy Lesson #2 – 16th notes, Curwen hand signals, do  re mi sol la high do

And, in case anyone is interested, our beginning composer last year was Bach.  Here are some online resources that I found:


How to Use This Blog

Yesterday I posted links to some “first week of school”  and “beginning the school year” posts.  Shortly I will post links to the second series of lessons, and possibly the third.  I thought, though, that it might be helpful for you to know how to get around on this site.  There are 3 ways to navigate.

The search box will take you to any posts that have information applicable to the key words that you type in.  Search is found at the top right of the page.

The category drop down  menu has topics to choose from, including grade levels, composers, form, holiday activities, listening lessons, mallet instruments, movement and lots more.  Category is found at the top right, under the search box.

The calendar drop down, (archives),  will take you to any month that you click on.  I began this blog in March or April of 2011, but the sequential lessons, starting from the beginning of the year, begin in July of 2011.  If you’re looking for where to begin…start in July 2011.  Archives are found near the bottom right of any page.

Talk to ya soon.



Here We Go Again


Tomorrow is August 1st…the first day of school can’t be too far in the distance.  Personally, I plan to be on a beach when my district resumes classes, not because I particularly want to continue the “fun in the sun” too much longer, but to fend off any feelings of homesickness for my school that may try to assert themselves.  Last year at this time I was beginning the planning process for setting up my room, acquiring new resources, writing seating charts and all of the other things that need to be done before the kids walk in the door.

Because blogs are sequential by nature, all of my beginning of the year plans and activities are waaaayyyyyy back at the beginning of the blog, so I thought I’d  repost some links in sequential order, in case anyone may be trying to find something specific.

1.  First Week Procedures offers some of the things I worked on to get my classroom and self ready to roll.

2.  “Back to School Already?”  addressed warm ups and opening activities for kindergarten and 1st graders.

3.  Grade 1, Music Literacy Lesson #1 addressed teaching the concept of phrase to kinders or 1st graders.

4.  Second Grade, Lesson 1, Music Literacy Review addressed warm ups for primary students, and a review of concepts that second graders had under their belts: 8th notes, quarter notes, quarter rests, mi, sol and la.

5.  The Voice Lesson gave some ideas for teaching basic vocal techniques to elementary students.

6.  Grade 3, Lesson #1, Music Literacy focused on intermediate warmups and a review of tme signature, repeat marks, half notes, quarter notes , 8th notes , quarter rests and do re me.  It also includes the note value pyramid.

7. Grade 4, Literacy Lesson #1, review includes all of the Curwen hand signals, note values, solo singing and fermata.

8.  Grade 5, Music Literacy Lesson #1 addresses time siganture, bar line, bass clef, do re mi fa, quarter rest, quarter note, eighth note.

9.  Finally, for anyone who may be wondering not only where to start, but where to go next, take a look at the curriculum flow chart.

I hope these are helpful.  I’ll post the next sequence soon.


Jane the Retired


Jane Rivera, August 2012, All Rights Reserved

I Can See the Floor of My Book Room!!!!

I think this will be the last post of new retirement items.  There will be one or maybe two more posts of items that were spoken for but never claimed, and the retirement sale will be over!  Here we go:

Peter and the Wolf, narrated by Sting

$9.00 includes shipping in the U.S.

Who Took the Cookie From the Cookie Jar pop up book

I have 2 of these.  Originally $15.00 each.  $8 each includes shipping in the U.S.

The Wizard of Oz Pop Up Book

This is a stunning pop up book.  Originally $26.00.  $11 includes shipping in the U.S.

Window Music

Hard cover.  Train sound rhythms.  Originally $16.00.  $9 includes shipping in the U.S.

Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?

Hard cover.  Song printed inside. Originally $15.  $8 includes shipping in the U.S.

Remo Practice Pad

$10.00 includes shipping in the U.S.

Pirate Props

2 hats, 2 bandanas, 4 eye patches, 2 tin cups, fish net and the key to Davy Jones Locker.  $14 includes shipping in the U.S.

Guardian Angels by Naomi Judd, book with cd

Hard cover, cd included.  Originally $16.00.  $9 includes shipping in the U.S.

Arthur, It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll

Hard cover, features The Back Street Boys.  (As opposed to Quaver’s Front Street Lads).  Originally $16.00.  $8 includes shipping in the U.


The 12 Dogs of Christmas board book with cd

Originally $10.00.  $7 includes shipping in the U.S.

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries