Thursday, December 30, 2010

Eliana Josephine Lukow

Born Dec. 29th, 2010
7 lbs. 7 oz. 21" long

I have a new name:
Grammie Kristin
Love. Love. Love.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Juniata 2010 Holiday Program

Just a taste of all the songs on our Holiday program.
Dec. 14th, 2010 ~ Juniata Elementary School
I am blessed.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cats Playing Patty Cake

We have some time after practice this time of year and sometimes it's fun just to watch something cute. The kids loved this one!

Sound of Music | Central Station Antwerp (Belgium)

I've shown it before. I'll show it again. It's worth watching over and over again! Wowza!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Practice Makes Permanent

I asked my students to finish my sentence: "Practice makes ______________" Most of them said, "perfect." No... practice doesn't make perfect unless you practice perfectly. Practice makes permanent.

Whatever you do over and over again is what you practice. You can practice being lazy or you can practice accomplishment. You can practice being a slob or you can practice neatness. You can practice complaining or you can practice gratitude. Whatever you practice is what you get...or what you'll be.

We practice wonderfulness in music every day so when we present our program...we will be wonderful! It's not OK to be OK. Not with me as their teacher. It's my choice to coach my students to excellence. Every day. Every time.

Practice make permanent.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

4th Grade Christmas Song Practice

At the end of our 4th grade music class...the kids wanted to sing one of their favorite pieces! I took out my iPod...plugged in a little microphone and away we went. I'm really proud of them! The Song is "Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child" by Teresa Jennings of Music K8 magazine, Plank Road Publishing.

4th Grade Christmas Song Practice

Full Text of the Original Thanksgiving Proclamation

Full Text of the Original Thanksgiving Proclamation: "WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour;"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

21 Accents

I use accents in the classroom frequently! This lady's got me beat!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lindy Hop Dance

I'm looking for some inspiration for some dance moves.
I think I got it! WOWZA!!!!!!!!!

Behold That Star

One of the songs we are singing for our Holiday program is Behold That Star. This site gives the history of this song!

"When Thomas W. Talley was the director of the Mozart Society at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, he was looking for a Christmas number that would capture the spirit of a jubilee song. He wrote, "As the son of an ex-slave, I knew a great many jubilee songs, but none pertained to Christmas." After searching far and wide, he realized he would have to create an original jubilee carol. "Behold That Star" was the result."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Let Freedom Swing

I am VERY excited to show these videos and explore this curriculum with my older students at the beginning of the year.  If you have time...you may want to watch them now!  What a history and music lesson!  Wowza!
Let Freedom Swing

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Emergency Music Class K-2

Click here---> Emergency Music Class K-2
This is a podcast I made recently that a substitute can pop into the CD player and let it lead the children through songs they already know and can sing on their own.  I think I'll try it out on my kinders in January!

Pretty, Pretty Prezi Post


Thursday, November 4, 2010

The music room is a magical place!


I have a music teacher friend who said something profound on a music e-mail list I am a part of.  I'd like to share it here with you.

"...what I remember was that the music room was a magical place where we created amazing things and I never wanted to leave it." 

Kriston in Virginia

From this Kristin to that Kriston, I want to say thank-you for saying what I hope to create every day in my magical little music room world!  Thank-you!

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Beginnings!

Today, we began rehearsal for the 2010 Holiday program!  This year's title and theme:
"A Few Of Our Favorite Holiday Things."

This is the 45th anniversary of the movie release of the Sound of Music.  I thought it would be a great year to include My Favorite Things.  Each family will be asked to bring a "brown paper package, tied up with string" to decorate our stage.  How fun!

We learned 3 of our "all song" songs today.  It was jam-packed with energy, choreography and enthusiasm.  My poor 6th graders who start the day with me at my morning school.  I'm a little hyped up in the morning and they are not always fully awake.  I think they are when we are through!

It's going to be a GREAT program!
I love my job!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Music Cadre ~ Sharing Music and Technology Ideas

What an amazing day we had yesterday sharing music and technology ideas!  I'm so thankful I was asked to step outside my normal daily routine and head over to Kearney, Nebraska to share with fellow music teachers my passion for music and technology.  I met some really exciting people with whom I hope to collaborate more in the future.   Here is a link to the Google Doc I created as a springboard for the day:
Music Cadre Google Doc

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, organ

We are watching this on Wed. in 5th and 6th grades.
We play a spoof of this piece on kazoos.
It's so awesome!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

TAPS

We'll be learning TAPS in 4th grade.
Here is a link to the notation I created:
TAPS

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"God Bless America"

May we never forget. Look what music does.
It binds together those who can not see eye to eye on anything else.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Welcome Back!

Click here to watch the Welcome Keynote I use at the beginning of school!
The music I used is called Appalachian Sunrise from Free Play Music.
It's from Piano Solos Vol. 1   You can find it here:  Free Play Music

video



Saturday, August 14, 2010

From Staff Notes
This is a cool web-site for customizable staff note-taking paper.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Amazing Grace

Taken from Wikipedia:
"Amazing Grace" is a Christian hymn written by English poet and clergyman John Newton (1725–1807), published in 1779. With a message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of the sins people commit and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God, "Amazing Grace" is one of the most recognizable songs in the English-speaking world.

It has had particular influence in folk music, and become an emblematic African American spiritual. Its universal message has been a significant factor in its crossover into secular music. "Amazing Grace" saw a resurgence in popularity in the U.S. during the 1960s and has been recorded thousands of times during and since the 20th century, sometimes appearing on popular music charts.

This video for the Salavation Army makes a beautiful use of this song.

Monday, July 19, 2010





My son Logan was married to his lovely bride Katie on July 17th, 2010.  The day was glorious and blessed in every way.  We thank God for His blessing of family!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lovin' The Moment - Final Version!

Click here and take a listen to our song!
Written by Sandy Bonk, Kristin Lukow and Sarah Woodman.
Mrs. Lukow's Podcast Site

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lovin' The Moment - In Progress

Lovin' The Moment - In Progress
This is a song that three friends...me included...are writing...only two of the friends did not know each other before this started!  I posted a FaceBook status one day about the beauty of sitting on my porch and all the lovely things around me and one friend said, That's a country song if I ever heard one."   I said, "Go for it Sarah."  She said, "I need a melody."  The other friend said, "I have a melody."  And thus...the conception of a song was born.  Sarah had a verse, Sandy had a tune, I had a chorus idea that blended with Sarah's.  I opened Garage Band and began to arrange and sing and learn.  We began working with scans and messages and ideas back and forth and it has finally all come together.  We are going to copyright it and send it to producers for consideration.  Who knows...maybe someone will want to sing it...besides us of course.  It's an ongoing and delightful endeavor!  

Monday, June 7, 2010

Studying Music Makes You Smarter

Studying Music Makes You Smarter

Studying Music Makes You Smarter

This is for everyone who wishes their parents hadn’t signed them up for music lessons! According to the health and wellness website PsychCentral.com, practicing an instrument makes you smarter and improves your prospects for the future. How so?

  • First: Learning music makes you smarter. A study at the University of Toronto study found that grade school kids who took either piano or voice lessons had a three point increase in IQ compared to kids who received no musical training.
  • Also:When scientists assigned five piano finger exercises to non-musicians, there were changes in their brains in less than a week. Connections between the problem-solving regions of the brain improved, and the area dedicated to finger movement increased in size. That’s the same area of the brain that controls memory and language skills.
  • Speaking of language: A study at Northwestern University found that people with musical training have an easier time learning a second language.
  • One final reason taking music lessons is smart: They’ll help you get into college. According to the U.S. Department of Education, high school students who study music get better SAT scores. Students who study music also tend to have higher GPAs and higher acceptance rates to medical school.

Still not convinced that studying music is smart? Let me leave you with this: As a boy, Albert Einstein struggled in school, but instead of following his teacher’s advice and getting him a tutor, Einstein’s parents bought him a violin. He credited the instrument with making his scientific breakthroughs possible, and played it whenever he was working on a tough problem.

Lovin' This Moment

Lovin' This Moment <---Click here!
The start to a new song by two of my friends who don't know each other!
So interesting!


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The end of another year.

It's over...again...another school year.  Where does the time go?  It's spent wisely on precious growing young people.  We all look forward to the summer to rest and recuperate.  I like to take time to evaluate the previous year and plan the coming one.  I am blessed to do the work I do.  Here are 3 videos from our end of the year programs:

Wallace's 6th Grade Promotion:


Ayr's K-6 Picnic Music:


Juniata's DARE and 6th Grade Promotion:



Saturday, May 8, 2010

Music advocacy from the heart of my daughter.

May 5, 2010

Honorable Dennis Utter
P.O. Box 94604 State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509

Senator Utter,

I am writing you to address my feelings on the issue of taking the music programs out of schools. I know that this in not an issue in our great state of Nebraska at the moment, but I fear that one day it may be. This letter is a plea for prevention.

Many states have mismanaged their money and are now cutting music programs from the schools. I understand that cutting math, science and reading classes are obviously out of the question. The argument is that some states feel they have to cut these programs in order to save money. However, there must be other ways in which that is possible. Students need music. There are many studies and statistics that I could mention in this letter about how music makes a child more intelligent, but I would like to approach it from a more personal point of view.

Music has been a part of my life since I was born. I have a musically gifted family. I play the flute, piano, and sing. My two brothers are also very talented musicians. One plays the bass guitar while the other one drums, and they are both marvelous singers. My mother was the inspiration to our musical abilities. She went to college to earn a degree in music education and has now been teaching music for over 20 years. She stayed at home with us when we were young and taught my brothers and I everything we know about music.

When my brothers and I were old enough to start school, my parents thought it would be best to send us to a small, parochial school. This meant that we would not be attending any of the schools in which my mother taught. My brothers and I were active in music programs in our elementary years and continued in high school. The music programs at our schools helped us become who we are today.

As stated earlier, my mother is an elementary school music teacher. She teaches in three small schools, Ayr, Juniata, and Wallace #16, in the Adams Central School District. She keeps in contact with music teachers nationwide through an e-mail list of K-8 music teachers. Many of those teachers have become her friends. It is very disheartening to her when she finds out that many of these teachers are loosing their jobs because of pulling music out of schools. Will it really be saving the government money by getting rid of these jobs and then having to pay for unemployment? I feel the states will have even more of a mess to clean up if music programs keep being cut.

My mother loves her job and loves her students as well. She understands the importance of having music kept in schools. Whenever I ask any of my mother’s students what their favorite subject is, they always say music. Music class is a time for them to learn and have fun at the same time.

I am currently attending college to earn a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and I want the music programs to still be in our school systems by the time I become a licensed teacher. Also, if the Lord blesses me with a family, I want my children to be well educated in music as well. If Nebraska fails to take preventative motions to keep music in the schools, then when I do become a teacher, I will do my best to implement so sort of musical activity for my students. I want what is best for the students, and I feel that music is part of that.

Thank you very much for your time. Also, thank you for representing Nebraska. I pray that God will guide you and your decisions in leading our great state.

Sincerely, Elise Lukow

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What are some of your "Favorite Things" about music with Mrs. Lukow? by Lukow

Wallace's Wallwisher page
Juniata's Wallwisher page.
We'll be working on this for the next couple of days.
If you have anything you'd like to add...just double click
and write on your own sticky note to share with everyone else.
Now...be nice!  I do have to approve each post before it appears
on the wall so please check back!
(I need to exercise a little...or maybe A LOT of control here!)

Laughter is the best medicine!

Here is a song we enjoy at the end of each year in the upper grades.  We make up our own rhymes and laugh and giggle and enjoy!  I hope you do too!

Monday, May 3, 2010

DARE Graduation

This morning, a whole school celebrated the graduation of 6th graders from the DARE program.  We sing and celebrate and listen to great essays written by promising young people.  There is some criticism of DARE.  "It doesn't work.  Kids still use drugs after going through the program."  No program can claim 100% success.  People have choices to make, but DARE gives them information with which to make positive choices.  I'm glad we have this cooperative program with our police force.  I'm glad our students get to learn and pledge their desire to stay drug free.  I'm glad we get to sing each year for this positive program. 

Friday, April 30, 2010

NETA NEWS

aMaZiNg iDeAs!


Shorten multiple urls into one.

Develop on-line presentations.

Make a rich slideshow in seconds

A cool multi-featured on-line whiteboard.

A collaborative notice board maker that can be used for brainstorming or categorizing.

Track plagiarism by pasting your original text.

Record web interviews and post the file.

An awesome highlighter lets you highlight text on web pages and tthen gives you a small link to the highlighted page.

A database of historical maps that can be used with Google Earth.

Photo-editing, logos, web templates, filters, color palettes, screen captures, and more.

Neal W. Topp, Ph.D. -- April 2010
TimeMe - http://timeme.com/

Wallwisher - http://www.wallwisher.com/

Newspaper Clipping Generator - http://www.fodey.com/generators/newspaper/snippet.asp

Presidential Timeline of the 20th Century - http://www.presidentialtimeline.org/

SpellingCity - http://www.spellingcity.com/

Jigsaw Planet - http://www.jigsawplanet.com/

Thinkfinity - http://www.thinkfinity.org/

Illuminations - http://illuminations.nctm.org/

SMART Exchange - http://exchange.smarttech.com/

PBS Kids Interactive Whiteboard Games - http://pbskids.org/whiteboard/
PBS Kids - http://pbskids.org

RedKid - http://www.redkid.net/generator/sign.php

Printable Checklist - http://printablechecklist.org/

My StoryMaker - http://www.carnegielibrary.org/kids/storymaker/

Bubble Wrap - http://smartboards.typepad.com/smartboard/files/bubblewrap.swf

Ted - Ideas worth spreading - Sir Ken Robinson - http://www.youtube.com/user/TEDtalksDirector#p/search/8/iG9CE55wbtY

Music Tech Teacher - http://musictechteacher.com

Pics4Learning - http://pics4learning.com/

Delicious - http://delicious.com/cdahl1

Diigo - http://www.diigo.com/

Portaportal - http://portaportal.com/

Library of Congress on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/LibraryOfCongress

Library of Congress - http://www.loc.gov/index.html

A Maths Dictionary for Kids - http://www.amathsdictionaryforkids.com/

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives - http://nlvm.usu.edu/

How Google Works - http://www.google.com/howgoogleworks/

Pete's PowerPoint Station - http://pppst.com/

Common Errors in English Usage - http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html

Awesome Stories - http://awesomestories.com/

Facebook Safety for Educators - http://www.facebook.com/help/?safety=educators

Jeopardy Labs - http://jeopardylabs.com/ 
Wordle - http://www.wordle.net/


Thursday, April 29, 2010

NETA 2010

I'm here!  My first time at NETA.  Learning cool new techno thingies.  Hangin' with cool people...very cool people...techno folk rock.  I'm learnin' about Voice threads and got to listen to Peter H. Reynolds and Meg Ormiston.  There are over 2,000 folks here which kind of freaks me out.  Yikes!   But...I got to come home to my parents' house and hang with them a little so that is good!  Our music-techie group will present at one of the sessions next year.  Our wheels are turnin' as to what our focus might be...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Good-bye Wallace - 2010


6th graders practicing for their end of the year promotion.  They came up with the words and actions! 

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Memories of Musical March Madness

Here is my latest musical video montage of our basketballs to the beat project!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Musical March Madness

We are bouncing to the beat this week!  It's a great way to experience whole, half, quarter and eighth notes!  Take a look at a video we made a couple of years ago.

The music is "Let's Get It Started" by The Black Eyed Peas.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On-Line Jeopardy Game

I think we will play this game this Friday!   It's a Musical Jeopardy game that I made and it's all web-based!  Very nice!
Musical Classroom Review Jeopardy

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hot Cross Buns

This time of year, Kindergarten - 2nd grades play and sing Hot Cross Buns.  We play this traditional song on mallet instruments, Boomwhackers and melody bells.  It's easy to play and therefore, quickly rewarding.  When learning to play the recorder, it's one of the first pieces we learn to play on B, A and G.  If you'd like to make your own Hot Cross Buns, you can click on the words here.  This site also share a bit of the tasty treats' history. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Perfect Pitch Game

Click here for the game!
I will be finding a way to use this game!

Children...singing...awesomeness...

                                                                                           

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Slip Notes

I am constantly dreaming up creative ways to inspire students to listen intently to biographical stories.  One thing that seems to work very well is what I call "Slip Notes."  Students get a pencil and slips of left over paper which I scrounge from the paper cutter in the teacher's work room.  As I read to the students, their job is to chose one fact that they find interesting AND they think no one else will write down.  After I am done reading, we share what is on our "Slip Notes" and if no one else has what the student has, they get a reward.  In my class, we use jelly beans.  If we have time at the end of class, we repeat the process.  They are given the chance to write down one more fact that has not been mentioned and again, it must be unique in order to get a jelly bean.

The students learn to listen using this method.  They hear me tell the story.  They take notes and then they share facts once again with each other.  As they exit the room, I have them tell me what they found interesting about what they heard that day.  We learn about Ludwig van Beethoven in 4th grade after we finish our Recorder Karate.  If you know one of my 4th graders, ask them about Beethoven; they will be able to tell you much about his life!

I have been criticized for using candy as an extrinsic motivator.  I accept that.  It's fun and it's effective.   You could do this with stickers or stamps or high fives or points or whatever else you choose.  Jelly beans are my thing.  They are a small yet sweet incentive.  You can use whatever works for you.   In the whole of my teaching, my goal is to model and stimulate intrinsic motivation but I find that properly placed extrinsic motivation can heighten awareness and ignite desire to learn.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Desktop Blues

Desktop Blues
My 5th and 6th graders had a good time creating their own 12 bar blues pattern today using this innovative web-site.  I drew the pattern on the board and they chose the buttons to push with the radio playing in the background.  What a simple and delightful way to create with the  blues.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to our National Anthem

On March 3, 1931, Herbert Hoover signed into law, The Star-Spangled Banner, as our national anthem!   The words were written by Francis Scott Key, an American lawyer at the end of the war of 1812 during The Battle of Fort McHenry.  He was held captive aboard a British ship after negotiating the release of American doctor, William Beanes. 

All of my students know our national anthem.  We sing it many times during the year acting it out and reviewing the history of the song each time we sing.   I teach respect for the flag, the song and our country.  As a child of an Air Force officer, as well as a proud American, this is dear to my heart.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wikipedia

I had a little extra time today with my 5th and 6th graders at Ayr.  We celebrated Nebraska's birthday (Mar. 1, 1867) by singing Beautiful Nebraska.  We celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday (Mar. 2, 1904) by singing The Super Supper March.  And we celebrated The Star-Spangled Banner's birthday (Mar. 3, 1931 it became our national anthem.)  We then went to Wikipedia and put in each of those dates in the search bar and made a list of world events that happened during those years.  It was fascinating.  I love to connect music with history and culture.  Here are some of our findings:

1867
Nebraska becomes the 37th state.
African-American men get the right to vote in Washington D.C.
Alaska territory is purchased from Russia 7.2 mil. dollars.
The 1st dental school in the U.S. is established at Harvard.

1904
Theodor Geisel a.k.a as Dr. Seuss is born.
Henry Ford sets a speed record 91.37 mph.
Work on the Panama canal is begun.
The 3rd modern Olympics are held in St. Louis.
The 1st New Year's Eve celebration is held in Times Square.
The play Peter Pan premieres in London.
The Trans-Siberian Railroad was completed.

1931
The Star-Spangled Banner becomes the national anthem.
Herbert Hoover is the president.
The Empire State Building is completed.
Nevada legalizes gambling.
Thomas Edison submits his final patent application.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Official Video - Beautiful Nebraska

Happy Birthday Nebraska!

On March 1, 1867, Nebraska became the 37th state added to the United States of America.  We celebrated in music class by singing our wonderful state song, Beautiful Nebraska It was written by Jim Fras and became our state song in 1967, during Nebraska's centennial celebration.   We use actions as we sing to illustrate this beautiful ballad.  I also incorporate a Keynote presentation that highlights authentic Nebraska pictures.  In 2007, a bill was introduced in the Nebraska legislature to change the state song.  I launched a campaign by the use of letters to the editor of many state newspapers.  The AP picked up my Op Ed letter and ran a comment about in in the national paper, USA today!  I went to a legislative hearing to voice my protest to the bill which was introduced by our respected friend and congressman, Carroll Burling.  I am happy to say that it made a difference and we retained our amazing state song.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Techno Love

Today, during 6th grade music at Wallace, my cell phone rang.  I normally have it set to silent but ... I forgot ... I ran to get it because my ring tone is a recording of my students singing All Jazzed Up by Teresa Jennings.  I let them listen to it, with wide eyes, and didn't even think of answering it!  Technology is so awesome!  It can also be distracting!  Hee Hee  (Thanks to my oldest son for making me the awesome ring-tone!)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Recorder Karate

My 4th graders experience the thrill of participating in Recorder Karate each January and February.  This is a self-paced program created by Barb Philipak in which students must play pieces with excellence in order to achieve each belt color.   Most of my students will pass again this year.  They work diligently in order to make this happen.  When they do pass, they are awarded a translucent recorder...theirs to keep forever!    If you'd like more information, click here:  Recorder Karate

Friday, February 19, 2010

On-line Music Notation Site

I found an incredible on-line music notation site.  It's called  Note Flight  This is a transcription I made of Leo Arnaud's Bugler's Dream, the piece you hear every time you turn on the Olympics!  I look to utilize this in my classroom in the future.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Teaching in 3 schools

My life is full. My days are full. I love it and...it's challenging.  I teach in 3 elementary schools and rarely have time to chat with staff during the day. That can be a good thing...I'm not the one "in the know" about gossip. It can also be a bad thing...some times I "miss the memo." But...my principals and teachers really do a great job of trying to keep my informed and...I'm not the only one. There are several traveling teachers in our district. There is a vote coming up for a bond to build a new school. The vote is in May. I love what I do and I could do this for the rest of my teaching career...but...I would also love to be a part of a more efficient system. I have some great ideas for music at a single site. I like listening to the various view points and wait with great expectation to see what the outcome of the vote will be. More Information

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Virginia Reel Continued...

The Virginia Reel is an America folk dance that may have it's origins in Scottish or Irish dance.   George Washington's diaries reveal it to be one of his favorite dances.   I teach this dance to my 3rd - 6th graders each year and we dance it on Presidents day.   Although giggles and blushing overtake some students in the beginning, they soon enjoy the process of recreational dancing.  We discuss all the things folks did not have in Pres. Washington's time and compare then to now.   I would miss have electricity and indoor plumbing as well as my laptop, car and television but I think it would be fun to get together and dance a reel with friends as our primary form of entertainment.   Virginia Reel

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Juggling

It's amazing what learning to juggle does for people.  The motivation to learn to do this is amazing.  I have no students who give up on this...none.  They don't all become proficient but they all enjoy the process.  Check out the video on YouTube.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Virginia Reel

I've read in history books that The Virginia Reel was George Washington's favorite dance.   As I explain the dance to my 3rd graders, there is much giggling.  Ew...touching hands!  I tell them the story of "long ago" before electricity and television and video games and MP3 players and computers when people got together to sing and dance and cook and hunt and quilt and play games.  These were their fun times. 

I draw a fishing rod and reel on the board.  I also draw an old film reel-to-reel projector which most have never seen.  I show them the difference in spelling "reel" and "real." They start to get interested as the time moves along.

We start the dance instruction with plain hand sanitizer and I tell them that I will reward them at the end of the class with fun smelling hand sanitizer...if...they have been polite.  Today was Fresh Lemon.  Incentive does wonders toward encouraging proper behavior.   They were great and they can't wait until next Monday when we will do it again!  Yay!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Garageband and Podcasts

5th and 6th graders have been working in Garage Band for the month of January and the first part of February.  Here is a link to my Podbean site that features a couple of selections: Mrs. Lukow's Podbean Site  Enjoy!

Week-ends for me...

I spend time each week-end tweaking lesson plans, entering grades and preparing for the week to come.   As a traveling teacher, I don't have much time during the day to plan.  My classes are all back to back...out goes one class and in comes the next!  I have a 15 min. break at Wallace and a 10 min. break at Juniata.  I have more time for planning at Ayr but I don't have a room so I guess I exchange one convenience for another.  :o) 

So today I will finish listening to 6th grade Bach podcasts, review plans for the week and refresh my mind and body as to how to dance the Virginia Reel.  This was George Washington's favorite dance...so says the history books.  :o)  Wed. is the Spelling Bee and I think I will be the aural announcer again.  It was one year ago that I did this while still on intravenous steroids because of my first MS exacerbation.  What a wild experience!   I have my vision back and am so grateful.  Onward.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I Love My Job!

Just looking into the precious faces of my students energizes me.  We are in the midst of Recorder Karate and 4th graders are learning so much with this incredible program by Barb Philipak!  The 3rd graders are also reading music so well!  I love watching them learn.  Oh...and we started a unit on the Blues today in 5th grade.  Wow... We watched some incredible videos of Johnny Lee Hooker, B. B. King and one of the late Tony Snow.  I think they are hooked.  The Blues are amazing.  I love it and hope to pass that love onto my students.  6th wrapped up their Bach podcasts.  I think it was a little long for them.  They are ready to move and groove again.  Soon we will be dancing.  Oh...I love singing true love songs with my kinders, 1st and 2nd graders.  I tell them this is not the mushy, gushy, kissy, smoochy love, but true family and friendship love.  Kinders LOOOOOOOve "I'm a Little Teapot" which is not really a "love" song but it's still sweet.  We shared sugar cubes.  So fun.  I'm blessed to do what I do.