By: Danielle | January 28, 2018

Pool noodles, tennis balls, jumbo dice, and plastic bowling pins. All of those things sound like fun additions to a children’s party, but they also make for really great educational manipulatives. However, when it comes to teaching music from a cart, transporting those types of objects on your cart for use in your lesson activities can be difficult due to their sizes and shapes. Does that mean you can’t incorporate manipulatives as part of your music lessons, centers, or workstations? Definitely not! Instead, you may just need to rethink the types of materials you utilize, depending on your storage availability and cart setup.

In my years of teaching music from a cart, along with figuring out how to maximize my cart storage space, I’ve als...

Category: Lessons 

Tags: Lesson Ideas 

By: Danielle | October 31, 2017

It inevitably happens to every music teacher at some point in their teaching career: you have to call out absent. Whether it’s to attend a conference, or an unexpected emergency occurs, or you become sick, music teachers need to plan ahead in the event they are unable to teach. But what’s a music teacher on a cart to do? Depending on your situation, your teaching materials might be scattered all over the building. Maybe you also teach at more than one school. It’s enough of a challenge for you yourself to be organized and navigate teaching from a cart, but now a complete stranger is going to step into the roll...what do you ask them to do? Let’s tackle some key things to plan and prepare so your substitute can be successful filling in as a...

Category: Lessons 

Tags: Lesson Ideas 

By: Danielle | September 24, 2017

Singing, animal voices, sound effects, vocal explorations, and more...a music teacher’s voice certainly gets a lot of mileage! When I first began teaching, I didn’t realize just how much of a beating my body would take (I often joke that my music teaching job is the best gym plan ever, especially with being on a cart!) and that body beating certainly included my voice. I also found that when germs bombarded my body, the inflammation would always target my throat….*ALWAYS*. This meant getting laryngitis multiple times during the year. After getting through those first few overwhelming years of being a new music teacher, I did eventually hit my stride and improved in balancing tasks and taking better care of my body in general. More recently...

Category: Health 

Tags: Vocal Health, Body Health 

By: Danielle | August 24, 2017

One interesting thing about having a dedicated music classroom is that it becomes quite easy to accumulate stuff. With ample shelf space and filing cabinets plentiful, it’s easy to stock up and to put things out of sight and out of mind. This was definitely the case for me when I started my teaching career in a music classroom. Once I was placed on a cart, I had to eventually address the issue of accumulated items and the value of keeping them from year to year. I say “eventually” because trying to survive my first year (and each year thereafter) teaching from a cart took the majority of my energy and thinking space. Organization was the *last* thing on my mind so I simply placed all my music classroom items in any nook and cranny around ...

By: Danielle | July 07, 2017

Even though it’s the summertime, a teacher’s mind never quite shuts off, right? We’re always in a perpetual cycle of reflecting on the past school year and planning for the next. However, it’s not always “all work and no play” regarding planning. One of the fun things many teachers like to do is keep their eyes open for a good sale in their favorite store and stock up on cool classroom supplies and festive decor. But what’s a cart teacher to do? We don’t have the luxury of scooping up heaps of seasonal decor, bulletin board items, or other cutesy classroom goods for lack of space to display them and places to store it all. Does that mean that we can only wistfully walk through the ‘back-to-school’ aisles and not purchase a thing? Not neces...

By: Danielle | June 07, 2017

This has been a very interesting school year. Out of my 10+ years teaching elementary music, this was the first year that I was challenged with all sorts of behavioral issues. And not with just a few classes or one grade level, but at every single grade level that I teach (with the exception of preschool...those little 3 and 4 year olds really had it together!). I’ve truly been stretched and challenged as an educator in attempting to find various systems, strategies, and ways in which to establish, restore, and/or reiterate proper classroom behavior. As I reflect back on this school year and the strategies I've tried, I noticed that there was a common thread. And that’s what I’d like to discuss today.

By: Danielle | May 10, 2017

As a ‘music on a cart’ teacher, I’m all about using teaching aids and manipulatives in various ways and for multiple purposes. My cart space is at a premium, and though I can fit a lot more items on my cart than one may think, there will always, of course, be space limitations compared to music teachers with their own classrooms. With that said, today I want to share about one of my favorite multi-activity musical items that I keep permanently on my cart and use often throughout the school year...the slide whistle!

By: Danielle | March 30, 2017

In the previous post, Anatomy of a Cart: Part 1, we covered what characteristics to look for when searching for an optimal teaching cart. Today, we’re getting down into some more nitty-gritty details by discussing ways to creatively increase storage space on your cart. Being a music teacher on a cart means you essentially take your music classroom with you as you travel around the school building. If you’re going to have all of your needed teaching materials on hand, then you need to maximize ALL areas of your cart.

Category: Organization 

Tags: Efficiency 

By: Danielle | March 10, 2017

For the traveling teacher who does not have a classroom of their own, a teaching cart becomes one of the most essential elements of their instruction. It’s from this mobile cart that all necessary equipment, teaching aids, and other lesson materials are found, collected, and stored, so it’s very important to select a cart that will meet all of these needs. In my own trial and error experiences over the years with researching and testing out various types of carts, I’ve found that there were surprisingly a plethora of different types and styles of carts to choose from! In Part 2 of this series, I'll discuss how to optimize the square footage on your cart so you can fully utilize its space in your daily instruction, but right now let's look ...

Category: Organization 

Tags: Efficiency 

By: Danielle | March 04, 2017

"I found out I will be teaching on a cart two days ago and school starts Monday."

"If they enroll 6 or more kindergarteners by the time school starts, I'm going to be on a cart."

"I've recently lost my music classroom and I'm now on a cart. I'm obsessing about how to complete my curriculum without the classroom and the accessibility to instruments."