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 am now on a cart. I'm obsessing about how to complete my curriculum without the classroom and the accessibility to instruments.

By: Danielle | February 25, 2017

They are the first ones to arrive at school. The last ones to leave. On a snow day, they can't turn off their alarm, snuggle further under their covers and sleep in. They are always on call and on their feet throughout the entire school day. Every moment throughout the day they hear "Can you do this? Can you take care of that? Can you fix this? Can you move that?" And on and on it goes.....

Category: Encouragement 

Tags: Kindness 

By: Danielle | February 02, 2017

Normally, I’m not prone to injury. In fact, I usually try to go out of my way to make sure I don’t get hurt (though I’m not always successful). And after suffering with painful tendonitis in my late high school/early college days, I’m a BIG advocate of spotting tension in my students (especially with my private piano students) and helping them recognize the warning signs so that they can adjust accordingly and stretch properly to avoid injury. However last year, I let my guard down and the result was an 8-month-long sloooow going recovery from an injury I received while teaching music on a cart. Here’s what happened…

Category: Health 

Tags: Body Health 

By: Danielle | January 19, 2017

Teaching and working with children is quite the learning experience! This has been especially true in teaching my students with special needs. As time goes on and I continue working with this population of students in a variety of settings, I’m constantly learning how to adapt and modify my lessons to help with the flow of music class, which in turn provides the best environment for them to learn. These changes often occur on a weekly (and even daily) basis depending on which students I’m teaching, what time of day their music class is, how their day has gone so far, if they like/dislike the shirt they’re wearing, if they like/dislike the shirt *I'M* get the idea! Lots of factors can influence the success of music class, ...