Song Wheel

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Archive for the ‘Stuff’ Category to Get Funded

Posted by lbbartolomeo on April 24, 2018 is an organization that has changed my life as a teacher.  Teachers post projects of needed resources, helps find corporate and individual donors, and then it’s the teacher’s job to promote their project to find more donors to hopefully eventually fully fund the project.  Here are my tips to getting funded.

How to Get Funded

  1. I’ve had over 125 projects funded and I can tell you that YOU CAN DO IT!  You have to find a way to promote your project that works for your own situation.  Different teachers approach it in different ways.  One thing is clear; the harder you work, the more successful you will be.
  2. Contact your school community through email, Facebook groups, PTA, etc.  Even if your parents/school community can’t afford to donate, ask them to SHARE the information to get the word out.  One large donation or several small ones will be worth it.  One T got her PTA to donate during a matching money opportunity and it helped immensely.
  3. Friends & Family-while some people are hesitant to involve friends and family, I think many teachers are pleasantly surprised at how much people want to help.If I post on Facebook I figure it’s like anything else, if they don’t want to help, they can just scroll right on by.
  4. Twitter helps in a couple of ways. You can follow other DC teachers to get help and great ideas.  If you tweet about your project, other teachers will retweet to reach more people.  When you tweet, add a pertinent hashtag.  e. You want books so you use #HarryPotter or #reading or #literacy.  This helps reach people who are searching those hashtags.
  5. Facebook-get in some of the DonorsChoose teacher pages for updates on great matches, additional funding ideas, and general support.
  6. Thanking Donors-many random donors will follow your teacher page because you have written great thank you notes and they feel connected to your classroom.
  7. Give to your own project-MANY teachers donate to their own projects because it sends a message that they care AND it counts in your donor count. I give to my own projects and many times it’s just $1.
  8. The more unique donors you have the greater chance you have of ending up on the first page of the DC website where projects are posted. Most all projects on the first page get funded by random people who are just dropping by DC to donate.
  9. Classroom photo and title-while it isn’t a hard and fast rule, a GREAT classroom photo and clever/catchy/interesting title can certainly catch the eye of a random donor.
  10. Data proves that projects under $500 have a high chance of getting funded. If you want resources that cost more than that, break it up into 2 or 3 projects.  I got 12 iPads and did it in SIX projects!
  11. If at all possible, use a matching funds opportunity. As a music teacher I’m not going to get a match for instruments necessarily, but I can craft an essay to meet the guidelines of many matches that aren’t musical; science, STEAM, literacy, etc.  Keep a list of items you need and then when a match comes along, go for it. Those matches are listed here.
  12. Quite a few teachers are having luck using the Nextdoor app. Be aware that you have the best chance of not being perceived as soliciting if you are asking for these resources for your students, not you personally.
  13. Giving Pages-DonorsChoose allows people to create giving pages. The admin chooses projects to put on that page and helps promote your project.  You can get on a giving page by competing in contests or being a loyal supporter or sometimes just by luck!  You’ll find lots of giving page links on
  14. I am a volunteer ambassador and would love to help you write your first project.  Reply to this post if you would like help.
  15. This is an article from the BLOG about funding!  Take a look!

Posted in, Funding, Stuff | Leave a Comment »

Little Kids Rock-Keyboards!

Posted by lbbartolomeo on April 24, 2018


  • Yamaha 61 key keyboards (8)
  • Single brace keyboard stands (8)
  • Casio mini-keyboards (12)
  • Mini-keyboard power adapter (12)
  • Multi-plug extension cords (3)
  • Headphones
  • Keyboard Note Stickers
  • Non-slip liner
  • Stools



Posted in Keyboards, Little Kids Rock, Stuff | Leave a Comment »

Little Kids Rock

Posted by lbbartolomeo on April 24, 2018

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 6.51.22 PMThis year I went to Little Kids Rock workshops to become an official Little Kids Rock teacher!  I highly recommend this valuable resource!  Besides learning from skilled teachers during the workshops, my school received free instruments to get the program started.   Whether you are an official LKR teacher, anyone can use their fabulous website that is full of great resources.  There’s also an LKR Facebook page where I’ve gotten lots of great ideas.


So what is the Little Kids Rock method?  From the site-

“What makes Little Kids Rock different is that we do more than just donate instruments like guitars, drums and keyboards; we build lasting music programs that focus on teaching kids to perform, improvise and compose the popular music genres that they already know and love, like rock, pop, blues, hip-hop, country, reggae and R&B.”

Posted in Little Kids Rock, Stuff | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

BIG Rhythm Chart

Posted by lbbartolomeo on August 26, 2017

IMG_5528I needed a big chart for K-2 so that we could write song/rhyme rhythms.  I wanted something cheap! 🙂 I bought a black foam board (20×30″) at Dollar Tree, then added strips of thick paper such as card stock to form the pockets.  The actual rhythms are written on blank 4×6 note cards.  I laminated them but that isn’t completely necessary.

A foam board is about 20″ wide.  The pocket strips were cut to 20″ wide and about 2″ in height, and then I glued the strips on the left,right, and bottom edge, and then a vertical line about every 4.25″, enough room to slide a 4″ note card into.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 10.51.54 AMThe glued bottom edge serves as a stop for the note card.  The red lines on the photo to the right show where I used glue.




This picture shows rhythmic icons, which required that I copied images onto the note cards.  This is what I use for the song “Bell Horses”.IMG_5526


Posted in Bell Horses, Quarter note, quarter rest, Rhythm Chart, Stuff, Two eighths/Qt. | 1 Comment »

Contest of a Lifetime—$10,000

Posted by lbbartolomeo on February 9, 2016

We WON!  Thanks to ALL who voted!

We need your help.

My project has been selected as a finalist for the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation’s Igniting STEAM for Student Innovation Challenge. Winners will receive $10,000 to use on future projects, and I need your votes to move my project from finalist to winner!  I can’t express to you what this money would mean to me, my students, my classroom, and my school!  THANK YOU!

Follow the link below and vote in ALL FOUR grade categories;

K-2, 3-5 (My category-STEAMY ROCKIN’ RATIOS), 6-8, 9-12

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 8.24.05 PM

Posted in Stuff | Leave a Comment »

All things UKULELE!

Posted by lbbartolomeo on October 7, 2013

UPDATE:  Here is my NEW way of storing my ukes.  A wonderful retired music teacher and her husband built this amazing stand for 30 ukes.

IMG_1962 IMG_1963 IMG_1964

Here’s how I stored them when I was first getting started!

I have 33 ukes and here is how they are stored.  ukestorage2The unit below is a

storage unit which usually has tubs/bins on the four levels.  I took out the

bins and found that the dowels going across are just the right width to hold

the ukes.  I don’t have room to hang them so this is working well for me.

More care has to be taken when getting/putting away the uke.  So far, I do

this job, with a quick tuning before handing the uke to a student!



For those who have inquired about the constructed storage unit at the top, I contacted the builders and they have no plans, and as they told me, “We design as we go.”  The best I can do is share some close-up pictures I took of the cart.


Posted in Stuff | 12 Comments »

Roses Are Red

Posted by lbbartolomeo on February 9, 2013

This is a wonderful 6/8 Valentine activity for intermediate grades. 

Using the old poem “Roses are Red”, echo speak with body percussion until everyone knows it.

1.  Individuals improvise the poem on pitched percussion/recorders.  When we do this, we start with someone and just proceed all around the room.  I keep a little bass beat on the BX and play a little interlude between each child.  It is so much fun and the 6/8 of course is lilting and beautiful!

2.  Finish the melody activity-On xylophones have students learn DRMS, DRMS for the first two lines of the poem and then they create the melody for the last two lines.  We vote on our favorite and that becomes their class melody.  I usually do it in C pentatonic.  It would work well on recorders in G major.  OR, you could do LDRM in E minor on recorders for a fun and accessible way to finish a melody using the notes EGAB.

3.  Building bricks with 6/8-students brainstorm.  Three eighth note examples are valentine and chocolate.  Dotted quarter examples are love, heart, red, candy.  Put combos together in groups to create B, C, D, E, F, etc. sections in rondo form with #2 song as your A section.  Or pick favorite group creation as the B section for a more simple binary form.  These can be transferred to non-pitched percussion.

4.  If you’d like to explore writing poems in the style of “Roses are Red”, this Bruce Lansky site is awesome.

Roses are blue.
Violets are red.
If you agree,
You’ve got rocks in your head.

Posted in 6/8 meter, AB, MRD, Rondo, Stuff, Valentine's Day, Xylophones | Leave a Comment »

Zimbabwe Marimba

Posted by lbbartolomeo on January 17, 2013


I use Walt Hampton’s Marimba books for Zimbabwe-type xylophone pieces.  The kids LOVE them.  Here’s one of them.


This is a school in Zimbabwe with music and dance.  I think it’s really fascinating and the kids learn so much from it!

Posted in Stuff | Leave a Comment »


Posted by lbbartolomeo on January 17, 2013

Dr. King, he had a dream, he had a dream for all you see.
P-E-A-C-E, P-E-A-C-E, P-E-A-C-E
His name was Martin Luther King!

On the board, I put this visual, erasing one letter after each verse!  Works great!
Screen shot 2013-01-17 at 7.48.23 PM

1.  We already know the song BINGO so this switch is not hard.

2.  Once we sing it as a group, as a group we replace the clap with something else.

3.  We take suggestions which usually are; snap, pat, stomp, hit our chairs, cluck our tongues, etc.  We vote on which one we want to do and do the NEW sound/motion as a class.

4.  The next class, partners or small groups choose a new sound/motion and then we sing as a class.
There are so many fun possibilities.  You can ask the groups to choose a motion, a sound, an instrument, a leveled motion (high, middle, low).

Posted in Stuff | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Black Hist. Music Survey

Posted by lbbartolomeo on January 14, 2013

We have a Black History Celebration Concert every year and this year I want to get some song suggestions from the families of my students.  Here is the survey I’m sending home.

Screen shot 2013-01-14 at 9.04.14 PM

I always start the unit by putting up genre cards on the board in no particular order and have the students try to order them chronologically.  My programs usually consist of songs from 5 or 6 of the genres.  The results will be posted on our school Cultural Competency Blog!

Posted in Stuff | Leave a Comment »

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