Tech Tuesday: Making Your PDF File Interactive

As you know by now I have been using my projector in my studio a lot more in the last year or so. Though I couldn’t quite figure out how to successfully create a true homemade interactive whiteboard (aka smart board) this last summer, I was still able to use the interactive whiteboard software and the students just used it the “old fashioned” way via the computer mouse. The lesson itself was still considered interactive, they just couldn’t move things around on a whiteboard screen or a wall.

Which brings me to an article that I recently read about how to turn your pdf files into an interactive lesson by importing into a flip chart. This article gives step by step directions, in addition to wonderful step by step video helps so I won’t even try to explain how to do this. Instead, I will just direct you to the pro at, Lisa Dubernard. Here is her article, “Turn that PDF into an Interactive Lesson!”.

Now remember, even if you don’t have a smart board, you can still use this tool interactively with your students simply via powerpoint, projector and a computer.

Musical Treasure Hunt

One of the activities we did towards the end of Christmas camp on the last day was a musical treasure hunt.



My intention for this hunt was to have them find the gifts I made them in the end. That is how it worked out for Monday’s group. But then Tuesdays group came and it took a different turn. A turn that I wish I would have thought about before. But because it worked so well, I did it for the other groups following. The last clue leads to the answer “piano”. The original plan was for them to find the pirate bear gift behind my drum under the piano. But on Tuesday, right after they figured out the last clue was piano, they all started getting out their Christmas music they were going to play for each other thinking that was the “treasure”. Now why didn’t I think of that?! It was too good so I went along with it and did it for Wednesdays and Thursdays group as well and then gave them their gifts afterwards before they left to go home.

For the musical treasure hunt, I had flashcards and items hidden (not too hard) around the room. They had to answer the clue first and then go find the flashcard or item.





Pirate Christmas Gifts

I have a couple things I wanted to go into a little more details after Christmas camp was over. I am excited how cute my gifts to my students turned out this year so I wanted to share what I did.

In week 1, I had students decorate their own canvas bag. I told them to decorate with a Christmas theme, a pirate theme, a music theme, mix and match those themes are do all of the above.

This is what they came up with…





Then before the 2nd week of camp, I gathered their bags and filled them with a note and chocolate gold coins…

Chocolate gold coins



Then I attached their bag to a cute little pirate bear and stuck a candy cane in to give it that “finished” look…

Pirate Bears

Pirate Bear Christmas Gifts

Pirate Bear Christmas GiftI thought they turned out cute and went perfectly well with our theme!

Did you give a gift to your students this year? What did you do?


Christmas Camp- Week 2 in Review

This was our last week of Christmas camp. I thought I would share what we did this week.

First we started off with an interval game called Voyage of the Intervals. I separated the kids into 3 groups and they worked together as a team.

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Afterwards we played “Pieces of Eight” a customizable powerpoint trivia game that I bought from a teacher from TeachersPayTeachers website. I made it a “music” style trivia game and created the categories: Notes, Rhythm, Dynamics, Articulations, Technique and Christmas. In this game occasionally a bonus round will pop up. Bonus rounds allows a team to receive a bonus point if they are first to answer correctly. Sometimes the bonus rounds are doing something silly such as this… (Can you figure out what they are doing?)

Pat your Head, Rub your Tummy

After our trivia game, we took a refreshment break. Students brought in goodies to share…

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After we had some goodies it was time for a Musical Treasure Hunt! This was one of my favorite activities at camp. I created a powerpoint of all the clues but also had clue cards along with what they were supposed to find hiding around the room. In a separate post I will post more details and share the powerpoint that I made. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures of the hunting…

IMG_1436 IMG_1438 IMG_1439 IMG_1460 IMG_1488 IMG_1517 IMG_1518 IMG_1519Our musical treasure hunt led us to the piano where students performed their Christmas pieces for each other to close out our Christmas camp.

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Then before they left until I see them again in 2013, I gave them their Christmas gift from me. Here’s a sneak peak. (More details coming in a separate post…)


Christmas Camp- Week 1 in Review

Our first week of Christmas camp was lots of fun!

We started out playing a Christmas version of Stinky Sox.





We decorated mini canvas bags (this will be part of their Christmas gift- more on that soon…)







We composed words to a Pirate Christmas Sea Chanty and learned some fun Pirate Christmas themed songs. (no pictures…)

We played Cyber Christmas Scramble (fun but a little challenging).

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And some of the classes had time to play a little Christmas Bingo.



Tech Tuesday: iPad VGA Adapter

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Just a little tool tip this week for Tech Tuesday. I am using a free app called Christmas Cyber Scramble during Christmas camp this week. (By the way you can also play this game on the computer!) I use my projector a lot during camps/workshops and wanted to be able to project this app so all the students can see it. The iPad VGA adapter is just what I needed for this. I just plug it from my projector to my iPad and it mirrors everything that is on my iPad so all the students can see the app. Love it!

Just a quick note about the Christmas Cyber Scramble app, we played it yesterday at camp and the kids had fun, it was definitely a more challenging game. The fun thing about this app is you can create players and/or teams. I created two teams. We played up to 10 guesses each. It was a fun and an easy activity to do.