Beginning recorder – information for parents and students

recorder 2Students in our class are beginning lessons on playing the recorder. We have worked hard to learn about reading music in standard notation, and now is our chance to play.  Below, you will find tips for students, information for parents, and a description of how music will be assessed this term. Have fun practicing!


If you make a mistake, practice that measure a few times by itself. When you can play that measure correctly three times in a row, try to play the entire piece again correctly.

If you get frustrated, put your recorder away for a few minutes and just sing and clap the rhythm. Try again later after you give yourself a break.

Always end your practice time with a song that you love to play. Give a little concert for your family so they can enjoy your music, too!

snip of fab five


You can try an ipad app for practicing notes  My Note Games.

For Parents:

How can I help my child practice at home?

Even if you don’t think of yourself as a musician, you can certainly still help your child succeed in learning to play the recorder. Here are a few things that will get your started:

1. Help your child find time to practice their recorder each weekend. Some families like their child to practice where family members can hear and encourage. Other families prefer that the child practices in a quiet room on their own.  To help, this website will often have background music for students to play along. The website will also have the sheet music, in case your child’s music book is accidentally left at school. Students are asked to play each day for 15 to 20 minutes.

2.  Ask your child to play their recorder for you. Let them give you a little mini-concert before bedtime. They may choose to play part of a song they are working on or something they make up on the spot through improvisation.

3. Look through this web page for practice tips that we learn in class, to remind them how to conquer a difficult challenge.

4. If your child is playing with a squeaky sound, suggest they try one of the 3 strategies from our “Try 3”  page (above).

5. Encourage your child to persevere and remind them of how they are improving every time they practice.  Whatever they decide to play, encourage them with some positive feedback and applause.

How does the teacher assess music this term?

I listen to students in small groups and one at a time to assess their playing and offer individualized feedback. I also offer constant feedback during recorder lessons during class as well.

When I am assessing student performance, I am looking and listening for the following things:

  •  left hand on top,
  • holes covered with flat fingerprints,
  • recorder angled downward,
  • a soft and light tone quality that doesn’t squeak or tremble,
  •  keeping a steady beat with little to no hesitation,
  • correct pitches and rhythms,
  • correct form and tempo (speed),
  • ability to play with the background music, and
  • ability to play one part when other students in class play a different part in harmony.

Students are also expected to :

  • pay attention in class,
  • show respect for others, even if they make mistakes,
  • have a positive attitude towards themselves as they learn,
  • practice on weekends, and
  • have their recorder and music book at school on the first day of the week.

Check back each week for the current songs we are working on!

recorder 3

B Happy

Students in Division 4 are bringing home their recorder on Friday. Each weekend, it is homework to practice the recorder each day (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) for 15 minutes. Students are instructed to find an appropriate place to practice, and to ask their parent for advice on the best spot. When we start many new songs, students should spend most of their time practicing the most recent songs learned in class. Students need to  bring the recorder back to school at the start of each week.

Below, you will find the background music to use while playing at home. Students were instructed to bring home their Art and Music duo-tang with the sheet music, as the on-line copy might not be  very clear.

B Happy




Projects on Waste Management: Recycling, Compost and Landfills

We have been researching the impact of our waste on the environment. Students have created Adobe Voice projects. Click to watch!

Teagan and Jackson: This is why we should recycle

Lexus and Daylia: Yard Compost                              Naeson and Carson: Recycling

Koston: Composting in your yard                            Simar & Rajvir: City of Abbotsford Composting

Steven and Gaby: Blue Bags                                      Austin: Abbotsford City Compost

Shannon and Nick: Project Reuse                             Daylen and Cole V.: Recycling

Aya and Julia: Less Landfills                                        Alex and Alyssa: Why You Should Compost

Ama and Justin: Reduce!                                               Cole B. and Logan: City Compost

Ellie and Camryn: Landfills                                           Melea and Brooklyn: Reducing Things!

abbotsford and mt baker


A New School Year – Welcome!

It is the start of a fresh new school year! I hope you will check this site regularly for updates on important class events, information about field trips, and, beginning in March, access to background music for our music lessons. You can see our weekly spelling list if you click on SPELLING in the menu, and a quick link to math sites like XtraMath and Sumdog if you click on MATH LINKS in the menu. There is a link to Google Classroom in the menu as well. 

Our grade four class has 28 students this year. A list of their names can be found here.

Upcoming events this month:  Meet the Teacher and Open House Barbecue (Sept. 20), Professional Development Day (Sept. 22),  Terry Fox Run (Sept. 28), Orange Shirt Day (Sept. 29).  Check the school newsletter that is sent by Mr. Friesen for more details on these events.

GYM: Our days for gym will be Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with Mr. Eberding. There will also be some Mondays and Tuesdays that I will be taking the students outside for extra gym times too, so students should be prepared for gym each day of the week. 

LIBRARY: To be determined.  

World Continents and Oceans

  world map one world map 2

NEWEST: Here are some free apps to practice map skills:


Map Jigsaw

and of course you can use Google Earth too.

NEW: Here are some games you can play online to practice!

Mr. Nussbaum

   Lizard Point

Shepard Software

In social studies, we are studying maps and world geography. We will have a test soon on world continents and oceans (Thursday, October 29th).

Students will be expected to take a world map without words and label the 7 continents and 4 oceans. They should be able to spell each correctly, including capital letters. The labels should, of course, be placed in the correct locations on the map!  Students will also be asked to locate and label Abbotsford on the same map. Two different practice maps can be seen above;  just enlarge on your screen. You can also print a blank map – WorldMap.

If a student can identify and label these eleven places on a map, they will be invited to try for extra credit in an additional activity. This additional task will only be for children who already meet expectations, as listed above. In this activity, students will be given names of land forms (examples: mountain range or desert) and countries, and will be asked to identify on which continent each is located. (Please note:  If a child cannot identify the continents and oceans in the first activity (paragraph one), they cannot exceed expectations; therefore, he or she will not be working on this extra activity.

The main focus in studying must be to ensure a child first knows the 7 continents and 4 oceans, and can label a map correctly, marked on placement and spelling.

You can download a printable practice map here: WorldMap.

Next: We will learn about children around the world, living on different continents. Then we will study the history of place names – how different places get named. For example, it is thought that Abbotsford is named after Henry Abbott, who was the superintendent of the Canadian Pacific Railway.  Other people think that it was named after the home of a famous writer in England, Sir Walter Scott. Another example is the name Matsqui. It is an aboriginal word that means a section of ground that is higher than the surrounding area.