This blog has been created so others can follow my adventures of returning to a music classroom! I spent my first year out of college as a Middle School Band Director, then as the Music Associate at my church for five years. During that time I decided to make a change and began pursuing my Master's in Library Science. I spent five years as the Media Specialist at a primary school and deeply desired to return to my true calling. I've been given that chance in two elementary schools and I am really excited!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Wow, November already!!

Hello blogger buddies!!  I have been MIA for a LONG time and I'm so sorry!!

Since November 2012, I have been battling blood clots in my left leg and various other places within my body.  Yesterday, I FINALLY received an official diagnosis - I have the auto-immune disease Antiphopholipid syndrome.  The not so good news is that like most other auto-immune diseases, there is no cure.  But, now we know that blood clots will forever be a part of me.  The bad news is that I will forevermore have at least 1 blood clot some place in my body.  The main goal is to keep life-threatening blood clots away and at this point we have eliminated the DVT and the PE within my lung.  The clots I have now are superficial and non-life-threatening.

With most women who are in their 30's there is a monthly beast we have to battle and because the treatment for my disease is a potent blood thinner, this beast is even more of a bother.  My medicine and the beast have caused me to become SEVERELY anemic made my job even tougher than normal.  Two weeks ago, my blood levels were so low, I was doing good to get a  shower and drive to school.  Teaching was EXHAUSTING.

Thankfully, with a diagnosis the anemia is under control and I am starting to feel more like myself and am ready to slowly get back into my blogging and creating for my classes and TPT.  I have missed following everyone and look forward to being more in touch!

Thanks for reading!!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Amazing learning!!!

I hope parents of 1st and 2nd grade students are enjoying our "rhythm poem", I Eat My Peas with Honey, as much as the students and I have been this week!  We have been discussing the Music Classroom Instruments and how they are grouped together in "families" - Woods, Metals, Shakers & Scrapers, and Drums/Skins.  Next week we will begin adding the instruments to the poem for some added fun!

Third-Fifth grade students have been learning a fun song called "Zombie Style", which as you can guess is like the popular hit "Gangnam Style".  If you would like to purchase this song you can go here.

Kindergarten students have been learning about four ways we can use our voices in music class - Speaking, Shouting, Whispering and Singing.

I cannot believe how quickly the days are going by!  Second grade students will begin working on Holiday Program Music - How the Penguins Saved Christmas very soon and Fifth grade students will begin learning their songs for their holiday concert.  There will be many wonderful selections for all to enjoy!

Chorus auditions will begin Monday and the selection process will be completed within a few weeks!

I am enjoying getting to know our kindergarten students as well as the many students that are new to our school this year!  Please let me know if you have any questions!

Mrs. Lukac

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

One week...

That is all I have left of my summer vacation.  :(  I can't believe how quickly it has passed...especially after the rough beginning I had.  I am very hopeful that this year will come and go without any medical speed bumps for me or my family.

My hubby is in full on marching band mode...drill charts, early mornings and smelly shoes.  We visited today during the last bit of field rehearsal and I have to say they are looking good!!!  You can find out more about his program here.

For the last few days of vaca, the kids and I are going to hit up the $1.00 movie tomorrow, hit up a few doctor's appointments Friday, and celebrate my son's 7th birthday this weekend.  Workdays start next Thursday...however, I have to admit that I am excited about returning this year!!  I've gotten my concept plans mapped out, my long range plan is ready to be turned in and all I have left on my GBE is the school wide goal.

If only I could get my health to cooperate, I'd be ready to rock and roll.  Still get very worn out, very quickly and hate that it slows me down.  I have a follow up with my cardiologist in September to find out how much the blood clot has shrunk since May.

Right now, I am enjoying watching my children play with new friends in the neighborhood and will spend my last few days enjoying them!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Music Classroom Wish List

There are some things that we need for our music classroom.  I will be sending this list home with students at the beginning of the year with a newsletter, but I wanted to also post it here.

If you could supply just ONE item from this list that would greatly benefit our music classrooms!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

How I Ended the Year...

Some of you may remember that I developed a blood clot in my left leg behind my knee back in November. After almost 6 months of treatment and being what my doctor considered therapeutic, I began having problems with more swelling and trouble walking.  After an additional ultrasound, we found that the clot had grown and went from my hip down to my ankle.  I was three weeks from coming off the meds.  This occurred May 1.  By May 30, I was still having severe issues with swelling and not feeling good.  Friday, May 31, I got up not feeling well, but I went to work anyway because it was the last day I would see students and could start cleaning my classroom.  However, shortly after getting to work, I realized that my tummy was not going to allow me to stay at school.

I drove myself home that day feeling very nauseous and groggy.  After I got home, I stayed on the couch and rested.   Saturday I spent the day throwing up and feeling awful.  Sunday was worse...by late Sunday afternoon, I had not had solid food since Friday and I began having severe pain in my right side.  At 9:00 p.m. Sunday I drove myself to the ER.

I was very worried that the clot had broken off some and gone into my lung.  Which ended up being the case.  Initial blood work showed that I'd had a heart attack, thankfully, was not the case.  The clot did break off and a small piece went through my heart into my lung.  A CT-scan showed that my pancreas was inflamed, which was what caused the weekend of nausea.  My pancreas was inflamed because my body was resisting the Warfarin (blood thinner) that I had been on since November.

After being admitted to the hospital, I had a liquid diet for a few days and then was released to go home on new blood thinners.  Thankfully, I am on the mend and have learned a lot about my health, the medicine I am on and how I will now really talk to my doctor when I feel like something isn't right.

Looking back, I had spent MONTHS in allergy agony.  I think that was my body telling me it didn't like the medicine, but I nor my doctor really payed attention to some of the warning signs.

I'm sharing all of this so each of you will push your doctor to do something or look for a new doctor if you don't feel you are being treated.  I trusted my doctor WAY too much and didn't ask that many questions.  Please don't make the same mistake that I did!!!

I am super thankful to my art teacher buddy who closed up both of my classrooms and both of hers!!  I wouldn't have made it through the year without her!!!!

Now, I am ready to enjoy my summer and get to work on some items for my classroom!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Faced with an awesome decision

Our district arts coordinator has found a grant opportunity for all of our fine arts classrooms.  This is WONDERFUL and I am very excited!  However, the max you can request is $750 if your school matches up to $375 for a total of $1125.  Wowie, wow, wow,wow!  So, now I have to decide what to buy!!!!  It has to be supplies to fill a void inside my classroom that keeps me from meeting my state standards.

At my core, I am a techie.  So, my brain immediately goes to buy something technology related - enter iPad minis!!!  But, the musical part of me is going - but you REALLY need instruments.  Which is true, and I could get a LOT of multicultural instruments for the money...but, I keep going back to the shiny new iPads.  My biggest instrument need is barred Orff instruments and frankly, $1100 doesn't go far at all when it comes to Orff.

What would you do if you were in my shoes?  Technology - which is a need to fill some of my standards OR instruments?!?!  HELP!!!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Oh it's not May YET!?!

Well, after logging in and looking quickly through my reading list, I see that I am not the only music teacher that has had a terrible week.  National tragedy, spring fever and a 6 year old (in my home) that is trying to "sow his oats" has made this week almost too much for this teacher mama!  Thankfully, we are all 4 well, safe, alive and happy...though mama and daddy are a little tired.

All 3rd, 4th and 5th graders have been working on the recorder.  I hope that the parents are enjoying the expereince a little than a few weeks ago!  I know the students are having a blast!!  Almost everyone has earned their white belt and I have a few students that will be playing for their orange and green belts this week.  I LOVE being able to really see and hear where all students are almost every week.

In other grades - 2nd graders will be composing songs using low, middle and high pitches this week.  The small glocks will have E (low), G (middle) and high (A).  They will be using quarter notes and rests and eighth notes to create a 4 or 8 beat melody.

Kinders and firsties are working on program music.  The firsties are going on "Our Trip Around the World" - their social studies unit for this last quarter focuses on cultures of other countries, so we thought it would be fun to tie that into our program.  Hoping that singing songs and learning about different cultures might "stick". We will be traveling to Kenya, Australia, Japan, Germany and Mexico.  Our first song will be "It's a Small World".

So that's a brief insight into what's going on in my classroom from now until June 6...which feels like it is getting farther away instead of closer...sigh.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

March Currently

We have had record numbers of students out this past week with all kind of yucky stuff.  I FINALLY broke down and went to the doctor last week.  Sinus infection, ear infection, and bronchitis - yay!  One great thing from this week - our South Carolina History night was AwEsOmE!!!  I'm going to post more of that later this coming week.  I left the disc with pictures at school.

But, here is my March currently!  Thanks to Farley for hosting!!

It's Saturday - yay!!  I want chocolate and would LOVE if this cough would go away!!!  I have been limiting my soda intake and for dinner I treated myself with a Coke!  While I was grocery shopping, I passed a display with colored pencils and my heart swooned!

I hate CHAOS!  And being sick and program week just made me feel CRAZY!  I am really ready for Spring Break and can't believe that I still have 3 weeks to go!!!

That's all for now - it's your turn!  What's up with you this month?!?

Thursday, February 7, 2013


The art teacher and I have about $500 to split for our classrooms right now.  I was thinking of buying some boomwhackers, but how many sets do I need?  I'd like to use them with a whole class, in addition to my Stomp, Boom, Bang group.

Any wise music teacher/friend/bloggers have any suggestions on what all I should buy?!?  Largest classes are about 34 students...
Help and thanks!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

3rd Quarter Assessment

I finally got my 3rd Quarter Assessment pages posted to my TpT store.  Click here to go to my store.  I completed the pre-assessment for most of the grades this past week.  The upper grade students still get very anxious about the number grades.  I only show them the number grade at the end of the quarter, because that grade does not go in the grade book.  If they have attempted to give answers on the questions they get a 100 in my grade book.  The number grade they receive at the end of the quarter is recorded in the grade book.

Please contact me if you have any questions about my assessments and how I give grades for my students.  This has been a learning as I go year but, I feel that I have been pretty successful.  :-)

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!!  Remember!  All items in my store are on sale!!  Use the Code: SUPER to get up to 28% off!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February Currently

I haven't ever done the monthly currently link up.  This is my FIRST!  I'm linking up with Farley at Oh'Boy 4th Grade.


I am currently listening to my kids whisper about something.  Not sure what they're up too - they are supposed to be cleaning their rooms.  Hmmm...should I be worried?!?

I am LOVING the fact that my hubby should be home any minute now!  He's only been gone 1 night, but I really like having him around!  We're weird like that!

I haven't gotten as much done today as I would have liked...so, I'm thinking about all the work I still need to get done this weekend - with the big game tomorrow!!  I actually enjoy watching the game, my fave parts though are the pre-game and half-time shows.  I'm a musician - so sue me!  LOL!!!

Being "single-mommy" this morning I want SLEEP!  However, I will give my daughter props - she's usually up around 6:15 on Saturday mornings - she slept til 7:30!  Woohooo!!

The dryer buzzed, so I need to fold clothes...hubby is NOT going to be pleased when he comes home to find the laundry from yesterday morning is still in the dryer.  Ooopppss!!  :~)  Good thing he LOVES me!  I bought his faves for game day food!

The kids at school have gotten SOOOO bad about not covering their faces when they sneeze and cough!  I have seriously been sick for 3 weeks and I know it's because they keep blowing all their germs where I sing!  Not cool!  And the BIG kids (4th & 5th grades) are WAAAYYYY worse than the bitty ones (Kinders)...sigh, I guess it will always be a struggle.  Almost told a lady at the grocery store yesterday to please cough into her elbow...

After School Groups and TpT SALE!

This week, my 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students auditioned for spots in Chorus and Stomp, Boom, Bang.  I accepted over 75 students into Chorus (slightly worried that I'm going crazy!! LOL!)  and 30 students into Stomp, Boom, Bang.  Stomp, Boom, Bang will be our school's version of Stomp Out Loud!  I'm in the process of collecting items that we will use to create music and we will also use our recorders some during this group.  Since we're new to this, the school purchased Stomp, Boom, Blast and Stomp, Boom, Blast 2 by Cathy Blair.  You can purchase your own copies here and here.  I will be posting more as we get started and I am sure there will be lots of exciting things to share!

Also, I will be taking part in the TeachersPayTeachers.com Super Sunday SALE!!!  You can access my store on TpT here!  You can save up to 28% by using the Promo Code: SUPER.  Happy Shopping!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Super ExCiTeD!!!!

Lookie, lookie what I FINALLY got set up in primary school room!!!  Woohooo!!!!

My Promethean board is finally in place and ready for use!  I have spent soooo much time trying to find the just right spot for it and after begging for all kinds of cords and things from the district IT folks, I have got the set up I wanted!  :-)

Super happy music teacher on a cold and yucky Friday.

Happy melodies friends!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My apologies!

I have not gotten the mittens and gloves lapboards put together as planned - fighting a cold!  I'm hoping to have it finished soon and posted to my TpT store!

Right now, I'm making some serious plans for our 3rd grade South Carolina History Night event.  Each homeroom class (we have 8 homerooms) will have a different time period that they are in charge of preparing. We are creating an interactive timeline using the main hallway from the music room up to the cafeteria.  Visitors to the timeline will view student created artifacts from various time periods and so on...we'll end the night with a concert that takes us through the time periods again through song.  I'm so excited and I hope that it all continues to come together!!

Stay tuned, because I will be posting much more about this event as we continue to plan and prepare!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mittens & Gloves

Working on a new item for my TpT store!!!  My kinders and firsties have been reading pictures to clap and notate rhythms.  The song "Mittens and Gloves" from Music K-8 magazine (Vol. 22 Issue 2) was my inspiration for using mittens and gloves to teach barred eighth and quarter notes.

First graders used the 4x4 grid (found here) to notate their own rhythm patterns by drawing mittens (for eighth notes) and gloves (for quarter notes).  They are now "translating" their rhythm patterns to quarter and eighth notes based on their previous compositions.

Kinders are reading the pictures and clapping.  I printed 4 clip art graphic mittens and 4 gloves to use on the board.  Week 1, I arranged the pictures in various patterns for us to clap.  This week, I called a few students to come up and arrange the pictures in various patterns for each class to clap.  Next week, students will have their own lapbook of sorts to share with a partner with enough pictures to create their own patterns.

The items I am using for their lapbooks will be available in my TpT store by Sunday.  :-)  My kiddos are hoping for snow tonight, I know that they are going to be disappointed in the morning because we probably won't get anything but ice...here's hoping for a 2 hr delay!  :-)