Friday, November 22, 2013

Kid President- Pep Talk For Teachers and Students

Some of you may have seen this already, but even if you have, watch it again. This kid is great.  I love his movies (somehow I just discovered them yesterday, but watched about an hours worth).  After a long week, it's good to get a pep-talk like this.  Happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Steady beat- ways to change up the same activity

I LOVE 1st grade.  They are the youngest I teach and their joy and eagerness is so wonderful. They are willing to do anything and really wouldn't care if we played the same game 25 times so everyone got a turn (though I, of course, still limit games to 5 or 6 rounds).  This has got me thinking of how to change up "the same activity" so it look or feels different to them.  I have recently presented steady beat so we have been doing a lot of pointing at beat charts, marching, and moving our hands to the beat in different ways.  

Here are a few ideas to help change in up- including some of my favorite "extras" (props and puppets) that we have done.

Beat Chart Ideas:  Use SMARTboard (or other projection)  OR use magnets OR use individual paper charts.  Use Icons one week and Hearts another.  Check out some Beat Chart Files I made for TPT HERE. I use them ALL THE TIME!

Student wearing the crown
Specifically for Queen Queen Caroline-  I have a beat chart for Queen, Queen Caroline on my SMARTboard that is just 16 crowns (4 rows of 4).  All they do is point to the crowns on the beat.  To change it up from other beat charts we have done I found a crown from a musical I did in the past and pulled it out and pulled out a yellow rubber mallet to use as a "scepter."  My kids LOVE using these props!  I had a little girl today tell me, that while she has gotten to point to the beat for other songs- she was sad cause she hasn't gotten to do it with the scepter yet.    When they go up and point for this song, we also change the words to fit their name - eg.  King King Brenden-tine OR Queen Queen Allie-line.   They think it is so fun!   I am hoping to come up with more prop ideas for other chants and songs :)
Motions to the beat:  Have the students come up with new ways to move and make the patterns harder and harder.  I start with just tapping, then have students alternate movements (pat-clap), then I might do patterns of 4.  Students are great at coming up with their own ideas too!  I teach them about different non-locomotor movements like chop, sway, push/pull, bend, etc and they love coming up with new ways to do each of these to the beat.  We are often doing disco, chopping like ninjas, doing ballet steps like plie's and doing push-ups.  :) 

Instruments on the beat: We play so many instruments to the beat, and in a first grade brain it makes the activity totally different.  We have so far played glockenspiels for "star music" to Starlight Star-bright, Guiros to Charlie Over the Ocean and Ickle Ockle, triangles during many songs, apple shakers during I Climbed Up the Apple Tree and many more. 

Tapping/ Chase Games: All of my chase games involve tapping to the beat first while we sing and Bee Bee and Charlie Over the Ocean in first grade.  If students need help I tap with them on the inside of the circle, while they are tapping heads and walking around the outside during the song.  For Bee Bee I have a bee puppet they get to hold to tap heads and for Charlie Over the Ocean the tapper gets to come up with an ocean animal for Charlie to catch. 

Beat Ostinatos: For many songs and chants we do ostinatos.  I start with beat ostinatos (just a different sound on the beat) and then move into more complicated ones when we get to word rhythm (they way the words go).   During Bee Bee those that are doing the ostinato Buzz and during Engine Engine the students do either a Train Whistle (woo, woo) or chugging sound on the beat. 

Many of these ideas can also be applied to both word rhythm and high low concepts.