Tuesday, April 14, 2015

FERMATA FRIDAY: EXCITED-ENGERGETIC-ENGAGED

Spring is just around the corner and teachers all know what that means.
EXCITED-ENERGETIC-ENGAGED Students-Right?
Huh, that doesn't always add up for me. I have found that changing my lessons to include more movement and props helps keeps the students focused. In last weeks blog I wrote about using puppets. INSERT LINK HERE  That is one way that I choose to keep my students attention. But it's more than attention-it's helping them develop skills without knowing it! A shy student may be able to sing alone when using a puppet to sing through. A student who struggles with pitch might be able to play the steady beat on a drum. By using a variety of "props" or "strategies" in the music room you are differentiating your teaching and giving students many ways to learn a music concept. You are reaching all learners.
During one lesson I may use three or four different strategies to help students learn a concept.
RHYTHM WARM UP:
I might begin class helping students play the beat and a rhythm at the same time.
I'll begin by swaying on the steady beat-step right, step left....
Then I'll clap on every other beat (2 &4). For some students this comes naturally, but I have found that it's difficult for many of my students. Before long, they'll be stepping and clapping at the same time! So I stop clapping and get us back on track.
Then I start the clapping again.
I then begin to clap some patterns. I use ta and ti ti for my K-1. I use more complicated patterns the older the students.
With repetition students gain confidence with this activity and later I can then give them turns to lead the class.
VOCAL WARM UP:
I hold a puppet in my hand and I sing as I weave through the class. The students echo me. I like to use the "CAT" that is part of the Harcourt Music Curriculum.


Using vocalization also reinforces reading left to right brain connections. Singing the up and down-high/low pictures helps kids find their voices and games make it all memorable.



That's 3 reasons to use engaging activities that have good graphic images, and interactive activities-like this one where the kids can create their own vocalizations on the blank sheets (that have the insects on them but no vocal path).
You can use a smart board or your white board or just let them draw them in the air with the puppets I've included for you to just print. I think even if you print them in black and white-it will work just great.
Some key elements to this lesson are:
ENGAGING VISUALS
READING-SINGING-MOVING MAKE CONNECTIONS!
WRITING PRACTICE & GAMES 
 DEVELOP & RETAIN SKILLS





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