Thursday, December 3, 2015



I guess the point of the title of the blog is to write "SMALL" goals and not "BIG" ones-which I tend to do. I missed writing goals in October and November but I definitely need some "small" ones for December.

Keep students learning through this Holiday season and have fun at the same time.
That may seem like a "duh" thing to do. But this time of year it seems more tempting to just "movement activities", watch videos and color or do printables. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that any of those is "bad", I'm just trying to keep up the momentum of learning in our music class and not get too distracted by glittery or glamorous alternatives that don't require my students to actually make music.
How am I doing this?
I actually am working with some new material I created-but it's not for sale (yet). It combines body percussion rhythmic practice with learning to play xylophones. I've written some chants that students are practicing using body percussion and then we go to the xylophones and turn them into a little song. The kids are loving it! You could easily do this activity with any holiday music.
Here's a basic outline of what I'm doing with Kindergarteners:
After we sing our Hello Song and do some Holiday Vocal warm ups, I move into the lesson:

I show them how I want to play the rhythm-

Then they play the rhythm-

After  they play about 5-8 Body Percussion patterns

 I then have them read the chant aloud-

Then we tap out the rhythms-
Finally, we play each line on the note--

I play the piano and add a little accompaniment to their simple melody. 

After they are done playing a couple of times I have them do a movement activity. I've got some fun holiday music that I use for these movement cards.

I feel like they are getting in some holiday fun and learning too! Hopefully I'll stick to my goal.

Stay positive and calm even if the students are not!
That may not be the best way to express my thoughts-but I think everyone will agree that the week before the Holiday break is one of the most difficult for classroom management.
I try to have a sense of humor. I put a picture of Santa on my board. Usually I have a picture of the world there and the kids have to stay "on top of the world" to get a good report. Now I'm telling them that Santa's at the top of the world --at the North Pole--waiting for us. So we'd better be really good and learn a lot so that we can make it to the North Pole and see him. This works great with my K-3 students.
I made up a little phrase to help my students stay quiet. It goes like this:


The cute graphics featured in the blog article are by:

What kind of goals do you have for December?

#1. Write a blog post about your small goals for the month of December.
#2. Insert the December Small Goals image from the top of this entry within your blog post. Then, link it directly back to this blog post. <--this step is important as it allows readers to see everyone else's small goals for the month.
#3. Publish your post. Then, return to this blog and click the "add your link" button. From there, you'll be able to enter your blog post's URL and choose the thumbnail image that will appear on this linky party.
#4. Encourage others to join the linky party by posting on at least one of your social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)

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