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November 14, 2016

How to Get Students to Gobble Up the Beat

How to Get Students to Gobble Up the Beat.
My students are super charged during November and December because of all of the holidays. I like to keep my students busy in class for several reasons. I feel that they are less likely to make a poor choice when they are busy, and I feel like the more differentiated types of activities they can participate in, the better chance they have of understanding a concept.
From Kindergarten to 6th Grade you can use station activities to help students understand and internalize the concept of beat, rhythm, melody and pitch. In this post I'm going to share some ideas for Kinder through Second Grade.
And I hope you'll sign up for the newsletter because I give out a monthly free lesson activity. This month I'll be sending out a little song and game that introduces the classroom instruments. It has a song, mini-lesson and some worksheets for students to learn the names of the instruments. This Freebie ties in nicely with how to teach students about Station Activities.

Begin with an easy chant or song. Here's the one I'm using-mainly because I have known it since I was a child!

I changed the melody just a bit so that it doesn't go too low. Some might want to raise the pitch of the key-but I also use it for Guitars and they are learning C-F-G7 chords.

Demonstrate the beat using the beat chart as you chant.

Echo teach the chant as students pat the beat.
For First and Second Graders-teach the rhythms by tapping or pat and clapping.

Now we'll look at the notation and lyrics...

Teach the cute little actions and have students perform for you.
Sometimes I teach the melody-sometimes I just use the chant.
When I teach a new song or chant, I like to give the students opportunities to perform for each other. I will have all the boys sit in a line and watch the girls perform and then switch. I'll also have each row or a small group of students perform for the class. This type of activity really builds their confidence and gives them many opportunities to memorize the chant.
Here is a video of the lesson resources. I added in a singing track-I like to use videos because they really save my voice!

I also like to give them some "free" play time. I'll choose 5 -8 students to be the turkey's as the other students stand in the circle and say the chant. Then the turkey's choose someone to take their place. This way everyone get's a turn to be a "turkey" and students get more practice time.
Now they are ready to sit down and play instruments. I have a special way that the students get their instruments. I have the instruments in one place in the room. The students walk around the circle and pick up their instrument. They keep walking in the circle until they can get to their spot easily. We practice this procedure a couple of times and then it's very easy for the students to get instruments and be ready to play quickly.
I also teach them to put their instruments on the floor:
Instruments are not toys.
They make music-NOT noise!
Depending on the class I am teaching-I will use different ways to play instruments. 
The students love to play the picture rhythms. Here are some Thanksgiving ones I made (they are not in my store yet--) Kinders mainly play the steady beat cards and the First Graders play the mixed cards. Second graders play the mixed cards and I also have another group play drums on the steady beat. Or, I will have them play C/G on the steady beat . There are many ways I use these cards-I'm just sharing some of the ideas.

After we play rhythms, the students are ready to move to xylophones in the next class. I will have Kinders take turns playing C on the beat as the other students say the chant (or sing). 
This is an easy Orff arrangement that 2nd and 3rd graders can play.

I hope you got some ideas on how to help your students gobble up some music concepts this month. 
If you're interested in reading more about on this LINK

Thanks for the cute clip art!

Happy Gobbling!

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