Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The end of each school year is ... well... interesting.  Looking forward to summer plans but in the middle of stress and the behavior of students either escalates into chaos and typically well behaved students go bananas, or students simply check out mentally and emotionally.  Our caffeine and sugar stashes are exhausted and our patience and enduring kindnesses are at Defcon 2. 
 I have been teaching almost 30 years - it doesn't seem to get easier and children and (some) parenting expectations and consequences are not what they used to be.  It seems like we are in the tornado and definitely not in Kansas anymore, Toto. 

So, breathe in, breathe out.  Don't be afraid to show videos - there are many play alongs, dance alongs, and other activities from Musication, Mrs. King's Musical Corner, Ready Go Music,  Swick's Classroom, and many more.  

There is magic in the number three, so today here are three things you can do to continue actively making music in the classroom and keep your sanity. 

Playful and Purposeful 1 - AKA "Nail it Down"

Take those music concepts and play with them.  Play games and review those sixteenth notes in a new way.  One of my favorite things this time of year is to make rhythm snakes.  Give partner pairs two different rhythm cards, practice with body percussion - assign each rhythmic element a different body percussion- chest tap quarter notes, clap eighth notes, pat sixteenth notes.  

Everyone places their rhythm card in a long "snake" on the ground - students read/perform rhythms, then put students into 3 groups- each group has one timbre to play- hand drums, woods, shakers. Each group is responsible for playing ONLY their rhythmic element. Switch so each person gets to play a different instrument from each timbre.  Make it more interesting and musical by adding one of these backing tracks from Music Will. 

Playful and Purposeful 2 - AKA "Gameify It"

Singing games are playful and purposeful and if you can turn it into a "Level UP" game with various challenges in each level - even better!  One of my favorites to teach second grade on up is Pass the Beat from my Sing a Song, Play a Game book.  Level Up by teaching the basic as Level 1, replace the word "beat" with a clap for Level 2, replace "room" with a stomp for Level 3 and replace "Pass" with a snap for Level 4.  

If you are not following me on instagram, here are a few other games we love to play this time of year. Click on the picture to go to the link. 

Soy una serpiente

Humpty Dumpty Campfire Song

Forty Years on an Iceberg

Lemonade, New York

Mouse Mousie

And more from a facebook live! 

Playful and Purposeful 3 - AKA "Campfire Sing Along"

This is a beloved tradition at my school - click here to see all the past posts. 

All posts with "end of year" label can be found here.

Hope this helps you know you are not alone and helps in planning your final weeks or month!  Happy almost end of the school year!