Friday, September 27, 2013

How to Survive an Hour-Long Kindergarten Music Class

Last year when I started at my school, I was given a specials schedule that required me to teach hour long classes to each grade K-5. I had never taught such long classes to primary grades before, so this was a big adjustment for me. The worst part? Kindergarten was at the end of the day.

After weeks of trying to fill every second with "meaningful and instruction-based" musical activities, I realized that ending the class with a silly movement activity or a coloring project was the only way to go. By the time the students entered my classroom at 2:40, they were exhausted from a day of schoolwork and ready to check out. So each week I make sure that the class ends with something fun. This schedule has carried over to this year, so I have come up with a few more activities to pull out of my back pocket.

Here are some of the end-of-music activities I have come up with for Kindergarten:

1) Freeze Dance:
      Obviously the easiest one is Freeze Dance- and the kids LOVE it. I always have stickers handy, so that I can reward the winners. The trick to this is that you can use ANY kind of music, so I have a CD handy that mixes classical music with pop music to really spark the student's dancing creativity.

2) Coloring!
      Sometimes the kids really just want to sit down and color and have a conversation with one of their friends- and I figure that at 5 years old, they deserve that at the end of the day. I often connect my coloring activities with a concept that we have learned that day in Music and then hang the finished products outside my classroom for the school community to see. Here are a few examples, some of these I made myself and some I searched for online:

3) Chicken Dance
      We did this for the second week of our farm unit when we were singing about Chickens. They LOVED it, especially the part where it slows down and accelerates gradually. I used this YouTube video for the recording: 

4) Kindergarten Game Plan has a really great activity that goes along with the farm unit. It introduces colors that correspond to different movements. The kids love adding a new movement each week and it just gets them up and moving. Even if you don't have the Game Plan series, you can easily make some color cards of your own and do this activity with your students:

Red- Stop
Green- Walk
Yellow- Jog
Blue- Tiptoe
Purple- Jump
Pink- Hop
Brown- Gallop

5) Musical Simon Says
      Kids love to volunteer their own ideas for things we are learning in class, so since we begin the year talking about steady beat, I have students come up and say Musical Simon (or Sally) says: Keep the beat on your (insert body part) or by (insert movement). If the sentence does not begin with "Musical Simon (or Sally) says," and someone changes their movement, they are out! I start out the year being Musical Sally, but then allow student leaders to take over once we are comfortable with the game.

      Found this activity on Pinterest and have used it several times. Great way for kids to show off their individuality without feeling too self conscious.

That's all for now! Have a great weekend!

No comments:

Post a Comment