Monday, March 31, 2014

Farewell March

Where did this month go?! Is it me, or is time passing quickly? I'm going to take that as a great know, time flies when you're having fun!

As part of our Kodaly curriculum, second graders "discovered" the tone re this week. We prepared by singing several different songs and games (Hot Cross Buns, All Around the Buttercup, Ridin' on the Railroad, Sally Go 'Round the Sun, Let Us Chase the Squirrel and Bow Wow Wow). After comparing parts of these songs to each other and/or playing the games, I felt like we ready to name the note this past week. I always try to set it up as a big we are scientists testing out different tones to see which one is the correct sound. When it comes to re, they usually have it narrowed it down to fa or re. We use the song Bow Wow Wow for the actual discovery lesson and I usually make some sort of excuse to test fa first and ask them to listen and tell me whether it fits in the song or not. No, it doesn't! When I sing re, they know immediately that it's the right fit but I don't usually confirm their guess right away. I let my powerpoint presentation reveal the answer by replacing the ? with re....their reaction? Cheering! I think that is too funny. They get so excited to find out a new tone! What's neat is that they did all the work!

First grade rocked out with Queen this past week and learned all about how an ostinato works. We Will Rock You is a great example of a repeating pattern and one that is easy enough that first graders can dictate as well (ti-ti ta ti-ti ta):

(I don't show the video and don't necessarily play the whole song....but the kids love this song and hear it a lot in the gym so they recognize it immediately.)

Kindergarten is also in the middle of a fun lesson: clapping syllables for rhythm practice. We had a great time today clapping Prin-cess An-na, O-laf, Mis-ter Pea-bod-yKer-mit the Frog and more. Of course, we then went around and clapped student names too. :)

Third graders and fourth graders enjoyed some play parties this week (Alabama Gal and Turn the Glasses Over, respectively) as they prepare to learn new notes from the tone ladder. Fifth just finished up an instrument unit on theme and variations. This unit did not go as well as it could have. We had a lot of interruptions for certain classes - bad weather days, holidays, absences by me, a week off for Spring Break - it was not ideal. I did hear some creative variations by many students though! I just wish we had more time to create. Either way, I am definitely going to make some changes the next time that lesson is taught.

Goodbye March....hello, April! What kinds of tricks will the kids play on me tomorrow? I wonder....

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