I am linking up with Aileen Miracle's Three Things Blog post to tell you about three fun and useful things I did this week. See my three things and go to the link at the bottom to see Mrs Miracle's, as well as some other teachers' three things.
In first grade, we sing a song called, "Frog in the Middle". We use it to help learn about steady beat. For some kids, this is really hard to stay on the steady beat and not to tap or jump on the rhythm. We later use this song to sing sol, mi, and do.
I found these fun frog decorations at The Dollar Tree. I got 8 of them so my kids could jump on the beat for the length of the song. This makes it so easy for them to visualize jumping on the beat, even those we have those eighth notes (we call them ti-ti at this point). I Had my kids take off their shoes so we could keep them nice and jump one at a time. It was so easy for them to "get it". My friend in this picture is wearing a cape because she is my superhero of the day (my theme of the year). We will go from here to passing a bean bag on the beat. Now I've got to take off the tags!
For my second things I used this week, I found these darling microphones at the store. I made a cute little label for them that says, "Magic Mike".
You could use any microphone that you have. The kids are very eager to use the magic mike to sing to me and I let them choose their favorite color. After everyone has sung, they get in their circle spots and I blow bubbles from the microphone. It is magical! You can buy the Magic Mikes in my Etsy store if you don't have your own microphones.
As one of my SLO's (Student Learning Objectives) for Kindergarten, we are learning to sing a sol mi song and to match pitch. For some of these kids, singing in the high part of their voice is very hard. We have to work all year to learn to do that. I sing "Hello, Zoey" (sol, mi, sol, mi). Then Zoey would sing back to me, "Hello, Mrs Seamons" (sol, mi, mi mi, sol mi). A majority of the kids can sing back to me on pitch, but there are always a few that need some help. Getting in the habit of doing it everyday is the first step. They get used to it. Another step is showing them my singing rubric, so they know what I am expecting. I talk to them about what a 4 (the highest level of singing) sounds like. The visual really helps them to understand our goal.
For some kids, they still can't do it. I have started talking about reaching for a star and that helps the kids reach their voice up high. We are getting there one kid at a time.
My last thing that we used this week was a fun book. When my school has book fairs, they give us money for a free book. I found this fun little book and my kids have loved it. It is a simple song, written by Joe Raposa for Sesame street in 1971. It was made more famous when the Carpenter's sang it in 1973. It is a lovely tune with a good message. You can see some videos of it being sung below, one from Sesame street which is also sung in Spanish and one with the Carpenter's song.
Listen to it at the following places: