Motivation During Movement: Special Scarves

     So, I have the privilege of teaching my kindergarten students every day!  One day is music class and the next is musical movement class.  This means I have to come up with A LOT of activities for them.  It can be challenging to make sure I keep the movement activities fresh.
     As part of their movement curriculum, I decided to focus on one classical song every two weeks.  So they hear the same classical song every movement class for two weeks.  This worked well for awhile, but several students were lacking enthusiasm when we were doing scarf movement to go with the songs.  
     Enter my hanger of "special scarves."  
     My mom had given me some of her old scarves since she retired from teaching last year, and I just had them hanging around my classroom doing nothing when I got the idea.  We will do the song two times every class and I will pick the best movers to come pick a special scarf for the second time through.  Boy did it work like a charm.  Everyone had their eyes on me and were following me intently!!  Still works even a couple of months later :)
     So, if you don't have some extra scarves hanging around your house, send a letter out to your students to see if their parents have some they can donate to your classroom.  It's so fun to watch their faces light up as they use the special scarf.  It really helps bring the music to life!!
     Catch you next time I have something noteworthy!

Instrument Scavenger Hunt!

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Up, Down, Same Activity

     So, as usual, I caught myself doing what I have learned is called "shorffing"--a.k.a.  shopping with Orff ideas in mind . . . and I found a Valentine's Day mailbox.  Now what to do with it? 
     Well, my 1st graders need to work on reading Sol, La, and Mi as well as learn if what they are hearing is going up, going down, or staying the same.  So here's the activity I came up with:

 Up, Down, or Same?

1.  Students sit in a circle and sing this song while one child, the "beat keeper," stands on the inside pointing to classmates on the beat (going counter-clockwise). 
2.  On the word "name" the "beat keeper" freezes on who they are pointing to.  That child is now "the singer" and goes to the mailbox to pick a letter.  
Here's the mailbox:
 The letters look like this on the outside:

3.  "The singer" identifies the solfege syllables notated and sings them if they are able (or the teacher can help the child sing after they identify the notes). 

4.  The rest of the class is listening to see if the notes are going up, down, or staying the same.  "The singer" calls on a student to give an answer.  If the answer is correct, "the singer" gets to open the envelope and see who wrote the song.  For example:

5.  The child who gave the correct answer goes to the middle to be the "beat keeper," and the game starts over again. 

     If you'd like the files to try this in your own classroom, you can get them here and here.  Let me know if you can't get to them and I can email them to you!

The graphics used to make the files were KB Fonts and Glitter Meets Glue Designs along with Finale.
 Catch you next time I have something noteworthy!