Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to school!

Wheww, I am exhausted! I went to bed at 9 pm most nights and still slept from 10pm until noon on Saturday. Those first few days are so exciting, chaotic and tiring at the same time! So far, I have a pretty great group of kids this year. There will be some behavior issues here and there, but I think the classes are divided better, so the students are more even-tempered this year. You really don't realize the impact of personalities until you have a really crazy class for an entire year. Love them, but boy, do they wear me out!

I thought I would post my first week lesson plans. The first week is hard, as most classes are still figuring out the schedules and with early outs, I don't really see everyone until the next week. I focus on some review activities for my primary students, while I try to start with a "bang" for the intermediate students. Here's an overview:

Kindergarten, 1st Grade

  • Beanbag Boogie
         I got this idea from:
     The kids loved moving around, balancing their bean bag and dancing with their new classmates - so fun!
  • The Music Teacher from the Black Lagoon
          I use books as much as I can in the music room. I love song stories, biographies, Orff, solfege, etc. Basically, if I can discover or create a lesson for it, I will use a story. This one is a great beginner because it's about a scared boy the rumors of music class. The students kept saying how I was "nothing like her" and "she's so mean - you're nice!" Makes my day when I get that feedback from my students!
  • Freeze Dance
           Let's face it - freeze dance is a staple in music class. I love watching the kids show off their dance moves and have a little crazy fun. The teachers have started using it in their classrooms for brain breaks and indoor recess. Can't end a first day without freeze dance!
2nd Grade    

  • "Sasha" partner dance
           As a former student of Simpson College, I had the opportunity to attend awesome MusicEd workshops every year. One of my favorites was given by Sanna Longden with the title "No Child Left on His or Her Behind." So fun and some awesome dances to boot! "Sasha" is a personal favorite of mine because the students are learning beat, rhythm, and dancing techniques, while also partnering with lots of students and working on hand-eye coordination. Win-win!
  • The Music Teacher from the Black Lagoon
           This was a new book for me this year, so I decided to share it with the 2nd graders. They loved it just as much as the younger students.
  • Freeze Dance
            I hate seeing a new class come in and leave without playing freeze dance. They get jealous and I'm a wimp at saying "no."

Intermediate (grades 3-5)  : I only saw 1-3 classes out of the 5 for each grade. I like to keep them altogether, so here was my "kick-off" activity for those that were able to come to their special.

  • Ida Red
           I learned this great song & game from one of my college friends and fellow teachers, Lydia. It sounded so fun and a great first day activity! We learn the song "Ida Red" and create a circle. After the song, I cut between two students. These students must race around the circle while doing something funny that I have placed in a letter. I could pull out anything from "hop" to "crabwalk." The kids race around the circle in opposite directions and the first one to get back and touch my hand wins. So funny! Here's a link to a great powerpoint on "Ida Red."
  • Oobleck & the differences in Sound
         This was the most fun (and most mess) I've had in music class. I saw this idea on The Big Bang Theory and new it was a perfect "first day" activity. Here is a link to the experiment:

    We tested several different tones from high to low. I also played "The Cupid Shuffle" which was perfect for the oobleck to move and bounce around. The kids loved it! I also created a little note & recipe from our activity, so the students could take it home and try it out with their families. It was messing and a lot of clean-up, but I hope it sparked interest in the wild world of music for this year. 

I promise to get pictures of the room up soon! I just want everything to look perfect and it's not quite there yet. What are your first day ideas & activities? Do you have full days or the half day chaos of trying to come up with filler lessons?

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