Saturday, September 6, 2014

Christopher Kazoo and Bongo Boo - Review!


It happened and way too early in the school year. What is this occurrence, you ask? 

The dreaded SICK DAY!

I really hoped it wouldn't happen this early in the year, but it did. Our secretary was sick at school, and I was in the vicinity right after she was. Also, I started studio lessons this week, so I'm getting a double case of germs. Either way, I had a 24 hour bug and left before school started Friday morning.


Cue scrambling to get sub plans together for the morning. My afternoon was empty, as the 4th graders were on a field trip, so I just needed lesson plans for kindergarten and 1st grade. My subs are rarely music subs and most of the time, the recommendation is to "throw in a movie." This bugs me, but I understand. Subs are few and far between, plus many don't feel comfortable because they believe music class is difficult to teach. Anyways, I have an extensive supply of educational music videos to choose from. Yesterday, though, my substitute was a retired kindergarten teacher who loved music. AWESOME! She actually passed along her CD set of rhythm sticks and activities. I love using these with my primary students! They are great to review beat, rhythm and making music in a small group. 





This was also a great chance to test out the resources I received from my first DonorsChoose.org project. I had requested resources for "Christopher Kazoo and Bongo Boo" from Little Schoolhouse Books. The video looked great for interactive learning and introducing instruments to my little ones throughout the year. 




I have both sets that the company has put out. Each set is around $40, but comes with the story book, teacher's supplemental lessons and DVD. The DVD has the telling of the story, along with extra mini lessons to teach or reinforce concepts. My kindergarteners are beginning to learn about steady beat and the first two lessons on the DVD are all about steady beat. Win win! The kids had to clap, jump, pat, march, etc. to the steady beat to help the characters on the screen. Eventually, we can add instruments and other things to these mini lessons. 




With both grades, the students were able to see the book come alive, review steady beat and then use the rhythm stick activities to add a little extra to it. I heard wonderful things from the substitute about the lessons being fun and interactive. I'm really happy that these resources are a part of the music classroom! Yes, it is a video (I know, I know), but it is soooo much better than many of the choices I've had in the past. I'm also very excited about using this as a jumping off platform to begin integrating the mini lessons and teacher supplement lessons into my own teaching and lesson planning. I bet the students were super excited when they saw the bongos and kazoos. There's also a mini-musical that came out last year! Hmmm...the possibilities :)





Have any of you heard of Christopher Kazoo and Bongo Boo? If you have, what do your students think of it? How are you implementing it in your classroom? I'd love new ideas!





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