Because of the way my school is set up, I had most of these students last year and I’ve even had some for two years. There are always new friends that join us but (for the most part) they fall in line pretty easily. We begin with the same Integrated Music and P.E by Todd Ukena but we don’t officially go over it until the next lesson.
After getting to the carpet, we go over introductory information.
I introduce myself for the new friends and say how I excited I am to start the year.
We then go over rules and whole body listening.
We compare this boy’s position: hands, legs, feet, eyes, ears, face, yada yada yada and talk about why each is important in the classroom.
Then, we practice by listening as I read the story, Giraffes Can’t Dance.
We discuss how everyone is different and that some people might not look like everyone else. We also talk about how the music room is a safe place to experiment and take risks and that, unlike the animals at the beginning of the story, we don’t criticize or judge others based on their performance in the music room. Let me just say: the students are MORTIFIED by the actions of the animals in the beginning of the story.
We end with the “Silliest Dance Contest.” We briefly go over movement expectations: keeping body parts to self, staying in your spot, staying on your feet) and then I let them go for it. We’ll go over it more later.
Resources: Beginning of the Year Kinder PPT, Giraffes Don’t Dance Book, Recordings: IMP, Silliest Dance Contest
This is the lesson we really go over Todd Ukena’s Integrated Music and P.E.
Now, the original version is a little over 7 minutes and it’s too much time and movement for Kinder (in my opinion) so I cut it down myself to a 3 1/2 minute version for them. I actually use the same version for Pre-K. If you are not familiar with IMP, it combines physical activity with musical concepts such as listening and steady beat. I’ve been using it for six years. Mr. Ukena actually taught music in my district when I started teaching (which is also the district I attended as a child and he was a music teacher in the district then too…..though not mine). My kids know to come in Marching. The Kinders struggle with tip-toe feet because the think quiet means slower. I really hit that hard in these early weeks. We skip hopping and go to jumping. I then skip to the end of the song and they head to their seats. We really practice it on this day so they know the procedure and are extremely familiar with it for the rest of the year.
On this day, we read this book by Laurie Keller.
I absolutely love this book. I showed it to my mom over the summer and she loved it too so she bought it to read to her classes. It’s funny and cute and it goes over all the important traits of a good citizen.
Our listening selection for the day is “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Bach (who is our composer for the months of August and September). As a mini-test for student listening, I ask them to put their thumbs up when they hear singing with the instrument versus just instruments. It wasn’t easy for some of them but it gives me an idea up their exposure for upcoming lessons. I use the Animated Listening Map that came with the Silver Burdett Making Music textbook series.
Again, we end with the Silliest Dance Contest and go over expectations.
Resources: IMP and Silliest Dance Contest recordings, Do Unto Otters Book, Animated Listening Maps from SBMM
Thanks for reading!