All grades come in marching. Grades Pre-K-4th Grade use Integrated Music and P.E. by Todd Ukena. We’ll talk more about that in a little bit.
Luckily, I had some of these babies last year in Pre-K3 so they knew my expectations. Most of them were new babies so we have to start from scratch. That is what the tape on my floor is for. 🙂 NOTE: this is our opening routine for every class from here on out so I won’t go over it again after this post.
At the end of IMP, students come to the circle carpet for the lesson time. They are instructed to stand on the edge. I stand on the edge with my toes on the rug and heels on the white floor (yes, I’m that specific). Students are asked to match their feet to mine.
Our procedure for sitting down in the following tune echoed back.
Criss Cross Applesauce
S M SS M
Hands in Lap
S M D
I like to get the students singing first thing so we learn this song.
I add simple motions and we sing it various ways: fast, slow, high voices, low voices, loud, soft, etc. We talk about each phrase and that seques into….
Why does he have his hand in the air? Where is his other hand? Why is his other hand in his lap? Why don’t we put our hands on others? Why don’t we leave them on the floor? How is the boy sitting? Why should he not sit with his legs out? Where is he facing? Why is that important? What is on his face? BECAUSE MUSIC IS FUN!
This is where we freeze dance. I use the Freeze Dance from MusicK8. It’s easy and the kids only have to follow basic instructions like move and freeze. We JUST talked about not touching others to I don’t usually have to harp on that (yet!).
Next I read The Music Teacher from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler. It’s a little old for them and they don’t understand a lot of the references but the gist works. Plus, it talks about things we do it class like instruments and singing and having fun and that’s what I want them to take away. I want music to be an exciting and happy place for them. This is where I catch them for future years.
Resources: IMP recording, Freeze recording, The Music Teacher From the Black Lagoon book, PreK PPT (each grade has their own powerpoint/keynote presentation that I run the class from.
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 Pre-K (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 kindergarten. 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 Pre-K babies struggle with tip-toe feet because the think quiet means slower. We’re still working on that. 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.
In this lesson, we talk about something that is very random…….
I start with a tissue box and we talk about everything about it: what we tissues for, where they are in the classroom, how we ask to get a tissue, what we do when we’re finished, etc. I feel like I’m doing a service for the classroom teachers as well. Ha!
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.
We end with the Freeze Dance again and go over basic movement expectation such as keeping hands to self, staying in your spot and staying on your feet (which is my crazy rule because, for some reason, children like to put their hands on the floor and kick up their legs all crazy……it’s dangerous with that close proximity…..sheesh…..)
Resources: Animated Listening Maps CD-ROM, Recordings IMP & Freeze (MK8), PreKPPT
Anyway, our first non-procedural lessons start our Vocal Exploration Unit so stay tuned.
Thanks for reading!