Monday, September 1, 2014
Happy Monday everyone! This week will be my second week of school, and can I tell you that I am so grateful for the CD "Kids In Motion"? I always fall back on that music when I have a very active class. There's a song on it called "Freeze Dance" where I have the children dance around with scarves and then I ask them to identify a letter when the music stops. Therefore the active kids are getting out their wiggles and I'm still doing something academic. It's also giving them a great brain break. Another song that's really great for the beginning of kindergarten is "Show Me What You Feel." It's so wonderful because no matter what class I try this with, they really get into showing emotions such as angry, happy, silly, etc. Even kids who normally don't like dancing will act out the feelings in this song. I think that it's very important for the kids to understand how to verbalize how they're feeling about things. That makes solving conflicts and problems much easier.
I also read a book in my new Wonders reading series called Animals In The Park: An ABC Book. I liked it, and the kids sat pretty well considering it was their first week of school. Of course, the part that was really fun was doing the song "Animal Actions" from Kids In Motion, where the kids got to move like the animal that the singer indicates. I have the children sit in a circle on the carpet. I pick four students at a time to do each animal. For the first try, the kids were being really shy until I got up and started moving like an elephant. Then they were much more willing to try it themselves.
For science, I love the song by Dr. Jean called "Five Senses," which pairs perfectly with the book My Five Senses by Aliki. I wanted to also have some guided reading books for science, so I made a complete set of them in color and black-and-white. You can find them here on TPT.
Music is something that I truly enjoy using in my classroom. I used the song "Happy" by Pharrell Williams with letter balls to play a kind of "hot potato" game. I bought the balls from Lakeshore, and each one has an uppercase and lowercase letter on it. But really you could just use any kind of ball and just write whatever letter you choose on the ball with a permanent marker. The kids pass it, and then say something that starts with that letter if the music stops while they're holding it. If you don't want to write on the ball, you could also just show them a letter card when the music stops.
Please let me know if you use any of these songs, or if you have special favorites of your own for the beginning of the school year that you'd like to share.