Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Maternity Leave: Kindergarten

Oh My Gosh!  I can't believe I'm closing in on my due date, 3 weeks to go!  I'm ready to meet my little guy but I don't know if I'm ready to be done with my first pregnancy.  Don't know if that makes sense or not.

Anyways....I've been working on getting plans ready for my end of the year sub.  I won't be out that long and I'm not planning to stop working until around Memorial Day but I wanted to make sure that everything was prepared just in case.

My sub isn't a music sub but a parent at our school and an outstanding substitute.  I know that I can leave her some simple activities to keep the kids busy during those last few hectic days of school and things will run smoothly.  Below are my Kindergarten plans for while I'm out.


Beat Leader - Play a recorded track with a strong steady beat.  I like to use something that has 8 beat phrases.  Teacher keeps beat on body in 8 beat phrases, students mimic. Repeat with student leaders, class mimics.  This isn't the most challenging activity at this point in the year but Kindergartners still love it and it's pretty easy for substitutes to do with them.  Plus, steady beat practice is never a bad idea!

***I just happened across this activity on Pinterest.  This would be another fun way to do steady beat!

Drum Game - Another steady beat activity.  Teacher plays steady beat on drum, students respond by moving. You could have the sub challenge them to move to the beat in different ways.  With these first two activities I'm always sure to define steady beat for the sub, especially if they don't have a music background. I'm sure you have come across other adults that confuse beat and rhythm.

S    Sound and Silence -  This activity uses carpet squares and yarn balls to represent the beat and sound/silence. Here are some links to other posts about using carpet squares for rhythm:
      People Rhythms
      Carpet Rhythms

Steady Beat Compositions - I got this idea from Tracy King's Blog.  I'm not sure if this is the process she uses but here is what works for me.

  • Explain that today students will be creating their own steady beat composition in small groups.
  • Display Sample 1
  • Explain that each member of the group will get to create one line of music.  In each of the boxes, students will get to draw 4 steady beats using shapes and they get to pick the shape that represents the sound that they would like to make on those steady beats.  The only rule is that each box has to have the same shape (see sample 2).
  • Teacher creates a sample line of music.  Demonstrate playing it.  Have the class play with you.
  • Divide class into groups of 4 students.
  • Pass out crayons, worksheets and clipboards.
  • After students have created their compositions, they should practice playing them.
    • They can each play their own line or the whole group can play the whole piece of music.
  • Have some groups perform for the class.
I'll try and post what I'm leaving for the other grades but no promises!  If I don't get to it before baby comes I'll post it in the fall!

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