Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tiny Tykes Tire Out

Second day of teaching little ones and I'm still having a lot of fun. This week we sang a song about caterpillars. (The nursery kids are learning about the life cycle of butterflies this week. Which actually I didn't know, so well timed me!) The song goes to the same tune as "she'll be coming round the mountain" and it goes a little like this:

"There's a tiny caterpillar on a leaf wiggle wiggle, there's a tiny caterpillar on a leaf wiggle wiggle, there's a tiny caterpillar, tiny caterpillar, there's a tiny caterpillar on a leaf wiggle wiggle

He will eat the leaves around him till he's full... munch munch

A cocoon is what he's building for his home... spin spin

Soon he'll be a butterfly and fly away...flap flap"

So that's kind of cute, right? I got the song and lesson plan from a Foundation Stages music book. I couldn't bring myself to use the CD that came along with it because it was just far too corny and jangly but I did use a lot of what they suggested for extra bits to reinforce the song. We did hand motions, whole body motions, a caterpillar chant that got louder and softer, and then when I got to the reception/kindergarten classes they kept asking to make shapes again so we'd sing the song and freeze in a shape during the italicised bits of the song.

I expected that I would need more material for the reception kids because they're older and able to learn material more quickly, but what it actually turned out was that the nursery classes needed a LOT more material because they couldn't get as deep in to it.

The song stayed interesting for longer in the older classes because they could actually sing it and understand where it was going to go next and how to freeze when it was the opposite of what they had done before. The nursery kids just got super bored of having the same song sung at them over and over again. So we did the motions and wiggled about on the floor and practiced loud and soft with the caterpillar chant- but all of that only took up about 15-20 minutes. So fortunately I had an extra song to use as well and in one of the nursery classes we learned that, but man- they're tough customers those three year olds!

The nursery classes had a big day on Tuesday- they went on a coach to a play park and saw lots of animals in a jungle setting (was it a zoo? I don't know...) so they were tuckered out. One class in particular was just NOT going to pay attention. After about 10 minutes of trying and trying I finally looked helplessly at the head teacher and asked if she had any ideas. So we put on their favorite version of Nellie the Elephant which usually they love dancing around to, but that only managed to grab the attention of about four more children and in a class of 21, that just isn't all that helpful. So we quit about 10 minutes early because there was nothing doing, it really wasn't going to work.

The next nursery class after that was my pain in the butt one from last week where they all wandered off behind the pillar- this week they were angels and it was a lot of fun. Then, at lunch time the angel class teacher apologised for how out of it they were...really? That was them being spacey? Awesome! I'm looking forward to next week then!

The reception classes all have VERY different personalities. The first one just wants to play the instruments, they want to play them NOW. They're also the most sound oriented of the bunch, we can play with how things sound and different types of sound and how concepts would sound and all that. Sound as opposed to words or actions or singing.

The second one likes dancing, they will sing too- but they'll be happier about the singing if they can also dance and preferably crawl under the tables. Under the tables is a very desirable place to be.

The third reception class is full of personalities. "Miss Casey! Look at my shoes!" "Miss Casey! Look at my spinning! This is how I spin!" They're all chatty chatty chatty and will chat regardless of whether or not anyone (and I mean anyone) is actually listening. Also, they are bossy bossy bossy and if it seems like I've gotten confused or have lost the plot at all, then there are a number of them who will be quick to tell me where to go and what to do and what I've just done wrong. We're singing High School Musical songs with them next week because they asked specifically and they have already started to learn the words. They tried to perform it for me after their music class but it sounded like this:

".... hemamn.........TOGETHER, TOGETHER........hmm amnm.......TOGETHER......mfha...."

also, there was some dancing involved.

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