Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Tykes!

I have a bunch of books full of resources and they're way fun. I've made some note cards with this set of information on them: The year group I think they'd work best with, the name of the song, the book title and page number, the classroom extension activities that could happen, the resources needed (i.e., percussion or props), and the learning objectives.

Some people have recipe folders. I have this.

Anyhow- something I should keep in mind for next time- when choosing the songs for that weeks lesson, try to make sure that they aren't just different words to the same tune...

Fortunately I caught that mistake and dodged that bullet before the lessons actually began for the day. What we *Actually* ended up doing was this:

We warmed up with our basic body warm up (I start by clapping or drumming on my knees to A: get their attention aurally and then switch to other actions/sounds to B: have them all sync up and watch ME.) We then went into singing a C Major triad. I actually hadn't tried this before, for some reason assuming that it would be too difficult or something weird like that. We sang with hand motions (belly= Do, chest=Mi, eyes=Sol, and above the head= Do again) and not only were they excellent with the pitch matching, they also LOVED it. I mostly had them going straight up the triad but they went along with me when I mixed it up a bit and kept saying "again! again!" when I tried to stop. We're calling that one a winner.

So then we got out a pretend kitten. A very small kitten. One of the things that I'm meant to be addressing with the tykes is their own creative response to music. So this was an attempt at that- what sounds do small kittens make? What other pets do any of you have? A dog? Big or small? Small? How does it sound? What about a Great Big Dog now? Any other pets?

Then we sang our hello song (that was a vocal warm up, btw- lots of different ranges and different types of voices) Then we sang it with various animal voices. The BEST ones? That hadn't even occurred to me as being a useful thing to do? Any animal with a staccato sound like a crocodile: "snap!" because that meant I could hear if they were doing it in the same rhythm as the song or not- and mostly? They were. Neat, huh?

With the nursery tykes we started a song called "Copy Cats." Now here is where we run into problems- you know my initial warm up? The clapping or knee slapping followed by quick changes in actions that they all have to follow at the same time? Yeah. They're very well trained. They're excellent at it. You know what that means for 3 year olds though? That they cannot *repeat* after me. If I'm leading something they can't echo- they just do it at the exact same time. The concept of echoing me is one that I have efficiently and effectively drummed out of them. Oops.

On the plus side it turns out that they can echo each other- so we spent some time doing that and that worked relatively well. They can echo each other now, but they still don't know how the song fits together. Is it bad that I am leaving that for the classroom teachers to deal with? "Here's the CD, guys. Have them learn the song! See you next week!"

The Reception tykes had their own challenges and victories. They're studying "Transport" this term so I found this fun song to the tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean." Sample lyric:
"Oh have you been out in a sailboat
to float on the ocean so blue
where octopus live underwater
and dolphins swim following you
Sailboat, sailboat, oh come on a sail boat with me, with me
sailboat, sailboat; so many new places to see!"

Following versus include tube train, space ship and (oddly) big wheel.

In the first of my three Reception classes we used an activity rug as the boat and had children stand in for the sail, octopus, and 3 dolphins. They then moved when they heard their character's name when the rest of the class sang the song. It was a great hit and one of the children responded with "It's like a play!" Darn tootin' it is!

The reception classes have always had very different personalities so it should come as no surprise that the next class didn't even get to the acting it out stage. As soon as I was done singing/introducing the written verses to the song- the immediately started in with their own. We had a car that went over a bridge and under a tunnel, a bus that went in a tunnel and then home, and finally a burrowing car that went to the centre of the earth while being chased my ghosts and then shooting diagonally off into space. Admittedly that one didn't really end up fitting the tune...

The *third* reception class, on the other hand? They are spazalicious. We learned the song, tried the acting it out thing, and then gave it up for a lost cause and spent the 7 minutes or so practicing making a circle.

One FINAL story to end this epic tykes post:

"Miss Casey! We had jelly for lunch!" (Jelly, by the way, means Jell-O) The tykes are roughly belly height and because this is garden time this means that I had about five tykes hanging off of me.
"Was it all wobbly like my belly?" I ask, because this allows me to shake off at least two of them.
"Miss Casey? My Mommy's belly is big like yours too!"

Yeah. I totally walked into that one.

1 comment:

nortonmiddaugh said...

I love Tyke Stories! Thank you!