January 14, 2013 at 7:41 pm #18540
Here is my issue…I only see Pre-k once a week and their behavior makes it hard for them to focus on anything because I see them so late in the day. I have searched and brainstormed for countless hours trying to figure out what to do with them. Any suggestions?January 15, 2013 at 6:56 am #18541
John Feierabend’s First Steps in Music is full of excellent material, as well as sample lesson plans. With 4-5 year-olds, it works best to have many short activities in a lesson. They seem to do best with things that last 4-5 minutes and then change to something else. They also need chances to move, so if you can combine movement activities with songs/stories where you want them sitting still, it helps.January 15, 2013 at 10:14 am #18575
I second First Steps. I teach preschool in the afternoon once a week too, and it really can work. Get them sitting, moving in place, moving around the room, singing, speaking, listening, playing instruments, and just exploring sound. Young students love anything musical. Some love singing by themselves, and some will only sing when they think nobody is listening, but at this age, it’s all about exposure to music. My favorite are fingerplays and echo songs at this age. Fingerplays will help them develop a sense of beat, meter, and language without you worrying about them matching pitch. Echo songs work well for young students because they don’t need to remember words, but just echo your words and patterns. Adding movement to every song is important too. Even in the afternoon, whey they are tired out, preschoolers are wiggly.January 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm #18634
I do a lot of picture books with preschoolers. I find books that have a repeated phrase or chant and them put that phrase or chant to music or practice high and low voices with the phrase when it appears in the book.
Mortimer by Robert Muncsh is a great example. Mortimer won’t go to bed and says “clang, clang, rattle bing bang. Gonna make my noise all day! (2 times) I put this to a little tune and the students sing with me every time we get to it. They are interested in the story and joining in on the song.
This is just an example. I use books like that probably 50% of the time with my preschoolers. They love to have high voices for Grandma or Mom or low voices for monsters and policemen and dads. Once they behave well while reading, you can add shakers and classroom percussion to go along with the singing or use them for sounds heard in the book.
Boomwhackers are also a lot of fun. I have 25 sets of Boomwhackers and 2 cd’s. Boomwhacker Games and More Boomwhacker Games. The instructions for each song are on the cd. Listen to the instructions and play the Boomwhackers during the song. The only challenge is getting the kids to whack the floor and not each other……February 1, 2013 at 6:03 pm #19771
This is such a FUN age! You need to be really structured with your lessons, so they know what’s NOW, what’s NEXT. Lots of active children that age need to have really active lessons. Songs with actions are great! Listening lessons with movement is great. See ORFF movement ideas. This age needs to build a ‘movement vocabulary’ so explore all kinds of movement–stationary, locomotor.
Explore starting movement from a ‘scatter position’ with the children scattered about in the class–give them a color circle as their very own spot. they can put their spot anywhere within the boundries you define. Then have them stretch out arms and circle around to make sure they are not in anyone’s space–put them in their very own bubble. With the movement at this age, I like to do simultaneous imitation where you just do it and they follow you.
Explore stationary levels–high, medium, and low movements.
Stationary, explore touching themselves–like ants crawling all over, like rubbing mud all over their bodies, patting, poking, etc.
Locomotor movements, explore stomping, tip toe, walking on marshmellows, sliding, skating, gliding, etc. Create a ‘word wall’ with all the various types of movement perhaps with words as well as pictures or diagrams so they can someday choose from the word wall vocabulary.
Move to music until you ring a triangle (then let a leader do the triangle). The triangle signals FREEZE! But no one gets ‘out’–just keep going. This way they are tuning into auditory signals, which will apply to listening lessons in the higher grades.
Preschoolers LOVE stories! Act out a story with movement. Put a song to the story, one that has repeated phrases.
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