Monday, May 12, 2014

Surviving the End of the School Year

We're almost there! The end of the year is so close! I have 4 weeks of school left - aka 17 days! My husband is a lucky one with 13 days. (Thanks honey for not rubbing it in!)

I'm linking up with Amy Abbott and other music teachers to bring you tips for the end of the year.

In my class this week, we are wrapping up our final units for the year. The last three weeks will be filled with disruptions like testing, graduation, awards assemblies and field trips, so I'm not going to make myself crazy attempting to start a new unit now. It's way more beneficial to practice and solidify the concepts that they have already learned, as well as prepare for the first concepts of next August and September.

In Kindergarten we will spend most of our time finishing our beat vs. rhythm unit. Thanks to Pinterest, I have tons of ideas for rhythm and beat to use with my Kinder babies! We will be making a list of our favorite songs from the year and then practicing beat and rhythm with those songs.

Here are my visuals to use for Kindergarten concept assessment. You can also use them in first grade for review!

High-Low melodic was the last concept we did, so we will be doing one of my favorite things to practice high-low. Using 2 of the temple blocks, the kids will walk to the beat when they hear the low sound and bounce in place when they hear the high sound. This lets me assess one last time who really "has it" and who is copying their friends.

5th graders will be starting centers on Thursday and Friday (after the STAAR test retakes). For my fifth grade centers, I made lots of hands-on manipulatives including sets of "Go Fish" cards, folder games, memory games and magic squares for composition.

A bunch of music teachers are getting together with Amy Abbott and having a $2 Tuesday Music Flash Sale! To find out what's on sale, go to Teachers Pay Teachers and type in $2TuesdayMusicFlashSale in the search bar. So many great items to choose from!

For the $2 Tuesday Music Flash Sale, I included my Hogs in the Cornfield Prepare and Present set!

These slides are fantastic for assessing kinesthetic prep to see if your kids are ready to move forward to the Aural Questioning stage.

It becomes very obvious who can do it and who can't - and my kids still love trying! I use a rainbow colored mallet or a SMART pen to tap on the smart board, depending on the skill level of the kids.

This song has a great game for the end of the year. Students pair up and "shake hands and stick like glue." Then they put the insoles of their shoes together (right to right, just like the hands). When we finish singing the song, I play a note on an instrument to signal "go" and they get about 20 seconds to tug-of-war. The first person whose shoe moves is out. Usually they don't argue because they know we will play again. Occasionally they argue and it moves to rock-paper-scissors. Remaining students pair up again and the game repeats until there is a winner.

I haven't added instruments yet on this campus, but that's my next step - if you're out, grab an instrument and play along (either beat or rhythm or ostinato) while we finish the elimination rounds. This makes it a lot nicer to be "out."

How do you keep your kids on track and busy for the last few weeks of school?

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