Vamos a Jugar

I'm about to present tika-tika with my 3rd graders and this is one of my favorite songs for this rhythmic concept.  I learned it from Christopher Roberts at a ROCKE workshop in 2002(?!).

Here's some of the reasons I love it: first of all, it's in Spanish so it's multi-cultural.  Secondly, the Spanish text is REALLY easy for my students to learn.  When I taught at a bilingual school the students always giggled with this one: supposedly it's nonsense words, but looking it up it means "we're going to play a game of the goose."  Finally, it has a fun game.

Here's the spoken song:

Formation: standing circle, with student's left hands facing up and right hand, palm-up, in their neighbor's left hand.

Action: the students pass the beat by crossing their body with their right hand and tapping the hand of the neighbor to their left (their neighbor's right hand is resting in their left hand.)  This passes on the beat and the person tapped on "tres" is "out" and goes to the middle of the circle.  Play continues with all the players that are "out" joining and starting a new circle in the middle.  When the middle "out" circle outnumbers the "in" circle, the circles switch and the outed person now joins the outside circle.

Here is a PowerPoint I made that I will be using next week.  The phrasing is a in 2/4, so you'll see on the third slide that there are only two beats of text on that line.  I'm not sure how to better notate that, so if you have a suggestion please let me know! :)

Have a GREAT week!

Down, Down, Yellow and Brown.

Here's a little song that I use with my kindergartners and first graders.  I learned this from Dr. Cindy McCaskill during my time observing and student teaching with her in Boulder, CO. 

At this point in the year, my kindergartners have been working a lot with comparatives (really, that's what I do with them the whole year: loud/soft; fast/slow; speaking/singing; high/low; etc.).  This is one of the first songs that I use to really focus on melodic direction with them.  With first grade, I use this as a vocal warm-up (after some age appropriate vocalise) and to review pitch direction.

Here's the song ("lilting-ly" sung- is that a real word?!):

Here are some activities that my students do with this song:
  1. Move with leaves to show the melodic direction.  A couple years ago I found really cheap fabric leaves in the local grocery store.  Every student gets one leaf and they make the leaf "fall from the tree" as the song is sung.  After moving freely with this, we have the leaf change direction in the fall (swooping from side to side as getting lower) on the strong beats of the song.
  2. Move with scarves to show the melodic direction (similarly to moving with the leaves)
  3. We play a descending C-major scale on bells while other students move the leaves of the song.
  4. We track the leaves on a "listening" map that I made (TOTALLY forgot to take this picture, so I will add that photo on Monday!)
  5. We use the cards below to put the text of the song on a magnetic board.  We also put the leaves below in descending order on the board to visually show the melodic direction.

Pumpkin Pumpkin

Phew, what a busy month September was! Looking back, I barely posted this month!!

I have to admit, I'm glad that October is here. I LOVE fall. . . I love the change of the season and I'll be honest, I love the fun music repertoire that Halloween brings.

One of my favorites is Pumpkin, Pumpkin.  I use this in 3rd grade.  My students learn tika-tika in the early fall and they already are able to read the do-pentatonic scale so it's completely accessible for the students to read the rhythm, solfa and absolute pitch names.

Here's the song:

I teach a dance mixer that I thought was totally original. . . and right after I "created" it I went to a ROCKE workshop with Sanna Longden and she did almost and identical dance with it!

Formation:  Single circle, facing partners.
  1. On "pumpkin pumpkin round and fat" the pattern is pat-clap-pat-clap-pat-clap-partner (both hands patting partners' hands)
  2. "Turn into a jack-o-lantern"- with hands touching paterner's hands, trade places with partner
  3. "Just like that"- pat parterner's hands three times then jump and turn 180 degrees to face a new partner
  4. The dance continues until you return to your first partner.
Here's an extention activity with Pumpkin Pumpkin as a mystery song:

Here's to a Happy October!! :)

Johnny Appelseed Day: Sept. 26

My kindergartens always have an "Apple Day" in the fall.  This year they did it a little bit before Johnny Appleseed day, so since the actual Johnny Appleseed day hasn't past I thought I'd share some apple rhymes.

I Climbed Up the Apple Tree:  This one I learned from Lamar Robertson
I climbed up the apple tree
All the apples fell on me
Bake a pudding, bake a pie
Did you ever tell a lie?

The rhythm of each line is ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti ta so it's nice to bring back in first grade when I teach that first rhythmic comparative.

I first say the chant all the way through and then they echo each phrase.  I like to do this multiple times, changing the "voice" I use each with each repetition.  That is, the first time through echoing I might use a high voice (sometimes we call this our "Mickey Mouse" voice).  The nice time through I might use a low voice (this is called  our "monster voice"- but I've had to change it a couple times when some students seemed scared by the idea of monsters).  I also will use whispering, shouting, robot and arioso voices (arioso is a term that John Feierabend will use when you make up a melody to something).  We will also say the phrases with our voices ascending and descending in pitch.  By 4-5 through they have this memorized.  With kindergarten, at the next lesson we will add instruments and keep a steady beat with the rhyme.  With first grade, we will pass an apple around and whoever has it on the last word of the song will try to stump the class by telling us something about themselves (i.e. their favorite color is black, they were born in Nebraska, etc.) and the class will try to decide if it's a truth or if it's a lie.

The next two Apple songs come from the Amidon's new book, "I'm Growing Up."  This is a gem and a must for your early childhood library!!

I am so glad I bought this resource, if you're familiar with the Amidon's other materials you know that all of their resources are top quality!

Apple Sauce Rock:  This is sung just like the "Peanut Butter and Jelly" song and the teacher makes up movements to the song that match the tasks in the song.

Apple, applesauce and cider
Apple, applesauce and cider

First you take the apples and you pick 'em, you pick 'em, you pick 'em, pick 'em, pick 'em
Then you wash them, you wash them, you wash 'em, wash 'em, wash 'em


Then you take the apples and you peel them, you peel them, you peel 'em, peel 'em, peel 'em
Then you core them, you core them, you core 'em, core 'em, core 'em


Then you take the apples and you chop them, you chop them, you chop 'em, chop 'em, chop 'em
Then you cook them, you cook them, you cook 'em, cook 'em, cook 'em


Then you take the apples and you mush 'em, you mush 'em, you mush' & mush' & mush 'em
Then you spice them, you spice them you spice 'em, spice 'em, spice 'em


Then you take the sauce and you eat it, you eat it, you eat it, eat it, eat it
And you share it, you share it, you share it, share it share it


A Lovely Bunch of Apples: Finger play
A Lovely bunch of apples (pretend to hold a basket of apples)
Picked from the tree (pretend to pick apples from the tree)
Rosy red for you (point out to others)
Shine green for me (point to self)
Some of them are big (pretend to hold a big apple, I say this with a low voice)
Some of them are small (pretend to hold a small apple, I say this with a high voice)
Some of them are oval (hold hands with palms touching and finger tips touching, making an oval shape)
And some are like a ball (pretend to hold a ball)
Some are very sour (pretend to take a bite of an apple and make a "sour" face)
Some of them are sweet (pretend to take a bite of another apple and rub tummy as if saying "yum!")
A lovely bunch of apples, for you and me to eat.  (using fists, stack fists one over the other on the beat, as if stacking apples)

Apple Tree
 I wrote a post about this song, you can access it by clicking here.

Happy Johnny Appleseed Day! :)

Doggie Doggie Decoding

I wrote a post in August about some fun erasers that I found at Walmart this year.  You can read that post by clicking here.  I found frogs, cupcakes, butterflies but my favorite are the dogs.  I knew that I wanted to use them with some of my dog songs and one of those is Doggie Doggie.

In case you're not familiar with Doggie Doggie, it's a solo-singing/vocal timbre game.  One student is seated in the middle of the circle (or in front of your rows, if your kiddos are seated in rows).  The student in the middle is the "dog" and has their eyes closed during the song.  One of the other students is chose to have the bone.  The class sings, "Doggie, doggie where's your bone?" and the "dog" replies, "someone stole it from my home."  The class then sings, "Who stole your bone?" and the student with the bone answers, "I stole the bone."  The "dog" then has three guesses as to who has the bone.  

Here are my dog erasers with the first phrase of the song written on the staff:

I used this with second grade last week to review so & mi.  We didn't write it on the staff but wrote it spatially on the floor.  Each student was given a baggie that had 10 dogs in it (we went through the whole "spiel" that you start with 10 dogs and when you return your bag there should be ten dogs.  They were really cute about making sure there were no "stray dogs" on left on the floor when we were done.

First, they notated the first phrase of the song:

Then we did doggie decoding.  I sang a phrase using so & mi patterns from songs that they know but I sang them on "woof".  After I sang them on "woof" they sang the phrase back to me on solfa and then wrote out the pattern they heard.  Below is "woof woof woof woof woof" on the pitches so mi so so mi:
 They had a great time with this and it was fun variation to melodic decoding.

Rhythm Blocks

Last month I posted about rhythm and solfa blocks.  I used both wood and foam blocks for those and I mentioned that I found the foam blocks at my local Dollar Tree.  I STOCKED up BIG time on these.  (Truth be told, I bought out our local store and the ones in two neighboring towns!  Embarrassing, I know!).  They came in a combination of 4 colors: blue, red, orange and green.  I knew that I wanted to make rhythm blocks with these and that I wanted to be able to create multiple sets of these, based on rhythmic concepts.  
  1. With the blue blocks I created a ta, ti-ti and ta rest set.   Each of these rhythmic elements were duplicated on each block as there are 6 sides to the block and 3 rhythmic elements.  
  2. With the orange set I made a ta, ti-ti, ta rest and tika-tika set.  Again, some of the sides duplicated a rhythmic element.  
  3. With the red I made a ta, ti-ti, ta rest, tika-tika and ti-tika set.  
  4. Finally with the green blocks I made a ta, ti-ti, ta rest, tika-tika, ti-tika and tika-ti set.  (I sound obsessive huh?  Um, yeah. . . that's me!)

The blue blocks are the simplest rhythm elements and will be used with my 1st graders.  The other sets will be used in third as they learn sixteenth notes and sixteenth/eighth note combinations.  (I know some teachers teach tika-tika in second grade.  I build the tika-tika song repertoire in 2nd grade but don't present it until third grade.  I view tika-tika, ti-tika & tika-ti as a "rhythmic family" and in my opinion the song material is age appropriate for 3rd grade.)

I plan on using the blocks for writing known, unknown and original patterns.  This will include rhythmic patterns of known songs, clapped or performed rhythmic patterns by the teacher or another student and patterns that students will create/compose.  The blocks can also be used to create rhythmic ostinatos for known songs (using 4 blocks for these patterns).  They will also provide both formal and informal assessments.  Really, the instructional purposes and possiblities are endless.  

Here are some examples, using the tika-ti blocks:

"Hogs in the Cornfield" rhythm:

"Hogs in the Cornfield" notation and game:

"Deedle Deedle Dumpling" rhythm"

"Deedle Deedle Dumpling" notation.  The game is in a previous post, you can find it by clicking here.

"Musette" by Bach rhythm:  This was also in a previous post that you can view by clicking here.

This Train

So, my friend Tanya LeJeune and I visited a teacher store yesterday afternoon.  Really, it was a lot of fun browsing the aisles with a good friend who's also an amazing teacher and getting her opinions on possible manipulatives.  (If you haven't heard of Tanya be sure to check out her website and blog!!  She has some amazing SmartBoard files for download and purchase as well as book suggestions, manipulative ideas and great teaching strategies.)

We came across some really cute die cuts of tickets and then a bigger die cut of buckets of popcorn.  We both bought some, not really knowing what exactly we're going to use them with (don't we all do this from time to time, lol!).  It's been lingering in the back of my mind all day of how I'm going to use them.  Well, I've come up with an idea for the tickets, but it's unrelated to the popcorn so I made a PowerPoint for this idea.

I took the "train" route.  That is, I decided to relate the tickets to a train instead of to relating it to a movie theater or baseball game or such, which is where my mind was originally going.  Engine Engine would have been really cute, but it wouldn't provide a good assessment for the way I'm going to use it because rhythmically all the phrases are the same.  Chicka Hanka would be fun, but it's tricky to use with this because of being a call/response song and a part song.  So, that led me to This Train.  

It's a great spiritual for reinforcing extended do pentatonic and for ti-tom. . . although it's more advance because it has ti-tom tied to a half note.  I will use this in late 4th grade after syn-co-pa and ti-tom have both been presented and we are in late practice of ti-tom.

Here's how it will work.  I print out the following pictures on card stock, cut them into individual tickets and make enough sets of the cards for students to work either individually or in pairs.  By themselves or with a partner they will decode the cards and place them in the correct rhythmic and melodic order.  

You can download the PDF of this file at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

These are the cards that I will use, with both the rhythm and solfa:
If you're wanting to only work on rhythm or melody, use the appropriate card sets below:

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