In The Midst of the Holiday Hustle

I don't know about you but I see my 1st and 2nd graders TWO more times before Winter Break and I see my 3rd-5th graders 3 more times.  I will probably be able to accomplish something with them during the beginning of next week but come next Thursday/Friday they will be overrun with holiday anticipation.  Our schedule is quite silly, really.  We have school on Monday Dec. 17th and Tuesday Dec. 18th and then we start break on the 19th.  A lot of families have already planned going out of town the weekend before. ..  those two days are going to be a wash. 

So, in the midst of this holiday hustle and bustle I've got to find a creative way to actually "accomplish" something music in my classes.   By accomplish I mean practice known concepts.  With two weeks off I don't want to present anything new but just reinforce what they know and make it EXTRA FUN.

So, I came up with a "Trim the Tree" competition that I have leveled so I can use it with 2nd-5th grades, using the rhythmic and melodic concepts that they KNOW and are practicing.  

Here's the general idea: the class will be divided in two.  This division varies from class to class: I have some classes that do a BEAUTIFUL job of dividing themselves into teams; some do a great job of boys vs. girls; but most times I divided them into "north" and "south"  (my kids "face east" on the risers, so it's literally the kids on the north side of the classroom vs. the kiddos on the south side of the classroom.  

We will use the following PowerPoint (directions to the game continue below the page explanations):

Each ornament is linked to a RHYTHM page.  Here's a few of the 2nd grade rhythm pages (we're practicing half note).  By the way, the jingle bell in the lower right hand corner is a hyperlink that will bring you back to the "Tree" slide (above):

 All of the Christmas lights are linked to MELODY page and these are some second grade pages.  We're practicing la but preparing do.  Again, I'm using this only for practicing so none of the 2nd grade slides have do (but you can easily edit the melody pages to better fit your needs as I have saved these as a PowerPoint.  All you have to do is move the snowflakes around, cut and copy them as needed.)

This is a "competition game."  One team, team "A," will start by choosing one number/ornament or letter/light (the teacher will click with the mouse on the chosen light/ornament and that will bring up the link).  If the team successfully performs the slide, they "receive" that light or ornament on their side of the tally board (I have made the cards below, laminated them and put magnets on the back of them so they will stick to my dry-erase easel that I use as my "game board", a.k.a. tally board).  If the team does not successfully perform the slide the other team gets one turn to try to "steal" the ornament/light that the other team was trying for.  After they try for the "steal," they chose a light/ornament.  Again, if the perform it correctly they get that card on their side of the tally board and if they don't the other team gets a chance to steal.  Play continues until all the ornaments and lights have been successfully performed and "earned" by a team.

All of my rhythm slides and melody slides have been extracted from folk music and songs we use in class.  These songs are noted in the "notes" section of the PowerPoints.  These PowerPoints can be found at my store on Teachers pay Teachers.

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