This time last year I was packing up my classroom and moving into my new home office. Isn’t that crazy? It has been almost a full year since I joined the Quaver team! Me being me of course couldn’t stay away from the classroom for long, soon going to see every Quaver teacher I possibly could co-teaching and observing how they used Quaver in their classrooms. I soon wanted to hop back into doing my own lessons, not full time, but just enough to dab my toe in the water and have a great place to test out activities in the Quaver curriculum that we were coming out with at a rapid pace. So when the opportunity opened up to volunteer in a local PreK classroom to just teach a short music class I ate it right up. It took only my lunch hour away (which I barely use anyway) and I could come when ever I could. No set schedule, if things got busy at work I’d save my visit for another week. How perfect? It kept me grounded and constantly reminded me where I came from as I took on a new career role.
It was totally different setting up for these mini music classes compared to a K class. I was told “Pretend they are aliens, start from the very beginning” I quickly realized that when I met them the first time and saw what we needed to work on. The teachers told me the most important things they wanted to work on were finding the beat and keeping a steady one, working on their speech through songs and chants, and practicing recall skills learning all the songs and dances we did. So that is what we focused on in a very simple method.
When I was looking through Quaver resources for what to do I looked for the following attributes:
- Was there an option to chant or sing the song? Teaching them the words through chant was equally as important as singing. Chant was usually a high priority.
- How simple are the words? Do they repeat often? The songs could not be too wordy for the little guys.
- If it was not a dance tune, could we create finger plays for it? Had to constantly keep them moving.
- Are the activity directions less than 3 steps? Cognitive function at that age is not very extensive yet, they could only handle one or two steps at a time.
I set up a scope and sequence on what to work on with them throughout the year and we went through the concepts below in order:
- Fast and Slow
- Loud and Soft
- 4 Voices
- High and Low
For end of the year performances I taught them Stinky Pirates and I’m a Superhero from the Quaver Curriculum.
Of course we had some setbacks, somethings were too tough for them or they just didn’t get it. We adapted and changed though. The different between how they could perform at the beginning of the school year and at the end of the school year was HUGE. I loved seeing what they could do and they were really fun to be around. We had a “my favorite” day this week of all their top songs and dances they did this year and here are some of their favorites taken right from the Quaver K-5 Curriculum:
- Going On a Bear Hunt (Absolute favorite!)
- Steady Beat
- Whisper, Talk, Shout, and Sing
- Stinky Pirates
- I’m a Superhero
- Kangaroo Kangaroo
It was such a great experience and to be able to try out Quaver resources on that age level was awesome. I learned a lot on how to teach to that age group and got a lot of adorable hugs along the way!
Do you teach PreK? What are some of your favorite activities?