Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Music, Movement, Phonics, Math

Music and movement are essential ingredients in any preschool classroom. Studies have shown that children retain more information when they use more of their senses in learning. By adding music and movement to the learning process children become more engaged, have more fun, and retain much more.


Staple a scarf onto a wooden dowel to create a flag. Create clear boundaries and rules for this movement exploration activity to keep your classroom safe. I like to tell each student that there is a bubble around him or her that cannot be broken. Anyone who breaks someone's bubble will have to take a rest. Play slow classical music and watch the graceful fluttering of the flags. Change to fast marching music and watch the sharp percussive movements emerge.


After exploring some movements that can be done with a flag, divide the class into small groups and ask them to create a short routine. If space is a problem, this activity can be done outside and then one group at a time can do their routine in the classroom. A typical routine might be:
8 counts of giant arm circles
8 walks in a circle with the flag held out to the side
8 counts of circles overhead (helicopter)
8 counts of flags high, flags low

Using the tune, "You're Happy and You Know It," practice consonant sounds with movement.

If you’re happy and you know it,
Bounce around "b" "b"
If you're happy and you know it,
Bounce around “b” “b”
If you're happy and you know it,
Then your face will surely show it
If you're happy and you know it,
Bounce around “b” “b”.

Creep along “c” “c”...
Dance with me “d” “d”...
Flap your arms “f” “f”...
Gallop now “g” “g”...
Hop along “f” “f”...
Jump so high “j” “j”...
Kick the air “k” “k”...
Laugh out loud “l” “l”...
March in place “m” “m”...
Nod your head “n” “n”...
Pull a rope “p” “p”...
Run in place “r” “r”...
Slide with me “s” “s”...
Tap your feet “t” “t”...
Vacuum now “v” “v”...
Walk around “w” “w”...
Yawn right now “y” “y”...
Zip your coat “z” “z”...


With masking tape, make a giant circle, square, triangle, and rectangle on the floor. As the kids sing the "Shape Song" a small group jumps inside the shape they're singing about. Everyone can draw the shape with his or her finger in the air. Make sure all the children get a chance to jump inside the shapes.

Tune: "Farmer in the Dell"

A circle's like a ball,
A circle's like a ball,
Round and round
It never stops.
A circle's like a ball!

A square is like a box,
A square is like a box,
It has four sides,
They are the same.
A square is like a box!

A triangle has 3 sides,
A triangle has 3 sides,
Up the mountain,
Down, and back.
A triangle has 3 sides!

A rectangle has 4 sides,
A rectangle has 4 sides,
Two are long, and
Two are short.
A rectangle has 4 sides!

The more music and movement you can incorporate into preschool activities the more fun and success the children will have in learning and retaining the material that they are taught.

Kathy Stemke on Education Tipster

Kathy Stemke on Helium
Kathy Stemke on Associated Content
Kathy Stemke’s Website

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