Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Fat

This is a great song to use with your kiddos at Halloween that's not necessarily Halloween-y.  It does mention the word "jack-o-lantern," but that's as bad as it gets :)

When this song was introduced to me, it ended with a "so-mi-so" pattern, but everybody just kept singing "so-mi-do" - not on purpose, and I think that works better.  I made this PowerPoint for my kids, and I can use it for both introducing rests and for introducing "do."  In 1st and 2nd grade, I begin working with a 3-line staff, and don't really start adding more lines until mid-2nd grade or so.


I recently went to a district training where we talked about how to incorporate Common Core into the music classroom (this is where this song was introduced to me).  We can talk about personal feelings about Common Core another time, but since my district is implementing it, I'm trying to do this the best I can.  It was suggested for this song to incorporate it with K-3 Common Core Math Standards, defined as:

"Asking students the right questions is an essential part of the learning process.  Questions are the easiest way to incorporate the Common Core State Standards in the area of K-3 Mathematics while teaching music.  Students are more engaged in every moment of the lesson when using questions in the process."

The presenter suggested that we use craft sticks and pipe cleaners to create the rhythms and bar lines.  Students create the rhythms and bar lines (counting, division, etc).  Take turns:  some students pat the beat while the others chant/tap rhythm patterns.  Then, replace patting and tapping with instruments.  Rotate instruments, and count off the rotation.

The training made it easier for me to accept Common Core, because it's not that much different from what we already do as music teachers - all we need to do is ensure we are asking better thought-provoking questions, and most importantly, to have the students be the problem-solvers.

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