All I have to say is the word “game” and I have student’s attention. Everyone loves games. So, I’m sharing some ideas about games and how to use them to build classroom community.
Just this week I sat one class of 4th graders down and we talked about keeping our emotions on the inside and being kind on the outside. I told them that even if we don’t want to be in a certain group or to do a certain type of activity it’s important to be kind to everyone and not take out our frustration or anger on others. This class in particular has some challenges with being kind to each other. They tend to stick in their little groups and don’t extend themselves to some of the other “less popular” students. I was careful to mix the groups up with girls and boys and then challenged them by saying I was watching for the group who worked together best and was ready to perform first. They did a great job digging in and playing their “snow” rhythms.
(A forever freebie at my store)
We were able to move from body percussion to rhythm instruments to pitched instruments in one class time. It was a great experience as they were able to experience how important it is to work together to make music. Building classroom community takes a lot of effort from both teacher and students-but I believe it’s a key element to foster student engagement and learning.
I love to play music games that involve singing and playing. I put together several games for Valentines Day. This game is for Kindergarten through Second graders. I needed a game for Kinders with only so and mi in ta and ti-ti rhythms, so I made this one up for them. I also know that Kinders love animals, so I put them in the game too!
You may also be interested in these games:
“Who Will Be My Valentine?”