Welcome! I’m sharing the ESSENTIALS you need to have a fantastic and successful first day music activities for primary grades.
Whether you are a new teacher or an experienced one, you’ll find some ideas in this post to help you establish your routines, lessons and rules on the first day.
As a music teacher for over 20 years I learned some things the hard way, and that’s why I’m sharing my ideas with you in this post.
Be sure to watch the video and SUBSCRIBE to the Sing Play Create Teaching Tips channel for music teaching tips!
FIRST DAY MUSIC ACTIVITIES FOR PRIMARY GRADES
In this post you’ll get ideas on how to build relationships and make connections on the very first day!
Experience teaching on a cart, in a portable, traveling to six schools and in a music room taught me that getting to know my students was the MOST IMPORTANT thing I did.
In fact, sometimes I had to let go of music teaching because the students needed to come first!
It was hard, but I found that having GREAT classroom management was the key to being able to do it all.
You want to create a classroom environment where students feel safe and learn music skills-and have fun!
So here are the main ingredients to the music classroom first day recipe.
BEGIN CLASS WITH A HELLO SONG
I LOVE singing a hello song at the beginning class. This is a great way to make those connections with each of your students by singing to and with them.
The song doesn’t matter-but the spirit and energy you bring to the song will matter.
Sing with a smile:)
Sing an easy song the students can learn quickly.
Sing a song with movement.
Sing Play Create has an entire bundle of Hello Songs! I created one for each grade K-4 and then use the 4th grade song in the 5th and 6th grades too. I adapt it a little for each grade.
After we sing a hello song, it’s time to sing names.
This activity is repeated every class time, every music class, every day of music for the entire school year-no exceptions.
My students love hearing their names sung.
I use solfege to sing their names-which helps them learn solfege too!
I learn all the names quickly because I read them and sing them.
I make connections immediately because I look at the students as I sing their names.
These procedures establish several things that help immensely with classroom management.
Students will know how class will start, to be respectful as they sing the song and the names.
Students know that each and every student is important.
Students know to listen and echo sing.
Students know to get to their places so that class will begin.
Students know to follow the teacher.
This is the most important thing I do for classroom management. Knowing the students names and making eye contact will help me throughout the year-especially if and when there is a challenge.
IT BUILDS TRUST!
Sing Play Create has hello songs for every classroom.
Stretchy Band Movement Activity Song “Hello Mr. Stretchy” Music, PE, Preschool$4.50
Back to School Hello Song Everybody Say Hello Literacy, Games, Activities$8.50
Elementary Classroom Songs: Lining Up, Hello, Name, Transition, Birthday$2.75
Music Class Hello Song: “This is the Way We Say Hello” Video, Mp3 Tracks$4.50
Music Class Hello Song: “Hello My Good Friends” Video, Mp3 Tracks$4.50
Music Class Hello Song: “Hello, Hello How Are You?” Video Mp3 Tracks$4.50
Music Class Hello Song: “Good Morning To You” (Afternoon) Video Mp3$4.50
Music Class Hello Song: “Hello, Hello Good Morning to You” Video, Mp3 Tracks$4.50
Music Class Hello Song Bundle: Songs, Videos, Mp3 Tracks$17.50
Music Class Kodaly Lesson: “Hello” Song and Game$3.50
DO A MUSIC ACTIVITY
Then I quickly move on to a fun music activity. For Kindergarten through 2nd grades I use this FREE DOWNLOAD AND VIDEO ACTIVITY
It comes with teaching presentation and activities.
My “Heartbeat” Song is a tried and true favorite Kindergarten activity.
Not only is it a movement song, but it teaches beat, rhythm of ti-ti and ta, as well as pitch on sol mi.
It goes like this:
Heartbeat, heartbeat, I can feel my heartbeat!
I can feel it when I stomp.
I can feel it when I snap.
I can feel it when I jump.
I can feel it when I clap.
Heartbeat, heartbeat, I can feel my heartbeat!
First I have the students pat the beat on their heart using 2 hands.
Next I go through the lyrics slowly and have them do the actions to get the feel of the song.
Then I play the song and have them copycat me doing the actions.
After we do that a couple of class times, then they can do the song without me.
This song makes a fun warm up, brain break and even class welcoming song.
TEACH PROCEDURES AND RULES
I teach all of my procedures and rules using songs and chants. I found that I kept the attention of my students and they had fun learning the songs and chants too. Most of them include movement.
Singing + Moving = HIGH ENGAGEMENT!!!
I do organize my classroom so that students know where to stand.
But, I taught in many different situations. One time I was in a portable and hung stars from plastic beading thread (fire proof). I used different colored stars for each row of students.
The children LOVED having the stars above their heads. I told them they were STARS too!
So I just had them come in and find a spot underneath a star!
Having a spot/dot or star makes it easy for the students to come in and feel welcome in your classroom.
In the video I share some specific songs and chants.
Following the Leader- teaches students to follow the leader, how to line up, move fast/slow etc.
Criss Cross Applesauce- sit down and get ready to learn
Keep Your Hands Feet and Words to Yourself- rules song
Mary, Mary will You Stand UP? (get to know you game)
“Name, Name” is Who I See! (get to know you name game)
And many more!
You can find all of the songs and chants in the ELEMENTARY MUSIC TEACHING ESSENTIALS
Elementary Music Curriculum, Music Lessons and Music Teacher Essentials Bundle$400.00
Music Essentials Decor: Kodaly Solfege Posters, Games, Flashcards$5.50
Music Class Essentials Basic Songs, Activities, Games, Chants, Lessons, Rules, Planner, Mp3’s$25.00
Music Teacher Essentials World Themed: Activities, Songs, Chants, Games, Planner$35.00
Music Class Essentials World Theme BUNDLE: Activities, Songs, Planner, Decor$87.50
Music Class Essentials + BTS BUNDLE Music Lessons, Songs,Chants,Games, Decor$139.50
After I teach the rules and procedures, it’s time to get to know my students.
PLAY A NAME GAME
I think this is the MOST IMPORTANT thing I do on the FIRST DAY. I sing names and then I also play a NAME GAME.
If I have to go through the rules a bit more quickly-that’s okay- as long as I cover the basics, but the name game needs to happen!
This is an easy game that’s found in the MUSIC CLASS ESSENTIALS.
MARY WORE HER RED DRESS
Mary wore her red dress, red, dress, red dress.
Mary wore her red dress to school today.
I sing a verse for EVERY CHILD in the classroom.
If they want, they can stand up and show me the thing I’m singing about or wave to the class.
Everyone waves back at them!
This is such a fun song to break the ice with Kindergarten students.
REVIEW OR COMPLETE THE RULES
If there’s time, I’ll do another movement procedure like the rules song or play the follow the leader game and let one of the students be the leader.
I believe that it can be SIMPLE and VERY EFFECTIVE!
Remember that the students can be overwhelmed with new information and rules for their classroom teachers.
That’s why it’s important to me to use singing and movement in all of the activities.
You may want to read a story at the end of class too.
Finally, it’s time to say goodbye. This is a good time to show students how to line up or exit your classroom.
Do you have a reward system?
Do they have to be quiet in line?
What’s the procedures you’ll need to establish?
I sing a song on the first day. I don’t necessarily use this song every class time-but on the first day it’s nice to sing goodbye to them.
This song is on the Sing Play Create YouTube Channel. You can get the resource here:
END CLASS WITH CONNECTIONS
I believe that if you use these simple ingredients in your first day activities, then you’ll establish those important connections you’ll need throughout the school year.
Check out these posts with more AMAZING BACK TO SCHOOL IDEAS!
I’d love to hear your success stories!
Let’s Move and Learn with Music!