Friday, September 13, 2013

sol mi Review and Star Foam

You know I have a fondness for foam shape manipulatives. At the start of the school year I found some foam star shapes priced at 10 for $1.00! (in the Target dollar bin section, of course)! I'm a big fan of creating manipulatives for matching games and stick to staff activities, but this time I thought I'd do something different and simple.

Since the beginning of the school year, my second graders have been reviewing singing and reading sol and mi on the staff. (Yes, I know they should have gotten to la by the end of 1st grade but it just doesn't happen like that in my world. The biggest obstacle is that I don't get to teach kindergarten; it is rare in my district for a school to provide art, music, and PE for kindergardeners. It's too bad; kindergarten is such a crucial time for them to have those classes but that's how it is for now.)

I incorporate solo singing often during class because students need to hear themselves and "fine tune" their listening in order to match pitch. Almost always, when someone has trouble matching pitch, the issue is their lack of focused listening skills. Children need several opportunities to sing solo. Solo singing through Chain singing is a fun way to quickly assess students.

On my foam stars I wrote out each phrase of the song Star Light several times:

After reviewing the song and game, the stars are scattered face down in a circle and each student choses their star. 

First I have students group themselves with their same phrase and we sing the song with each group singing their phrase. (This group practice sets them up for confident solo singing later; there's safety in numbers)!  Then they form a group of 4 by finding the other students with the phrases that completed their song. For fun, (and more practice), they all sing Star Light according to their phrase, but now they are standing in a mixed group and the others singing their phrase are standing farther away. (We're always building up that comfort level)!
Finally, each group "solos" and every student sings their phrase alone. We go around the room round robin style. When students are not singing they are body signing the melody.

My students are accustomed to singing solo; they sing the roll call at the beginning of every music class and we play many games that incorporate solos.  However, I always want to re-establish a non-threatening, supportive environment when our solo singing is not in the context of a game. (As the big sign at the front of my room states: "We will never laugh at anyone's honest effort!")

To go along with my sol mi review, I pulled out a scaffolded SMART Board file I created that I've used to practice sol and mi on a 1 line staff, then a 3 line staff, and a 5 line staff.
I fine-tuned it and put it up on Teachers Pay Teachers. 

A real 2nd grader covering lyrics with solfa buttons!

Oh my, I think I may have 6 products on TpT now. Crazy. What can I say? That's just how I roll these days... (Those things take me forever!)

I may not be prolific with TpT products but I do plan on updating this blog at least weekly.
Please check back with me if you're interested.
Have a lovely weekend!

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