In music class with grades 3-6, we have been doing a lot of rhythm games! They are able to identify quarter notes, half notes, 8th notes, whole notes, and now 16th notes. We practiced them through repetition games as well as through competition. Once I felt that the students had a grasp of the rhythmic notations, I introduced the cup game to the students. They loved it! I even showed the music video by Anna Kendrick as well as a cover of the song by Sam Tsui. Once they saw the videos they were eager to learn the game!
Teaching the game was a slow process. Since I only have forty minute periods, I decided to split the learning into two separate class periods. I must say that the kids really started to learn it on their own. When I visited the orphanage, which is where the majority of my students live, they were practicing after they ate dinner. It was such a wonderful sight. The students who practiced outside of the class became the leaders inside the classroom.
Classroom leaders are a vital part of a well structured classroom. Having a student to help the classroom will not only change their behavior for the better, but also motivate the other students in the class. I notice this particularly in my 3rd and 5th grade classes. I saw the kids who knew the cup game well correcting the students around them while I was teaching. So, instead of doing it as a whole group, I was able to split both of those classes into two groups. Each group had a leader who was tasked with helping teach the game to the other students. These students really stepped up to the task and by the end of the period most students could perform the game at a slow tempo! I was very proud of the students who stepped up at the end of the day
Right now, I am very optimistic about the direction all of my classes are taking. Leaders are starting to take charge in most grades, students seem to like my class, and there is a lot of active participation. It makes me pretty excited for what we can accomplish. I look forward to seeing how these students grow this year!