I have been thinking a lot about teachers who see their students so little these past few weeks. The problem is not just there isn’t enough time to go deep into the information, but also there isn’t enough time for thoughtful practice. We know that students need a lot of repetition with a concept before they internalize it, yet our schedules do not support this well know fact.

For the last installment of this series, I would like to offer 5 ways to provide thoughtful practice that are quick, but are still meaningful. Here they are:

  1. Create a 5 minute ritual (of course in game form!) for every class where they are practicing the basics of rhythm and pitch.
  2. Planning is EVERYTHING!!! I love letting the kids take me where they want to go, but when time is an issue, you always have to take them back to where you know they need to go! …ok, this one isn’t quick….but it will be meaningful J
  3. Use class transitions as opportunities for practice. Examples: kids echoing short rhythms and/ or solfege syllables.
  4. Create a mystery phrase of the week that you sing or play over the morning intercom. When you repeat it in class ~ the class with the most correct answers gets a small prize. (You could do this by grade level to make it fair)
  5. Ask kids to be detectives and to find as many things in their everyday lives as possible that sound like a steady beat. Examples: turn signals in cars, clocks, etc…

We still need more time, no doubt, but I hope this series helped in finding fun and simple ways to get as much out of our kids as possible!!

As always, if you have ideas, please share them with us!