I just finished teaching a small group of boys and it is clear that they need to move around and/ or use their hands!! As I researched gender differences in the classroom, it is astonishing to me that we still teach in a manner that requires kids to sit most of the day! We are always so surprised that our boys can be all over the place in our classes, yet we set them up to fail right off the bat! The school environment that we have created encourages behavioral problems in all of our students! Granted, boys have a much better shot of succeeding in our classes where movement is a common event, but they have been sitting for so long before we get them, that our classes are affected, as well!
So what can we do??
Well, if it were up to me, I would have kids come into school and run at least a mile before we start classes, but that’s just me J! Since we are not in a perfect world, I do have some suggestions:
- Bring in a basketball and have kids bounce the ball to the steady beat ~ then see if they can create a “routine” where they keep the beat, but the ball is passed and bounced in various ways!
- For improving breath control, have one student throw a ball to another while a third student, sings a note for as long as the ball is in the air ~ then add a second ball and have a student sing a third above the first pitch and so on…how many balls and pitches can the group keep going at once?
- Use the NK blocks or better yet, the NK cushions to build a structure and see if kids can say or sing the rhythm….they decide what to sing when…
- Choose 5 songs that you have sung this year or will be in your winter concert and write them down on separate pieces of paper. Then put kids into 5 small groups and have them choose a piece of paper with a song on it and figure out a way to act out the songs. The goal is for the other kids to guess the song without knowing beforehand what is was!
Check out www.noteknacks.com/lessons for more great ideas!