I was setting up my music room at school for what I call “game day” with my 3rd grade students. I save game day for the end of the school year because the games are a conglomeration of what I have taught all year. They cover topics such as: note value, music symbols, names of lines and spaces, solfeggio, tempo, dynamics, etc. I have created between 10 and 12 games that I scatter about the room. The student are divided into groups with 2 or 3 children per group. They then rotate around the room about every 8-10 minutes to play different games. The kids love it and have worked cooperatively solving problems and reviewing vocabulary. It really is great to see it in action.
Sometimes when a group finishes a game earlier than others they come to ask what they should do next. I then make up a variation of the game so that they are occupied while they are waiting. What’s better though is when I see the kids making up a different game with the game parts. They have given me some good ideas! The other day one little girl was asking how I created the games and came up with the ideas. She asked because she thought of a game to teach note value. It really was a brilliant game she created. Together we brainstormed ideas and variations for her new game.
I’m not going to write about it now because I am preparing to teach at the Kingston’s Suzuki Institute in a couple of weeks and plan to use some of her ideas. I’ll report of the results in a later post.
But the moral of this post is- teachers can learn from their students. I have often heard this statement but don’t encounter it too much after having taught for eons. Need ideas for group lessons? Just ask your students!