January News – Check out what’s happening this month!
Is it really January 2018? It is hard to believe just how fast time flies. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to start a new year.
This month I am teaching all about the weather. We have actually had a pretty easy winter here in Seattle compared to other parts of the country. We did have 7 inches of snow on Christmas Day which was a treat especially for my girls who played for hours in the yard. Can you guess what they used as a hat?
But before I get to sharing some fun activities for the month all about weather, I have to pass along some research worth checking out.
PREK EXPERIENCE IMPACTS MIDDLE SCHOOLERS
The research continues to pour in on the importance of a high-quality, early childhood education. How children learn during their very first years will have a profound impact on their success in school and life. We believe when a musical component is included in a child’s education, it only enhances their learning.
In a recent groundbreaking, longitudinal study, researchers at Georgetown University tracked children who participated in Tulsa, Oklahoma’s universal pre-K program through middle school. What did they find?
“Middle school students who were in pre-K years earlier have higher math test scores, are more likely to enroll in honors courses, and are noticeably less likely to have been retained in grade.”
Musically Minded is honored to provide music classes and trainings for so many amazing early childhood programs. Partnering with teachers who recognize the importance of high-quality early learning is truly a gift. In 2018, we look forward to continuing to be “a part of the team” that fosters a love of learning in our future leaders.
ALL ABOUT WEATHER
Winter is a fun time to sing about the weather in Seattle as you never know what you’re going to get! Each class we’ll warm up with the song, “Oh, What’s the Weather Like Today?” It’s a Musically Minded original! Is it sunny, or rainy, or foggy, or snowy… or all of the above! We’ll experiment with our sharing instruments to mimic the sound of weather and use our class instruments to explore dynamics and tempo as we create a musical thunderstorm. There’s also lots of room for imaginative movement and play as we make our scarves into snowballs or try to blow them across the room on a windy day, dance in a bubble snowstorm and we’ll even bring out our parachute to use as an umbrella!
Sharing Instruments: Wind Chimes, Thunder Drum, Rain Stick
Class Instruments: Hand Drums, Jingle Sticks
An Activity to try…
You can create your own rainstorm in your classroom using body percussion. Get the whole class involved and children can take turns being the leader.
- Silently rub your fingers together
- Then rub your two hands together, making a very soft sound, as you rub faster the sound gets louder.
- Next, quietly clap your hands together.
- Then snap your fingers.
- Now go back to clapping and clap a little louder than you were snapping.
- Then a little louder.
- Then clap as loud as you can
- Then stomp your feet and clap or drum on your legs, making a lot of noise.
- Now do it in reverse until it is silent again.
*Stay tuned this month for another activity or two all about the weather!