I recently posted about Beat Buddies and how amazing they were for classroom management. I think classroom management is a huge component of being a teacher and I am always looking for new methods for managing my class. However a reader let me know I failed to explain properly what musical activities I do with Beat Buddies. For that error, I apologize! I was mostly excited about how they really got my K’s to calm down!
Anyway, here are a few things I have done the past couple of lessons with Beat Buddies:
- Used them to make awareness of Beat vs. No-Beat. We talked about how our Beat Buddies get scared if they don’t hear a steady beat since they are beat buddies. We shook our beat buddies in a no-beat pattern and then tapped them carefully on the floor to keep the beat. We discussed how they liked the repeated pattern and steadiness of the beat.
- We put on various pieces of music and used the beat buddies to tap body parts. We tapped the floor, our knees, our toes, our nose, our heads, our shoulders, etc. I like the song “The Hamster Dance.” Super silly, but lots of fun and a pretty good strong beat.
- We used the beanies to dance to the Music K8 song Eenie Meenie Beenie Beenie.
- I did a modified activity from the Music K8 idea bank. In my activity we practiced passing and how we politely pass. Then we said “Tap, tap, pass, (natural rest)” where we gently petted our animal twice and patted it. Then we added “(animal) keeps the beat!” So it would be “Tap, tap, pass. (rest). Donkey keeps the beat!” On “Donkey keeps the beat” we would tap the beat buddy.
- Then we got out our hand drums. This was the kids first experience with instruments. We talked about how our Beat Buddies would be scared if they heard loud drumming noises and we needed our Beat Buddies help. I passed out drums and they carefully put their beat buddies on the drums. Then we talked about how we pet the Beat Buddies with a flat hand and not a fist. We also must treat our drums gently and we use an open hand and not a fist.
- Then we patted our drums gently so as not to disturb the Beat Buddy. We gradually moved the Beat Buddy off so we were still playing the drum but weren’t making a huge noise. It seemed to help their playing technique to have practiced keeping the Beat Buddy happy.
- We then used the Beat Buddy to play along with the MK8 song “There’s a Beat in my Feet.” We used the Beat Buddies to play the drums and then we played the drums with the song.
- Finally our Beat Buddies helped us sing the songs and bounce a “Flop, flop, flop” pattern with the books Froggy Learns to Swim and Froggy Goes to School.
Wrapping Things Up
My final advice? When in doubt, bake cookies! (Pillsbury makes an excellent pull apart cookie dough, I must say). A dozen cookies on someone’s desk can make them feel warm and gooey inside (pun intended). This strategy has been around since the beginning of time and is a tried and true method.
If you are new at school and looking for lessons for the first day, you might also enjoy this post on first day lesson plans!
Who did I miss? Any other key people in school we should add?
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