Thanks to Julie Warren for today’s idea of the day!
This “game”/technique called “Knowing when NOT to speak” is just so marvelous especially during the FCAT craze that takes ordinary children and turns them into an entirely different creature…They are crazy about this game and everyone is totally involved , listening is the focus, rhythms are practiced…etc etc…
Just incase you’re unfamiliar or interested…
My procedure has been: (I teach only grades 2 and 3)
1. (FOCUS is on the WORD RHYTHM )- everyone writes it on their dry erase board. and a quick definition (long and short…)
2. class echoes a few silly words to get their full attention ( “apples and banana’s, “ice-cream sandwiches” etc)
3. Tchr continues with a neutral syllable (I usually use “BUM”, everyone feel comfortable saying it.) Practice a few patterns as the children echo and the process is comfortable.
4. Then explain about a “SPECIAL MESSAGE” or “SPECIAL PATTERN”–over emphasize “SPECIAL” and at first do a pattern that really sticks out ( I use a 4 beat long syncopated pattern of dotted 8th and 16th) as being VERY different from the others we practiced in a standard beat.
5. Practice the “SPECIAL MESSAGE” so everyone is fully aware of it and can imitate it verbally.
6. NOW THE RULES CHANGE…. ” DO YOU KNOW WHAT NOT TO SAY” …Don’t say the “special Message!” If you repeat the special message …you’re OUT and sit down. The games continues until you have a winner ( or a few) still standing. I reward them and then everyone gets back in the game again. WOW! Everyone is listening more closely now! Repeat the game again if desired now that everyone is catching on…
7 THEN I change the “speaking” to playing “rhythm sticks”.. Same game—” I play, they play”…DON’T PLAY THE SPECIAL MESSAGE and it’s even more fun…and easier to find the “goofs”…
I call this game “poison.” I write a “poisoned” rhythm on the board. The students are to “be my echo.” If I clap (or whatever) the poisoned rhythm and they echo it I get a point, if they DON’T echo it they get a point!