Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Kagan Music Structure! A Variation of Round Robin With Instruments

So, I get observed by a Kagan coach once a month doing a Kagan Structure.  This month, I found a suggestion in the Kagan Music Book on page 301.  The author suggests a structure which is nice, but I tweaked it a bit.  

I had the kids sit in small circles.  Three chairs have rhythm sticks and the fourth has claves (thick rhythm sticks).  When the music is playing (I used "Down, Down Baby" from the old Silver Burdett series), the kids pass their instruments to the left continuously until the music stops.  

When the music stops, everyone freezes and keeps the instrument in their hand.  Whomever has the claves thinks of a rhythm and plays it for the group while saying "ta", "titi", or "rest" and the group repeats it back to them on their rhythm sticks.  

It will happen, so there is a rule that if someone doesn't have an instrument when the music stops, the person with the extra instrument gives it to them.

When the groups are done repeating the rhythm, they raise their sticks in the air to show me they are done and we start the music again and pass the sticks.

I also included the rule that if you already had the claves, pass them to someone who hasn't had them yet.  The kids pictured today are my Kindergarten group!  They did surprisingly well with this activity.  We were only able to do it about 4 times before the sticks became light sabers and we had to redirect to this song.

I liked this activity because it actually felt like Kagan was able to do what it was supposed to do.  I got to let go of my control of the classroom and let the kids manage themselves.  It got really loud at times, but they were doing the activity with very minimal guidance from me.   I would say this was a Kagan win :) 

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