This year of teaching was a heck of a year, but the first thing I teach every year is the welcome song I do with my kindergarten students. Here’s a recorded example I made for a guest teacher in October of this school year:
The world and education has changed drastically since then. More recently, I re-recorded the Hello Song during our first mode of distance learning for students to listen at home:
It’s one song that I know each kindergarten student knows. After October conference week, I start having a student helper sing it with me each class. It can be intimidating to make sure each student gets a turn and it seems fair to them, but I have found a few things that I do to make it easier:
- Go in alphabetical order by first name, and keep a copy of class lists in this order somewhere
- If a new student joins the class, they go to the end of the list (so they have time to learn the song and get excited to lead)
- Write the names of all the helpers on the board before your day starts
- If the student is absent that day, put a dash next to their name. This reminds you when you’re erasing the names for the day that they weren’t here.
- RECORD WHAT DAY STUDENTS HAVE TURNS. They will ask you and say they haven’t had a turn yet. Being able to show them exactly when they had a turn usually satisfies them.
I love seeing how each student responds to their turn. Due to distance learning in my district, we weren’t able to have everyone sing in front of the class before we left the classroom. Additionally, students did not have any music work assigned until May 4. Once the classroom teachers added us to their Seesaw classes, the students really enjoyed their specialist activities!
I ended the year with the same song I started the year with: our Hello There song. You can check out my Seesaw activity here. Feel free to browse my other activities I created for my kinders as well!
The videos I got back were adorable. Some students did the hand motions, some did their own introductions, and others just sang Baby Shark. It was a perfect way to end the school year and my time at Kent Valley ELC – seeing my growing singers and being able to tell them that they will make great music in first grade.
It’s a weird time to be leaving a position in the midst of all this, but I’m looking forward to whatever the next step in my career will be. For now I’ll enjoy finally living with my husband and a summer finishing my master’s degree.