Since I’ve started this blog late in the year, I’m not sure how to go about posting rhythm and note reading lessons. For today, I’m posting an assessment that I did with the kids last week, but I’m wondering if it would be more helpful to start at the beginning of the continuum. Comments on this would be appreciated.
A quick assessment for end of year first graders is to put a couple of songs in front of them and have them label the notes, S for sol, M for mi, and L for la. Engine Engine number Nine is a song that my first graders already had read, sung and moved to, so they were quite familiar with it. (Sol and Mi). The movement involves making a train by holding onto the shoulders of the person in front of them. They move their feet to the 8th note beat, but any time the melody moves from sol down to mi they have to bend their knees to show the lower note.On the other side of the page I printed “Little Tommy Tucker”, which is an unfamiliar song to them and which adds the note “La”. (We have previously learned and read la, but this is their first experience with this song and with written identification.) When reading new music I always do rhythm and melody separately first. The last thing I add are the lyrics.
In addition to having the students label the notes…in fact, BEFORE I have the students label the notes, I have them sing the songs on Sol Mi, and Mi Sol and La. It’s good practice reading from their own page instead of from a chart, and the song review helps them in their written analysis. Note that on both examples sol and mi are in spaces. I didn’t want to confuse them by having sol and mi in spaces for one example, and on lines in the other. It also helps in differentiating la from the other two: la is always different from sol and mi.
I was pleasantly surprised last week to hear first graders reading melody, rhythm and lyrics simultaneously on their own!