In the wonderful world of Kindergarten, we spend lots of time on comparatives, steady beat, singing voice, and around this time of year, rhythm. This is always a pretty natural transition point for kiddos, as they spend a lot of time talking about sounds and syllables in their general classroom, making it easier as music teachers to talk about one or two sounds on a heartbeat.
Although I have a long list of essential repertoire (i.e. really really good songs) to use for quarter note/two eighth notes prep and practice, one of my absolutely favorites is Apple Tree. This is a relatively well known song and works beautifully for kindergarten rhythm practice and melodic practice in late first or early second grade. Click here to get my notation and game instructions for Apple Tree in the Resource Library!
There are a million different ways to practice one and two sounds on a heartbeat, rhythm vs. steady beat. My students know that “the steady beat always stays the same” and “the rhythm is the way the words go.” It’s a little call and response we do each and every class to make sure kiddos remember that the beat is constant but the words change depending on how many songs we hear. Here are ways I prepare one and two sounds on a heartbeat for the whole class, in small groups, or individually.
Whole Class Preparation – Icons with Hearts
This might be considered an “old school” approach, but honestly one of my kiddos’ favorite ways to show one or two sounds on a heartbeat is by using those good old fashioned die cuts/bulletin board accents from the teacher store (get some similar to these by clicking here). The foam hearts are from the Target dollar spot, which I picked up around Valentine’s Day. I simply added some magnet tape to the back and they are good to go!
Target to the rescue again! I love snatching up all the little eraser packs in the dollar spot because they are absolutely perfect for dictation. I pass out small dixie cups of heart and apple erasers (enough for one motive–8 apples and 4 hearts) to pairs of students. Then we take turns deriving the motives and I show the answers on the doc cam projected onto my board.
This would also be perfect for stations or to share on a video or in a picture in Seesaw!!
Maybe my absolute favorite way to prep one and two sounds on a beat is with these rhythm coloring sheets. I usually take 3-5 of my essential songs for kindergarten and make a mini coloring book for each of my kindergarteners using this set. By the time we have done the third sheet together, they are ready to rock and roll independently the next time. The transition to “ta” & “ti-ti” (the syllables I use in my room) seems almost seamless, and I can use the similarly structured dictation sheets to transfer iconic to formal notation.