School – Week 10

Guess the Halloween Song: This happened to be the week of Halloween, so I wanted to do a fun Halloween-themed game. My supervisor previously picked up a large foam die from Five Below, so I was trying to think of a way to use it. What I did was I made 6 different playlists just numbered 1 through 6 and put different Halloween-themed songs on them in order of difficulty. So all the songs on the 1 and 2 playlists were the ones I considered “easy,” and then the 5 and 6 playlists were “hard.” Each student got the chance to roll the die, and whatever number it landed on was the number playlist I would play from. I said any student could answer – it didn’t have to be the student who rolled, but you could certainly do it that way.

Statues Song: Going along with Halloween, I adapted this song and changed the words to include something Halloween-themed (I lost the lyrics somewhere), but at the end I had the students yell “Boo!” One student laid on the floor with his/her eyes closed while the students walked around and sang (although, mostly it was me singing), at the end when everyone yelled “Boo!” they had to freeze, and the person who was laying down walked around trying to make everyone laugh! When someone laughed, they could join in and help make others laugh. This was a great way to encourage some positive socialization and impulse control!

Silly Sentences: I found a set of silly sentences from this Pinterest post, and I thought it would be fun to use them to write silly song lyrics with my youngest class. I’m sure there’s a better way to do this, but it was sort of spur of the moment so I just went with what I thought was best at the time. Here’s how I did it: I cut out small pieces of paper that had each of the words on them and grouped them into Who, How, Type, What, Where (paper clipped together). I wish I could’ve printed out the words with the cartoon images on them but I didn’t have the time. I made enough sets for the 6 or so students in that class. During the activity, I gave each student a piece of construction paper. Then I gave out each category one by one and let the students tape (didn’t have glue) their words in sentences on the paper. They chose one word from each category and then I collected their words again and they got to pick the next word. It was a pretty decent struggle keeping track of all those tiny squares of paper, so this is definitely where you could put your thinking cap on to make it more functional for you. After we finished our sentences, I took everyone’s and made up a melody to go along with the songs!

– Arianna (:

School – Week 7

Mad Libs: This is literally always a hit. With the older classes, I use the specific terms noun, verb, and adjective, but with younger classes I usually say “I need a random word” or “I need a word that is an action” and I’ll give an example. The songs I used for this were Airplanes (I usually start with that one, because I’ll do the chorus quickly and then demonstrate for the kids, which usually hooks anyone who wasn’t engaged once they hear how ridiculous it sounds), Roar, Best Day Of My Life, All About That Bass, and What Do You Mean. I didn’t do the whole song — just the first verse and chorus, usually. If you want it to lean more therapeutically, you could select the songs very purposefully and prompt for certain kinds of words (if you’re looking at emotions specifically or anything else). It does address creative thinking, and even impulse control (they usually get excited and yell out words — prompt for raising hands!). For the classes that were particularly interested, I even got some suggestions from them and they got to write their own with a song they enjoy. Some kids wanted to just keep the lyrics the same, which I personally didn’t push.

Vocal Exploration: This was an activity I did with my little guys. I brought in pipe cleaners and we talked about high and low sounds. They got to create their own patterns and we experimented with our voices as we traced the pipe cleaners. At the end, we even made one that linked all of our pipe cleaners together and we followed the whole thing. To keep the kids engaged, I tried making each one a challenge, “Who thinks they can do mine?!” and things like that.

I spent a lot of time doing MadLibs this week, so that’s really all I have!

– Arianna (: