Here’s a great idea for getting a class to be focussed and awake!
I have taken the idea from part of a workshop on percussion skills lead by an Advanced Skills teacher.
It is simplicity itself, and here’s how it goes: the children just have to copy the rhythm played by the leader.
So where’s the catch? You add rules as you go along.
Rule 1; divide the class into 2 groups; if the leader is facing a group, only they play, the others have to be silent.
Rule 2; if the leader looks at the ceiling while they play, everyone plays.
Rule 3; if the leader looks at the floor when they play, no-one plays.
Rule 4; if the leaders gives the rhythm “Don’t, Play, this-one-back”, no-one should play, wherever the leader happens to be looking.
If you break a rule, you are out! The pace was fast and furious, and there was no mercy for mistakes!.
We used percussion instruments that I had never used before; a long broom-handle, held vertically on the floor and wedged against the side of your foot, played with a shorter length of stick. Some times she rapped the sticks together, or else tapped the stick on the floor, or held it off the floor when striking it. (The teacher next to me whispered that she had made some serious dents in a floor playing this game at her school… you have been warned).
I shall try this with my tricksy class next time I see them.