So that was nearly a disaster – ten minutes before the lesson, and I discovered that my new mp3 player was flat. As in no charge, not as in tonally flat.
I’m not sure if we are going to get on together. I used to use a Zen mosaic for teaching. I’ve still got it, but the line-out socket is worn and unreliable, so I have retired it from active service, and use it at home, where unexpected cut-outs won’t derail 35 over-excited children all being elephants or sharks.
I replaced it with a Sony Walkman, but we never really hit it off together. I missed the “just one track” facility of the Zen, and when I lost it (where? I’ve looked everywhere.) I was only slightly upset. I bought another Zen, thinking that I would prefer it. NO! It doesn’t seem to have any battery life to speak of. I switch it on, it says “Bye” and switches itself off, leaving me re-planning lessons at no notice.
So, what did I do today?
I grabbed a tambourine, loud, metallic shaker, and some jingles, that I found in lying around in a classroom and off we went.
We sang some action/game songs, (Kye Kye Kule, Concentration, Okki Tokki Unga).
We needed to do some movement – I’ll post that action game separately as a bonus post as this issue has been SO LATE.
In between, we played a focus game which always gets their attention; passing the instrument silently round the circle. Starting with the tambourine, the children listened carefully as it was passed from hand to hand. hey just about managed it. I complimented them on their patience; a problem with this kind of game is that the ones at the far end of the circle have to wait for ever for their go, and the ones at the start of the circle have to wait for ever after their go. We tried the jingle, which was much harder to control, and discussed what made it so difficult.
I knew that they didn’t have enough patience for a third “silent instrument”, so we passed the noisy cylindrical shaker round in such a way that each child turned it over, end-to-end, making a single sound.
With another chant, (“Lickety Split” from Singing Sherlock Keystage 2) time was up and the lesson was over.
Phew. Mp3 player now on charge, and hopefully ready for next time.