Spring 2011 - Travis at Birkdale

Week 1

We got off to a great start today at Birkdale Residence.  The children are very enthusiastic, the parents seem appreciative and the staff are very supportive.  In many ways, this was a typical first class, in which the focus of learning is primarily on participation —that is, everyone needs to learn how to participate in a Rainbow Songs class.  Coaching the participants in the call and response of "Hello" was the first step.  Then, since most of the kids are over 3, we did "Here Today" with each kid getting a chance to stand up, turn around and sit back down.  Several of the children did not do the actions the first class.  I then decided to do "What are you wearing" and the level of participation increased dramatically.  "I Had a Rooster" got some of the parents doing the signing and the kids loved the animal sounds as always.  "Old MacDonald" was then a good way to get each of the kids to name their favourite animal.  We then did "Sleeping Bunnies" and that was a big hit, which got us off the floor and into "Elephants Have Wrinkles".  Once we were on our feet we did the "Hello" scales moving in and out of the centre of the circle.  "Come On Everybody" allowed us to really get into a groove.  Then we got out the instruments and that was a blast.  The kids were mostly able to remember not to bang the other instruments against the drums!

All in all, this was a solid beginning.

Week 2

This was the last class for our contact person, Jason, who really gave it his all and helped us keep up the level of participation.  As far as the songs were concerned, this was basically a review of the first class.  Most of the children were able to participate in the class much more, with several more of them doing the actions for "Here Today" and "What Are You Wearing?"  For the jam session, we did a marching band version of "Elephants Marching", marching all around the classroom in single file.  This definitely helped some of the more rambunctious kids focus on the group activity and participate more fully.  One of the kids requested "Sleeping Bunnies" and we did this as a parachute song.