The first time I taught a group of kindergartens I was pretty excited. This age is so fun! But as the group walked in I realized the HUGE struggle it is to get Kindergarteners to do anything on their first day of school.
It's the most adorable little struggle to get them to sit on the rug -
to sit on the rug with their bottoms -
to sit on the rug with their bottoms and then stay on their bottoms.
My solution? Just get them singing and engage them as quickly as possible.
Songs to Develop Steady Beat on Day One
These songs work well for me with kindergarten because they're so action-oriented.
I think you'll love them if you don't know them already - and your kids will too!
This one is SO easy to introduce the first day of teaching. It's a very simple way to practice how to listen, watch, and move in the music room.
It could be used later in the year for students to enter the classroom musically and create a circle but for the first day I like to do the song without locomotor movement.
Steady Beat: Students follow the actions of the leader - patting head, stomping feet, etc.
Chop Chop Chippity Chop
I learned this chant two ways - one in compound duple and then later in simple duple. I like the simple duple one better. I think the syncopation helps reinforce the steady beat as students chop.
Steady Beat: Karate chop motion on the palm of the hand while the rhyme is being spoken. Students can be called upon to suggest imaginary items to chop for the soup.
Down to the Baker's Shop
I really enjoy the melody to this song. It's also a great way for these young kindergartners to practice movement and stillness since I instruct them only to hop when the song says "hop hop hop". This takes a little more self control so the song can also serve as a way to see which students will need more encouragement to follow movement and stillness instructions.
Steady Beat: "Hop hop hop" motion. Students can suggest other ways to get to the baker's shop like swimming, marching, jumping, etc.
Goodnight Sleep Tight
If you like closing your lessons in a calming way then this is the song for you.
Students rock back and forth while they sing the song. It's simple to learn since it just uses SML.
When I was student teaching my cooperating teacher had stuffed animals that the students would pass around each time we sang, rocking them to sleep. They loved it!!
Steady Beat: Swaying or rocking motion
Kindergartners have so much to learn and have to work so hard to remember all the new names, routines, and procedures of a new year.
We can help them get off to a great start by making their first moments in music engaging, musical, and on-purpose with songs like these.
Enjoy your first Kindergarten classes!