The All-Stars and Ducks are focusing on friendship and teamwork in their classes. For a musical experience, we sung a little song and tossed bean bags with a steady beat to recognize the good friends around us. While tossing the bean bag from our own hand to hand, we sung:
I have a good friend, a good friend, a good friend.
I have a good friend, and their name is _______.
(toss bean bag to friend)
The students worked on making eye contact, choosing different friends, waiting, listening for their name, and hand-eye coordination. Through initiating contact with their classmates, they let them know that they are a good friend. The students felt really good when someone sang to them and told them that they are a good friend. They smiled and the person who threw it to them smiled back in return.
After the students were successful playing with one bean bag, I added another, and another, and another! This was to challenge the students’ ability to listen and be attentive for their name and watch out for bean bags that may be coming from any direction. In addition, we could toss it to the same person to recognize how great they are. Both classes did very well and we had about 8 or 9 bean bags tossed around the room at the same time! It was neat to hear the students all toss it between their own hands, making it sound like egg shakers with the steady beat. And then we all tossed to our friends at our own pace, with some students receiving more than one. That person really felt special when several friends sang to them in one turn! There is joy in having friends sing to you. They really enjoyed the activity and we played for about ten minutes where afterwards, everyone was happy with warm fuzzies about their friends.
Each of the students worked to keep the steady beat by tossing it hand to hand, which in turn helps them attend, to sing together, and follow the directions of the activity while keeping an eye out for bean bags that may be coming from 8 different directions. It was a surprise to see where the bean bags would fly next! Developing and maintaining steady beat is important for predictability, focus, and helping students organize and coordinate movement with timing (running, jumping, walking, writing, using scissors). In addition, a steady beat helps develop better readers, become successful in math, and the ability to speak and read with a smooth cadence. Steady beat helps children to understand and organize their world, such as expressing to their friends, following directions, and throwing bean bags.