Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Favorite Things

Every single year I look forward to introducing the song, "My Favorite Things," to my class.  It just makes everyone happy!

I used to use a laminated poster with pictures I had found to help illustrate each phrase of each verse, so the children had a visual to remember the song. 
This year, I made a  My Favorite Things Prezi to use instead! (You can download it free at my TPT store!)  Well, I love it!  We have had so much fun with it.  Yesterday, I had an unexpected extra chunk of time because our computer lab was cancelled- and I actually did have activities that I had planned to do, but instead... time FLEW with lots of singing- and learning with this Prezi.  Even I was surprised how fascinated everyone was watching the different performances and what great discussions were taking place as we watched.

We are just learning "My Favorite Things," and the kids love to sing it! So, I put up the Prezi and we sang and sang. This Prezi is a slide show version.  The first slide is an overview of all the pictures that go with each phrase of the song.  The following slides each have a picture and words to go with a phrase from the song. You can click the arrows at the bottom of the screen and go through the slides to match the speed you are singing the song.   I had fun picking out all the pictures.  The last slide is an overview of the whole Prezi, with  videos around the edge.  You can click on any video you want and enjoy it.

I knew this was going to be one of MY favorite things, when one of my little girls heard Julie Andrews sing and said, "Hey, she has YOUR voice!"  (That little sweetie may now be one of my FAVORITE students!

When I played the version with Placido Domingo, Vanessa Williams, and Tony Bennett singing together,  one little boy said, "Can we watch this to the end to see who wins?"  (He thought it was American Idol...).

When we watched the guitar version, I now know every uncle, cousin, and friend of the class who plays the guitar!

When we watched the amazing piano version, one little boy noticed how the when the piano player hit the keys, something went up in the back of the piano.  It was such a great teaching moment about how the piano is sort of a string instrument (like the guitar)  and a percussion instrument (like a drum) because when a piano key is pressed down, a little hammer strikes a string, and because the strings are stretched a certain way, each one makes its own sound. 

The kids loved watching the little 6 year old sing her version, because they each thought it could have been them!

I think my favorite moment was watching the children watch the Lorrie Morgan version.  It is actually her video for the song and she is dreaming.  When she spins around in her raggedy clothes and turns into a princess,  I heard all eight  of my little girls just GASP.  The only thing more precious was when the Prince then appeared, and the gasp was even louder! 

I hope you enjoy the Prezi. It is really such a wonderful song to teach this age.

I do a writing activity to go along with our favorite things.  I have the children bring in their favorite thing to share with the class.  I, of course, bring mine, too.  I bring my dog Floppy that I got for my birthday when I was one year old, who is now all patches and very floppy!  (Floppy could work equally well for a Velveteen Rabbit lesson... :)     I take each child's picture with his or her favorite thing.  Last year, we did a writing piece on one page about our favorite thing, with the picture on top.  This year, we wrote books about our favorite thing.  The books could be either fiction or nonfiction. The kids loved to decide and discuss if it would be fiction or nonfiction.  Here are some book covers and  sample pages of some of the books!

(Her doll is named Juliet. I loved how she spelled it here. :)  

( I love the illustrations in this one! She gets SO excited to get her ideas down and works as fast as her little characters are moving in the pictures! I love all the movement and expression she adds! 

( Don't you just want to know what happens next?  There are lots more pages, but SPOILER ALERT:  He ends up in the dryer and didn't want to be there!)
 And finally, as I was taking the pictures for the covers, we had a Kindergarten PHOTOBOMB! :)
This is my other idea linked to "My Favorite Things" that I have used this year with success! I used  Dr. Jean's fabulous Self Control Lotion idea.  I just I covered a bottle of lotion (just Jergens Original Cherry Almond- shhh!  with a picture of "My Favorite Things" taped down on the front, and changed the idea to go along with My Favorite Things, since that is what we are working in now. 
When someone needs a few minutes to settle down, relax, or take a little time out, I put a little lotion from this bottle on his/her hands and quietly tell him/her to rub it all in slowly, and to think about some favorite things.  The few times I have used this, the reaction has been the same.  Since I believe it works, it works- just like most things in Kindergarten! When the teachers says it will make you feel better, it will.  (Don't you wish everyone believed in you like that!)  After sitting and rubbing the lotion in for a while, the child has come over and just started telling me all about everything that happened WRONG that day at home, on the bus, with a friend...  I just think it lets the child know you care and you want him or her to feel better and feel loved.  Sometimes, it is just that simple!  Sometimes, it isn't- but it is worth a try!
Simply remember your favorite things! 
Happy Teaching, 

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