Thursday, February 23, 2017

Exposure First

Happy Thursday, (also known as "Friday eve")!

Today I'm sharing a brand new song and giving you the inside scoop as to why I wrote it the way that I did.
To give you a little background, a teacher that I work with asked if I could write a song to help the students celebrate 100 days of school. Her school was having a celebration for the 100th day of school and all kinds of activities were planned for that day.

After discussing this concept for a few minutes, the teacher shared that a few of her students were still working on counting from 1-10 and the rest of her students were working on counting 11-20 and 20-30.  The idea of 100 was not really a concept they had spent lots of time on so far this school year. This is pretty much reality in any classroom.  There are students functioning on a variety of different levels, strengths and weaknesses.

So, as I set out to write this song, I decided that if this was for a celebration, it should definitely sound upbeat.  Furthermore, I wanted to keep it simple, and I didn't want to count to 100 during the song. :)
I asked myself questions (i.e. What do the students need to know to celebrate 100 days of school?,
What will the students grasp quickly?  How do I explain 100 to a student that is not able to count that far yet?)

I decided to give the students exposure first.  I wasn't going to teach them to count to 100, but I was going to expose them to the concept of what 100 is all about.

I came up with three ways to describe the concept of 100 (of anything):
100 is big
100 is a lot
100 is a large amount

Then I added activities they can relate to doing everyday, like reading, writing, counting and learning to work together.  This essentially became the "meat" of the song.  I then added one more thing:  an opportunity for the students to cheer, "Hooray!" during the song.
When I sang this song with students very recently, the "Hooray" part was definitely an attention grabber! :)

Here's the song below.  What are some ways that you provide students exposure first?