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Friday, April 1, 2016

Musical Fun Ideas with Numbers

Musical Fun Ideas with Number Mats

Number mats are great for teaching, practicing and reinforcing numbers.
After introducing the numbers to students, these games will serve for practice and reinforcement purposes.
Here are a few fun ideas you can use.
·         Place number mats on the floor in random order. (There should be the same amount of mats as children). Have lively music at hand to play while children walk around the mats. Another option is to use a percussion instrument with a rhythmic beat.

·       Once the music stops, each student should step on a mat. Ask each student what number they are stepping on. Encourage them to say the number they are stepping on in Spanish. Example: “¿qué número estás pisando? student answer: “cuatro”. (or whichever the number is)
Another way to do this game is to sing or chant a little tune to “¿qué número estás pisando?” and have student respond by saying: "estoy pisando cuatro". I created a little tune and I was trying to share it here but for some reason I'm unable to do so. Once I figure it out I will upload it so you can hear how it goes so you can use with your students if you wish. When singing or chanting the little tune you can use a percussion instrument such as a drum, tambourine, maracas or claves. Ok so here is the little tune I created called: "¿qué número estás pisando?"
·         Have several mats of the same number on the floor along with the other numbers. So for example you could have three or four mats with the number 3. Explain to students that at the specified clue, everyone should go forward to find and step on the number 3. I usually give my instructions in Spanish even though I am teaching children with no previous background in the language. I speak to them in Spanish and I must say that I’m glad I do because it creates an immersion experience for them and I also realize that it is the best way to actually learn, at lease for young children. It has also proven to me that children more often than not intuitively understand what I am saying.
So here is how this game goes: you will need a drum and a triangle.
Tell students when they hear the drum they will start walking around the numbers. When they hear the triangle they will find the number 3 and step on it. The other students that did not find it fast enough comes back to the initial position. The game can be done several times. As a variation, you can decide to omit the triangle and use only the drum and instead of using the triangle as a clue, you could just say: “Busca y pisa el número 3”. 

·         A variation to game number one is to ask general questions for the children to respond. Example you can ask: “¿quién está pisando el número 5?” and so on. Students respond by saying who is it.
It is recommended that children take off their shoes while playing the mat games. This will prolong the life of the mats. Stepping on them with shoes on will put more ware and tear on the mats. It also helps to keep them clean.

Another fun way to use the number mats is to have children sit on them when its circle time. I often have problem with children been too close to each other which creates distractions and complaints. Sometimes they want to move from one location to another, and so on. Arranging the number mats on the floor helps to give each child their space and it’s a good way to continue to reinforce the numbers. You can say something like: “Sara, siéntate en el número 2 and so on…..
I got these number mats at Lakeshore teacher’s store, but you can also make you own number mats using yoga mats and number stencils.
Number Flash Cards in Spanish
If you are looking for number flash cards you can check out the ones above here.
Thanks for stopping by. 
Hope these ideas were helpful. Your comments and feedback are appreciated. Stay tuned for more ideas on Music and Spanish Fun!
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