Our school is a SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) building. Which really is a way for ELL teachers to better aid their students. My school has a high population of ELL students and our whole staff has done training on SIOP to better incorporate some strategies and activities to help strengthen their vocabulary. I wasn't sure what this would offer me as a music specialist, but then realized that I gained a TON of different ways to teach music vocabulary and concepts to my students in really fun, interactive ways.
One strategy or game that I LOVE to do with my students is called Quiz-Quiz-Trade. This week I played this game with my Kindergartners to review Letter Names on the staff (which they learned via the Freddie the Frog stories).
NOTE: If you are not familiar with Freddie the Frog--check him out here! He has been a WONDERFUL addition to my classroom. Sharon Burch is a genius!
Now, the way Quiz-Quiz-Trade work is like this. Usually students have a flashcard of some sort. They then face a partner and each take turns asking a question about that flashcard (QUIZ-QUIZ). In this case they were asking "What is this place?" Trying to get the answer for Treble Clef Island where Freddie and his friends lives. Once each of them answered correctly (giving some clues to help if they were struggling), they would TRADE their cards and find a new partner. Kids looking for a partner would need to raise their hand and find another kid doing the same thing. Got that idea from one of our 2nd grade teachers and it works really well when they are looking for a new partner. This activity can last 5 minutes if you want just a quick review for them OR up to 15-20 minutes if each kid has something different.
You can also do this activity with rhythm cards. Part of the activity is not just about the content, but about practicing language skills...asking a question, answering correctly, etc. So in the case of doing rhythms...I would have a 4 beat rhythm pattern fitting the age group, of course, and they would say to their partner "Say this rhythm." or "Clap this rhythm" or "Clap and Say this rhythm." You can do it with ANYTHING that you want students to gain more knowledge about. Instruments of the Orchestra, Tempo Terms, Dynamics Terms, etc...the list is endless!
Some resources that are pretty great for SIOP can be found on the Kagan Website. They are always coming up with new strategies and activities. Check them out here. And they have even come out with Music Resources!!! And I'm SO pumped to use them! Both Match Mine Music and Cooperative Learning and & Music can be found on the Kagan Website.