IHSD East Palo Alto Head Start Teacher Lucia was featured in The Big Lift’s February newsletter under Teacher Connection Corner.

IHSD East Palo Alto Head Start teacher Lucia Alvarez completed edWeb.net’s webinar “Supporting Young Children’s Emerging Math Skills with Developmentally Appropriate Music Activities” at the encouragement of their Big Lift Coach John Fernandez. Teacher Lucia learned that music, songs, and movement activities are fun, engaging ways to support young children’s emerging math skills.

Working with their coach, the classroom teachers set the following SMART goal : “In order for children to learn patterning, the teachers will sing songs with patterns and verbalize the patterns to the children at the Circle Area during Music-and-Movement for a month”

Teachers focused on extending children’s skills in pattern, sequence, and counting through music. Children and teachers use different musical instruments and follow rhythmic chants to create patterns. For example, children practice patterns by singing the song “Head, shoulder, knees and toes” and following the song instructions by pointing their body parts.

We can tell the children understood patterning by their ability to recognize, reproduce, and create patterns of varying complexity. To support our children in improving their patterning skills, the teachers use different strategies and activities, such as the following:
Each child chooses a musical instrument

Teacher Lucia explains how to create a pattern by using musical instruments and their bodies.

Teacher Lucia shows the children a pattern to follow (3 ups-4 downs-5 hops)
With the music on, the children do the pattern together with Teacher Lucia.