The PE teacher and I are working on a Peer Collaboration project this year to track and nurture student beat keeping abilities. I love working with the PE teacher, as so much of what we do builds off of each other. We started the year tracking first grades' individual ability to keep the beat (marching the beat in the PE assessment/patting the beat in the music assessment). Then, we have been doing many of the same activities in both classes to reinforce beat keeping skills, giving the students practice on an activity twice a week between both classes.
We just did a mid-year assessment, and students are showing great improvement. It is amazing to watch them grow.
As part of this project, we've been designing activities together. We recently ordered these LED Batons for beat keeping practice. All students are given a lighted baton, we turn off the lights, and the music begins. It is the students job to copy the teacher's beat keeping movements to the beat of the music. The foam sticks provide lots of ways to practice beat keeping, and the GLOWING is thrilling for first graders. We've expanded this lesson outside of first grade as well, for beat keeping review and it is a HIT! Katie Perry's song, "Firework," is a favorite beat keeping tune at our school.