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Got Winter Plans?

January can hit hard!! We've come off the holidays, and now we're all cold and kids are stuck indoors... or at least more than usual!! These can be some of my hardest months for planning! SO, I wanted to show you 2 of my FAVORITE Winter Plans for that January slump!

I use one plan FOR A WHOLE MONTH, rotating and changing up the same strategies/songs in different ways - hang on til the end to catch my tips for using a single song 4 ways!


You can find my Wild Winter and Swirling Snow plans, along with 3 other winter themed session plans, PLUS all of the chords, visuals, printables, and demo videos you need to rock the winter in my 245-page pdf Winter Bundle, but you'll get tips here for how I plan them, too, if you'd rather create your own plans!! (P.S. Use the code Hello24 for $20 off!!)


Bundle up and let's get started... it just me, or do these winter months effect our energy as adults?? I just want to curl up with some cocoa and a cozy blanket.... but the kids on the other hand?? They have SO MUCH ENERGY!!


SO, we adapt! I always love including movement, but in the winter, I ramp it up!



MOVEMENT |


Movement songs can be as simple as dancing around to a favorite song, dancing with scarves to an instrumental piece like "Joy" by: George Winston, or using a parachute and snowflakes while singing "Let it Go" from Disney's Frozen! I like to also include structured movement songs!


In my Wild Winter plan, I use Winter Is Here (where we go from sitting to big full body movements like twirling around or scampering our feet while "shivering" in the cold). Listen to it on Spotify here, or wherever you stream music (just search Patina Jackson :) And another song Arctic Animals Sing their Song (which transitions them to a seated movement song - show your polar bear paws, or wave your arms as you soar like a puffin!).


In the Swirling Snow plan, we rap to What Month is It? Where we rock the January dance (great for teens too!!), and we pretend we're snowflakes as we float, swirl, twirl, and even spin before we land on the ground in Swirling and Twirling (listen here!) ;) (sneak peek of some of the materials for the plan below!!)



READING & LANGUAGE |


In the schools we also focus a lot on language, communication, reading and pre-reading skills! I LOVE to sneak academic skills INTO our other songs, so you've already heard about THREE songs that address these goals WHILE moving!


The visuals for Winter is Here (both a google slides version and printable file folder activity), provide opportunities to read and label items!! There are one word labels like, "snowflake" and "wind" and full sentence labels for reading as you sing "snowflakes fall down" "the wind twirls them around."


In Arctic Animals Sing Their Song, students identify animals while they move and sing!



Visuals for The Mitten support reading and comprehension, by providing opportunities for interactive play and making connections while you read and sing! Pick your favorite winter themed singable book! OR make a book singable by choosing a simple familiar tune (like twinkle, twinkle, little star) and write a theme to repeat as you turn each page! For the mitten, we sing to the Farmer in the Dell "The mitten in the snow, the mitten in the snow. Help us please, so we won't freeze, the mitten in the snow."


Address prepositions with Arctic Animals All Around, by placing the snowy owl ON TOP of the mountain, the orca UNDER the water, and the polar bear IN FRONT OF the glacier, for example! The Winter Bundle includes both google slides and printable file folder versions!



Snowflake, Snowflake, What Do You See? (listen here!) from the Swirling and Twirling plan, follows the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle and uses the repeated phrase "(color) (noun), (color) (noun) what do you see?" to help with reading, color identification and more!


MATH |


Bring in felt or paper snowflakes, or a collection of arctic animal figurines, and sing a counting song!! I sing 10 Little Snowflakes to the tune of 10 Little Fingers (listen here)! Students can count up or down, add or subtract!



LIFE SKILLS |


As important to our students as math and reading, are life skills! Use the simple, fillable songwriting template in New Year for goal setting! OR prepare to get dressed for winter with the rap When It's Cold in the Winter, where you'll go through everything you need to bundle up for winter - BONUS: both of these are great for our middle school and high school students in special education, too! Listen to When It's Cold in the Winter, here!



INSTRUMENT PLAY |


Giving busy bodies and hands something to hold, play and explore is a win-win! Instruments are engaging, rewarding and allow us to make music TOGETHER, no words necessary!


You can simply take turns playing instruments along to your favorite winter songs like Frosty the Snowman or Sleigh Ride (if you need ideas, check out my Spotify playlist with my favorite winter songs)!



HERE'S WHERE IT GETS REALLY FUN!!


Remember when I shared that I can expand and adapt one of these themes all month long? This is one of the ways I do it! Take When It's Cold in the Winter, for example! Maybe the first time I introduce it, I use the visual (either the printable version, or I can just pull the pdf up on a tablet or classroom screen for a quick print-free option!). Next time I come in, I might bring in the actual items! We can practice putting on a scarf, mittens and coat (bonus if they have their own winter wear to practice with!!). The next session I might come up with a dance move to imitate the motion of putting on each item (i.e. I reach down to the floor with two hands and pull up, like I'm putting on socks, or I put my hands in the air like I'm putting my arms in a sweater)! Finally, I may bring in instruments to represent each of the 8 items! In the recording you might notice different percussion sounds as each item is named (cabasa, guiro, shaker, bells, etc.!) When you hear the item, you make the sound!


One song, 4 ways!! Can you imagine all of the learning and connections and generalizations happening as you adapt each week?? Dreamy, right??



Grab the Winter Bundle for 5 complete winter-themed session plans (don't forget to use the code Hello24 for $20 off!!), or have fun creating your own plans using some of these tips!


I hope you have some AMAZING winter sessions packed with movement, learning, playing and growing together!


Spread JOY!

<3, Patina Joy

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