Day 1 was all about drums. Mother Goose Time always has meaningful ways of including multicultural ideas and concepts in each theme. The instrument craft and the movement pattern cards both featured the Japanese hand drum. This was not lost on the students or the Japanese teachers, who were very impressed that things from their culture would be included in an American curriculum.
During morning meeting, we sat in a "drum circle" and played the name game with the wood pieces from the Handwriting Without Tears kit. We went around the circle and tapped out the syllables for each child's name. We practiced doing it fast and slow, and then students took turns being the "leader" and tapping a different rhythm for the rest of the class to follow.
Everyone was very excited about the new shape connector manipulatives. There are so many ways to play with them! They even tried to make some structures by "connecting" some of the classroom musical instruments together.
I tried to encourage them to play the instrument matching game, but they were more interested in playing "I spy" with magnifying glasses and the theme-web poster. They still used the cards in their game, so it was a win-win.
At the end of the day, they asked to hear "Pa Rum Pa Pum Pum" (The Little Drummer Boy). They sang that in English for last year's (2014) Christmas program, and in Japanese for this year's (2015) program. I love that they remembered and made that connection with the music.