Starting Ukuleles

August 29, 2018

That moment when you walk into your classroom and see 25 brand new ukuleles and a cart... it's better than Christmas morning! We were so excited to have our request for ukuleles honored this year! But now I just have to learn to teach it... 

 

Teaching strings and helping students be independent on them is not an easy job, especially when strings are not your forte. This year, Kathryn Finch and I will be developing our own curriculum for teaching the ukulele with student discover and voice as the center motivator. Of course the kids will love them, but we hope to teach them more than how to read out of a book! 

 

What can the ukulele teach? Harmony.... chord structure... rhythm... reading chord charts.... improvisation. But we must start simple. If you search for ukuleles in Seesaw, you will see a series of our activities in the Activity Library. These activities make students responsible for their learning and get them performing and recording from the start. 

 

As you plan, remember to reflect on each each lesson: 

1) Am I planning FOR or WITH my students? Try to maintain a balance and stay away from only top-down instruction. They have a million ideas that are more creative than ours, and giving them choice validates their innate creativity. 

2) Are we making our thinking and learning visible? Part of their educational journey is making real work that has a place in the world. Using sharing formats like social media, Flipgrid, Google Classroom, and Seesaw allow students to launch their work on a global platform. With that comes vulnerability, pride, and constructive criticism. 

 

Click on these free Seesaw activities to use in your classroom: 

Label the parts of the ukulele

Label your strings 

Draw a chord chart 

Record Skip To My Lou

 

How do you teach ukulele? What is your driving force? How do your students respond? Please share! If you're curious about Seesaw or Flipgrid, check out our pages on them or feel free to contact us!

@singingfinch1

@abigailsblair

 

 

 

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