Success with the Total Fun games in your classroom

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Trying to teach and play an entire activity from Total Fun in the space of one lesson is a bad idea and is likely to take the fun out of the activity. Good planning and teaching will enable the majority of your students to be drawn into the games and ensure that more students have a successful and enjoyable experience.

When taught well, musical games are an adventure that unfolds over an extended period of time. For this reason, all the activities in Total Fun feature a suggested teaching sequence.

I never spend more than 10 minutes working on a single activity with middle school children. It often takes me 6 to 8 lessons to teach a single game. Each time the class experiences the game, there is a revision of concepts learned previously and then fresh challenges await – some more words or actions to learn and a natural progression towards playing the game in its entirety.

For example, with some games we will start by reciting the text of the song and just keeping a steady beat.  If the game requires players to perform actions in partner groups, we will always start out performing the actions individually, often in a circle formation so that all players can see each other. As the actions become better known, I will use children who are secure with the concepts to demonstrate or model game play for others.

Even after your class appears to have mastered a particular game, there are always techniques to extend them. Students can be engaged to find creative variations or challenging new twists on the original concept. Total Fun makes it easy for you to do this. Most of the activities offer suggested variations to get you started with this!

Enjoy! Darren

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