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Singing While Dancing to Learn Basic Math by Susan Kramer
(click on the staff to hear the melody)

Marching, marching
2 by 2
Joining hands to
make us 4
Marching, marching
4 by 4
Marching, marching
4 by 4



Text; Music; Songs; Choreography;
Illustrations copyright 2001-2004 Susan Kramer
Santa Barbara, California USA
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

susan@susankramer.com

Adding; Subtracting; Counting; Sets
Mathematics
Sung and Danced


Contents

I. Introduction

II. Basic Math Skills Included
1. Counting
2. Addition
3. Subtraction
4. Sets

III. Rhythmic Movements
1. Marching
2. Galloping
3. Sliding
4. Skipping
5. Arm Swinging

IV. Songs for Singing while Dancing
1. Skipping -  Counting
skill: counting 1-8
2. Marching - Adding
skill: addition 4+4=8
3. Galloping - Adding
skill: addition 2+2=4
4. Sliding - Sets
skills:  a whole; set of half to the right; set of half to the left
5. Skipping - Adding; Subtracting
skills: addition 4+4=8; subtraction 8-4=4
6. Arms Swinging and Skipping - Sets
skill: 2 sets of 4 equals 8
7. Skipping - Sets
skill: 4 sets of 2
8. Marching - Sets
skill: sets of 2 becoming sets of 4
9. Galloping - Sets
skills: sets and subtraction; 8-2=6; 6-2=4; 4-2=2; 2-2=0

V. Links
 
 
I. Introduction

The focus of this text is learning basic math skills. The songs, when danced, help instill in the student the 'meaning' of counting, addition, subtraction, and sets.

My theory is that it is easiest to learn when more of the senses are used than just hearing or seeing; that feeling the body move in space dynamically, uses more of the senses, and with spirited energy applied it is somatic education.

Rhythmic bodily movement uses both sides of the brain as the right brain mostly controls the actions of the left side of the body and the left brain mostly controls actions on the right side of the body. Music and movement use both sides of the brain in coordination.

Body to mind using the senses
Mind to body for action

The dancing and songs can be adapted for those challenged. If the student can not dance, substitute hand clapping or have a partner help them clap hands. Go to my text Adaptive Rhythmic Movement; Children to Seniors for more ideas: http://www.susankramer.com/Adaptive.html
 
II. Basic Math Skills Included

Counting: 1-8

Addition:
1+1=2
2+2=4
4+4=8

Subtraction:
8-4=4
8-2=6
6-2=4
4-2=2
2-2=0

Sets:
2; 4; 6; 8; half; whole

These skills are repeated in the words of the songs, and the dance steps are made of sequences to match; math sung and danced.
 
III. Rhythmic Movements; Descriptions

Protocols


1. Marching

Brisk even steps.
Supporting leg remains straight.
Working knee bends
with thigh raised parallel to floor.
Many directions and patterns possible.
Arms swing in opposition, one forward, one back,
(arm of the front leg swings back).




2. Galloping

Rhythmic loping movements
leading with the same foot forward throughout.
Front foot steps forward
and back foot pulls up to front foot with a shuffle.
Arms in opposition, (as described in marching).




3. Sliding

Many variations of basic step
of keeping knees slightly bent
while feet slide along the floor.
One foot leads, the other slides to meet it,
and then the opposite foot leads.
Arm position varies:
Hands on waist; arms outstretched to sides;
arms in opposition for big slides.




4. Skipping

Series of step-hops changing lead foot after hop.
One knee is raised, thigh parallel to floor.
Arms swing from shoulders, one forward, one back,
in opposition to knee that is raised in front.




5. Arm Swinging

Stand in place, feet slightly apart for balance.
Swing arms high:
stretch arms forward then overhead.
Swing arms low:
from position of arms overhead
bend body forward at waist,
hands almost to floor.
then return to upright position with arms out to sides or on waist.
 
 
IV. Songs for Singing while Dancing

Protocols

Music and Words to Songs

Each bar of music has 4 counts and represents one line of the text written in the verse below it.

Note: The bars of music have been kept in 4/4 time to emphasize the math skills, even though skipping is usually done to 6/8 time.

Repeat the text as many times as desired.

Clapping each count would be clapping each syllable of the numbers and most of the words, making these practice for a language lesson, also.


1st song and dance follow:
(click on the staff to hear the melody)

1. Skipping; Counting
skill: counting 1-8

sing:
Skipping, skipping
while we sing,
1, 2, 3, 4,
5, 6, 7, 8.

dance technique:
While singing,
students skip in a circle or line
with arms in opposition or out to sides.
See explanation of skipping in Part III.


2. follows next:
(click on the staff to hear the melody)

2. Marching; Adding
skill: addition 4+4=8

sing:
Here we go,
marching slow,
4 plus 4 is
8 we know.

dance technique:
While singing, students march,
swinging arms in opposition.
Use lines or circles or other shapes.
See explanation of marching in Part III.


3. follows next:
(click on the staff to hear the melody)

3. Galloping; Adding
skill: addition 2+2=4
 

sing:
Gallop like a
horse we go,
2 plus 2 is
4 that's so.

dance technique:
While singing,
students gallop in lines or other shapes,
arms out to sides or in opposition.
See explanation of galloping in Part III.


4. follows next:
(click on the staff to hear the melody)

4. Sliding; Sets
skills: whole; set of half to the right; set of half to the left;
'repeat the line of music 2x for the song'
 

sing:
Sliding, sliding
in a line,
half slide right and
half slide left.
Sliding, sliding,
back together
Sliding, sliding
in a line.

dance technique:
For a multiple of 4 students, ie. 8, 12, 16, 20 etc.
Students form a single file line and take 4 slides forward.
Then, the first two in line slide to the right 4 times;
simultaneously, the next 2 in line slide left 4 times.
Then, everyone takes 4 slides back together,
to form a straight line.
and all take 4 slides forward in the line.
The technique for sliding is explained in Part III.
Arms out to the side or on the waist for balance.
The line of music needs to be repeated twice
to complete the song and dance sequence.


5. follows next:
(click on the staff to hear the melody)

5. Skipping; Adding; Subtracting
skills: addition 4+4=8; subtraction 8-4=4

sing:
4 from the right,
4 from the left,
8 skip in our
circle now...
2 leave right,
2 leave left,
4 are in our
circle now...

dance technique:
A dance for 8 students at a time.
4 stand on each side of the room in preparation.
The group of 4 from the right side skip 4 times to center.
Next, the group of 4 from the left side skip 4 times to center
joining in the circle which the first 4 have already formed.
Then all 8 skip an additional 8 times in the circle shape.
A pre-determined 2 leave circle by skipping right 4 times
and 4 skips later another 2 skip left 4 times out of circle.
The remaining 4 take another 8 skips in circle.
For explanation of skipping see Part III.
Arms in opposition, out to sides, or on waist.


6. follows next:
(click on the staff to hear the melody)

6. Arms Swinging and Skipping; Sets
skill: 2 sets of 4 equals 8
 

sing:
Swing arms high,
skipping in a
circle we go.
4 skips arms up,
4 skips arms down,
2 sets of 4
make 8 skips now.

dance technique:
Students skip in a circle
for all 8 bars of music
alternating arms up overhead for 4 skips
and down to sides for 4 skips.
Explanation of skipping technique is in Part III.


7. follows next:
(click on the staff to hear the melody)

7. Skipping; Sets
skill: 4 sets of 2

sing:
8 of us are
in a line,
skipping, skipping
skipping, skipping.
Turn and take a
partner now,
4 sets of 2
skipping, skipping.

dance technique:
8 students form a line across the room
all facing forward, not holding hands.
Skip forward 16 times.
Using 4 counts, turn to face back,
each set of 2 taking hands with a partner.
Skip back to beginning place for remaining 12 counts.
Explanation of skipping technique is in Part III.


8. follows next:
(click on the staff to hear the melody)

8. Marching; Sets
skill: sets of 2 becoming sets of 4
sing:
Marching, marching
2 by 2.
Joining hands to
make us 4.
Marching, marching,
4 by 4.
Marching, marching,
4 by 4.

dance technique:
A multiple number of 4 students, ie. 4, 8, 12, 16, 20 etc.
form a line across the room facing forward,
joining hands with a partner.
With partner take 8 slow marches forward,
2 counts to each march.
Then each set of 2 joins hands
with another set of 2 next to them to make a set of 4
and takes 8 slow marches forward,
2 counts to a march.
Explanation of marching in Part III.
Arms that are not joined are on waist
so students do not bump each other.
The whole sequence could be reversed
to turn and go back to beginning place.


9. follows next:
(click on the staff to hear the melody)

9. Galloping; Sets
skills: sets and subtraction; 8-2=6; 6-2=4; 4-2=2; 2-2=0

sing:
First we're 8 all
in a circle.
2 gallop away
then we're 6.
2 gallop away
then we're 4.
2 gallop away
then we're 2.
2 gallop away
then there's none!

dance technique:
A set of 8 students form a circle
front to back, either moving in a clockwise
or counter-clockwise direction.
Use one beat of music per gallop.
All students gallop 8 times in the circle.
Then every eight beats
2 students gallop out of the circle
till none remain.
For an explanation of galloping go to Part III.
Ams out to the side, on the waist, or in opposition.


V. Links

Susan Kramer, M.A. is an international author of more than 50 collections and 150 articles on rhythmic movement, modern dance, ballet, music, philosophy, relationships, social issues, yoga and practical spirituality for children, teens, adults and those challenged, with some translations in Dutch, French, German and Spanish, and with her husband, Stan Schaap- http://www.powertoshare.com resides in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


email   susan@susankramer.com
biography  http://www.susankramer.com/Biography.html


http://www.thegateway.org

A special thanks to Kees Schaap for feedback and testing the musical scores.

created April 11, 2001; updated March 26, 2011 | webmaster