These cards should be used in order. The sequence of the cards is such that each Blue Jello symbol is introduced on one card, then practiced with previously learned symbols, then a new one is introduced. This provides repetition and enough new material to keep students engaged and entertained.
When a card has a new symbol, continue without pausing to explain or teach. Your students will enjoy the surprise and imitate you. This helps the game be about learning independently rather than students being taught.
Older students will study the guide cards and be ready, but younger students may not even look at the guide cards. Both methods are correct. They may need help on how to make the hand signs as they look at your fingers and study the guide cards. It is normal for this skill to develop naturally over time.
Each card is usually read one time at a tempo of about mm = quarter note = 60. Keep a steady pace with perfectly accurate rhythms. Your voice will set the example.
Pronunciation of Blue Jello Words
Listen carefully if someone says a Blue Jello word more like it is pronounced in real life so you can correct it right away. You can say, “Of course we wouldn’t say, ‘Would you like a bowl of jel-lo,’ right? We’d say, “Would you like a bowl of jello?’ However, since we’re using these words to learn even rhythms, we want to say them musically and rhythmically.”
Using Blue Jello Hand Signs
Say the rhythms and hand signs together to guide throughout the game.
When pointing to the cards, keep your fingers low and steady over beats rather than bouncing up as this is easier for students to model.
Be sure to say “blue” for the full quarter beat each time and not just a short “blue blue . . .” and only a light pulse for too-oo and four-or-or-or.
Use your voice for encouragement and praise and as needed, to help students with hand signs. Following most cards say, “Well done” or “Good, steady beat”.
Laughter is common as students find certain rhythms humorous.
To encourage focus and keep momentum use only one quarter rest between cards (drop plop scooch, rest). However, now and then it is okay to stop and talk about a card for a moment or occasionally repeat one when needed.
The Pitch of Your Voice
Be aware that the pitch of your voice is not too low for the children.
How Many Cards
The number of cards used in a session depends on the age of the students, how many times they have worked with the cards, and how much time is available. Three-year-olds may say five cards while students six years and older may do twenty cards. Some students might want to read all of side 1.
The first time I showed these cards to my 18-month-old grandson, he sat in my lap and we read all 54 cards without a break or a wiggle. Except he would laugh whenever I did "two-oo" or "fo-o-o-our.
Whatever the circumstances, finish before they are tired. “This will be the last card for today.”