Have I told you how much I love teaching in Oklahoma? I'm not from the state originally, but I have to love it because living here means I can show this video and justify it as Social Studies!Yes, that is Hugh Jackman! Who knew that he did musicals, right? My students love this video - we know it so well that we can sing it from beginning to end, even though only the middle part is actually our state anthem!
Since I'm on the topic of videos, the other day we were reading a Mr. Putter and Tabby book and I was actually showing it on the Smartboard under the Elmo. This allowed my students to notice that Mrs. Teaberry had two pictures above her bed. One said "Home, Sweet Home." and the other said "There's no business like show business!" Hmm, was Mrs. Teaberry an actress when she was younger?! Well, anyways, my students had never heard the phrase so I quickly pulled up a video of the Muppets' rendition of the song. Gotta build that background knowledge right?
By the way, if you teach K - 2nd and haven't read the Mr. Putter and Tabby books yet, you are missing out! They are great for teaching prediction - we look at the title page and read the chapter titles and try to figure out what is going to happen at the beginning, middle and end. My kiddos are so tickled when their predictions are correct, and they're really picking up on story sequencing! My hands down favorite so far is:
In fact, when I think about it, I play music almost all day long! If it's not a video teaching my kiddos addition, it's a song about digraphs. I usually play a book on cd during lunch, but often my students will request songs instead. Our deal is that they eat silently during the songs or story and then afterwards they get to talk. This means that most of their food gets eaten so I don't have to deal with hungry, cranky children in the afternoon!
It's also great to get the kids up and moving, especially during the afternoon slump when they start zoning out a little and need to get that blood pumping back up to their brains again! Some of our favorite dance songs are from these two cds:
We really like Jack Hartmann's "The Silly Pirate Song" (great for sequencing!), "The Cowboy Dance" and "The Hip Hop Tooty-Ta"! Oh, and if your kiddos are learning to rhyme, his "Make a Rhyme, Make a Move" song is great! Stephen Fite's "Okie Pokie" is hilarious (although that may be a regional thing :) and I love his "Old MacDonald's Blend Farm" too!
When you're ready to have them settle down again, this song always works like a charm - it's so pretty and the students love to watch Jack Hartmann do the sign language and try to follow along. We did it for our kindergarten promotion ceremony last year and it was a big hit!
Oh, and just for fun, when we have a few minutes to fill between activities:
If you don't have youtube access at school (ours gets turned off during testing time since the middle school and high school students need the bandwidth for their online tests) you can always download them at home to play at school on a thumb drive. Here's an article form PC World about an easy way to download youtube videos.
One of the best parts of teaching the little ones is that they always think you're a great singer, so I often break into song just because I can. In fact, when certain children are not listening, again, singing the directions always gets their attention! It also breaks tension quite nicely, so whenever I start getting frustrated (and let's be honest, teaching a roomful of 5 years olds does get frustrating at times) I start a little song and soon we are all in a much better mood. Music soothes the savage beast and the cranky kinder!
Last year I has several students who still needed a nap, while others didn't. My solution was to play quiet videos like this one - the children who needed to slept, while the children who couldn't sleep were at least quiet and still:
They loved watching the fish and were enchanted by the diver in the aquarium!
Anyways, this is a long post that is probably going to eat up tons of bandwidth, but I thought I would share the music that makes me smile. I'd love it if you'd rustle up a response and let me know if you have any go-to songs too!