Sunday I shared with you my thoughts on why music is so powerful and one way to use music in your classroom. If you missed that post you can find it here. Today I would like to share with you some other ways to use music in your classroom. This first way just my be my absolute favorite and I start this on Day 1. I love using music to teach and facilitate classroom procedures. I will be the first to admit that I haven’t always done this. But after finding Harry Kindergarten, I haven’t looked back! Who is Harry Kindergarten you ask? Well, Mr. Harry is a kindergarten teacher in Pennsylvania who loves using music and movement in his classroom too! He is also very talented when it comes to composing music and creating videos. He has a huge library on You Tube of classroom ready songs and videos. Many of these videos are on content (like the writing video in yesterday’s post) but many are procedure based. On Day 1 I started teaching my kiddos our classroom procedures using many of Mr. Harry’s videos.
Picture this, its the first day of school. All my sweet kiddos are sitting at their desk coloring or playing with playdough while I welcome in other students and hug teary eyed parents. Then the bell rings and its time to start our first day. I don’t start by talking, I start by playing this:
While its playing for the first time, I walk to the carpet area and motion with my hands for the students to come and sit. It works like wonders. Later in the day I go back and we talk about this song. I explain that any time they hear this song, they should stop what they are doing, push their chair in, and walk to the carpet just like the song says. We also go through the words of the song and how we should have bodies doing the same thing. We play it again and then we practice. Off to our seats, back to the carpet, off to our seats, back to the carpet kind of like a game. The kids love it! Without saying a word I can have the class on the carpet. But just being on the carpet isn’t enough, we have to be ready to learn. So the next song I introduce is this one:
Oh man, does this one quickly become a favorite! We follow the same procedure as before. Play the song, talk about the words, talk about what our bodies should look like, and practice, practice, practice! Play the two songs back to back and you ready to go without saying a single word. At the beginning of the year I usually do this from the front of the room computer so that I can watch and address any behaviors that need to be addressed. Don’t want bad habits forming on day 1 do we. But by the end of the year I can be putting away my supplies from a reading group and start the music from my iPad. By the time I’m done and ready the kids are on the carpet and ready too! I have found that it saves those precious minutes here and there! Here’s two more of my go-to Mr. Harry songs during the first days of school.
It is amazing to see an entire room of 5 year olds stop and clean up just after hearing 1-2 seconds of a song. Thank you Mr. Harry for transforming my classroom procedures! If you would like to check out more of Mr. Harry’s videos and songs you can find his You Tube channel by clicking the picture below:
But I don’t just use Mr. Harry’s songs for my procedures. Many others have great procedure or classroom management songs. Listen to this one from HeidiSongs on the different voice levels.
I also really love this one that I just found on lining up by Musical-Playground . I can’t wait to use it in my classroom this year!
After finding the line-up song I had to see what else Musical-Playground had and I found this super fun clean-up song called “Tidy Up Rhumba.”
When you have a chance stop by and see what else Musical-Playground has. I know that I will!
I am sure by this point, at least one of you is asking why all these videos? Can’t we just sing? Absolutely. The reason that I love the videos is because I have access to the visual representation of the music, but I don’t always use it! When I am first introducing the song I do use the video. However, once the kids know the song it is very likely that I won’t use the projector with the song and we will just sing the song.
I don’t know about you but I quite often just break out into song when I want my kids to line up or do something like that. I pick a catchy tune and just start singing. Sometimes it works out great – the song I mean – and I keep it and use it over and over. Sometimes not so much. What I really love are those times when I sing something that is a little kooky or doesn’t rhyme and someone looks at me funny. I usually respond with “what was wrong with that?” Then we do a quick little lesson on rhyming on logical connections!
I hope that you have found some fun new songs to help with your classroom procedures – I know that I did! Do you have any favorite songs for classroom procedures? Please leave a comment and share them with us. Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow for The Power of Music Part 3 – Brain Breaks!