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What's With All the Singing Anyways?
by Kelly Mikesell
We sing all day. We sing at calendar, we sing in reading,
we sing for math, we sing in science, we sing to line up,
we sing to sit down, we sing when we're excited, and we
sing just for fun.
Most people when they walk by my room probably think, "Is
that the music class?"
I feel so strongly about singing because it works. Plain
and simple. If you use a song to teach a concept, the kids
tend to remember it.
states that, "...there are some activities that you can
do to make their brains more alert and to help improve
learning." Who wouldn't want that? She also talks about
how there are several quick and easy ways to jump start
your students brains. Some examples are tapping elbow,
crossing the midline and touching toes.
An article by Hap Palmer
states, "Why not
work with children's natural desire to move and be actively
involved..." I couldn't agree more. Kids love to wiggle,
jump, flop, sway, clap, sing. Why not use that to help
He also states to, "Make music and movement sessions a
collaboration with the children." In my classroom I get to
choose two songs and they get to choose two songs every
day. In doing this, I get to focus on the skills and songs
I know need to be focused on for the day and they get to
take ownership and choose songs they love.
Another musician I use frequently in my classroom is Jack
Hartmann. Hartmann's music is
skill based and down-right fun. His site states
that, "These nursery rhyme activity songs are curriculum
research based and enhance the important skills children
are required to learn in order to succeed in school." Yep,
sing to succeed! That's powerful.
Hartmann's songs are also a huge hit because there is a
large variety of styles from "cool kid-friendly, reggae,
hip-hop, Latin, rap, pop, country, or rock". This is great
for learning about tempo and style. We use the different
styles of music to create a large "describing word"
Many teachers complain that calendar is long, boring and
they don't want to do it any more. I agree, if it is long
and boring, why do it?
My calendar time is fast, fun, easy to follow, and filled
with music! I also use a lot of silly little songs to keep
them on track. For example, when they are hanging the link
of the day, they sing "I have a chain, what color is it?"
or when they put the straw up for ones, tens, hundreds,
they sing, "I have a straw, where should I put it?" They
are just little tunes to get the kids that spaced out back
I hope that you choose to put a little music into your
day. I think you will see that you and your students will
have fun, the children will retain skills and that behavior
problems will lesson - all with singing!
For more articles on using music in your classroom visit
Research on How Music Promotes Learning.
About the Author:
Kelly is a Kindergarten Teacher in Tampa, Florida with 10 years experience and the creator of www.elementary-teacher-resources.com, where Kindergarten Teachers can find great ideas that are fun, fast and fabulous!
She was born and raised north of Chicago, and went to Illinois State University for a B.S. in Elementary Education and has taught K - 8 Technology, Kindergarten, First Grade, Pre-K, and VE K - 3.
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