Saturday, May 21, 2016

I Can Pour A Cup

Just reading that title made you thirsty, didn't it?  :)
Well, today's post is not about an actual beverage, but instead it's about measuring with cups.

Many of the students I serve are learning about different methods of measurement.
So, I wrote a song to help students learn about liquid measuring cups specifically.

I wrote this song in order to help students understand three things: 
1.  the action of measuring with a measuring cup-you pour from the bottom to the top
2.  you measure as the liquid moves up-you look for the lines on the cup
3.  fractions are used in measurement (identifying 1/4, 1/2, and 1 cup)

I've been singing this song a lot the past two weeks.  The rhyming in the repetitive chorus has helped students pick it up quickly.  I also added some simple actions to the chorus.
The chorus lyrics are below along with the actions I added.

Oh, I can pour a cup (pretend to hold a cup and make a pouring motion with your hand)
from the bottom to the top (point to floor, then point to ceiling)
and measure all the way up (extend arms straight out, palms up, and hands rise up in front of you as you sing, "all the way up")

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more songs about measurement!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Sounds of Spring

If you take a walk outside in the morning you will definitely hear Spring everywhere!
There are birds tweeting, bees buzzing, the breeze blowing and many more sounds we can hear.

Lately I've been singing a lot about the sounds of Spring with the students I serve.  I added sound effects to this song via the smartboard (wind, buzzing, tweeting), and the students were even more interested!

The students love making their own sounds as well.  We also learned the sign language for each sound (wind, bee, bird), and we sign as we sing.  Signing has helped many of the students focus on the particular words we are singing in the song greatly!

Here's the song below.  If you like it, you can purchase it for just $1 by clicking on the song title.  

What songs about Spring have you been enjoying lately?  
As always, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

All things Spring

Happy Spring!

Last week was spring break for us and I enjoyed a break from the busy schedule of each weekday.  I was disappointed that I was sick most of last week and lost my voice (along with many other music therapy friends I correspond with), but I was so glad to not have to use up sick days at work as well.

So far, this week has been a week full of songs about spring!
I'm putting together a collection of songs I have written along with songs I'm working on currently for an album entitled "All things Spring".  My next few blog posts will feature songs from this collection.

Today I'm sharing one of my favorites.  It's a song about the parts of a plant:  the roots, stem, leaves and flower.  This song includes short explanations of the job of each part of the plant also.  

Plants have four parts
Count them "1, 2, 3, 4"
The roots and the stem, the leaves and the flowers.

The roots absorb water and nutrients underground.  The roots help hold the plant in the ground.
The stem moves water to the rest of the plant.  The stem helps the plant to stand up above the ground.
The leaves make food for the plant.  The leaves need air, sunlight and nutrients too.
The flower is the pretty part of the plant that we can see.  The flower produces seeds that form new plants.

When I sing this song with students, I incorporate the counting aspect of the song to motivate the students to participate. With younger students, we use our fingers to count while we sing the song. With older students, we sing each number, and I pause after each number to highlight the counting. Using a pause in the music is a great idea if you want to assess and motivate a student participating in an academic skill such as counting, labeling, spelling,etc..

I highly recommend using a visual with this song.  The students learn so much when music and academic information is paired with a visual that they can see and touch.  If you don't want to use a real plant as an example, you can use an artificial plant or a picture of a real plant as well.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Celebrating Special Olympics

Welcome back!
Today I'm sharing a song I just finished.  It's literally hot off the press...or guitar and computer if you will.  :)

Special Olympics is quickly approaching next month and I wanted to write a song to help celebrate it.
I read the motto for special olympics and instantly got to work on writing out a few verses to go with it.

The Special Olympics motto is:
Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.

I know several special olympics athletes here in my town, and I know that they definitely have to have courage to show the world what they can do.  Each year, Special Olympics is a great day of celebrating abilities instead of disabilities.  I really enjoy seeing the athletes receive their medals as each one of them loves being told that they are a winner!

I encourage everyone to go and volunteer your time at a Special Olympics day near you.  You will see pure joy and appreciate every ability you have at the same time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Green Day

Green day (not the band :)), is right around the corner!
I'm posting this a little early so you can check out this song to sing with the students you serve before St. Patrick's Day happens this year.

I wrote this song a couple of years ago, but I sing it with students each year.  Singing songs about holidays is a great way to help students learn about the different holidays throughout the year.  I also use visuals so the students can see the objects the song mentions (in this case:  shamrocks, leprechauns, gold, rainbows,etc..).
Pairing visuals with songs really helps students learn to label objects-especially new objects, new vocabulary, etc..

Here are the lyrics:

Shamrocks and four leaf clovers too
Leprechauns with gold and rainbows too
These are all things that we'll see today on St. Patrick's Day.

I will wear something green today.
Today we celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
Green's the only color that can guarantee no one will pinch me.

Shamrocks and four leaf clovers too
Leprechauns with gold and rainbows too
These are all things that we'll see today on St. Patrick's Day.

What songs do you sing to celebrate St. Patrick's Day?