Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Implementing Songs (post 2)

Happy Groundhog Day!  If the groundhog is accurate we will get an early spring this year.  Sounds great to me!  In the meantime, I'm going to keep singing about winter. :)
Today I'm posting tips to implement another song from my album,
All things Winter.

"How many Buttons?" combines snowmen with counting.  This song is a great one to use with a group of students while they are learning about winter.  I mostly use this song with students who are kindergarten to second grade.

First, you need to get one of your dice from a board game or purchase one of the big foam die to use with this activity.  The students will take turns rolling the die and counting to do this activity.

Then you need to make a snowman visual.  You can use paper, you can use felt or even a large stuffed animal snowman and use velcro to attach buttons.  (I also use the smart board for this activity and have snowmen on each slide and use the Smart Die that is interactive on each page.  Students come up and tap the die, we count, then use a button image to drag buttons onto a snowman.  The button image is cloned.  If you need a pic of this activity please let me know.).  

When you have your visuals ready, you are ready to go!  I like to ask the students what they put on a snowman and then talk about buttons we are going to use that day.  We clap or pat our knees when I introduce this song and I show the students what we are doing first.  I sing the song, roll the die, model counting how many on the die and then put that many buttons on the snowman visual.  Then I look for a good listener as we sing the song again (patting or clapping to feel the beat) and call a student to come up and roll the die and count.  Then they get to practice counting the buttons and putting them on the snowmen.  We reset the snowman and take the buttons off at the end of each turn (unless you have a couple of snowmen...which would be a great way to use an art activity the students could all make!).  Many times I have students help each other count as we place buttons on the snowman and this helps keep their attention focused.

Stay tuned for more implementation ideas!  Feel free to comment below if you have additional ideas of how to implement this song with the students/clients you see!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Implementing Songs (post 1)

Thanks for stopping by!
As promised in my last post (you can find it here),  I'm posting implementation ideas for songs from my album "All things Winter".  I have used all of the songs in this album this year and have enjoyed trying out new ways to implement then and adapt them as well.

"What I wear in the Snow" is a song I wrote to compliment the book, The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Neitzel.  This book is a great book about winter clothing and is also a good one to read for sequencing objects as well.

One way to implement this song is to have real examples or visuals of the articles of clothing for winter and go over (label) them  first.  You can also say "show me the hat" or "show me the scarf" and show the visuals (being mindful to limit the field of choices for students that need less choices when needed).  You can also create a power point or Smart Notebook presentation to serve as visuals that the students will be able to see.
Next, you can sing the beginning of the song, "Here are the things I wear in the snow.  Show me where they go." and explain that we will be showing where each item goes on our bodies.  If you have a visual made of a body and separate pictures for the articles of clothing, the students can take turns bringing each picture up and placing it where they think it goes.  In many of the classrooms I work in, we first label the articles of clothing and then as I'm singing, we touch where we place each one (i.e. hat-touch head, scarf-touch neck, etc.).
I want to note that I don't always sing all of the articles of clothing in this song.  With certain groups I select certain articles that the students are learning to label and we start there (again-limiting the field of choices). Later we add additional items.
For students that are nonverbal or need assistance via a voice output device, you can program a device called a step by step (ahead of time), to say each article of clothing or a sentence for each article (i.e. "I wear a hat on my head.", "I wear a scarf around my neck.").
I hope these ideas are helpful and lead you to create your own creative ideas!
Stay tuned for more ideas!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

All things Winter

Welcome back to More with Music!

Today I'm excited to share not just a song, but an entire album for all things winter!

I am in the process of bundling numerous singles into albums, so please bear with me.  I decided to start with a winter album since that is our current season and many of us across the country are experiencing winter weather this week.

All things Winter includes songs about dressing for the weather, polar bears and snowmen.  There's something in this album for everyone!

You can look forward to future posts featuring songs from this album with ideas for implementing them into your classes and/or sessions.  If you have any comments or questions, I'd love to hear from you below!

Stay warm and have a great weekend!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
I hope all of you had a restful break and a Merry Christmas.
It's a new year and I can't wait to see what 2016 has in store for all of us!
I'm hitting the ground running and getting a blog post up before I head back to work tomorrow morning.

Today's song share is a simple one.  A teacher I work with requested that I come up with a song to help her students observe the rule that clothes, socks and shoes remain on during the school day.  She was getting tired of verbally redirecting the students and thought a song would be more effective as a reminder.   (She has a creative bunch this year...they may be little, but a couple of them are streakers, there are a handful of shoe launchers and a few of the others really like to go barefoot.)  :)

So, in light of all this potential energy on a day to day basis, I decided to keep it simple and write a piggyback song.  I recorded new lyrics to the tune of "Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes".  This way, we can still incorporate the actions of touching each lyric mentioned in the song as we sing it.  (And you can't really do the action of touching your shirt, pants, etc.. if you don't keep them on ;).  As you'll hear in the song below, I start out slower and gradually increase the speed each time.  Kids love to go faster so I thought this would help keep their attention also.

I'm excited to see how the kids react to this song, (and if it helps them keep their clothes on at school!) :)

As always, thanks for stopping by and reading my blog posts.  I hope they are helpful to you in one way or another.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Turkey Day Prep

Welcome back to More with Music!

As I was reading over my to do list this week I had "blog post" written in bold marker and underlined twice.  It's been on my to do list for quite awhile, but I had to put the blog posts on the back burner in order to keep up with work and life.

Today I'm going to share songs I've been singing in classrooms to get us ready for turkey day.

This week the students have really been enjoying getting up out of their seats and dancing around.  We've been doing the "Turkey Trot"....a lot!

I haven't found an age group yet that doesn't request "Pumpkin Pie" every session.  We sing it with actions and then get the rhythm instruments out and assign parts for each action in the song.  This song wins the award for being catchy and sticking in your head all day long!

Lastly, the younger students are doing a great job learning their colors and learning to sequence items in a song.  The repetitive lyrics in this song give confidence to young singers in my groups.  We also added sign language for each color mentioned in the song.

What have you been singing this week?