Sunday, July 28, 2013

Calendar Songs

Welcome back to More with Music!

I hope you are having a great summer and hopefully finding some downtime to rest and relax.  I've been working on songs here and there and am starting to put a few new songs down on paper for the upcoming school year.

To help make life easier for the upcoming school year, I recently recorded songs for each month to help with calendar skills.  I got the idea for doing songs for each month from the amazingly talented music therapist (and new mom!), Rachel Rambach.  Click here to visit Rachel's site and hear her wonderful songs as well!  I love reading Rachel's blog and love listening to her songs even more.  Her ideas are super creative and smart and she inspires me to think of so many additional ideas.

Today I'm posting my song for the month of August.  Around here, the students go back to school in mid- to late August, so I wrote the song to reflect that.  Most of the schools in my area (other than a few private schools), have also implemented a uniform for school, so I included that in the song as well.

Each month I will be posting a song of the month.  I use these songs as part of my group sessions in classrooms.  I design visuals to go along with each song and incorporate Boardmaker pictures to provide a visual for each holiday, special day, etc..  The students are always eager to see what each new month will bring!

Do you need songs to help with your lessons for the upcoming school year?  Email me at with your song request and your song request could be featured here on More with Music!

As always, thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Don't forget the kangaroo!

Welcome back to More with Music!

I'm really enjoying the less hectic schedule of my summer break.  I'm also enjoying the nice emails I have received this week regarding my song posts here on More with Music!  Thank you to all of you who read and listen to my blog posts!

Today's post is another song post (yes!).  I'm sure you're wondering about the title of this blog post.  It is rather unusual :).
The title, "Don't forget the kangaroo", is actually a sneak peak at some of the lyrics for today's song entitled, "Vertebrates".

Students learn about all kinds of animals and their classifications in the classroom.  They learn that some animals are mammals, some are vertebrates, and some are reptiles.  Vertebrates are animals(and humans), that have at least one thing in common - they all have a backbone.

This song mentions many animals that are classified as vertebrates including:  fish, birds, alligators, monkeys, gorillas, tigers, whales, dolphins, mice, kangaroo!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Around the Seasons, part 2

Welcome back to More with Music!

Yesterday, I posted about a song that is about the four seasons called, "Around the Seasons".  If you missed that post, you can scroll down, or click here.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I used SMART Notebook software to create an interactive resource for teachers to use with their students.

To begin, I created a page for each season.  I also split up the song into specific seasons and inserted each song into its corresponding season page.  I then used Boardmaker software pictures to represent key words mentioned in the song for each season.  (Some of these pictures had to be imported due to the fact that I don't always find what I'm looking for when making picture cards with Boardmaker.)  I "cloned" each picture so that as students touch them, they can move them across the smart board screen.  Lastly, I created empty "boxes" to serve as "answer spaces", where students will drag their pictures.
Students first listen to the song, and then try to recall what they heard and which pictures are associated with that specific season.  The students can come up to the SMART board to touch and drag their answers to the empty boxes on top.

Many teachers reported that this was a great tool to assess their students individually, in terms of what they chose when they come up to the board.  A teacher can select a student to choose the answers they think are correct, and then review why their answers are right or wrong.  After that, the teacher can play the song again (see the speaker icon on the left side of the pic?), and students can be involved in checking their answers.  And since each season has its own page, specific seasons can be reviewed daily, if needed, for repetition in a fun way---with music!

As always, thanks for stopping by!  If you have any questions please email me at

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Around the Seasons

Welcome back to More with Music!

Today I'm sharing a song that I have shared before.  The teachers that I work with use this song quite often, and especially when there is a season change.

We all know and observe many different things associated with each season.  Some students have a very difficult time transitioning from one season to another.
For example, in the summer, we wear less clothes/lighter clothes.  Then in the fall and winter seasons, we wear long sleeves, sweaters and/or coats.  Many times students have sensory issues with different kinds of clothes and layers, and it takes time for them to transition.  With repetition, we try to teach them that we dress according to the weather and that certain seasons are usually associated with certain types of weather.

I wrote this song with the above information in mind.

I also created an interactive resource using SMART Notebook software, that provides visual and auditory support using this song.

Stop by tomorrow for Around the Seasons part 2, and learn more about how teachers incorporate this song with their SMART boards!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Opposites are different

Welcome back to More with Music!

Summer seems to be flying by around here.  That's usually the case when you take a vacation or have time off.  I've been working my way down my list of songs to share here on More with Music.  Today's song post is about opposites.

Opposites are different!  If you think about it, young students work on matching and finding the same with many kinds of manipulatives.  Then we work on finding things that are different (i.e. sorting different colors, different textures, different sizes, different animals, etc..).  Then we have opposites, which are different, but an extension of "different".  Sometimes opposites are more abstract to some students.  So, I wrote a song to help introduce opposites to students and included several examples.

I recommend singing the song first and introducing it to the students.  Then you could use/hand out picture cards with the words on them.  If working with a group, you can divide the students into partners ahead of time or just randomly pass out the cards.  If randomly passed out, the students have to find the "opposite" to their card and pair up with that person.  You sing the song and when you come to one pair sing, "You say..."(and one person calls out their card), and you say, "...(and the other person calls out the other card).  It's a good way to give everyone a turn within their pairs.
If you are workingn 1:1 with a student, you can ask the student to find the opposite to any given card or ask them to find the opposite from a field of 3 or 4 cards (once they get the hang of it).  Then you could even let them match all of the opposites and then sing the song and let the student decide the order of opposites they are going to sing.  The possibilities are endless!

What songs do you use to help students learn opposites?
As always, thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Counting by 2's

Welcome back to More with Music!

Today I'm sharing a song to help students with a skip counting and specifically skip counting by 2's.
Skip counting helps us count groups of things quickly.  Skip counting also sets a great foundation for when we do repeated addition, which happens when we do multiplication.
I have seen several ways to help students learn to skip count.  Some of those include number lines on their desks, beads on a string across their desk, using an abacus, using a 100's board, and even using a large number line taped on the classroom floor.  These are all great tools.  I personally love the large number line on the floor because of the way the students become engaged stepping and skipping from number to number.  I think it's a great way for the kinesthetic learners in the classroom to grasp the concept quickly.

I wrote a song called, "Counting by 2's" to help introduce the concept of skip counting by 2's.  When first learning to count by 2's, the main concept a student needs to grasp is instead of rote counting, they are starting with one number and then skipping over the next.

Do you need a song to help introduce a concept to your students?  I would love to help!  Email me at and share your topic or concept request.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Winding down the Wiggles

Welcome back to More with Music!
I hope you are enjoying the summer.
Today's post is a song share is in response to a question I received from a reader here on More with Music.

Anne W. recently wrote,
"I'm a preschool teacher with many years of experience.  I love singing songs and using music in my classroom with the students.  At times, especially with the mix of students I had this past school year, I had a time getting all the students to specific groups like circle time, reading time, etc..  Once I get them all to the designated area in my classroom, many of the students have the "wiggles", and a few students take a few moments to transition into the group activity.  Do you know of any songs to help with this?  I'm looking for a "standard" I can do each day to signal this group activity beginning.  Thanks!"

I love that Anne already uses music in her classroom and sings with her students!  It sounds like transitions are the most challenging n her classroom, and with preschool students, this is totally normal.  There are many reasons for this, (which I won't list here today), but the truth of the matter is that preschoolers wiggle...A LOT!  But, they can also sit and listen.

To be really successful with preschoolers , also known as "wigglers", you have to find ways for them to get their wiggles out.  Simple songs involving clapping, patting, stomping, jumping, and/or stretching,etc..  are all great ideas to do BEFORE you ask them to sit down and listen.

After getting most of their wiggles out (are they ever completely out of wiggles?!?!), you can use a song to help transition them to a more quiet, focused group activity.  One song I have heard for many years is called "Time to Listen".  It's a perfect song to help little ones calm down while reviewing some rules of circle time.  I do not know who wrote this song, but I have seen it shared several times on preschool sites online.

Since I didn't write this song, I'm posting this song as a free download.  All you have to do is click on "download" and you will quickly be on your way to having the song to use with your very own wigglers!

Do you need a songs for your classroom or certain transitions within your classroom?
Request songs specific to your classroom needs and topics by sending an email to me at

As always, thanks for stopping by!  Have a great week!