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Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

A Good "Ugly" Cry! It's good for you!

I'm sure you've all had one of those good, ugly cries.  The cleansing kind. The kind that makes you feel FREE when you're done.

Experts say a "good ugly cry" is healthy for you, and teachers might just need a little something to help the tears flow. These songs always help me!

Some benefits of crying:

  • Crying releases toxins.
  • Crying improves vision.
  • Crying improves your mood.
  • Crying aids sleep.
  • Crying relieves stress.
  • Crying dulls pain.
  • Crying boosts communication.

Sometimes I know I need to cry, but the tears just won't come. If I need to trigger the tears, music will usually help me out. 

For some, it's a good book, a romantic movie, or sharing thoughts with friends. 
 
Those often work for me. 

But mostly, it's music.

In particular, Broadway music. Many of my readers know my "other" love (besides teaching) is theatre, and I've performed in hundreds of shows. Broadway music touches me.

As I'm sure many teachers are in need of a "good cry" these days. I've been thinking a whole lot about children and their emotions. There are a whole lot of sad and scary feelings out there, and it concerns me. How do you teach about Lockdowns and Active Shooter Drills while holding onto your own emotions as well as those of the children? 

I've been in need of a good cry for a few weeks now.
Finally, I saw this video, and the floodgates were opened!

This is called "Found/ Tonight". It's performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) and Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hanson), both Broadway legends. These two musicals are both Tony award winners, and the performers are incredible. Most of the songs in Hamilton bring tears to my eyes, but The Story of Tonight is pretty amazing, as is You Will be Found from Dear Evan Hanson. The combination of both bring me a strength I didn't know I had. Hence, floodgates are opened!


This song from Pippin is one I used to sing (and still do) with good friends from college. I particularly like this version of Corner of the Sky, since it's sung by the original Pippin, John Rubenstein, whom I've actually met! (In 1990, he saw me perform in A Chorus Line!)  Sorry, there are no visuals with this one!


We're back to Hamilton. As I mentioned above, many songs from this musical make me cry. This one is when Aaron Burr (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda) meet their respective children.  
 


Speaking of children, (That seems to be a common theme in many of these Broadway songs that make me cry.) Far From the Home I Love is song by Hodel when she is leaving her home and family for a man she loves. Not a dry eye in the house after this one! This song is particularly poignant, since I played Golde in a production about 8 years ago, and my daughter played the role of Hodel, singing this beautiful song.
 
 

The story of a friendship. For Good is such a strong, sweet song from Wicked. I'm sorry I couldn't find a video with the amazing Idina Menzel, but at least I have Kristen Chenowith! The line, "you'll be with me, like a handprint on my heart" gets me going every time! 


I played the role of Lady Thiang in The King and I back in 2001. My daughter was only 8, and this was her first musical ever. My dad was my motivation for Something Wonderful. I still think of him whenever I hear it. This video is performed by one of my very favorite Broadway performers, Lea Salonga. This video transitions into Being Alive from Company. Being Alive sums up many of my thoughts on relationships.


What I Did for Love from A Chorus Line answers the question "What are you going to do when you can't dance anymore." I think the beauty of this song is that everyone can have a strong connection to it. Just fill in the word of your choice... "What are you going to do when you can't ___________ anymore?"

For a real deep cry, ask "What are you going to do when you can't teach anymore?"

I was in a production of A Chorus Line back in 1990. (I was also teaching 1st grade at the time.) The show ran for 6 weeks, 4 shows a week, and I cried onstage every night when we performed this song.

Rent is a pretty amazing show. I wasn't in this one, but I did perform Seasons of Love with a group in a Christmas Concert. (Fun alto part!) But seriously, it's the context of the song in the show that brings me to tears every time!
 

Les Miserables has several songs that are tear jerkers to me, but once I heard this song in the context of the armed service, I lost it, and do every time I hear Bring Him Home.
 

This has been a guaranteed tear-jerker for me since the early 90s when I saw Miss Saigon in London. (Yes, this is another show with a lot of tear-jerkers. The storyline pretty much rips out your soul!) I Swear I'd Give My Life for You is a sweet moment of love for a child in the middle of the hell that was Vietnam. This was years before I had a child, but I knew I would love my child like this.
 

This last video is a little "treat." This isn't going to be bringing on any "ugly" cry like most of these others do for me. But it's a sweet, sentimental tear.

I hope you don't mind that this video isn't quite the quality of the others, but I do happen to be in it! I'm Lucy... in the blue dress.) This is the final song (Happiness) from You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, from a production I did in 2007. I assure you, these people can sing a whole lot better than it sounds in this video, particularly that guy playing Charlie Brown!

I hope it brings you a little Happiness!

 
Want a little more about the "good" kind of cry? 

Sometimes You Just Have to Cry! This post has some ideas for those times when you need a "good cry," but the tears won't come.

What makes you cry... in a good way?


Experts say a "good ugly cry" is healthy for you, and teachers might just need a little something to help the tears flow. These songs always help me!


Experts say a "good ugly cry" is healthy for you, and teachers might just need a little something to help the tears flow. These songs always help me!

Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum

Of course, I have always wanted my students to be successful in their school experiences. But I've always wanted more than that. I've wanted my students to be successful in life!

Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum: this post lists 6 different Team Building Activities and ideas on fitting curriculum ideas into these games.

I recently did a search for skills needed for success in life. Most of the skills mentioned in each article overlapped. These are the ones that came up most often:

Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum: this post lists 6 different Team Building Activities and ideas on fitting curriculum ideas into these games

There is so much we must teach in our classrooms these days. How could we possibly squeeze in these important skills as well?


It just so happens in my studies of brain research, I've been focused on numerous Team Building activities, and I've got some ideas on how we can squeeze these activities into our curriculum. (After all, brain research tells us that FUN is an element that helps a brain remember things!)

Countdown is a game the kiddos love, and there are many ways to tie some curriculum into the game! You can find a "Dollar Deal" download of this game here: How to Play CountdownIn "Countdown," all you need is a sequence. In second grade, I often play the game with skip counting, since that's something they need to hear and practice over and over. Other ideas for a sequence could be: seasons, states of matter, types of communities, types of rock formations, names of presidents, or countries in Europe. 

Speed Chatting is a Team Building activity that gives the children a chance to talk... a LOT! All you have to do to include an area of the curriculum is to give them a topic to discuss! It might be: books you've read, facts about weather, interesting words you know, a country in South America, or whatever you happen to be studying at the time! Plus, talking about what they're learning enhances the learning! You can see more about this activity here: Speed Chatting.

Paper Bag Dramatics is another fun Team Building activity. It involves creating skits with the props in a bag. This can easily be connected to the curriculum by putting things in each bag that are connected to an area of the curriculum. If you're studying the 5 senses, you can put things (or pictures, or word cards) that can be smelled or tasted. If you're studying plants, you can put some plant types (or pictures, or word cards) that show the parts of plants. Get it? You can find more about paper bag dramatics here: Paper Bag Dramatics.

Pass the Clap is a favorite for the kiddos! Now I'm having a hard time trying to think of a way to include curriculum ideas for this one, since it really doesn't include verbal communication. However, if you look at the list of important skills above, we've got #2 and #8 covered! If you can think of a way to include curriculum with this one, please leave it in the comments below. But in the meantime, squeeze this one in somewhere, since these are important skills. (It only takes a couple of minutes, and it's a great warm-up activity during Morning Meeting!) To read more about this game, see here: Pass the Clap.

High-Low is an activity I always play with students at the end of the day. However, it doesn't have to be at the end of the day. It could be at the end of a certain subject in school. The children could discuss the high and low of their math lesson, the book they're reading, a science experiment, a country they've been studying, and so on. As we know, talking about a lesson reinforces learning. Plus, they LOVE to talk about themselves! To learn more about this activity see here: High-Low.

Party Talk is super fun and a great culmination activity! I was introduced to this when I was taking my master's program in Creative Arts in Learning. In my Music Integration class, we were to do research on a composer. I chose to research Steven Sondheim, who composes a lot of music for the theatre. (Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, FolliesCompany, etc.) Instead of having us get up and just talk about our composer, the instructor gave us "Hello My Name is" badges and we had a "cocktail party." We went around, with our (non-alcoholic) drinks, and introduced ourselves and talked about our lives. It was so much fun! Many years later, I was teaching 5th grade Social Studies. The children were researching famous people in the revolutionary war era. Of course I couldn't have a "cocktail party" with 5th graders, but we could have a "Boston Tea Party!" In this case, the kids were drinking tea, not dumping tea into the harbor. Again, we made "Hello My Name is" badges, served tea and "crumpets" and we had ourselves a tea party! Many of the kids even dressed up colonial style! I'm sure you can think of many other ways of having a "Party Talk."

Still looking for ideas to squeeze these important into your day? 

Be sure to check out this resource: 60 Team Building Games and Activities.


Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum: this post lists 6 different Team Building Activities and ideas on fitting curriculum ideas into these games This post includes a freebie for one of my favorite games:  Countdown!

Music: a Key to the Brain!

Brain research tells us that listening to music actually helps the brain. 

Music: a Key to the Brain! This post lists some of the advantages to using music in the classroom, and a couple of great sources of free music!

There are many ways to use music in the classroom, and here are a few to get you going!

Music: a Key to the Brain! This post lists some of the advantages to using music in the classroom, and a couple of great sources of free music!
   
Did you know that music boosts brain organization? It affects our moods and emotions. Playing music in the classroom really makes a difference. Different kinds of music work at different times. Playing slow, classical music helps kids focus and concentrate. Fun, upbeat music helps them find energy during those sleepy times of day (after lunch?) or just plain makes the kids feel good. Putting important information to a familiar tune helps them remember things. There is no end to the possibilities of music in the classroom.

Music: a Key to the Brain! This post lists some of the advantages to using music in the classroom, and a couple of great sources of free music!
Although I have a huge collection of music for the classroom that I've downloaded or bought in CD form, (See THIS link, and THIS link.) there are other sources for music that are much more appropriate for a teacher's salary!

1. Free downloads! I found THIS link, 10 places to go to get free music downloads, including Free Music Archive and Amazon! It's worth exploring!😉)

2.  You-Tube! Just search You-Tube for the kind of music you want, and you'll see several options pop up! As long as I don't need my classroom projection system for something else, I'll find a long video and let it go on in the background to help the kiddos focus. Here's one I found when I searched "Calming Music for Kids"


Then I searched "Happy Music for Kids" and got this. This is great music for kids to hear when they're entering the class in the morning, because it makes them feel good!
 
 

Here's one I played often at the end of the school year, especially when we had our "seacoast week." I searched "Ocean Sounds with music." (This one is 31/2 hours long!)
 
 

 
I searched this one for Cinco de Mayo. ("Mexican music")



and, of course for St. Patrick's Day I might play this one! ("Irish Music")


Honestly, you can find just about anything on You-Tube, but be careful to check it ahead of time. As you know, there are things you DON'T want to share with the children! (For example, the Irish music category has plenty of Irish drinking songs!)

Music: a Key to the Brain! This post lists some of the advantages to using music in the classroom, and a couple of great sources of free music!
 

Where do you find music for the classroom?


Music: a Key to the Brain! This post lists some of the advantages to using music in the classroom, and a couple of great sources of free music!


How Can We Help Them Learn Kindness?

There is a whole lot of hate in our world. 

How Can We Help Them Learn Kindness? This post shares three different strategies for helping children learn to be kind to one another. It includes a Readers Theater freebie and links to several other freebies. #kindnessnation, #weholdthesetruths

It's very concerning when we work with little ones and we want them to be successful. 

Although I'm not going to delve into politics, I'm sure you're aware that political changes here in the USA are pretty uncomfortable for many right now, and people are angry. Yes, BOTH sides of the political system are angry, and it's not helping our children. 

How can we help them learn about kindness? 

Well, here are three ideas!

How Can We Help Them Learn Kindness? This post shares three different strategies for helping children learn to be kind to one another. It includes a Readers Theater freebie and links to several other freebies. #kindnessnation, #weholdthesetruths
There are tons of great books with the theme of kindness! I've linked some of my favorites below.

                            

I have a special softness for Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch and The Invisible Boy

Be sure to read the books and let the children have plenty of conversations. 

Bring up the topic of kindness and let the children talk about how the characters showed kindness in the stories. 

How Can We Help Them Learn Kindness? This post shares three different strategies for helping children learn to be kind to one another. It includes a Readers Theater freebie and links to several other freebies. #kindnessnation, #weholdthesetruths

We know as educators that children are more likely to do what they see than what they're told to do. That means we need to let them see us showing respect and kindness to them, and the people they see us interact with. Let them see you performing little acts of kindness for children as well as adults!

Let them see you writing fun little notes for them and their classmates.

Let them see you leave a treat for the teacher next door.

Let them see you bring flowers to the nurse for Nurse's Day.

Let them see you go out of your way to tidy up to make things easier for the custodians.

Bring the whole class to the Library to sing Happy Birthday on the librarian's birthday.

I'm sure you can think of more examples of showing kindness, and I'm sure your students can think of plenty more!

How Can We Help Them Learn Kindness? This post shares three different strategies for helping children learn to be kind to one another. It includes a Readers Theater freebie and links to several other freebies. #kindnessnation, #weholdthesetruths

When problems occur in the classroom, which we know happen often, be sure to address the group with the question, "How can we solve this problem with kindness?"

To help you out, I've got a Reader's Theater freebie that does exactly that! It's a little play for 4 people with a problem children can relate to. Here's the twist: after a discussion on how to solve the problem with kindness, the performers get to make up the ending!




One last thought: my singing group sang this song years ago, and it helps me deal with many difficult situations. Although this isn't my singing group, the song is just as beautiful.
 

Election Day Options for Little Learners

I'm tired of watching the attack ads all over the TV, my phone ringing constantly, getting flyer after flyer in the mail, and the signs all over town. Luckily, this campaign season is almost over, thank goodness!
 
 Election Day Options for Little Learners: The REAL election is far too grusome to share with little ones, so here are a few alternatives that will help the kiddos learn in a way they can understand

 I also think it's important to teach the importance of the election to the little ones. But in a gentler, kinder fashion.

Election Day Options for Little Learners: The REAL election is far too grusome to share with little ones, so here are a few alternatives that will help the kiddos learn in a way they can understand

We vote for our favorite indoor recess game! See the above image or see HERE for this freebie for Election Day. It includes ballots, graphs, and suggestions for the day.

We've been working on common and proper nouns, so I've cooked up this matching game with an election theme. I find ANY special day makes learning more fun, doesn't it? This set has several options, including a board game. You can learn more about this set HERE, or by see the image.

Election Day Options for Little Learners: The REAL election is far too grusome to share with little ones, so here are a few alternatives that will help the kiddos learn in a way they can understand

Kids always need brain breaks, and squeezing in a little patriotism doesn't hurt! See the image or see HERE to download this Dollar Deal!

Election Day Options for Little Learners: The REAL election is far too grusome to share with little ones, so here are a few alternatives that will help the kiddos learn in a way they can understand

Here are a few books I've found with an election theme.



Don't forget the Patriotic Music!



How do you honor election day with your little ones?

Election Day Options for Little Learners: The REAL election is far too grusome to share with little ones, so here are a few alternatives that will help the kiddos learn in a way they can understand

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