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Showing posts with label singing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label singing. Show all posts

Twelve Ideas to Get Your Students to LOVE Reading!

One of the most important things we can do as teachers is help our students develop a love of reading!

Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
 
One way to get them to love reading is to get them hooked on books!
Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
 I am committed to reading daily to my students. Sometimes I read to them to emphasize a particular literature skill, or to teach a specific non-fiction topic, but for the most part, I read to them to help them develop a love for books! Here's a post I wrote a few years ago about the importance of reading aloud. (Plus, there's a freebie!) The Importance of Read Alouds!

 Want to make story time even more fun?
Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
Take them all outside on a nice day!
 
Even better:
 Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
Take them outside for reading! There's nothing more fun than being outside on a nice day! Here's another post about learning outside: Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!


Students are social beings!
 
Let them read with their friends! Just be careful... make sure they are reading books at their independent level (or easier) and are working with friends close to the same level. It needs to be a positive experience!
 
Here's one of my favorite ways to build enthusiasm for reading:
Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
 
I confess, I've always been a big fan of integrating the arts and I even have an acting background. Both posts below show many reasons to use Reader's Theater, and suggests several resources, including a freebie!
 
 Once in a while there's a reason to plop a kiddo down in the teacher's chair and have them read to the class.
Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
 
Just like when they're reading with friends, be very careful. This needs to be a positive experience for all involved. One thing I do sometimes is let children choose a passage from a book they like, practice it, then read it to their classmates. (This also works in a reading group!) It's a win-win! The child gets to share a book, and their friends get a taste of a book they might want to read! Here are some other ideas for building fluency and accuracy: Seven Ideas for Reading Accurately And yes, there's a freebie in there!
 
Don't they love those tablets and laptops? (and their parent's phone for homework)
 
There are  plenty of places to find reading materials to be read on these devices. May I suggest these Boom Learning resources? Teachers can check to see how students are doing, links can be sent home, and the children love these!

This idea is a bit obvious for teachers:
 Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
 
Where to get all these books? Well, first of all, the school librarian (media specialist) is your best friend! 
There are also those wonderful book orders. The books are quite reasonably priced, and the more books children purchase, the more free books you can get! I'll always let the kids look over the order sheets and circle the ones they might want. Then, I'll have them show the face they'll use when they're begging their grown-ups for books! (Melts my heart every time!)

Besides books at their level, they need books they enjoy!
Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
Again, time to visit that librarian! They know what kids like!
But you know your kids best! Some very popular topics in my classroom: sports, animals, humor, mystery, friendships, school life, and any upcoming holiday! Let them talk to each other about the books they're reading. They can "sell" a book better than I can!

 Did you ever notice when children are playing a game, they get caught up in a game and forget they are practicing a skill?
 Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
 
Here are some reading games that will help them forget they're practicing important skills: Reading Games and Activities.

As I've mentioned, integrating the arts is a valuable tool in the classroom! Music is magical in many ways!
Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
This post has several reasons to use music in the classroom, and some fun resources! Sing With Your Students
 
Don't hesitate to sing with them, it will increase their learning in many ways. Plus, it's fun!

This is probably the most important! (in addition to reading to them, of course!)
Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
Let them see you reading!   
Let them see that you love books!
Let them see you talking about the books you're reading!
Let them see your passion for books!

 How do you get your students to LOVE reading?

 Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.

Sing With Your Students!

Yes, you read that correctly.

Sing with your students! 

Sing With Your Students! Research on the brain and learning tell us that singing is a great way to enhance learning. Plus, it's fun!

Oh, there are so many reasons! 

Sing With Your Students! Research on the brain and learning tell us that singing is a great way to enhance learning. Plus, it's fun!

Music, as well as most of the creative arts, activates both sides of the brain, enhancing learning! There are many, many studies that prove this, in many ways. Singing is a great way to "wake up" the brain and start the day!
 

Sing With Your Students! Research on the brain and learning tell us that singing is a great way to enhance learning. Plus, it's fun!
There are many links between music instruction and academic achievement.  I'm not expecting you to take over the music teacher's job by any means, but including music in your classroom will help make that connection! (Of course, the music teacher is a great resource for including music in the classroom!)


Singing strengthens learning and memory. I'll bet there are certain commercials you've been known to sing along with, yet at no point did you make the effort to learn those words! My generation can sing the whole Brady Bunch theme song or the Gilligan's Island theme songs without even thinking about it! Imagine if those words were important learning concepts! (Remember Schoolhouse Rock?)

Music lowers stress and increases happiness! Music brings out feelings, doesn't it? Are there certain songs you hear that bring out those happy feelings, just by hearing them? As the happy feelings rise, the stressed feelings go away!
 
Sing With Your Students! Research on the brain and learning tell us that singing is a great way to enhance learning. Plus, it's fun!
Humans connect with music! Think about some of those happy times in your life with other people. I'm willing to bet, there was music in the background! Parties just aren't fun without good music!
 
Sing With Your Students! Research on the brain and learning tell us that singing is a great way to enhance learning. Plus, it's fun!
Singing as a group increases social interaction! I've actually read that when people sing together as a group, their hearts start to beat as one. I've sung with many choruses, (as well as many students) and I'm pretty sure that really happens! Music makes a connection!

Sing With Your Students! Research on the brain and learning tell us that singing is a great way to enhance learning. Plus, it's fun!
Singing increases vocabulary! Don't be afraid to encourage children to sing certain songs because they won't understand the vocabulary. After a couple of times through, they'll figure it out, won't they? (Of course, monitor what they sing, as we all know there are some words we DON'T want in their vocabulary!)
 
Sing With Your Students! Research on the brain and learning tell us that singing is a great way to enhance learning. Plus, it's fun!
Music Sources for the Classroom: What to sing with your students? Here are a few ideas:
  1. Songs for the Class Team For Morning Meeting, Team, and Community Building (I specifically created these songs to be sung at Morning Meetings while building community.)
  2. Youtube! There are plenty of child-friendly songs for whatever you might be teaching! (Yes, Schoolhouse Rock is there!) Just google what you're teaching!
  3. Feel Good Songs: Music for the Classroom Teacher's Playlist  This is a list of songs that will make them feel good just by walking into the classroom!
  4.  Your music teacher! They know their stuff!
  5. Your students! They know what appeals to them!


 
Let them make up their own songs! We all know they are more likely to want to sing it if it's theirs!  Some hints:
  1. Have them stick to a simple tune that everyone knows, such as Happy Birthday or Row, Row, Row Your Boat.
  2. Discuss the important information that needs to be in the song. 
  3. Encourage them to make up gestures to go with their song!
 
Sing With Your Students! Research on the brain and learning tell us that singing is a great way to enhance learning. Plus, it's fun!
But I can't sing!  I have two suggestions:

  1. Use recorded music. (See Youtube!)
  2. Sing anyway! Seriously, it's not really about you or about the quality of the music. It's about the group experience. Let them see you having fun, and they'll have fun, too! (Plus, you might have some budding vocalists in your class, and you're giving them an opportunity to shine!) Seriously, it's not about you!
One last hint: children's voices are higher than most adults. You may want to sing in your range, but it's about the kids. Most children's voices land on the treble staff. (Between "middle C" and the second space from the top.) Stay out of the "basement" for the sake of the kids!


Sing With Your Students! Research on the brain and learning tell us that singing is a great way to enhance learning. Plus, it's fun!


Shh... We Had Fun!

I have a confession to make. 
I strayed. 
On purpose.
Two days in a row!
 
Shh, we had fun! I took a couple of days off from the required curriculum to enjoy learning about Groundhog Day and Day 100! This post offers resource ideas and has a freebie!
 
Yes, folks, rather than sticking to my assigned programs, I strayed and did activities that I knew the children would enjoy.

Did they still learn? Yes! Honestly, there was more learning going on than the typical textbook learning.

Tuesday was Groundhog Day. I had to change my schedule because of another teacher being absent, so I ran with it!

First, I pulled out these Groundhog information stories and questions from my Science and Social Studies for February set.


Shh, we had fun! I took a couple of days off from the required curriculum to enjoy learning about Groundhog Day and Day 100! This post offers resource ideas and has a freebie!

I always try to have some comprehension question that can be answered directly from the text, at least one "word work" question, and one or two "beyond the text" questions. (These are my favorite!)
 
Since this reading was challenging for some, we first read as a group. After a discussion, I broke the children into pairs, and they re-read, then answered the questions. I love to have them work in pairs, since they have valuable conversations, especially on the "beyond the text" questions!
 
I told them I'd pay particular attention to question #4. (How would you keep a groundhog from eating things in your garden?) This reflects a problem I had as a gardener: 
The hungry groundhog actually learned to climb the fence I put up!

Their answers were delightful! Although they weren't all realistic, they showed an understanding of the problem, and creativity in their solution! (Plus, almost all kids solved the problem in a non-violent way!)
 
Once they learned about groundhogs, I had them make groundhog puppets and settings, and they created their own skits for Groundhog Day.
Shh, we had fun! I took a couple of days off from the required curriculum to enjoy learning about Groundhog Day and Day 100! This post offers resource ideas and has a freebie!
 
This guy put a couple of things to frighten the groundhog: the shadow AND a fox! 

Shh, we had fun! I took a couple of days off from the required curriculum to enjoy learning about Groundhog Day and Day 100! This post offers resource ideas and has a freebie!
 
The kiddos were so clever when creating their burrows! Some even designed the inside of the burrow on the other side! (In their reading, they learned a lot about the design of the burrows!)

Shh, we had fun! I took a couple of days off from the required curriculum to enjoy learning about Groundhog Day and Day 100! This post offers resource ideas and has a freebie!
 
 
As they performed their skits, they showed creativity, a sense of humor, AND knowledge of groundhogs! You can't get this on a computer test!

The next day was Day 100. 

I've had a little tradition going on that I started about 20 years ago. We go from classroom to classroom singing Day 100 songs!

We have 4 songs we sing. Here's one of them:

Shh, we had fun! I took a couple of days off from the required curriculum to enjoy learning about Groundhog Day and Day 100! This post offers resource ideas and has a freebie!

Sorry, the other 3 aren't mine to give you! 
 They kept them in their book boxes and practiced them during reading time. (It was hard to keep them SILENT during independent reading!)

Shh, we had fun! I took a couple of days off from the required curriculum to enjoy learning about Groundhog Day and Day 100! This post offers resource ideas and has a freebie!
It was loads of fun going from class to class. They rarely get to go into the other classrooms, and they got to go into almost ALL the classrooms! They saw younger siblings, older siblings, former teachers, neighborhood friends, and loads of other people they know. The teachers, students, and staff were amazing audiences! They welcomed us into their classrooms, listened to the lyrics, and applauded for the children. 
Shh, we had fun! I took a couple of days off from the required curriculum to enjoy learning about Groundhog Day and Day 100! This post offers resource ideas and has a freebie!

My favorite part is seeing the smiles on the faces of my former students as they remember Day 100 caroling in past years!

Later that day, we played a couple of games and activities, including Mental Math 100. Up until now the children had only worked with 2 digit numbers, but I had them adding and subtracting 3 digit numbers, and with this game, they were even dealing with 4 digit numbers! And, of course, they were successful!
Shh, we had fun! I took a couple of days off from the required curriculum to enjoy learning about Groundhog Day and Day 100! This post offers resource ideas and has a freebie!

Shh, we had fun! I took a couple of days off from the required curriculum to enjoy learning about Groundhog Day and Day 100! This post offers resource ideas and has a freebie!


It was a huge boost on their mathematics self esteem, and a whole lot of fun!

It's not actually what the manual told me to do, but it was truly a great learning day. 

Hopefully, I can sneak in a few more of these!

Shh, we had fun! I took a couple of days off from the required curriculum to enjoy learning about Groundhog Day and Day 100! This post offers resource ideas and has a freebie!

Music, the Brain, Memory, and the Seven Continents


Did you ever find yourself singing along to the radio to a song you've never really liked, yet somehow you know all the words? Or perhaps you caught yourself singing along to a commercial on TV? Doesn't that kind of point out the connection between music and the brain? Yep, without even trying, you've memorized the words to hundreds of songs, right? 
 
Music, the Brain, and the Seven Continents: This post makes the connection between music and memory, and has a song to help the children remember the names of the seven continents.
 
I use that often in the classroom. If there's something I want the children to know by heart, I'll whip up a little song for them. I typically pick a tune that is familiar to all, squeeze in some words in a similar rhythm, and there you go! Sometimes I'll even make it rhyme, but that's not all that important. Nor is it important for the words to fit perfectly in the rhythm.

Here's a social studies song to the tune of This Old Man (also known as The Barney Song.) 

The Continents Song
North America, South America, 
Europe, Asia, Africa,
Australia and Antarctica.
There are seven continents. 

North America, South America, 
Europe, Asia, Africa,
Australia and Antarctica.
Now we all can cha, cha, cha!
 
I'll admit, the kids made up the second verse. 
I figured, if my second graders can name the 7 continents, they deserve to dance! 
Years later, kids come back to me and sing the song to me!


Want printable copies? See this freebie:

 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Seven-Continents-Song-for-Learning-About-Our-World-5308695?utm_source=blog%20post%20seven%20continents&utm_campaign=Seven%20Continents%20Song


 Music helps the memory.
Music is magical.


Music, the Brain, and the Seven Continents: This post makes the connection between music and memory, and has a song to help the children remember the names of the seven continents.





What Do They Really Remember?

Years after they leave your class, what do your students remember?

What do they really remember? This post explores my Day 100 tradition and discusses why the children remember it years later.

One of the things my kids always remember is when we go from class to class, singing Day 100 songs.

Yesterday was Day 100 in our school, and we carried on my little tradition. Many of the teachers look forward to our visits every year, and it's a real treat to go into the other classrooms in the school. (We NEVER go into each others' rooms, it's such a treat!)

What do they really remember? This post explores my Day 100 tradition and discusses why the children remember it years later.

Today at Morning Meeting, I asked my class to share how they truly felt about singing in front of all the different classes. I was thrilled with their honesty. Some said they felt nervous, excited, scared, embarrassed, or shy. When I asked each child, "But did you like it?" Every single child nodded an enthusiastic, "Yes!" 

What do they really remember? This post explores my Day 100 tradition and discusses why the children remember it years later.

I could tell most of the children absolutely loved it.  There were a couple of kids that I knew singing just wasn't their "thing", but I was hoping it would be a positive experience.  They said they loved it!

As someone who is fascinated by how the brain works, I find myself pondering what it is about this experience that puts it permanently into the memory. Here's my theory:
  •  Singing in front of other classes uses strong emotions, which are directly connected to the memory.  
  • It's something they never have done before. Novelty is directly connected to the memory.
  • It's music!  Music is amazing when it come to the brain.
  • It involves social interaction. Again, connections with memory and learning.

What do your students remember about your class?



What do they really remember? This post explores my Day 100 tradition and discusses why the children remember it years later.

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