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The Power of Music

 Last week I had a great experience, and it was a great reminder of the Power of Music.

 I went out to the San Francisco area to visit my amazing daughter (and her amazing husband), and we went on a San Francisco Love Tour.

The Power of Music! Listening to music of the 60s reminded me of how valuable music can be in the classroom. This post has suggestions on creating learning songs for the students, (even if you're not musical) and 3 freebie songs.

Yes, that's my daughter and I standing by our tour bus. It was quite the adventure riding in this delightfully painted "hippie van" Volkswagen Bus! We rode around the city of San Francisco, learning about the culture, and reminiscing about the hippies of the 60s and the Summer of Love,


The Power of Music! Listening to music of the 60s reminded me of how valuable music can be in the classroom. This post has suggestions on creating learning songs for the students, (even if you're not musical) and 3 freebie songs.
Yes, that's the back of my head riding "shotgun!"
While we were in the "hippie van" we listened to music of the 60s.  

Now this blog post will change from a story about my tour to a reminder of the power of music and its connection with memory with learners.

The Power of Music! Listening to music of the 60s reminded me of how valuable music can be in the classroom. This post has suggestions on creating learning songs for the students, (even if you're not musical) and 3 freebie songs.
The classic San Francisco pose, but next to a "hippie van."



I hate to give away my age, but all that music I heard in that hippie van was music I grew up with. Most of it I hadn't heard in close to 50 years, yet I remembered pretty much every single word!
 

The Power of Music! Listening to music of the 60s reminded me of how valuable music can be in the classroom. This post has suggestions on creating learning songs for the students, (even if you're not musical) and 3 freebie songs.
Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and a member of the Grateful Dead in the famous Haight Ashbury section of San Francisco

This was a great reminder of the power of music and its connection to memory! Here are a few examples of how I've used that power in the classroom to help the kiddos remember important information. I've taken simple songs (in the public domain, of course, to avoid copyright laws!) I've changed the words to something I want them to remember, and voila! We have a learning experience! It's fun to sing these songs during morning meeting, or between lessons. If you build a collection of learning songs, make a book for the children to read during reading time. (If you work with little ones, you'll be hearing them sing, even if it's "silent reading!")

I use this one around Earth Day.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reduce-Reuse-and-Recycle-Song-for-Earth-Day-235776?utm_source=blog%20post%20Music%20and%20Memory&utm_campaign=Recycle%20Song

I use this one around Day 100.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/100-Days-Smarter-198426?utm_source=blog%20post%20Music%20and%20Memory&utm_campaign=Day%20100%20Song

 This one can be used any time of year!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Seven-Continents-Song-for-Learning-About-Our-World-5308695?utm_source=blog%20post%20Music%20and%20Memory&utm_campaign=Seven%20Continents%20Song

When I worked with older children, they made up their own songs as part of research projects. I had to caution them to use simple tunes rather than the popular songs they wanted to use, but they appreciated the simple tunes once they got going. 

Here's a great list of children's songs in the Public Domain to choose from! Best Known Public Domain Children's Songs.

The Power of Music! Listening to music of the 60s reminded me of how valuable music can be in the classroom. This post has suggestions on creating learning songs for the students, (even if you're not musical) and 3 freebie songs.


Wondering How to Celebrate Women's History Month?

 Women's history month is upon us! 
How do you celebrate in the classroom?

Wondering How to Celebrate Women's History Month? This post has several ideas, resources, activities, and links to amazing ideas on celebrating women and empowering girls!

I love to start with books! I read books by women and about women.  I read books about women's stereotypes, and books about women's struggles. We explore biographies about famous women.

And we talk. A lot! We talk about the women they know, and the women they've heard of. We talk about what it means to be a woman and what makes women powerful!

Claudio from Two Boys and a Dad has many suggestions, for books about women in this post:  Inspiring Women Children's Books

The fight for the civil rights of women is an important part of American history.  I want my students to know about these inspiring, amazing and heroic women (and men) who made that possible.  I use various children's literature books during my read aloud to introduce heroes such as Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Bloomer, and more! Check out my blog post for the book titles and how I used them with my third graders.  #twoboysandadad #childrensliterature #commoncoreliterature #socialstudies


 Brenda from Enjoy Teaching has a great post with great strategies to help empower our girls: Three Ways to Empower Girls in the Classroom

  
Michelle from Teaching Ideas for Those Who Love Teaching has some delightful ideas for celebrating women, including book ideas and integrating history with this post:  Celebrating Women's Accomplishments

 Womens history month

Here is one of my own posts, with several book ideas, and inspirational quotes by several famous women.
 
https://www.elementarymatters.com/2020/02/inspire-your-girls-and-boys-too.html


 Here's another one of my posts, reminding teachers (and students) that we are all unique individuals, and that needs to be celebrated: Diversity Matters! Celebrate Our Differences!

https://www.elementarymatters.com/2020/01/diversity-matters-celebrating-our.html 

Here's a fun resource to celebrate Women's History Month:
Inspirational Quotes by Women
 
How do you celebrate Women's History Month?


Wondering How to Celebrate Women's History Month? This post has several ideas, resources, activities, and links to amazing ideas on celebrating women and empowering girls!

Using Reader's Theater to Help Students Learn Kindness

Did you ever wonder how to teach children kindness? We can use a whole lot of words, but they really need to experience it for themselves, don't they?

 
Using Reader's Theater to Help Students Learn Kindness: Here's are some suggestions on using scripts to build kindness.

  •  *Reader's theater helps build reading fluency.
  • *Reader's theater helps children develop social skills.
  • *Reader's theater develops reading comprehension skills.
  • *Reader's theater helps children develop empathy.
  • *Reader's theater helps children understand new and different situations.
  • *Reader's theater helps children experience things they might not experience otherwise.

 Here's a freebie that celebrates kindness through reader's theater! It has a fun little twist to the story: the children read about a conflict, then ask the audience to help them come up with a solution to end the play!

Using Reader's Theater to Help Students Learn Kindness: Here's are some suggestions on using scripts to build kindness.

Starring Kindness Freebie: Reader's Theater with a Twist: has a 4 page script that describes a conflict about a blue crayon between some children. There are 4 characters involved. After 4 pages of dialog, the children are to discuss how to solve the problem and create an ending that uses kindness! 

Trust me, the children love this!
 
Want more? This resource has 5 different scripts:
Starring Kindness: Reader's Theater with a Twist:
 
Using Reader's Theater to Help Students Learn Kindness: Here's are some suggestions on using scripts to build kindness.

We can all use a little kindness in our lives, can't we? 
How do you teach kindness?
 
In case you're looking for more reader's theater, here's a life cycle themed script: What Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?
 
Using Reader's Theater to Help Students Learn Kindness: Here's are some suggestions on using scripts to build kindness.

 
Using Reader's Theater to Help Students Learn Kindness: Here's are some suggestions on using scripts to build kindness.

Inspire Your Girls (and Boys, Too!)

March is Women's History Month! 

 
There just aren't enough role models in our lives for girls. But they need encouragement and inspiration just as much as the boys do!
Inspire your girls (and boys, too!) There just aren't enough role models in our lives for girls. But they need encouragement and inspiration just as much as the boys do! Here are some ideas to help them think about!
March is a great time to explore ways to inspire your girls, since it's Women's History Month! Here are some books to share with your girls (and boys, of course!)



The right words at the right time can really inspire many to improve their lives and become successful.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from women, appropriate for children.


Inspire your girls (and boys, too!) There just aren't enough role models in our lives for girls. But they need encouragement and inspiration just as much as the boys do! Here are some ideas to help them think about!


 Great words for girls (and boys) to think about, aren't they? 

Inspire your girls (and boys, too!) There just aren't enough role models in our lives for girls. But they need encouragement and inspiration just as much as the boys do! Here are some ideas to help them think about!

Yes, we're expected to spend time teaching reading, writing, and math, but getting kids to think about their future and their own impact on the future is pretty important, isn't it? 


Inspire your girls (and boys, too!) There just aren't enough role models in our lives for girls. But they need encouragement and inspiration just as much as the boys do! Here are some ideas to help them think about!

Kids need to learn about the power of their own voice, don't they?

Inspire your girls (and boys, too!) There just aren't enough role models in our lives for girls. But they need encouragement and inspiration just as much as the boys do! Here are some ideas to help them think about!

I love to have the kiddos talk (or write) about what they think some of these quotes mean.


Inspire your girls (and boys, too!) There just aren't enough role models in our lives for girls. But they need encouragement and inspiration just as much as the boys do! Here are some ideas to help them think about!

These discussions are a great way to start the day. Perfect for morning meetings!


Seriously, don't you want your students to think about this?


I have a set of 50 of these quotes, available here:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Inspirational-Quotes-by-Women-to-Read-and-Discuss-5251678?utm_source=blog%20post%20Inspire%20Your%20Girls&utm_campaign=Inspirational%20Quotes%20by%20Women

Tell me your ideas about how you inspire your students to be the best they can be!


Inspire your girls (and boys, too!) There just aren't enough role models in our lives for girls. But they need encouragement and inspiration just as much as the boys do! Here are some ideas to help them think about!

Dramatics in the Classroom

Children learn in many ways. 
I'm particularly partial to the arts. 
Research on the brain proves that the arts make strong connections with the memory. 
Today's post is about one of my favorite arts, dramatics!


There are many ways to use dramatics in the classroom, and many reasons to do it!  Here are some of the "whys!"


Yes, it's true. It's a great place for those shy kids! It sounds odd, but seriously, when you give a shy kid a character to play, they really come out of their shell! Did you ever hear that many movie stars are actually introverts? It all makes sense!

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

Reading scripts gives the children practice with reading skills. And, of course, children need to learn to speak clearly. Dramatics give them plenty of opportunities to practice speaking in front of others!

Actors depend upon each other when performing. If someone misses a line, that affects all the others. Therefore, if all team members live up to their responsibilities, they will all be successful.

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!


When pretending to be a character, children need to put themselves in the shoes of the character, and think about how that character feels. They learn empathy!

 Actors must pay attention to the script and focus on what is happening in the performance.  


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

In the context of a performance, problems always arise. Children easily solve these while working together toward that common goal: a successful performance! 

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

Both verbal and nonverbal communication are important when putting on a play! Children learn to show their feelings with and without words. 

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

When children put on a skit or a play, or act out a scene, they work hard together toward a common goal. That's the kind of thing that builds confidence and self-esteem! When it's over, they beam with pride!


Now that we understand why dramatics are beneficial to children in the classroom, here are some ways to fit dramatics into your busy day!

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!
Not only is it fun to act out stories of the past, but as the children act out different parts, their movements settle into their memories. I often had my students act out the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, including saying goodbye to loved ones, the constant rocking, eating the ship's food, sea sickness, (they loved that part) seeing a newborn baby on the ship, and sighting land. As I described each detail, they went through the motions, and were totally engaged in the trip! The best part? They remember it because they were physically involved as well as emotionally involved.


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

Similar to the above, but this one doesn't have to be from factual information. It works particularly well with group read alouds, or if a group is all reading the same book.  It might sound something like this, "Show what Wilber's face looks like when Charlotte wove her web." Or maybe, "Show Max's face when he realizes his dinner is still warm."
Having to recreate these moments helps them build empathy and develop feelings for the characters in their stories.


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

I remember having to memorize a list of vocabulary words every week. Do I remember those words now? Not many of them! Acting out the words makes them real. Plus, it works across the curriculum! Yes, even math!


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!
Encourage writing stories that have characters having conversations! Kids are so creative, they might enjoy a writing prompt that encourages unusual "personalities" having a discussion, for example, "What would your pencil say to your paper?" or "What would your desk say to your chair?"  This really gets them thinking about conversations and personalities.


Reader's Theater is a favorite of the students as well as the teachers! Why? The kiddos like it because it's fun! The teachers like it because it incorporates so many important skills: reading, speaking, thinking, building empathy for others, and working together, to name a few! 

Here are a few Reader's Theater resources for you to explore:


Here's a series of character building Reader's Theater where the children make up the ending:

Here's one more fun resource that the children love, especially when they can make up a voice for each character:

I hope you enjoy using dramatics in the classroom as much as I do!


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

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