I hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving break, or if you had school today, I hope you are STARTING to enjoy your Thanksgiving break! It has been wonderful to escape the realities of work and spend some much needed time with my sweet family!
We enjoyed a wonderful time at ICE! at the Gaylord Texan!
So I'm here today to link up with Hope over at 2nd Grade Shenanigans for her Take Me Back Tuesday linky! This is where we can go back to our older posts and dig them back up for those who may not have seen them yet!
I have only been blogging since March so I don't have a super huge library of posts to dig up, so I picked my MOST VIEWED post to re-showcase for any new followers of mine who may have missed it!
So here it is! Enjoy
I am excited for this post today!
I love to dance! I love to play the Kinect Dance Central games in my living room any chance I get! Dancing is fun and gets you up and moving around!
Kids love to dance too. And you know what else they love to do? Sing!
So why not take those two things and combine them with LEARNING!
I still remember the "50 Nifty United States" song that I learned in 3rd grade! I am 26 years old and can recite the entire song, with all states in alphabetical order, to this day! And let me tell you, social studies was NEVER my strongest subject because it has never really interested me. So why do I still remember that? Simple, it was a song and it was fun to learn!
I love to use music during brain breaks or while the students are working. I especially love Dr. Jean and her songs for the primary students! They are very fun and upbeat and educational!
Y'all already know that this past year I taught with Tamara from Mrs. Russell's Room and we did a LOT together and had a blast doing it! One of my FAVORITE things that we collaborated on and did together was our "I Know My Vowel Sounds" song to the tune of Gangnam Style. It was truly a 50/50 split on the effort and creativeness because we sat in my classroom for about 3 hours one Wednesday after the students left, listening to Gangnam Style over and over and over, trying to re-write the lyrics! I would come up with a line, then she would feed off that and we went back and forth until we had the song completed! Little did we know that the ELC students were in the hallway listening to us the whole time.. so of course we had to do a performance for them!
Why did we do that you ask? Why would we take 3 hours to re-write lyrics to a song?
Well, that's a very easy question to answer. We knew our students were struggling with short versus long vowels sounds and while our phonics program is wonderful, we wanted to provide them one more strategy for remembering the difference. 90% of our students had heard "Gangnam Style" on the radio. They knew the beat and the tune and they semi knew the lyrics. I mean who REALLY knows the lyrics to the original "Gangnam Style"?!?
Anyways, what better way to get students excited and involved in their learning??
We taught them the song and even choreographed a dance to go along with it. Everyday they would ask when we were practicing it.
But there was one defining moment where I really knew the song was stuck in their head and they had it as a permanent strategy. We went on a field trip and I was sitting across the aisle from two of my students and they sang that entire song from memory for the entire 30 minute bus ride home! They even mimicked the movements of the dance! I can just picture them now, taking a standardized test when they are older, singing that song to themselves if they can't remember a vowel sound!
You're probably wondering what my point is. Well, my point is this...make sure you are creating moments in your classroom where students can apply modern day things they love to their learning. It makes the connections so much more fun and real for them and they truly take ownership in learning it. Get your kids out of their seats and don't be afraid to dance and have fun with them! Use music in your teaching as much as possible!
If you are interested in HEARING the song, you can click the picture below to see Tamara and I singing it. I wish I had a more updated version as this was our FIRST run through of singing it for our class, but nonetheless, I hope you enjoy it!
And if you are feeling INSPIRED to teach this song to your class, click the picture below to get the lyrics for FREE! Yay!!!!
I also have an exciting announcement to make later today on Facebook! If you haven't "liked" my FB page yet, head on over, grab yourself some fan freebies, and find out my exciting news! :)