teaching to a tune

Using music in the classroom is such a powerful teaching tool.

Before I share some of your fantastic ideas, I wanted to share my greatest musical resource.

Have you ever tried Heidi Songs with your students?

It comes in a DVD and CD form. I own the DVD and love it.
My students are crazy about these songs! 
Their favorites are Yellow, Black, She, Who, Come, Jump, We're... just to name a few. 
There is a song and dance to each sight word and they are easy to learn.
All of the songs are great to get your students up and moving!

It makes me think of that old chinese proverb...
"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."

We need to get our students up and moving!


Can I just say... Oh my WOW?! You guys came up with some great ideas!

Jodi at Fun in First just posted some great money songs (good timing Jodi)! Check them out here.

Dee Dee at Mrs. Willis Kindergarten posted about a darling calendar time sing-along. Click here to see!
You also need to check out Dee Dee's cute ideas for teaching word families with songs by clicking here.

Cheryl at Primary Graffiti did a great post about using Sam Jones' music in her classroom. Click here.

Check out this great post by Third Grade Teacher, Miss Diss by clicking here.

I love Ms. M's Vowel Bingo Song:
5 vowels in the alphabet, 
I know them all by name.
A, E, I, O, U
A, E, I, O, U
A, E, I, O, U
I know them all by name, OH
(In my version we end by saying... and sometimes "Y")

Cute Kelsey, a reader, said, "I play an awesome game, 'Musical Squares'. Our group activity carpet is a covered in rows of colored squares. Probably 9x6. For this game I ask children to stand on the perimeter of the carpet (1 sqaure per child).  I play music, preferably something fun-they love like 'Who Let the Dogs Out' and any sort of mother goose rap song on CD. I allow the children to walk/dance as they walk around the perimeter of the carpet. When I pause the music, the children have to sit in a square closest to them, the last child standing with out thier own square will have to answer a question based upon the subject. I used vocabulary words recently for a reading lesson-the words were on the board and I would say, 'which word means _____'. The kids loved it and I got a kick out of their dance moves! We play it in math and phonics as well!" 

Teacher Laura had a great way to get your students ready and listening. She said, "I sing...If you're ready and you know it clap your hands...If you're ready and you know it clap your hands. If you're ready and you know it, then I know that you can show it - if you're ready and you know it, clap your hands. I change it to tap your nose, or stomp 
your feet depending on what kind of energy I'm aiming for in the classroom."

BTW, Teacher Laura also has a great post about transitioning with songs. 
You need to check it out here (Thanks Nicole for letting me know)!

Teacher Mum did a post about using music to ease her classroom transitions.  She has a great list of classical music and after reading her post, I definitely want to try this with my kiddos!

I love how Teresa, a reader, said, "the most powerful way that I use music is as an attention getter. In those moments when I am about to 'lose my mind' because no one is listening, I usually burst into a silly song - it ALWAYS makes then stop what they're doing and listen. Music is a powerful tool, and so much fun too!"

I love this idea-- I am going to try it. Maybe I should record their reactions?

Sam Jone's Puppy Dog Blues - Houghton Mifflin Songs
Heidi Songs Blog and Website

I know I am forgetting some great resources... if you know of one, please leave a comment and I'll add it!


  1. The Electric Company has a bunch of videos, some of which are songs, for phonic sounds. I've also used quite a few of the Steve Songs. The one about Telling TIme was one of my students' favorites! They LOVED it. I allowed them to get up and dance with them and position their arms (long and short) as the song said. I'm sure most teachers have heard of both these and have used them, but my kiddos have so much fun with them. Anytime I can incorporate any song to tie into my lessons, I do, whether these or other songs.

    I often play soft music while they write (usually it's meditation, nature, classical type during writing time to spur their thinking). I know others have mentioned it on blogs before, but I use songs to transition as well! We play Beat the Teach. If they are not ready with their head down (or as otherwise directed) by the time the song ends then I get a point. If they are ALL ready by the end of the song, they get a point. At the end of the day, if they have more points than the teacher, they get a marble (we have a laminated paper marble jar with 10 holes in a row and paper marbles to tape in each hole. When they fill a row of 10, they get a special prize. Our marble jar has 10 rows so I double dip and use it to teach counting by 10s too. ;) They love it and get so excited every day they earn a marble for it. I just finished my student teaching, but this is one thing I am planning to continue in my own classroom. They enjoy the music playing and this motivates them to get ready quickly by having the reward system for it.

  2. Thanks for the shout-out! I bought Heidi Songs this year. IN.FEC.TIOUS! I find my self singing, "G-0, G-0, G-O, G-O, I can spell go, go, go, go..." while shopping with my 15 year old son (insert mental image of him rolling his eyes)... LOL!

    Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

  3. Thanks for the shout out! :) What a surprise reading your blog and seeing my name. :) Made my morning.

    Ms. M
    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan

  4. OOOH I love my heidisongs cd's! I use those every morning for morning work! I also use our word of the week song as a transition. if they are cleaned up and on the carpet by the time the song is over, they earn a "gumball". I love using music in the classroom, and this week I have actually added a few posts to my own blog with great ideas and videos for music in my room! Good timing :) I love all your ideas!



thanks for the love ♥

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