Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Learning Rock Stars in Vegas!

When thousands of teachers gather together in Las Vegas, we bring Vegas back to the classroom!
The 2015 SDE conference series were especially memorable because I was given the chance to present about using music in the classroom. 

There is a lot of power in music. Who else can recall the lyrics to all of their favorite songs!? 
Our brains love patterns, and music is a great way for our students to take a shortcut to remembering key concepts in the classroom... in an engaging way!

Every song I write for my classroom serves the important purpose of helping my students understand their learning target. As teachers, we know that if students aren't able to understand the basic concepts of their learning target, it becomes nearly impossible to help our students with higher-order thinking tasks associated with the standard.  A quick song becomes more than an engagement tool, but a teaching tool that can elevate our students' learning to the next level.

Each of the songs I write are simple, easy to remember, and drive the learning target home. I make sure that what I want my students to remember is repeated over and over again. Each time we sing our song, my students are repeating their learning target, and their having a blast in the process. I frequently use mnemonic songs (replace lyrics to popular tunes) because if my students already know the tune, there is less for them to remember when we roll out a new song. 

Check out a few examples shared during my presentation...

The Digraph Song was a chance for my students to practice their digraphs. This song was written to the tune of, Wheels on the Bus. I used Power Point to create the video, and recorded my students singing using the microphone recording software on my PC. 

The Vowel Song is a variation of a song by the same name that was written by an unknown author. There are many versions of this song on the internet. I wanted my students to practice their short and long vowels. This is to the tune of, BINGO. 

I wrote this chant called, Do You Know Your Doubles to help my students remember their doubles facts. It was a class favorite!

During each session, I give the audience a chance to write mnemonic songs of their own. I created a song book with more songs by yours truly, as well as songs written by teachers just like you! This is a resource I hope will continue to grow and grow! If you have a song that you would like added to this book, please email me at This book will continue to stay a free resource to share with other teachers! 
Click the picture below for your copy of this song book!

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