Tag Archives : #music

April Teacher Talk

Posted by Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern

It’s April already, the school year is almost over.  Now it’s time to look forward toward spring vacation if it hasn’t already come and gone. Stop by our blog linky and see what great tips and advice are there just for you.

If you’re interested in joining this unique group of teacher entrepreneurs, blogging buddies and/or our blog linky, sign up here….The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative. If you decide to join, be sure to mention one of our names.

 Spring Activities
Begin with mud and splash into fun learning this Spring.
Music to Calm the Soul and Enhance Learning
“Music is the electrical soil in
which the spirit lives, thinks and invents.” –Ludwig van Beethoven. Why
is it that for many of us, music is an essential part of our personal
lives yet when we go to work or school we turn it off?
 The Elephant in the Classroom
 Where is the elephant in the classroom? The recent college admissions scandal might give us a clue.
 Scaredy Squirrel – Mentor Text
 What happens when Scaredy Squirrel visits YOUR home? This free writing activity will get your writers excited!
 I Feel Bad for People Who Say They Feel Badly
 Do you know how to decide between the words bad and badly? Many people don’t.
 7 Tips to Help Students Revise Their Essay
 Try out these 7 helpful tips to guide your students during the revising phase. Your writers can use these tips throughout during the writing process.
 How to Start Book Clubs in Your Classroom
 Are you considering using book clubs in your classroom? Learn five things you should do before you introduce book clubs to your class.
 Make Mistakes on Purpose
 When students have the opportunity to correct the teacher, it reinforces that language point, assesses the students’ understanding of that language point, gives the learner confidence, and teaches students to problem-solve.
 Exploring Patterns With Project-Based Learning: Rotations, Reflections & Translations

Explore 4th and 5th grade geometry concepts with project-based learning. It’s always surprising who excels with this type of project, and who finds them challenging. This one doesn’t disappoint!
Whole Body Learning
 Geometry was a daunting subject for me in high school. So when I started teaching, I was determined to think of a way to teach geometry that was fun and interactive.
 Be sure to visit all of our teachers for some awesome ideas to use with your students.
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Easter phrasing, fluency and fun (and a freebie for everyone!)

Easter Rhythm and Rhyme

It was almost Easter, and I found myself fighting off the urge to nod off while my students were reading some of the most entertaining leveled books schools can buy. My primary readers were in a slump. I heard it their robotic, monotone reading. Things needed shaking up with phrasing and pacing with a number of my early readers. I ran the risk of my head falling to my chest and a potential neck injury.

It was time for another Phrasing and Fluency Blitz!

When I taught Reading Recovery, there were times that a student would plateau at a a level for more than a week. We would be advised to take two or three lessons for a phrasing and fluency blitz – rereading some familiar, easier books to rebuild confidence, model and practice phrasing and pick up the pace! Many of our students’ favorites were readers that rhymed, had a lively rhythm and made us both laugh!

I used the freebie The Bunny Hop Easter Song and Movement Activity in Kindergarten poetry books as a music and movement activity. It works particularly well if modeled and echoed first before showing earliest readers the text:

This freebie also has a black and white version included with it – ideal for poetry folders!

It’s all about the Eggs is an Easter Fun Fluency Reader  modeled after I’m All About the Bass (performed by Meghan Trainor, co-written by Meghan Trainor and Kevin Kadish). I’m All About the Bass had been on the radio so much last year that my students knew the tune instantly. I modeled the first read to them, and we practiced a few phrases in isolation before we all enjoyed singing it fluently from beginning to end (over, and over and over again.)



There is a twist on a familiar Fairy Tale in this book that the kids find hilarious (but humor and laughter are topics for other days…).


Limitation of liability: It’s all about the Eggs is not recommended for those who are prone to getting songs stuck in their head or with one last nerve.

Happy Easter everyone!
That Fun Reading Teacher 
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SWS page header Easter playlists

Creative Math Warm-Ups

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Creative Warm-Up Activities for Math Class

Are you looking for creative ways to get your class ready for math class?

 You’ve come to the right place. Check out these great ideas that educators are using in their classrooms.




Warm Up With a Math Song!

By Jennifer Kramer of Jenny’s Class and Edutunes

Are you looking for a great way to “warm up” for a math lesson? Songs are a great way to introduce concepts, to review concepts,and to pave the way for any lesson. Follow the link to hear 5 song samples, and discover ways they can be used to introduce important concepts!


Math Warm-ups

By Retta London of Rainbow City Learning

My students and I have never liked jumping into math class feet first without a chance to dip our toes in the water and get used to the idea first. Math warmups, short whole group activities based on the math you’ll be studying during the lesson, are a perfect way to dip your toes.


Creative Math Warm-Ups

By Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern

 There are so many creative math warm-ups to help get your class excited about math class. Here are some that I’ve used.


Warming Up for Math!

By Kathie Yonemura of Tried and True Teaching Tools

Math warm ups get your students thinking about math! Quick ways to get your kids thinking! Low prep!

Music in the Classroom

By Deann Marin at The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs


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Music has always been very near and dear to me so this is a great topic to write about. From day one of my teaching career, I used music in my classroom. Even though I’m not a musician, by any means, I can plunk some notes on the piano, and play very rudimentary guitar chords and notes.

My first job, I was working witMusic in the classroom 8x8 coverh mentally challenged teenagers who had very low IQs. I began playing songs on the piano to help them learn, each day we would sing the alphabet song, low and behold they were learning their alphabet letters. They just loved when I brought the guitar into school so we could sing together. Of course, they were the only ones that I would play the guitar for, they didn’t realize that I really couldn’t play. We did have fun.

Each day at 10:00 I would turn on the TV show the Electric Company. I felt that the class would learn more by listening to the catchy little tunes and lyrics for words, letters and numbers, than they would if I used the usual methods for teaching reading and math. Don’t get me wrong, I did use phonics, etc., but for these kids who would never progress much more than a 2nd or 3rd grade level, it worked. They loved it.

A few years later, I had a self-contained class for children with severe psychological problems. They were too disruptive to remain in the regular classroom. Talk about challenging!!! Well, music does calm the savage beast. I would play classical, or quiet tunes and the kids, for the most part, would calm right down. As a reward, I would let them bring in some of their own music to share.

On to middle school to teach 6th grade which is my true love. The language arts program has songs to accompany each new unit.For the beginning of each ELA class they always asked me to put on the CD so that they could sing the song that went with what was being taught. The kids especially loved the Noun Song, the

lyrics and tune was very appealing. They would even walk down the hall singing it and I would hum it to myself. I guess the point that I’m trying to make is, music really helps kids learn and they don’t even realize it. I would also play music during study hall, or while the kids were taking a test to help them relax.

Another interesting way to use music in the classroom is to have them write poetry or do creative writing to classical music. First, have them close their eyes and listen. Tell them to let the melodies take them to a special place. They can then describe it in their work, they can say how it made them feel, or who if anyone was there, what happened, etc. My classes just love this activity and they also like sharing their creations with each other. This also makes for a good bulletin board.

I so enjoyed directing plays with elementary and middle school children.  As I said before, I don’t really play an instrument, so I sought the assistance of the music teacher who was more than willing to help. Wealways had a great time and it amazed me to see how talented some of those kids were. They just shined during the performances and were able to belt out the songs which always gave me chills. Talk about dancing, that was another thing that blew me away. It was awesome to see them move and groove to the tunes. Talk about America’s Got Talent, well, these kids sure had it.

So, as you can see, music can be used as an introduction to a lesson, as a way to help children learn and memorize things. Students can do research about musiciaGettingToKnowYourClassmatesandYourTeacher lyricsns, composers, directors, and write reports about them. They can learn about music throughout history as part of an ancient history unit. If you’d like to see more ideas about how to integrate music into the curriculum. Here is a link to a great website:



I’ve created a Back to School Binder that will be using the song“Getting to Know You.” from Rogers and Hammerstein’s hit musical The King and I, as a stepping stone to help make students feel at ease while getting to know each other.



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