Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Worksheets Don't Build Dendrites {Chapter 11}

What the Teacher Wants is hosting this chapter on Music, Rhythm, Rhyme and Rap.

We love music and rhyme in my room.  I think I hear daily "That rhymes with..." or "____ and ____ rhyme".  I'm glad my kiddos are making these connections and are wanting to point it out.

We are rockstars at rhyming this year.  Our favorite rhyming activity this year is "I have, Who has" with rhyming words.  As I was writing this post, I thought "wouldn't it be fun when I have a minute or two to break students into groups, give each group a rime and have them see how many rhyming words they can come up with in a minute."  They love little games like this, and much to their less than competitive teacher's delight, are not super competitive in little games like this.  We must give this a try sometime...

We just started writing poetry last week.  We haven't talked much about it rhyming, but more about the rhythm of it.  So far, my kiddos have enjoyed writing and listening to/reading poetry.  One of them even wrote his daily journal like a poem.  It was written vertically down the page with only a few words per line.  He was so proud to show me that it looked like a poem.  Good connection, buddy!

"The rhythms, contrasts, and patterns of music help the brain encode new information, which is why students easily learn words to new songs." (Jensen, 2005; Webb & Webb, 1990)

I am always amazed at how quickly students pick up on songs.  I also have to laugh, to myself of course, when I hear students singing things that aren't the most appropriate for young ears and mouths knowing that they probably only heard it a couple times and already have it memorized.  This makes me think that music is so incredibly important to learning if they can pick up on things that we may not want them to through music!

I mentioned a few of these in my post yesterday about movement.  HeidiSongs and Jack Hartmann incorporate both music and movement.  You can check both of them out with their YouTube links above.  We puffy heart "Miss Heidi" in our room.  She makes an appearance on a daily basis, and my kiddos are better readers and writers thanks to her songs.  Jack Hartmann has been instrumental in teaching science concepts to my kiddos.  Both have catchy songs with motions that my kiddos remember.  When writing, I start singing a HeidiSong, and my kiddos are able to write the word with just the first few words of the song.

Harry Kindergarten is also a staple in our room.  You can check him out using the YouTube link.  I generally use his stuff for math concepts.  We are currently using his 3-D shapes song on a daily basis.

The penguin was for my class.  Each presenter that they "knew" (via their songs) was kind enough to take a picture with the penguin last year to send to my students.  They were in awe!
I have had the opportunity to see all three of these talented musicians/educators in person at I Teach K! It was a wonderful experience, and they are just as fun in person. My kiddos think it is so cool that I actually met them.

I'd like to add more by encouraging students to create their own songs/chants/rhymes to remember important information.  I think student-created will certainly leave more of an impact on their learning, and my kiddos love learning from one another.

How do you incorporate music, rhythm and rhyme in your classroom?  We'd love to add even more to our room!


  1. I'm just amazed at the generosity of Harry Kindergarten and all the songs he puts on YouTube for FREE - you don't see that much anymore! He's a staple in our classroom as well!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

    1. Agreed! We love music and movement. I'm willing to pay for it when it is good, but I like free even better! Have a good week!