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1stgradenew 1stgradenew is offline
 
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RW and music
Old 07-09-2007, 02:52 PM
 
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I know that Debbie Miller used music to call the class to the rug for RW and at other times(I think when reading was over, etc.) I am thinking about starting this next year. Please tell me how you use music. Do you play it to tell your kids its RW time, do you play it to signal partner reading, etc? What music do you use? Do you have a favorite CD or song? Do you play the music or do you have that as a class job?

**PS- I would also love to know when else you use music in your classroom and what music have you found that your class enjoys.

I love to see the Sunflower room getting lots of posts again...I love reading about RW.


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Old 07-09-2007, 04:40 PM
 
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I use music all the time. I can't use English music, but I have lots of French music. I only use songs with words that they can understand (and sing along with) when we're doing art. The rest of the time, I want them to focus on their work, with the music as a background. Nothing stops them from humming along, of course, but I find that words that they can understand can interfere with their reading. I know that I have a hard time writing or reading when I can hear words in the background.

I use a lot of world music. My kids LOVE the Putumayo collection called Gypsy Caravan. It's excellent, with spanish, eastern european and arabic flavours. I have a few Putumayo collections, and they're all fabulous: Caribbean Playground, African Playground, Latin Playground, World Playground. I often play the Cirque du Soleil soundtrack. Great music and I find myself playing it after the kids have left. Our all-time favourite, though, would have to be a CD by The Sweetwater Women, a group of 4 native women with roots in Northern Ontario who drum and sing Cree songs. I was amazed at how calm and relaxed my class gets when listening to native drumming.

I have several Mozart CDs as well, but my students don't really care for them. I'll play them and no one complains, but no one's face lights up when it starts, either. When I play Cirque du Soleil, Sweetwater Women or one of the Putumayo collections, I'll get spontaneous applause.

As for how I use music...I decide when to play the music. I don't play it all the time, but I will play music at some point of every day. I play it during RW about once or twice a week. Usually, I'll start it after my mini-lesson and say something like "I want everyone to be settled in a cozy spot with a great book by the time the first song is over.". I played the drumming CD on a whim during my evaluation and my principal loved it. She commented on how calm and purposeful the students were as they hummed along and got settled.

My kids know my rule: if there's too much noise, I turn the music off immediately.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:14 PM
 
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I have the "music maker" as a job in my classroom... last year, their job was to put on the song that meant "clean up your books and make a circle for the greeting meeting." I LOVED this job-- it made my life so much easier, and the morning pretty much ran itself.

I also usually tried to remember to play music that meant to gather after private and partner reading for sharing time. I had a hard time remembering to do this, and the kids had to remind me a lot. I told them that the reason I'd play music instead of ringing the bell is because as a reader, I hate to be interuppted when I haven't found a stopping point yet. I told them that they need to come to rug before the song is over. I think this year, I'll teach the music maker how to do this job too.

For shared reading, we did tons of songs- staying on one for an entire week. The kids really learned the lyrics through all the repeated readings. We used a cheap famous "kids songs" CD that you can find almost anywhere. Just look for one with familiar songs on it. We learned ones like Boom Boom Ain't it Great to bE Crazy?, Ten in the Bed, Over in the Meadow, I'm H-A-P-P-Y, and John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. Once we'd learned them, I used those songs at other times in the day-- to fill a minute or for a transition.

I use classical music- piano and other assorted during writer's workshop and when we write poetry.

I also often do the transitions "come to carpet before the song is over."

like Random, I also use ones with words all the time during art projects or other projects that involve fun activities that aren't a lot of thinking...

The CD that I use for the greeting meeting and RW sharing is Hunka Bunka Boo 2 by Katherine Dines. I use All the Way Around the World for greeting and Read a Book for sharing.

Music adds joy to the classroom!
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Music Maker
Old 07-09-2007, 05:52 PM
 
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I love that name for a class job. Did you just quietly tell the music maker to turn on the song when reading was over? I like the idea behind using music instead of a bell or one word signal...I too hate to be cute off when reading. Were both songs from that CD?

Random-Can you suggest somewhere to find those CDs you mentioned? Borders? I need to get non-sing along music....you right, songs that can sing to really seem to distract them when they need to focus.
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Old 07-10-2007, 03:40 AM
 
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yeah... i just quietly cued that child. For a while at the beginning of the year, the greeting meeting music actually was supposed to come on at a certain time. The problem with that was that some music makers could put it on at the right time everyday and others always needed a reminder b/c they were so absorbed in their reading. Also- when there was a sub, they would get really stressed out b/c before they were done taking roll and getting the office stuff together, the music would come on and the class would be assembled on the rug. So I switched to just nodding to the music maker and that's handled it.

PS: This year, my kids all had a job, but they didn't get to DO all the jobs. They kept a job for like 4 weeks or so and I loooooved it. They really knew what to do and when we switched, everyone remembered to do their new job, because switching didn't happen much.

PPS: Both songs were from that CD... there's also one more on there that I taught them called The Mighty Tree of Life.


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Old 07-10-2007, 04:05 AM
 
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itunes has a great cd to download called Kids Be Nice. It has "You've Got A Friend in Me" from Toy Story, "Clean-up" by Lauri Berkner, and a Kermit song "A Smile Connects Us." They are really great for the classroom.
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:12 AM
 
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I used music to signal for morning meeting, come to share, etc. for my first 2 years of teaching. I started my RW this year without music, and I realized what a difference it makes! When I returned to using music mid-year, my kids were so much more organized, indpendnet, and consistent (and so was I!) We voted on songs that we wanted to use for certain times of day (examples- Circle of Life from Lion King was for come to sharing circle, Superfrajacallalistic- no clue how to spell- was for cleaning up free centers, You've Got a Friend in Me was for go to partner reading spots, etc. It helps so much!! Another favorite song of my class was the "What a Wonderful World/ Somewhere over the Rainbow" medley song. I got it from Itunes. :-)
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:34 AM
 
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I like the idea of switching jobs only every 4 weeks are so. This year I switched on Mondays, and well I always forget. To do that though I would have to have more jobs. Would you mind sharing the jobs you had this year...I only had about 8 so I have a lot more to add if I do it this way
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list
Old 07-10-2007, 04:49 AM
 
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I found a list I typed last summer, but I ended up going with lots of different jobs... so i think I ended up with these:

Line Leader
Hallway Helper-- last in line. (Gives OK sign when class is quiet enough to leave room. Can stop line in hallway by raising hand if too loud.)
Lights-- lines up second to last (handy not only for going out of the room, but for overhead and read alouds and any other times I say, "lights!" )
Librarian- all my kids KNOW this is the most important job of all... you could probably even have three.
Librarian
Phone Service ("Hello, ____'s class, how can I help you?")
Lunch Magnets
Substitute
Hand Sanitizer- squirts each person as they walk in the door from recess before snack
Music Maker
Lending Library- also very helpful-- in morning, goes around and helps me stuff logs and books back into envelopes. Tells me if there is a log not filled out or a book missing.
Lending Library
Paper Passer
Date (writes date and any special events on board)
Pencil Sharpener- sharpens the "sad" pencils during a transition time when the noise isn't bothersome
Greeter (stands beside me in the AM and shakes students hands after me... supposed to also go up to anyone who visits our classroom and greet them. We have to work on this- I need to model b/c they are shy)
Inspector (keeps things off the floor, straightens pillows, etc.)
Messenger

Didn't do: Eraser, gardener, chair person, mail supervisor
Adding this year: Greeting Leader-- not part of other jobs- will rotate with sticks. Their job will be to wait for the class to get quiet after arriving at the greeting meeting, and to choose a greeting and start it.
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Music rocks!
Old 07-10-2007, 06:04 AM
 
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Hey, how about Sound of Music...my kids loved it!


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short teacher
Old 07-10-2007, 10:38 AM
 
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I love the idea of switching jobs every 4 weeks, that is a great time saver. I have a job called "short teacher." The short teacher does odd jobs that may come up and are not assigned to someone else (ex. can you get me an eraser, can you get me a papwer towel, etc,) The kids love the name!!!
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hilarious!!!
Old 07-10-2007, 10:40 AM
 
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That name is so funny!! I love it!
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Old 07-11-2007, 04:03 PM
 
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1stgradenew, I bought most of my CDs at music festivals or at Chapters (Canadian book store). I did quick searches on www.amazon.com and all of the CDs that I mentioned were available to order. The Putumayo collection are listed at 13.99. Cirque du soleil CDs cost between 12.49 and 16.98. Sweet Water Women is pretty expensive at 25.00.

I also thought of one more way that I use music in my classroom.

I often do milling to music, where children circulate to the music. When I stop the music, they are to partner up with the closest person and then discuss a given topic. I use it in lots of different ways, but one very successful use of milling to music is for sharing at the end of RW. I don't use it all that often because I think that whole group shares are really important, but milling to music can be a fun change of pace.

So, for instance, if we're working on connections, my students might have 4 short partner chats during share time:

first - describe a connection that you made and how it helped you as a reader
second - why do you think that it's important to make connections when you read
third - share something that you did today during workshop that you're proud of
fourth - share something positive that you noticed someone else doing during workshop
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:22 PM
 
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Love the idea of "Milling to Music." A fellow first grade teacher at my school actually does this when she wants her students to practice math facts. You could really carry this over to any subject area - thanks for the suggestion!
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