Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sing & Dance Along

Slice of Life Challenge
Please join the challenge over at Two Writing Teachers!

I believe that music can change your day. Hearing the right song at the right time can uplift, inspire, engage, calm, or touch you. Transition times in sixth grade were getting rowdy and long and frustrating for me and for the students. I thought about how I could change that. The expectations of what need to be done during transitions are clear and understood...yet I was still getting cranky and nagging the students. I needed to let go...allow them to accomplish their tasks without my complaining and nagging. 


I created a playlist with songs that were school appropriate. (That wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.) The songs also needed to be a good mix of upbeat, soft, inspirational, and even funny. 

Now as students enter the classroom, a song is playing. I enjoy the music and I'm more relaxed and they either ignore it or dance to it. It's helping. I play music as we put laptops away in the carts or as we clean up. Transition time is turning into one of my favorite parts of the day. 

Some of my favorite songs to share with the students include: 

I also have the song Let it Go from the movie Frozen. One morning that song was playing and two of my girls were arguing about who sang this song. I had the Demi Lovato version. When I told them that, they promptly informed me that the movie version was much better. I looked it up on youtube and we watched it. Idina Menzel sings it. We spent a few more minutes watching the video. I treasure those moments. We slowed down. We listened and really enjoyed the music. It made our day better! 

Another favorite is the song Brave by Sara Bareilles.

Finally, Pharrell's song Happy is another current favorite. 

I ask you, with music like this as the soundtrack to our days, how could anyone be cranky?!?! I'd love more suggestions to add to my playlist. Any songs you think would work to help in our transition time? Thanks!


  1. My soundtrack
    wanders through ears
    of the unknown
    I stomp the volume pedal
    to make it heard
    so that as I tune in here,
    you tune in there,
    and together, we are


  2. Love your soundtracks.....maybe after the SOL month...when I start exercising again....

  3. I know several teachers who use music really effectively. I'm not one of those teachers, mostly because I don't know that many great songs. Thanks for sharing this list of titles!

  4. Great list. My students are crazy for Frozen and the song. They'd agree it's WAY BETTER in the movie. I'm going to share this with them. Thank you for a wonderful post. It's a keeper.

  5. What a great mix of songs...from the Beatles to Katy Perry to Pharrell! We start testing today I may have to find Break My Stride to play today! Great list!

  6. You have really great songs on your playlist. I love cartoon soundtracks. Unfortunately every time I hear them, I get the movie going in my head. This can be distracting.

  7. Hey.
    I would love to share your post on my blog! www.teachingresourcesfortheclassroom.com I just love it!! Listening to Happy as I type! My husband is a third grade teacher he loves your playlists! You already visited me at http://www.teachingresourcesfortheclassroom.com/singing-reading-classroom/ showing my kids singing books!
    Let me know about guest posting.

    1. Sarah, You may absolutely share my post on your blog. I'm honored!! :) Let me know if there's anything I need to do. :) Sooooo cool!

  8. Oh how lucky your students are. I agree, music can make the day great. I read another post about singing and reading today...it must be a musical day...but then, everyday is. Great list of songs...and oh so true about slowing down and just listening. Jackie http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

  9. LOVE "Happy"! That's a new favorite of mine and Isabelle's. We listen to it in the car at least once a day, if not more.

    My students used to love "Peanut Butter Jelly Time," but that's a little old nowadays.

  10. I LOVE The Script's Hall of Fame for students.
    I have (pretty successfully) played the following for my students:
    Owl City's Fireflies.
    One Republic's Good Life
    Gym Class Hero's Stereo Hearts
    Coldplay's Clocks
    Coldplay's Vida La Vida
    Coldplay is so good for writing!
    Mumford & Sons' The Cave
    Jack Johnson's We Are Gonna Be Friends
    Jack Johnson's Better Together; Upside Down; Good People;
    Ingrid Michaelson's The Way I Am
    Keane's Somewhere Only We Know
    Instrumental Version: Seussical the Music for Read Across America Day
    The Beatles Hey Jude

    You are so right about how difficult it is...there's seemingly always something suggestive that pops up in the best songs!!!
    I Googled the lyrics to New Politic's Harlem because it's so upbeat and fun but Nope...naughty lyrics
    and I wanted Weezer's Buddy Holly to be okay and for the most part it is but there is a part near the end that goes: Bang Bang Get down on the floor! (shooting) Sigh. Not in our Post-Columbine era. Sigh.

    1. p.s. Sara B.'s BRAVE is perfect, isn't it?!

  11. Just found some more and WHEN to use them in the classroom (kinda cool!). Check it out:


Please share your thoughts. I love comments!