Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites: Chapter 11

Are you loving this book study so far? We are talking about Chapter 11 today which is all about using Music, Rhythm, Rhyme, and Rap in the classroom. Going into this chapter we felt like we were pretty strong in this area, but after reading through the research and examples we see that there is always room for improvement!

We are both big proponents of music in education and this chapter explains why music is important. There is research that shows that:

- Music has an effect on the brain that helps with memory and it's relationship to mathematical ability.
-Music has the ability to energize, relax, and make learning fun.
-Classical music stimulates brain waves that help with brainstorming and problem solving. 
-Studies show that some types of music can boost intelligence.

Here's a look at how we use music in the classroom:

Anytime I'm going to rap, I always put on my special glasses that help me become Mrs. Smitty! She's the best 1st grade teacher turned rapper in the city. ;)

Here's a rap I did a few weeks ago that helped my students with 3 addend addition (there really is no tune... it's more of a rap/chant):

Memorizing doubles facts can actually be super fun!  I alway use this song from Harry Kindergarten to practice at the end of the day for a few weeks.  After just a few days, they've got the facts memorized. 

Each week we have a new spelling rule.  My students learn about this rule through games, practice, picture books, and SONGS! I love when our spelling rule coincides with song from Heidisongs! She's got the cutest songs and actions that help my students remember the spelling rule so they can write it AND read it. Each of the phonics rules comes with a cute song on the CD and a poster that you can hang in your classroom as well. Check it out!
Here's a video of Heidi's class singing one of my favorite songs... ING!

Behavior Management:
I use music in transition every day.  When I want my students to partner up (without actually picking their own partner), I play music and that signals for them to stand up and walk around the classroom. When I stop the music, they FREEZE.  They look around and find a person that is closest to them and sit down with them (which indicates they have a partner and are ready to work).  If someone does not have another person near them, they walk to the middle of the classroom and find someone there. I make sure to tell my students that they are only partnering with someone near them and that they don't "seek out" their best friend! The music gets my students excited about partnering because they can't wait to hear what I play.  I play a variety from classical music to Kidz Bop!

I also love to use Rhyme/chants while we are in line. It pretty much lets my students know it's time to be in line and ready to go, once they hear the chant.
 Here is a sample from my line up chants book..
 Download the book here
Clipart/Fonts are copyright

 I have my chants hanging right next to my door!

Music in Social Studies:
In the 5th grade classroom, I (Natalie) loved to find ways to incorporate music in my social studies lessons. It's a great way to teach abut the mood of the the country during each time period. It can be a powerful way to help history come alive for your students. You can find a lot of great songs and lyrics on the Internet. Here are a few I've used in the past:

Slavery - Follow the Drinking Gourd
20th Century - We Didn't Start the Fire
Evolution of Music -

Thanks for joining us today for our book study! Please share your ideas with us in the comments or link up with us below. We'd love to hear how you use music, rhythm, rhyme, and rap into your instruction!

Next up to host:
First Grader At Last Chapter 12 (April 11th)
Erica's Ed Ventures Chapter 13 (April 14th)
KinderGals Chapter 14 and 15 (April 18th)
A Rocky Top Teacher Chapter 16 (April 21st)
Mrs. Wills Kindergarten Chapter 17 (April 25th)
Little Warriors Chapter 18 (April 28th)
Falling Into First Chapter 19 (May 2nd)
Kickin' it in Kindergarten Chapter 20 (May 5th)


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