Dance Party....Classroom Style!

I {heart} using music in the classroom. I really do. Now don't get me wrong...I can't sing. Oh no.. but I can download songs or upload CDs to this little guy pretty well.....

Last year I got this boom box from Donor's Choose!!  How awesome is that? Luckily, I had a random iPod on hand and I loaded it up for the classroom. My favorite part is that this thing comes with a remote control. I just wish the remote control had more options on it... I still sometimes find I have to walk over {Yes... actually walk over to the CD player... how lazy do I sound.... but you know, when you are working with a group or are just busy... it's nice to have the remote option!}

So I thought I would share my favorites....

These aren't in any particular order... I mean, how can you choose just one favorite?!

First up.....Justin Timberlake... oh yeah, this is for the classroom....

Okay...first up is Greg and Steve. Love them... I want to take my class to one of their concerts this year...never done it, but heard a neighboring school I am all over that now!  These are my two favorite editions {2 and 5 if you can't see them} of the We All Live Together CDs, but they are all great.

This Frog Street Press Colors CD is possibly my most favorite... but I already know I am going to say that about ten more times in this post.
A. I start the year with a colors and getting to know each other theme and we play these color songs every day! I even do a "Color Concert" for the parents at the end of this unit... they {both parents and the kids} love it!
B. See my name on there... oh, that's because everyone wants to borrow this thing.
C. I bought this CD when I was student teaching and heard my master teacher playing it...that was in 1998... so it's safe to say I have this CD memorized.

So while we are on the 1998 student teaching part of my life... let me share this baby:

OK for you newer teachers out there...this is called a tape. So maybe I took it too far and I have since bought this as a CD, but c'mon the tape makes for a much better picture and I just can't toss it for some nostalgic reason.

These songs are a bit "hokey" but kinders love that... and so do the bigger kids. I love using the continents song when we are doing mapping. There are also state songs {it's broken up into regions such as the Eastern Border of the United States} on here that I had my 5th graders sing .... and my kinders like them too.

No, kindergarteners aren't required to know all 50 states, but they love music and if it's on in the background while they are working.... guess what, they will learn most of their states. But if you like a little more a rock-n-roll feel, this one may not be for you. Otherwise if you click {here} you can download all or just some of these songs.

Next up is Raffi. I mean, it could be illegal to run a classroom {at least kindergarten} without Raffi, right? These are the only two CDs I own by him... I'm sure I need more.
Favorites on here...hmm, I guess, "Down by the Bay," "Must be Santa," and of course, "Willoughby Wallaby Woo." Those are just the ones that come to mind at this moment.

Oh how I love me some Heidi songs! L.O.V.E. I was even more thrilled when I got to meet Heidi last spring at the O.C. Blogger Meet Up! I have more of her sight word CDs than are shown. Actually, they are a staple part of my sight word instruction. You can read more about that {here}
But even though those sight word songs are amazing, my favorite Heidi purchase has to be the Language Arts song CD {which I bought with the blacklines} You need this in your life. The Halloween song, the Snowman Song, Seasons, Farm and the Zoo... Oh My!

About two years ago I went to the Handwriting Without Tears training... for Pre-K Readiness and the K-5 handwriting training. Then I went back for the Print Tool Workshop... so needless to say, they had me at Hello! It's a great program.
I use their CDs for certain songs, but I always say I need to explore and try out more of the music on these CDs. A favorite of my kiddos is the Rock n Roll version of "Where do you Start your Letters." {Just click HERE to hear a portion of the song} Another good one is "Sliding Down to the End of the Alphabet."

Then there is "Quiet Music." When my kiddos hear me play either of these two CDs they know it is quiet working time. I don't use these often... so it doesn't lose it's pizazz... and little kinders shouldn't be quiet most of the time... but once in a while these are playing and I don't have to ask them to be quiet, they know... if the Quiet Music is on, it's time to be quiet.
The CD on the left is a random purchase from Bed Bath and Beyond... you know how there is that display case playing music of a stream or random jungle sounds or something. Well one time for whatever reason I bought this is just soothing music, not sounds of nature, and it has worked magically for the quiet CD. Baby Mozart you can get anywhere (as in just download it) or I know Lakeshore carries it.

We have a short nap/relax time for the beginning of the school year right when we come in from lunch. It helps them calm down and make that transition back to the it's a long day in September for these little friends.

I call this time "Music Appreciation" and we focus on the music of a particular composer. I will even read a brief history about the composer and show them some pictures of the person and some of the instruments being used. They love seeing a harpsichord because it is new for them! {Thank you Johann Sebastian Bach}

I guess this is also like Quiet Music time except they are on rest mats. I have downloaded a few tracks {and the great thing with classical music is one track can be 10 minutes long.} BUT I have also bought CDs at garage sales for a quarter.... I buy them, upload them and add that composer to our list.

Look at these random CDs:

And somehow Hap Palmer and Dr. Jean's CDs are missing...don't worry they are on the iPod. Click on either of their names to go to their sites. I love all of Hap's nursery rhyme songs. And we sing Dr. Jean's Zero the Hero song every ten days of school. In fact, I just found a free Zero the Hero download that matches the song {Here.}

Honestly, I could keep going. I love music and I am always amazed how much the kids learn as they sing. I love to use music for signals- like the clean up song, transition time or the quiet music. If a song has a direction attached to it, you don't have to talk nearly as much. There is so much to be said about the importance of rhythm and rhyme in the school day... not just in kindergarten... music wakes the brain up and helps make school FUN!

Music is a powerful tool.

Please share any other great artists or songs you know of... I love adding to my music library!


  1. I love it! I heard a rummer that a fellow teacher told someone that my class "just sings all day"! Whatever! We even sing the color songs as we walk to specials. I figure they are not going to be quiet so we might as well have a color song parade!!!

    Camp Kindergarten

  2. I love Hap Palmer's Witches Brew!!! My favorite Halloween song. BTW, where' your Jack Hartmann CD's?? Did you know that it's also illegal to run a K class without him? lol!


  3. This is what I miss so much about teaching kinder!! I love that you sing and play music for makes teaching and learning so much more fun! That Greg & Steve CD is the best! Even my 2nd graders LOVE (secretly) "The World is a Rainbow" and sing it while they work quietly at their desks! :)

    Sailing into Second

  4. I love listening...well and my students do music while we work. Yes, sometimes they may get a little out of hand if I put on the occasional Kidzbop, but hey it happens to the best of us!

    For the Love of First Grade

  5. I used to LOVE singing with my kiddos when I taught's the thing I miss the most now that I teach first grade. I heart Greg and favorite has to be "Popcorn." Now that I teach first grade, I play classical music for my students all the time while they are working independently. I used to think they didn't notice it, but whenever I forget to turn it on, they remind me!

    Shafer's Shenanigans 

  6. There's an Australian children's singer called Peter Coombe - my kidlets love 'Wash Your Face With Orange Juice' and 'Newspaper Mama'. I guess you could find him on iTunes to download to add a bit of Aussie flavour to your collection. :)

    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!