Are you looking for a great way to make math come to life? I bet you know what I’m about to say next…Just press “PLAY!”
Songs are a great way to introduce concepts, to review concepts, and to pave the way for any lesson. I always have songs ready in my classroom. I create lyric packets so that each child has a set. I also write the words down on large chart paper, and I place the posters onto a flip chart in the order of my CD or playlist. (Okay, I still use CD’s, but I know some of you are a little more high-tech than me!) Children are motivated to sit together, focus, and try their hardest–all in hopes that they will have the chance to point to the words in the next song.
When children point to words as they sing, any song doubles as a reading activity. Children learn to read from left to right, and from top to bottom, with 1:1 correspondence. Sometimes, we do specific motions to help children to comprehend song concepts. I’ve chosen to share ideas for a few math songs that I felt were important enough to include in at least 2 products:
1. “Circles Go ‘Round and ‘Round” (from Common Core KinderMath and We Love Math): Make shapes in the air with children as the song plays. My class also makes fun rolling motions during the “Aideay, aideo, Aideiddle-i-oodle-i-o” part. Discuss numbers of sides and corners after the song plays. Alternatively, you may want to draw shapes on the board as children draw them on whiteboards/in notebooks as the song plays.
2. “100 Days of School” (from Common Core KinderMath and We Love Math) or “Count to 120” (from Common Core 1st Grade Math): Hold up fingers in sets of 10. You can also have 10 children (or 12 for first grade) stand up in front of the class. They can take turns holding up 10 fingers each as the song plays. You can also play the YouTube videos–Free for a limited time! (I’d love to know which one you like best!)
3. “Telling Time” (from Common Core 1st Grade Math and We Love Math): Give children Judy clocks. Most classrooms have at least one large geared clock. Ask a lucky volunteer to move the clock as the song plays. Help the child to move the minute hand properly. Once the class has had enough practice, I recommend getting individual clocks with gears. I found 6 for $14.99 from Learning Resources on amazon.com … Kind of expensive, but I think they’re worth it:)
4. “Alligator Greater Than/Less Than” (from Common Core KinderMath, Common Core 1st Grade Math, and We Love Math): In this song, children learn that the “greater than-less than” symbol is similar to an alligator’s mouth. The teacher or a student can write numbers from the song on the board. Children can make small alligator symbols with their hands. Their thumbs would be the mouths, and their other fingers would be the heads. Alternatively, they could make large symbols by opening and closing their arms. An alligator puppet’s always fun–And I happen to have one, available here!
5. “Making 11-20” (from Common Core KinderMath and Common Core 1st Grade Math): You can do several things to make this song “come to life” in your classroom.
-Ask one child to hold up 10 fingers at the beginning of the song. Ask another child to hold up one more finger at a time as the class counts.
-Play the PowerPoint presentation as the song plays (available here).
-Ask children to show tens and ones blocks as the song plays. Discuss how concepts work after the song ends.
-Show with other objects, such as straws bundled in a group of 10.
Songs are a nonthreatening, research-based, developmentally appropriate way to introduce, comprehend, and review any topic! I hope these ideas make a difference in your classroom.
Please share–How do you use songs either at home, or in the classroom?
Jenny Fixman Kramer
“Jenny’s Class and Edutunes” on Teachers Pay Teachers
P.S. Visit Mrs. Wills Kindergarten for GREAT hands-on math ideas!
Please also our poetry songs. Here are links to the April and May units.
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