Jammin’ in Room B116

My students and I love to jam. At the end of each day we listen to our class clean up song. For most of this year we have listened to Katy Perry’s Roar. After winter break we started playing Let It Go. Watching 28 third graders clean up a classroom while singing Let It Go is a sight to see.

I’ve always wanted to have a classroom where listening to music was something we did regularly, but it never seems to work out. I’ll try it for a couple of days and then it slowly loses steam. Not with this year’s class. They are all about the music. During writing workshop we listen to classical music and during math workshop we listen to pop music. The kids all it no-word music and word music.

You can find our class playlist below. As I update our jams they will automatically update in the playlist, so feel free to jam alongside us.

I’d love to hear how you incorporate music into your learning environments.

21 Comments
  1. Oh fun! I wish we had done this is in my third grade classroom. We are a big random-dance-party family and music always has a way of lifting our spirits/motivation. The Frozen soundtrack has been a staple for many months.

  2. My kids loved when we used You Make Me Smile (Uncle Kracker) to introduce similes. It’s now a class favorite.

  3. I think it’s great to incorporate music, Colby :) In fact, you may be having more success with it this year because they’re third graders instead of fourth! I’m trying to imagine how music during math enhances instead of interferes, but that may be because of the way my brain works lol I’ve never thought to try it and never paid attention to how I function with math when music’s on! I definitely get it with the writing, though! And I’ve found that this rainy background is PERfect for writing—ANY kind of writing:

    http://www.rainymood.com/

    Do they pick the songs or do you suggest?

    • I started they play list with about 10 songs. Kids can recommend songs by writing the title and artist on a sticky note. I check lyrics and add song If it is appropriate.

  4. Created a “school playlist” on my iPod several years ago. How often and when we play music depends on each year’s class, but for the most part, students love it! Like you, I love hearing them sing along. One way I ALWAYS use music is this: on each child’s birthday, while we write & draw birthday messages, we play the music. My song gifts always include My Wish by Rascal Flatts and Dream Big by Ryan Shupe and sometimes the birthday song by the Beatles. But the birthday boy or girl always gets to pick a song to play also. So much fun! (Just wish someone this year would choose something other than Dynamite!)
    Fun post, Colby!

  5. I was trained by Eric Jensen “Learning with the Brain in mind” and I learned how to incorporate music in the classroom (but in my case the Library) to support learning. I use music as a transition. Instead of wrangling the kids by calling out for them throughout the library for them to line up they know the LINE UP song. Throughout their library visit music is playing (very much like a book store) and then when the line up song comes on they move on their own to their spots.

  6. What a great list! I try to incorporate music in to our house during homework because I grew up as an only child in a very quiet house. As a result, I have a really hard time reading or writing with any background noise which is now frustrating. I hope that my girls can be more flexible and they are also so much happier when there is music playing! Thanks for sharing this fun list!

  7. How about independent music? There are so many great, independent songwriters who aren’t heard by the masses. Don Henry (who wrote the title track to Miranda Lambert’s new CD, All Kinds of Kinds”), Tom Kimmel and Sally Barris are all Nashville writers who perform as The Waymores. Check out their songs I Ain’t Afraid of Work and Waymore on iTunes, or at http://www.waymores.net. That’s just the tip of the iceberg! You could also try Everyday’s Back in Town by Greg Newlon (and me, Bev Barnett) also on iTunes and at http://www.bevandgreg.com

  8. Crazy awesome list, Colby! We’ve got a library playlist I use during book selection (mostly just to hear the darlings all sing together… greatest sound of joy ever!) which also includes Forget You, Dynamite, and I Knew You Were Trouble. Love that music also plays such a role in your classroom!

  9. The use of music in a classroom is so beneficial for so many reasons. My 4th graders and I do a morning dance to “Let it Grow” by Ester Dean. We pack up to “we’re all in this together”. It’s so much fun to experience this with them. I also do most of my transition times to music. They know how long the song is and can manage to get things put away and be ready by the time it ends. It’s amazing how much less you have to talk when you incorporate music. Keep up the great work! :)

  10. I got a lot of good ideas from Brent Vasick’s blog that he wrote for Scholastic Top Teaching. You might want to check them out and you can access them here (http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/contributor/brent-vasicek). These are the ones I borrowed and they were very popular with my classes:
    Use “If I Had a Million Dollars,” by Barenaked Ladies as a writing prompt. It’s silly and my students always ask me to play it throughout the year during journal. I also use music lyrics to introduce a unit on poetry by watching the video, reading the lyrics, and discussing the meaning. I use “Cats in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin, and “Where Are You Going” by Dave Matthews Band. If you want to drum up excitement about a project you can introduce it with a note and the “Mission Impossible” tv show theme.

  11. I like that you use different genres and styles, and use it at the end of the day. We use them at beginning while unpacking and getting organized for the day, and during writing time.

    We make a CD for all our 3rd graders at end of year featuring about 15 songs. Will look up last year’s list and share. I’m going to include some of your on this year’s CD.

  12. I ask every student to tell me their favorite song. I then find them a make a class playlist. To this day there are songs I hear on radio and immediately think of a former student. This year we play Brave by Sara Barielles every morning.

  13. This is awesome, Colby. I’ve been looking for new tunes. I’m a big fan of the kids’ folk music station on Pandora. It’s good library background music. Saving your playlist!

  14. Great list! Here are a few of my kids’ current favorite songs:

    Hall of Fame- The Script
    Rockstar- A Great Big World
    When Can I See You Again? -Owl City
    Everybody- Ingrid Michaelson
    We Built This City- Starship

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