Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Poetry, Music, and Fun... Oh My!

Show of hands...  How many of you use music or songs to build skills?  I know I use songs regularly, even if they are not actual songs, to teach my little learners skills.

It is no secret that I am pretty much obsessed with EVERYTHING my good friend Deedee Wills creates for the classroom.  I am pretty sure I own all of her products, and trust me when I say, they are worth the investment!  

I have used Deedee's poetry packs for four years.  We use them in whole group as well as during literacy station time.  In a word, they ROCK!

When I found out Deedee was creating a product that would put her poems to music, I was THRILLED!  Knowing how much we sing these poems, and the fact that I wouldn't have to do my best Broadway renditions anymore, I snatched those packs up as fast as I could!

There are endless ways you could use the music to enhance your poetry instruction.  In a whole group setting, you could, of course, burn the files to a CD.  To do that, it does take some technical skill, but this video explains the process beautifully!

Courtesy BestLaoSong's YouTube channel

I do not prefer to use the CD in my classroom; instead, I play them directly from iTunes on either my computer or iPad.  

I also use the music file to supplement my literacy work stations.  Each week, my students visit the poetry station.  While at this station, students have always read the poem, completed the word work activity that accompanies it, and read the poem again.  This is all great, but I was so excited to use the music to really beef up this station!

Here is how I do it:

Our school district uses an LMS called Canvas.  Canvas is used in all grade levels in our district, so naturally, I have chosen to use this with my students.  If your school does not have an adopted LMS, I would recommend using Showbie to push files out to your students.  Showbie is free to use, and pretty easy!

In Canvas, my students download the file to their iPads.  After the file is downloaded, students can listen to the poetry songs right on their device!  I love taking it a step further and having students create a ChatterPix of them reciting or singing the poem of the week!  

Make sure to check out this fantastic resource ASAP!  It's a must-have, for sure!

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