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Circle Time Songs That Teach!

April 18, 2016

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Circle Time: One of the most valuable opportunities for group learning and engagement in an early childhood learning environment.

Designing one’s “lesson presentation” can be challenging, however-especially when conveying information in a way that can be effectively interpreted by a spectrum of learning styles.

You can read about the 7 different learning styles in children in this article by Diane Miller from “The Educator’s Spin on It”.

I wrote my song, “Wonderful You”, to remind children that  “…different is better than being the same”.  I was inspired to write that line by the painting below, created by artist Marco Bucci, “Multiple Intelligences”, which I LOVE because it captures the essence of circle time songs and stories, from both teachers’ AND students’ perspectives very well.

You can see in Bucci’s painting that the teacher is reinforcing her lesson using multiple teaching strategies to reinforce the theme: Animals and Pets. The children, while all listening and focusing intently, are clearly designed to interpret what they are witnessing in their own unique ways:

Multiple Intelligences

In combination with recognizing and catering to different learning styles, I agree with this image’s message that a given lesson’s success in making its way into a child’s long-term memory increases by making the teaching METHODS as diverse and memorable as we can, whether it is reading aloud, using props, games, media, learning tools and diagrams to transmit information into little minds, or–my favourite method:  Music.

Music consistently proves itself to be universally effective (and very valuable) in ensuring the retention of information, regardless of children’s individual learning styles.  Perhaps this is because of the automatic associations that result from music’s melodies, harmonies, cadences, rhymes and patterned/predictable structure. Music also has a magical ability to seep into our innermost thoughts, naturally resurfacing and reinforcing retention of the lyrics associated with the music we have heard.

Many of us have heard Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” I recognized early in my career as a preschool and Kindergarten teacher, that short, musical lessons were the best proof of this learning model.

  1. Listen to/learn a song.
  2. Practise the song together.
  3. Have students sing the song independently.

I have done the footwork with what works best, from experimenting with nursery rhymes (when I was a student teacher over 20 years ago), to releasing my 4th album of short, educational, musical lessons.  My recorded music is specifically designed to be used in primary learning environments, to supplement the preschool/Kindergarten curriculum.

Now, when I sit with a new group of children for the first time, I feel as if I am about to perform a well-practiced gymnastics floor routine at the Olympics, with the hardest-marking judges in the world.  Happy, clapping, engaged kids who demonstrate their comprehension of the information I am teaching them through my music is like receiving a perfect score for my well-practised “floor routine”.

I’m happy to share my favourite and most effective circle time songs with you, and hope you find them helpful and useful!  Most importantly, though, I hope you have lots of fun with them–because some of the best learning occurs when we are excited/happy!

Every Day Circle-Time Songs

Although I recommend using the same introduction and goodbye songs daily, I like the idea of having a “circle time song of the week” to match your classroom theme.  I have many songs that are designed specifically to be taught/learned in association with specific classroom themes, like Outer Space, Animals, Transportation, etc., but here are some that can be used any day of the year:

  1. Everybody Clap (“The Seasons”)
  2. Hello, Hello (“I Know I’ll Grow….”)
  3. Bicycle (“The Seasons”)
  4. Pat, Pat, Pat (“Wonderful You”)
  5. Horsey Ride (“Wonderful You”)
  6. Side to Side (“The Seasons”)
  7. Round and Round (“I Know I’ll Grow….”)
  8. Goodbye, Goodbye (“The Seasons”)

 

Calendar-Themed Songs

My Calendar Songs, What’s The Weather (“Wonderful You”), The 7 Days of the Week and the 12 Months songs (both from “Shadow”), are also designed to be used at Calendar time–which you can read more about in my post here.

These and my other songs can all be found and downloaded here, and you can find videos that go with many of my other songs on my YouTube channel here (SUBSCRIBE).

Children focus when music is incorporated into learning.  Even if they are half-listening or dreaming about something else, music sinks in subconsciously. With daily practice, as part of your circle time routine, the lessons embedded within MY music will be absorbed naturally and completely.

Sign up here for my webinars that share my method for incorporating music into your early learning environment, which includes expansion ideas, how to play my music, lyrics, tricks and more! 

Using my music already? Join my FB community and share your thoughts!  I love hearing from educators who find my work useful and helpful.

More circle time music/movement ideas in this post from Preschool Inspirations and this post from The Inspired Treehouse.

 

Comments

22 comments

  1. […] this video, I sing the following songs, which I always use at circle time.  You can find these and my other educational songs for young children on iTunes or […]

  2. I also enjoy morning circle at my special school….
    I have some autism students who have unique quality.. I love my kids…..

  3. I also enjoy morning circle at my special school….
    I have some autism students who have unique quality.. I love my kids…..

  4. […] a music circle yourself? Click here to read my recommendations for circle time songs that teach, which features some of my educational music for children, educators, parents and […]

  5. […] a music circle yourself? Click here to read my recommendations for circle time songs that teach, which features some of my educational music for children, educators, parents and […]

  6. […] from iTunes or CDBaby is great for the car or while children are playing, resting or learning at circle time…and now, we can sing “together”, using videos like these. It’s easy to […]

  7. […] from iTunes or CDBaby is great for the car or while children are playing, resting or learning at circle time…and now, we can sing “together”, using videos like these. It’s easy to […]

  8. Monique Johnson says:

    Amen! I totally agree. I’ve taught preschool children the states, presidents, Books of the Bible, planets, continents, oceans, the water cycle, and much, much more through music. It is an amazing teaching technique that absolutely works. That’s why when I was a child “School House Rock” really rocked! I love it to this day. And believe it or not, everybody has a little rhythm! I love your work.
    Monique Johnson

    • Nancy Kopman says:

      I LOVED School House Rock, and was 100% influenced by educational musical TV similar to it–like classic Sesame Street and Electric Company. I can recall all of the words from all of those songs to this day. Music really is magical. I appreciate your positive support of my work! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, Monique! –Nancy ♪♫

  9. Monique Johnson says:

    Amen! I totally agree. I’ve taught preschool children the states, presidents, Books of the Bible, planets, continents, oceans, the water cycle, and much, much more through music. It is an amazing teaching technique that absolutely works. That’s why when I was a child “School House Rock” really rocked! I love it to this day. And believe it or not, everybody has a little rhythm! I love your work.
    Monique Johnson

    • Nancy Kopman says:

      I LOVED School House Rock, and was 100% influenced by educational musical TV similar to it–like classic Sesame Street and Electric Company. I can recall all of the words from all of those songs to this day. Music really is magical. I appreciate your positive support of my work! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, Monique! –Nancy ♪♫

  10. […] means, before you bounce, sway, turn and walk in and out of the circle.  This song is great for teachers to use at circle time, as a direction-following activity, as a refocusing activity, or just to get kids’ bodies […]

  11. […] means, before you bounce, sway, turn and walk in and out of the circle.  This song is great for teachers to use at circle time, as a direction-following activity, as a refocusing activity, or just to get kids’ bodies […]

  12. […] you’re a teacher using these songs to teach at  Circle Time or a parent/caregiver playing them in the car, I guarantee that your little ones will easily absorb […]

  13. […] involving actions using Hands and Fingers, or “Finger Plays” are always fun at circle time. Moving little fingers around, isolating individual fingers’ movements and making shapes with […]

  14. […] involving actions using Hands and Fingers, or “Finger Plays” are always fun at circle time. Moving little fingers around, isolating individual fingers’ movements and making shapes with […]

  15. […] for classroom use are extremely helpful/useful for teachers!  Read these posts about Circle Time Songs That Teach, Quiet Time Songs and Teaching Specific Information Through […]

  16. […] for classroom use are extremely helpful/useful for teachers!  Read these posts about Circle Time Songs That Teach, Quiet Time Songs and Teaching Specific Information Through […]

  17. […] I gained my students’ trust, I noticed how eagerly they tried to learn the words to my circle time songs, which we sang every day. After they had mastered the words and meanings to my songs, I would […]

  18. […] I gained my students’ trust, I noticed how eagerly they tried to learn the words to my circle time songs, which we sang every day. After they had mastered the words and meanings to my songs, I would […]

  19. Mary Ann says:

    Hi Nancy. I want to learn more circle time songs for my Filipino Kinder pupils. Thank you.

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