Friday, September 22, 2017


I love music and my students do too! Music in the classroom is such a powerful tool that can be used for movement breaks, calming effect, fact memorization, and even community building. I love using music in the classroom with intention throughout the day, and today I'm going to share how I use music to build and strengthen my classroom community. 

I am always looking for ways to let my students know that they are loved and valued. My latest community building activity was fun, quick, easy, and it involved music... which totally encapsulates my teaching style! I put a simple prompt on my whiteboard table that all students could easily answer. "Turn up the jams Tuesday! What song always puts you in a good mood?" As students entered our room and began their morning routine, they took a moment to think about their song and write it down on the table. This took less than 5 minutes!

I observed students whispering in excitement over the fact that they shared the same favorite song. I realized that this had already become a team-building activity. The impact of this prompt didn't stop with what you see here though, I took it a step further and I think you should too!

I took these "good mood songs" and created a CLASS PLAYLIST! The kids had no idea that I was using these song titles to make a playlist, so the first time I turned on one of the songs a student popped up and gasped, "This is MY song!" Other students turned and commented, "Oh this is such a good pick," "I like this song too," and more! They continued working (and some were grooving to the beat) and when the song was coming to an end students started to wonder whose song would come on next. It was so fun to see how "into it" they got and that they picked up on the fact that I made a playlist of their songs right away! When I got home that night a parent reached out to me and shared, "My boy came home today and with great excitement told me Miss W played my favorite song today. He was so happy. Thank you for making him feel so special." When I came up with this Class Playlist idea I figured that it would be a fun way for us to get to know a little bit more about each other in the first few weeks of school. I knew I'd use it for movement breaks, rotations, and work time... but I never dreamed that it would have such a positive impact that a child would go home, tell their parent, and that their parent would take the time to share that with me. 

Music is powerful and I've already seen the impact of it this year with my students. I would encourage you to create a class playlist with your students that reflects the personality of your classroom. It will help students get to know more about one another and it will make each child feel special. 

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