Spark Student Motivation - Music

My class this past year was slightly rowdy...clip charts, prizes, etc. just didn't really work for them because there was still lots of arguing about what color people were on or who earned this or that.  Really the only thing that did work was trying to keep them so engaged and motivated that they didn't have time or weren't interested in all the nit picky things.

They were a handful, but one of the things that did that for my class was music!  If I was every at my computer typing in, they would go nuts.  Fortunately, our school allows the use of You Tube on teacher accounts.  Here are some of my favorite music videos to use:

Schoolhouse Rock Nouns
(Someone should really remake these into something more modern...I'm actually surprised how much the kids love them though!)

Schoolhouse Rock Subjects & Predicates
(The whole song happens to be about a guy with the same name as our principal so this was a double hit.)

Schoolhouse Rock Unpack Your Adjectives

Parts of a Letter

Doubles (1-5)

Doubles (6-10)

What Makes Ten?

Continents Song

Then, towards the end of the year, I realized how much they loved just plain old radio music, kid friendly versions of course.  If they needed a brain break, I could play a song from Pandora and they loved it.  I just listened to the Chipmunk channel so I didn't need to worry about lyrics.  I always teased them about how they could remember all the words to these songs, but not things I was trying to teach them!

Today, I am off to Dallas to see this man tonight!

Have a great weekend!
And don't forget to enter my 200 follower giveaway!


  1. Thanks for sharing all those links! (Bookmarked it for next year!) I agree, music is a very powerful weapon for us teachers!!! As another reward you could pick someone to make s song request! (It's a BIG deal in my class!)
    Thanks for linking up Jessica!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. Yay! Enjoy the concert. Back in high school, I saw Tim McGraw and Faith HIll in concert together.. the very next day, they were secretly married!

    I remember when I taught first grade, we did so much music. My kids' favorite song was always "I'm Silent E and You Gotta Love Me" - it was kind of country-sounding and I taught at an inner city school, but it worked!

    :) Erin
    I'm Lovin Lit

  3. It is amazing how different things motivate different students. My class last year was not motivated by music at all-but the class I having coming up in the fall loves music (at least that is what the 3rd grade teacher is telling me.) I'm looking forward to adding more music back into my room again!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  4. My little friends love listening to music as we work too-- I would usually use Pandora as a motivator too!
    Learning to the Core

  5. What a great collection of music you have here! Great idea. I love music in my classroom! :) I hope you are having a ball with Tim! ;)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  6. My kids LOVED all of the schoolhouse rock videos and the continent song! At the end of the year we just watched schoolhouse rock even for topics we didn't cover. They still loved it!

    Success in Second Grade

  7. I love your assemblage of amazing TYs. I forget about showing these in class. Next year I'll do better!


    1. Oops! A moment of transpositional dyslexia. That should have been YTs.


  8. This past year's sixth graders LOVED music. It was not unusual for them to be working quietly (silently) at their seats when all of a sudden someone would start humming a song quietly (sometimes it was even!). Gradually everyone would join in! This happened at least once a week for the three years that I worked with this group. I found songs for every unit we studied in Science, Language Arts, and Religion. What fun!

    BTW, I bought the DVD for SchoolHouse Rock a couple of years ago. So many times our internet would be out and we couldn't access the video!

  9. Music was a big helper in my room too! I use to put it on in the mornings as they came into class. Less talking and more working happened amazingly! Something we did at the end of the year was a music video. We did a kid bopz song, and I printed the lyrics out for them. We took them line by line and analyzed them. We talked about what it meant and how we could show it with a move. Then we put it all together and performed for other 2nd grade classes. It was quite adorable! Definitely something I'd do again next year! And man did they work hard to be part of it!

    Reaching for the TOP!


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