For Writing, we listen to Enya. Specifically, Watermark. (Really, anything by Enya would probably accomplish the same thing.) It's dreamy, new-agey background music, and my kiddos can still focus on their work. I play it softly, and if our conferences are getting too loud, I simply ask someone at the other side of the room if they can still hear the music. They stop and listen, then tell me they can't hear it. That's the cue for the class to be quieter - they know if people can't hear the music, they can't have their calm, focused writing time. Love it!!
For Partner Work and Math, we listen to Vince Guaraldi. This year, we're listening to Oh Good Grief! My kiddos love it, and they recognize that this is "Charlie Brown" music. :) It's upbeat, jazzy, and still helps us modulate our voices so the class can hear the music!
For Rewards, we have a few favorites. Our current favorite is the Super Mario Galaxy Official Soundtrack. My green beans this this is so cool, and I only find it mildly irritating, so it's really a win-win! When they've had a great day, they'll ask if we can listen to "Mario Brothers." Again, it helps with the voice levels in our classroom - see a pattern developing here?!? :)
For Fun, Fluency, and Comprehension, we listen to Shel Silverstein. I do adore some Shel Silverstein; note to new teachers who haven't learned this yet - don't let your kiddos just Google him. Some of his work is inappropriate for young eyes/ears. Both Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic CDs are out of print, but you can still find used copies around with a bit of effort. He performs his poems with such enthusiasm and voice, that it is a wonderful way to show how performers can create a mood with their voice.
Fun, Foolery, and Folktales by Donna Washington. I found this in my mailbox several weeks after she had visited our school, and played it for my kiddos. They absolutely love the rhythm of her voice, and the different ways she uses her voice to represent different characters. Only yesterday, when I was talking to Casey, she pointed out that it actually belongs to our grade level. Oops!! I really didn't mean to monopolize grade level materials, and I feel kinda bad about that. I brought it home this weekend to make a backup copy, ya know, in case it gets scratched. :)
What about in your classroom? How does music play a role in your day?
Yes, I really, really need to be working on report cards, since I hand them out November 30!! I've only got 12 student days left until track out. Whoo-hoo! Also, I'm only a few followers away from a personal goal of mine, and I'm planning a cool giveaway. Check back later for more details! See you later, alligator!