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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Spark Student Motivation Linky (music!) and Facebook page!

I am linking up for a quick Student Motivation strategy with the amazing Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching.  There are so many great ideas shared each week for motivating students.  I am really loving them!  Thanks Joanne for hosting:)
This week, we were working on Mother's Day projects and seemed to be able to relax a little since the ELA and Math state tests are OVER (we still have science yet to come but that one has barely any pressure compared to ELA and Math).  I was quickly reminded of how well the students work while listening to music.  I try to let them listen to music at snack time or during projects that involve coloring, cutting, etc.  However, the past couple months have been so demanding with the state tests drawing near that it seems like there is less and less time for these moments.  Even at snack time, sometimes I am busting my hump to get students caught up with late work and corrections. Yes, I feel like I am working HARDER than they are to get them caught up.
Okay, back on track to the MUSIC.
I use music as often as I can in lessons and try to find catchy songs on youtube for certain concepts we are working on.  Students love that.
However, this is a basic music motivator.
I am talking about playing top 40 hit songs (that I buy from iTunes) during those moments when students are working on a project, or having a snack, or at indoor recess.
The KEY?  Keep the music playing very softly and it is like magic!  The students work quietly and sing or hum to the music.  This helps to avoid inappropriate conversations and the noise level getting too loud.  As soon as it starts getting noisy, you hear students start saying, "Shhh, I can't hear the song."  
Sometimes another adult walks in my room and wonders why the students are listening and singing quietly to "Call Me Maybe".  
But, they really ARE working!  If they get off task, the music goes off.
There are not many teachers that I know of in our school that let the students listen often to songs they know and love from the radio.  I say, "Why not?"  
I know I love to work to music, so why wouldn't the students?
Students are even encouraged to give me song selections (clean versions, of course) that I will buy and download for the class.  That is a motivator in itself too.  When the students see that you care enough about them to spend your personal money to buy them songs, it goes a long way in building relationships with them.  I don't let the requests get out of hand and so far, in the five years I have been in 4th grade, no one has tried to abuse it.  This might be something I can add to my ClassDOJO trade in points day too!  Maybe they can pick the song selections for an activity or pick a few songs to add to the iTunes library!

I was busy today working on finishing up some new math fraction centers and adding a facebook page for Fourth Grade Flipper!  Yay!!  Thank you to Amanda and Stacia at Collaboration Cuties for their awesome tutorial!

If you are interested in following me on facebook, click here (I hope that works).  I need to get a button for my blog so I am not talking to myself on my new facebook page! Haha!
Also, don't forget to enter my giveaway that ends tomorrow at midnight!


  1. Music is a great motivator! I haven't tried playing top 40 hit songs list. I always play nature or classical music while they're completing assignments. If I forget to turn it on several students will quickly remind me they can concentrate better! I like the requests for the songs too! Thanks for linking up and sharing! I'm on my way to like you on FB! Like me too!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. I love using music as well. I haven't used it as much as I hope to use it. I love the idea of using songs they know. I normally do classical music or Christmas music when I'm in a silly mood. We can use pandora at our school, so I get the music for free.

  3. I love using music in my classroom. It is powerful stuff. I tell mine that they can bob their heads and mouth the words, but can't let sound come out or dance enough to make someone look at them instead of their work. :) I use quiet music every morning while they unpack and get settled, but I haven't pulled out the big guns yet this year. I had kinda forgotten. :( Thanks for reminding me. You always have fabulous posts. :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  4. I have a student who asks everytime they are working at their desks if I will play music. I made CD's for class but have not tried Top 40 tunes. I like your rules - my kids love music, so I may just have to try this. Thanks for sharing. Happy Mother's Day.

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  5. I love playing music for my kids! I used Pandora sometimes (Disney Channel was pretty safe), but then I would also pull up my Amazon Cloud music where I created a school-friendly playlist.

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

  6. I just started this today and it worked great! I use spotify so I can create a playlist for free. They quietly played Scoot in ELA for about 45 minutes because of the music! Thanks for the AWESOME suggestion!

  7. I love using music as well, I use Spotify so I have a whole playlist of songs to run through and don't have to worry about the lyrics. We should share our school appropriate songs, I am always looking for new ones.