"Brown paper packages, tied up with strings...."

Welcome Friends!

Today I am linking up with Amy over at


Mary over at 

to share just one of the teaching "must haves," or "favorite things" that I cannot do without as I begin my school year.  Before I reveal it though,  I must share some important background information so that you understand the 
"story behind the songs"....

Growing up I had a true obsession with all things Julie Andrews.  Despite the fact that my vocal range would never allow me to realize my dream of being a lyric soprano, I watched Disney's Mary Poppins movie over and over, and listened to The Sound of Music album constantly.  I knew every word to every song, and sang "Just a Spoonful of Sugar" and "The Lonely Goatherd" with gusto.  I wished desperately for a nose that was small and cute like hers, and often used a British accent when hosting tea parties for my young friends in the neighborhood!

My love for all things Maria Von Trapp continued into my young adult years when I insisted on including the processional music heard in the Abbey scenes at my wedding.   Trust me when I say that most of the gathered guests chuckled softly and smiled at my father and I as we walked down the aisle to the organist's majestic rendition of "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?" 

Flash forward with me now to my present-day back-to-school preparatory frenzy, and you will find a guitar much like the one Maria Von Trapp played tucked in the read-aloud corner behind my teacher chair.

I play it and sing with my second graders each and every morning.   The music we make together not only builds rhyming and fluency skills, but it provides my young learners with the opportunity to move-and-groove rhythmically.   It soothes, it entertains, and it engages them.  It also starts each and every day with a smile! 

Rough mornings at home, being teased by a sibling, the long bus ride to school, and angst about not being first in the cafeteria breakfast line are all forgotten when we "Shake Our Sillies Out" and sing "Willaby Wallaby Weynolds, an elephant sat on Mrs. Reynolds!"  I mean, what 7-year-old doesn't giggle at the image of his or her teacher being squashed flat by a large animal?

Even if you don't play an instrument or sing on-key, you should still share music with your young learners, because it speaks the universal language of HAPPINESS, spreads joy, and gets their brains and bodies ready to listen, think, and learn!  You can find lots of free video clips of sing-a-long songs, movement activities online!  Here are two of my students' favorites....

You can also order music CDs {HERE}.

A wonderful collection of thematic and holiday songs that can be sung along to 
familiar tunes is also available from 
Educlips & Educasongs TpT store {HERE}.

Each monthly set of songs and poems is also available individually
through EduClips & Educasong {HERE}.

Check out this FREE sample of September Poems & Songs {HERE}. 
Books with patterned, rhythmic, and rhymed text are also ways you can share music with your students!  Pete the Cat is one of my favorite book characters with a "rock and roll" feel 

Eric Litwin and James Dean's books about this very blue, very hip, very groovy cat are perfect for fluency, rhyming, and reader's theater activities in your classroom.  My second graders absolutely LOVE turning the rollicking, rhythmic text into "raps" and re-reading the stories to each other!  You will fiAnd free song downloads, videos, information about a new iPad app, and a list of all titles on the Harper Collins website {HERE}.

In closing, I hope that you've found one musical idea, resource, or activity that you'll use this year to make your classroom a happier place this year!  I'd love to hear about some of the favorite things YOU use to make school a happy, special, safe place for young children to grow and learn!  Feel free to leave me a comment below after you've completed your entries for this great giveaway!  Also, be sure to hop through this great group of blog posts for more great ideas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
An InLinkz Link-up

As always, remember to....

"Make your own kind of music,
sing your own special song.
Make your own kind of music,
even if nobody else sings along....."

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  1. I LOVED LOVED LOVED Mary Poppins as a kid! I watched it all the time!
    Thanks for the info on the giveaway! I entered.
    Curious Firsties

    1. Didn't you just want to jump into the chalk pictures with she and Bert, or float on the ceiling during "I Love To Laugh?" I hope you've seen SAVING MR. BANKS! It was wonderful as well!


  2. We have so much in common. I am obsessed with Julie too which is why I chose this theme. Plus I love that you are featuring EducaSong. Sarah is one of my favorite artists!! Thank you for linking up:)
    Take care, Amy

    1. Sarah is the absolute BEST, isn't she? And I am so happy that we share a mutual admiration for Julie. I just think she is a class act!