I’m going to show you how YouTube is one of your best friends in the classroom. In kindergarten, you have a unique situation where the kids have a short attention span and get bored easily, yet they require a lot of repetition. How do you accomplish that under those circumstances? …Enter YouTube!
If you don’t have a smart board in your classroom, you can set up a computer somewhere near your carpet area or where the kids have some space to move around. It will need to be high enough so they can all see it while standing up. When I want the kids to move to the carpet area (where I also have calendar and do read alouds), I simply begin one of their playlists. For calendar time, that can be a mix of things…days, months, numbers, alphabet letters and sounds, colors, shapes.
At the beginning of my reading block, I always play a list of phonics songs that has both letters and letter sounds. They need the repetition. If I’m just teaching them what a letter says for a week and moving on, I’m really not giving them enough. All of the research shows that we learn faster and retain that information when it’s set to music. We can’t remember our grocery list from last week, but we can remember every word to a song that we knew as a child. So, think about what we are asking our students to do…memorize a “grocery list” of words or sounds or hear something that they’ll always be able to recall?
Here is a Phonics playlist for you to use in your classroom. Please realize that while I may play some of the songs each day, I don’t play them all every day. Every year, your classes will have an overall personality. What works one year, won’t the next…it’s important to have lots of ideas and options! You can also make your own playlists after you know your kids a little better and see what’s working for them!