Our New Classroom Management CD Is HERE- and Some Free Printables to Go With It!!!!!!

 

Well, we finally did it – our new Music for Classroom Management CD is finally here, and it’s posted on the website!  I am so excited, because the kids and I are LOVING this CD!  And, as fate would have it, I wound up with a very difficult class this year, so having songs to review the rules has really been helpful.  God works in mysterious ways, doesn’t He?  I have encountered one classroom management problem after another, and have tried to solve them musically.  The list of songs kept on growing and growing throughout the year, as I plowed my way through different situations and tried to solve them by writing songs and teaching the children to sing them.  Now I am going to tell you about a few of them!  We also are working on some visual aids to go with this CD, and we are providing you with some free downloads from it for your kids to color, just for fun!

Nobody Likes a Tattle Tale!

Is there any good solution for solving the never ending problem of tattling?  Well, my friend Tammi that I teach with told me once that when her children tattle for non-emergency reasons, she would sing out, “Nobody likes a ….” and the kids would fill in the end of the sentence with the word “tattle tale!”  So I developed that idea into a full song, and I am finding it EXTREMELY effective!  The children absolutely LOVE to sing it, and they actually seem to sometimes use that song as a weapon, I’m afraid!  As soon as somebody announces, “I’m telling!” a child will begin the chant, “Nobody likes a tattletale, Nobody likes a tattle tale!  If you tattle every day, nobody’s going to want to play!”  That usually stops the tattler in his or her tracks!  Once a child made it all the way across the room during playtime while this chant when on, and then stood in front of me, ready to tell his story.  And then he stopped.  And I waited… and waited….  And then I asked him if he had something to tell me.  He said, “No, I guess not,” and walked away.  Problem solved!  Gotta love it!
Here are the words to the song:

 

The Tattling Song

Nobody likes a tattle tale!
Nobody likes a tattle tale!
If you tattle every day,
Nobody’s going to want to play!

Is it dangerous?  Do tell us!  (Sung by soloist)
Is it dangerous?  Do tell us!  (Repeated by kids)
Is someone hurt?  Tell for sure!  (Sung by soloist)
Is someone hurt?  Tell for sure!  (Repeated by kids)
An emergency?  Tell us please!  (Sung by soloist)
An emergency?  Tell us please!  (Repeated by kids)
But if it’s not, be a friend!
Zip it up and that’s the end!

I have to say that I, personally, would buy the CD for this song alone.  It’s that effective.

 

Because the limbs are narrow, the kids enjoyed using colored pencils more than crayons.
 

Is It a Question or a Story?

Few things drive me crazier in teaching than having a child interrupt a smoothly flowing lesson to tell me a story about something that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand.  And the problem is that as soon as you give any positive reinforcement at all to the child for telling that story, you can count on at least three more hands going up to tell another.  And while those children are telling their stories, more hands go up to tell theirs.  Soon we are so far off of the topic that even the adults in the room don’t remember what the objective of the lesson was supposed to be!  No wonder they want us to post it somewhere.  (Not that many children can actually READ that posted learning objective, of course, but that’s another discussion!)
Enter, stage left:  my class this year, filled with very talkative children that love to tell stories and tall tales, such as, “My little sister got eaten by an alligator.”  So, as I was showering one morning, it hit me:  why not make up a song to help kids decide if what they want to say is a question or a story?  (These crazy ideas for songs and activities always seem to pop into my head during the most menial, repetitive tasks of the day!)   And then the song itself also popped right into my head!  So after I got out of the shower and dried off, I wrote it down on a post-it note, and then later recorded a voice message to myself on my iPhone so that I wouldn’t forget the melody.
The song goes like this:

 

Question or a Story?

Is it a question or a story?
Question or a story?
That’s what I have to figure out!
Before I raise my hand!
Is it a question or a story?
Question or a story?
That’s what I have to figure out!
Before I raise my hand!

A question’s what I ask to find something out!
Find something out, find something out!
A question’s what I ask to find something out,
That I don’t understand!
A story’s what I tell about something I did,
Or what happened here,
Or what happened there!
A story’s what I tell about something I did,
When there’s extra time!

(Spoken:) “Okay, let’s try some examples, and see if YOU can figure out if it’s a question or a story!”
(Child:) “Can you explain that again?  I don’t understand!”
(All:)  “Question!  That’s important!”
(Child:) “I saw you at the grocery store yesterday!”
(All:) “Story!  That can wait!”
(Child:) “What does that word mean?  I don’t know it!”
(All:) “Question!  That’s important!”
(Child:) “Today, um, is my little brother’s birthday!”
(All:) “Story!  That can wait!”
(Child:) “Can you help me with this?  I’m confused!”
(All:) “Question!  That’s important!”
(Child:) “Once I went to the zoo and I saw a tiger.”
(All:) “Story!  That can wait!”
(Repeat from the beginning, except for the spoken middle section.)

 

We used Crayola Twistable pencils to color most of these!
 

My kids responded AMAZINGLY well to this song, and it was incredibly effective!  Now, after teaching the song, the children themselves do not let others just tell stories when they raise hands, unless I designated it as a good time to do that.  For example, I asked the children the other day if anyone had ever been to the zoo and seen an elephant, so they raised their hands and told me about it.
Otherwise, if someone tells a story, I don’t give them any positive reinforcement for it at all.  All I say is, “Story.”  And then the children all say, “That can wait!”  Many times, a child will beat me to saying that, too!  But one thing that ALWAYS happens is that they all chime in with “That can wait!” no matter what!  It amazes me that it works that well.  And, often when a child asks a question, I will say, “Question!”  and the kids chime in with “That’s important!”
The only negative effect has been that the children are now thinking of unnecessary questions to ask me in the middle of lessons, just to get a chance to talk, LOL!  So I am getting questions such as, “What time is it?” in the middle of reading a book.  Or, a child will raise his hand, and then hesitate for a moment while he tries to formulate a question to ask; but the problem is that he really doesn’t need to ask anything!  Argggggh!  If a child keeps doing that, I just tell the child that he is wasting our time with unnecessary questions, and I am not going to call on him or her anymore.  Some kids will do ANYTHING for attention, won’t they!  (Even learn how to formulate a useless question!)

 

 

I Can Follow the Rules!

This song is for teaching the basic rules that are usually taught in an early childhood classroom.  I found it very helpful as a review of the rules, but I wish I could have taught this song in August and September! The lyrics are below:

 

I Can Follow the Rules

I can follow the rules,
I can follow the rules,
And we’ll have a good day,
When we follow the rules!

I can listen to my teacher,
Listen to my teacher,
Listen to my teacher,
And I follow the rules!

I can follow the directions,
Follow the directions,
Follow the directions,
And I follow the rules!

I keep my hands to myself,
Keep my hands to myself,
Keep my hands to myself,
And I follow the rules!

I’m always nice to everybody,
Nice to everybody,
Nice to everybody,
And I follow the rules!

It gives us more time to learn,
And more time to play,
More time for fun stuff every day!
It gives us more time to learn,
And more time to play,
More time for fun stuff every day!
When we follow the rules at school,
Oh, yeah!
When we follow the rules at school.
OH, YEAH!

 

 

When I first wrote this song, I hadn’t thought about including the reasons for following the rules.  But I do have a couple of little ones with very late fall birthdays that have had a difficult time internalizing and following the rules.  I began to wonder if the children really understood the reasons why we have rules at all, other than to spoil their fun!  So that’s when I changed the lyrics and threw in the words, “And we’ll have a good day, when we follow the rules!”  I also added the ending section about having more time for learning, playing, and having fun when we follow the rules.  Ironically, I now have a video tape with one of my little cuties being VERY naughty during this song, LOL!   Too bad I can’t show you that one, ha ha!  One thing for sure is that the children need to be motivated (and able!) to follow those rules, or the song itself isn’t going to help very much!  And it sure doesn’t turn a child that is four and a half years old into one that is six! (Okay, if we can’t medicate the children, then how about ME, LOL?)

 

 

Here are some quick notes on the other songs, just in case you are interested!

The  Backpack Boogie: This song is for teaching the procedures for coming inside in the morning, putting things away, and getting settled.  This has been a challenge for my group this year, since many of them would much rather socialize and wander about the classroom rather than put their things away and have a seat!  Unfortunately, this song came too late in the year for it to really do me much good.  I think it would have helped a lot more at the beginning of the year.  I am looking forward to starting out the year with it in August.

When the Bell Rings, Freeze!: My kids adore this song!  It’s fun and quick, and they LOVE to dance and then freeze when the bell rings!  It’s a great way to reinforce what we do when the bell rings- FREEEEEEEZE!  Stop!  Hands up!

Interrupting: This is one of my personal favorites!  In fact, I’m thinking of writing another Wiggles book that deals exclusively with interrupting, using this song as a refrain in the book!  It goes, “Interrupting is very disrupting.  Don’t start squawking when someone else is talking!”  And that’s the whole song!  We just sing it several times through.  Now when my kids interrupt in class, I often just start singing this song, and the rest of the class joins in.

Outside Voices, Inside Voices: I have to say, that I have never had a LOUDER class in all of my teaching career!  One child’s voice elevates, and then another, and then another, and then the whole class is louder than a circus!  So this class was the TOTAL motivation for this song:
Outside voices inside make it hard for us to learn!  Screaming’s not okay!  Screaming’s not okay!… The song goes on to have the children practice using outside voices, inside voices, and whispers, so that they can hear and feel the difference.

Cover Your Mouth and Blow Your Nose: These two songs are wonderful for teaching kids these basic skills for hygiene that will all NEED in order to stay healthy.  I particularly like the “Blow Your Nose” song because it not only addresses why to blow, but HOW to blow your nose, (by taking a breath, closing the mouth, and blowing the air out through the nose like a dragon!)  The kids like it because it is “The Dragon Song,” to them!

Potty, Potty, Flush, Flush… & The Potty Dance!: At the beginning of the school year, I was trying to get the children to follow the rules in the restroom (without a lot of success, I might add!)  Later on, I came up with this little song, and the kids now LOVE to sing it together during their playtime, LOL!
Then a co-teacher mentioned that she simply couldn’t believe that a five year old child could be standing there- doing the potty dance- and not know that he needed to go to the bathroom!  So I came up with The Potty Dance, which reminds them that “When you’re doing the potty dance, it’s time to go!”  They all find that hilarious!  And I really love watching them enjoy it!  They are just so stinkin’ cute (pun totally intended!)

Snap That Cap: This song is for reminding children to replace the cap on a marker when they are done using it.  Enough said?  🙂

The Smarty Pants Dance: This song is a “victory dance” for when kids finally “get it!”  My students simply LOVE it for the catchy beat and the opportunity to shake their little booties!  Just check out how much fun we had recording it in this video clip of the “HeidiSongs Singers” in the recording studio!  It was SOOOO much fun!

 

 

Line Up: This song is for teaching the rules while walking in line.  My kids love to chant it while we walk to lunch and the library.  That doesn’t mean that they actually follow those rules while they chant it, but hey- I can keep trying, right?

We Don’t Fight!: This is the same song that is on Sing and Spell Vol. 5 as the “Fight” spelling song.  The lyrics were designed to be used as either a spelling song or a conflict resolution song.  So this one serves a dual purpose!  Use it well.

And I think that the rest of the titles speak for themselves! If you would like to download the full lyrics and handmotions, please click here!

Please and Thank You
Right Hand, Left Hand
Red, White, and Blue
The Days of the Week
Months of the Year
Criss Cross, Applesauce
The Tracing Song
The Cutting Song
The Glue Song
Just Try Your Best
I Love My Lunchbox

We also have a Classroom Management DVD! 🙂

 

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Heidi Butkus

About Heidi Butkus

Heidi Butkus has been teaching in California public schools since 1985. She has somehow managed to stay in Kindergarten all of those years, with the exception of five years in first grade, and also taught a parent participation preschool for a short while! Combining a strong knowledge of brain research with practical experience, Heidi has created a wealth of fun and engaging teaching techniques that work well with diverse populations. She has presented at conferences nationwide, and is the owner and founder of HeidiSongs.com. Heidi has also created fourteen original CD's and DVD's for teaching beginning reading and math skills, three musical plays designed especially for young performers, and has written some picture books and many other teaching resources. Heidi's multimedia workshops are filled with fun and motivational educational activities that have been classroom tested and revised for effectiveness with all types of learners.
  1. I love this! Can't wait to play the Smarty Pants song! Just wanted to let you know how I handle the question/story issue. We call questions 'I wonders'. So when a child wants to ask a question it has to start with 'I wonder'. It really works. Also, I have a peace rug in my room that has pretty much eliminated tattling. It can be any small rug and when there's a tattle coming I tell that child to take the offender to the peace rug to talk it over.

  2. Your CD sounds wonderful…i really enjoyed reading through your songs and the pics are so cute! Thanks for sharing with the Weekly Kid's Co-OP!

    • Hi,
      Like all CD’s, the Classroom Management CD has audio only and can be played on a CD player, or loaded onto a computer and then transferred to an mp3 player. The DVD has both video and sound, like any DVD. You can play it on most computers or on a DVD player. They also play on Smart Boards, etc. However, DVD’s do not work in CD players. If you put it in a CD player and press play, nothing will happen except probably an error message.
      Hope that helps!
      Heidi

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