After more than a year and a half of work, I am very proud to announce the release of our newest album, “Groovy Grammar” on iTunes! I wrote this set of songs specifically to help teach grammar and language arts concepts to the first and second graders I had last year and the year before. But some of these songs will reach all the way into third grade, because I decided to include all of the parts of speech in the set, including the ones that we usually don’t have to teach in first or second grade, such as interjections, etc.
I started off using the songs a capella (without a CD, just by singing aloud) when I taught the first/second grade split class in 2015-16, and then started writing the songs during the spring and summer. We finally got the last of the songs recorded by last fall, but I really wanted to try them out in my class before releasing them to all of you, so I used them with the CD from December 2016 to June, 2017. My class really benefitted from them and enjoyed them quite a bit, although they were a bit puzzled that I didn’t have a DVD to go along with it yet, ha ha!
Below you can scroll through and see ALL of the lyrics from Groovy Grammar! Not only that, but you can download this PowerPoint for use in your own classroom as well! Plus, if you go to iTunes, you will be able to listen and preview clips of each song.
The song list is below. I included four songs from our “Movin’ On with HeidiSongs” album that we posted on iTunes several years ago as well, plus the Parts of a Story song that seems to be sooooo useful for the kids no matter what the grade! That song was originally published on our Little Songs for Language Arts, but the rest of the songs on that DVD are at a MUCH lower level than these, so I thought it would be wise to include it here.
6. Proper Nouns
10. The Vowel Song
11. Long Vowels & Short Vowels
12. A Versus An
13. Capitalizing the Title
14. What Gets a Capital Letter
15. Commas in a List
16. Commas in Dates
17. You Must Indent
18. Facts & Opinions
22. Possessive Apostrophes
23. Informational Paragraph
24. Opinion Paragraph
25. Parts of a Story
I will have to admit to you that I wasn’t able to teach my lively group of second graders while trying out some new movements that I didn’t know very well! (I was able to do this all of the time in Kindergarten!) This group of children had a lot to teach me, and I learned quite a bit! But one thing I learned early on was that they needed STRUCTURE and ROUTINE- or they would go ahead and show me just how much they needed it. So since I didn’t have any movements videotaped, I decided to let them learn these songs off of a PowerPoint presentation instead.
So this was my general routine:
1. I taught the concept in whatever way seemed best.
2. Then I taught the song by displaying the words on my PowerPoint presentation.
3. We sang the song together a couple of times a capella, and then put on the recording and sang it again with the music.
4. Then we practiced the concept together, referring to any “catch phrases” in the music that were there to help the children remember. For example, we might look at a word and then sing, “Long vowels say their name, but the short vowels don’t!” Singing this together would usually help the kids remember what they were looking for.
5. After that, we would do our independent practice. I often heard the children singing those little catch phrases to themselves, so I think it really worked!
6. To follow up and review later, I always tried to use the songs as Transitional Cues. For example, I would ring a Freeze Bell, and then tell everyone that they had until the end of a song to put away their things and be seated, etc. Most of the time, the kids were singing along as they were transitioning, so it was an excellent way to review!
Here are a few other tidbits of trivia to know about Groovy Grammar!
– I was surprised that some of my precious kiddos still didn’t know what a vowel was, so that’s why I wrote the Vowel Song.
– The Long Vowels & Short Vowels Song was probably the one that we used the most!
– The Conjunction Song includes the word FANBOYS, which is an acronym for the coordinating conjunctions “for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.” This TOTALLY helped my kids learn them!
– The Proper Noun Song was probably their favorite song of the year, with the exception of the Count by Fours or Count by Sixes song from the Skip Counting Songs for Multiplication and More DVD, which they loved!
– The Capitalizing the Title song REALLY helped them learn which words to capitalize and which not to, so I was super grateful for that!
– My kids loved the funky beat from the What Gets a Capital Letter song SO MUCH that they would even sometimes sing it as we were walking to lunch! (Win!)
– The Contractions Song helped them learn where the apostrophes go in a contraction, due to the catchphrase, “Yeah, the apostrophe goes in… where the letter would have been in!”
– Learning facts and opinions got easier with the song because of the catchphrase, “Facts, facts, facts are something you can prove! Facts, facts, facts are always true, true, true!”
All in all, I am so pleased with the way this recording came out, and I do hope that those of you who teach first grade or higher will give it a try! It sure made my classroom a happier place! I used to turn it on while they were doing art projects, too, and the whole class would start singing along while they worked. Such fun!
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