The Benefits of Using Songs and Chants for Classroom Management and Learning
Teaching through songs and chants has been used in education for a long time. My favorite memories as a student include singing in the classroom. As a teacher, I’ve learned that these songs were more than opportunities for fun with my friends. Songs and chants benefit classroom management, student learning, and community-building.
Classroom songs for learning
One of the first reasons that songs and chants are used in the classroom is to help students learn and retain information. When information is paired with rhymes and a catchy melody, students can better remember or memorize it. For example, the alphabet is likely one of the most used songs for learning in the classroom. Students better understand and remember all letters in the alphabet when they are sung and presented with music.
Using songs and chants in the classroom has the same effect as listening to music on the radio. As adults, we get a line from a song or specific music stuck on replay in our minds without much effort. The same thing happens with our students. When we use the same songs repeatedly throughout the school year, they replay in the minds of our students and will continue with them for many years.
These Classroom Songs are the perfect tool to engage your students in learning. Classroom Songs are not only a fun way for your students to learn, but they increase the effectiveness of the skills you are trying to reinforce!
This HUGE pack of classroom songs is super easy to implement into your daily routine and will get your kids excited about learning.
Disclaimer: These classroom songs are CATCHY! So don't be surprised when you hear your students, AND yourself, singing them ALL day long!
Classroom management chants and songs
Because of how easily some students are able to pick up chants and songs, they are also great tools for classroom management. Teaching chants is one of the best ways to help students remember and recall classroom procedures and expectations. A few that come to mind are songs about sitting properly during community meetings, cleaning up after activities, and how to use glue properly.
Songs are a great way to help manage transitions in the classroom as well. When managing the movement of a full classroom of students, it is important to have most students' attention. An easy way to do this is with a song or call-and-response chant that requires them to be actively engaged. A song about lining up that includes what to do with their chairs, hands, and feet will help students to remember expectations and manage their own actions.
When teachers use songs as cues for transitioning, it helps students in the early elementary classrooms follow along with the day's routine. Having a song to welcome students into the room, transitioning from one activity to another, and closing out the day provides them with structure and routine. During the earlier years of school, it helps students get accustomed to the long days away from home.
Building community using chants and songs in the classroom
Songs and chants also benefit the classroom community. Singing songs to celebrate birthdays, to say hello, and goodbye help students connect with one another. Developing a common ground for students in the classroom is an important step in community building.
Common ground can be created through chants to celebrate student progress or songs that communicate feelings and support. Throughout the school year, you will see a shift from teacher-initiated chants to students taking ownership of their community and celebrating each other without prompting.
When students engage with each other using a celebration chant, the classroom environment becomes more welcoming. Students will feel more comfortable taking risks and trying new activities. My favorite thing is when students show their appreciation for each other independently. Hearing one student tell another that they appreciate their help is a great way to see the impact of a teacher.
When to use chants and songs for classroom management and learning
The great thing about songs and chants for classroom management and learning is that you use them anywhere and whenever you want. Chants for lining up and following directions can be used outside the classroom, as a reminder of expectations. While learning songs can be used in various learning spaces that don’t require silence.
Some teachers have used learning songs while students are stopping to wash their hands before lunch or to call their students to attention while out on the playground. There are many opportunities to incorporate songs and chants effortlessly into the day.