In a previous post, I wrote about how you can differentiate your kindergarten classroom. Here you can read up on some of my favorite resources for multisensory teaching.
My friend Heidi Butkus is the creator of HeidiSongs, "Sing-Along Songs That Teach." Her songs, which cover letters, numbers, colors, sight words, spelling, and many other language arts and math skills, engage all the modalities Ã¢ÂÂ through pictures, songs, and motions Ã¢ÂÂ to reinforce the skills being taught. No other program has been so enthusiastically received by my students. The songs are short and use melodies already familiar to children, which makes them easy to learn and instantly memorable. "Alphabet Action" is by far the most fun of all the alphabet songs we've sung (especially the letter V Ã¢ÂÂ "Vroom. Vroom. Vroom vroom vroom"). Even counting to 100, usually a tedious task, is fast and exciting. My students beg to sing "1Ã¢ÂÂ100" every day.
Each song is perfectly suited to the concept being taught:
And so on.
You can buy all of Heidi's highly motivating materials through her Web site, where you can also download free lyrics, hand motions, physical responses, games, and more. These materials are a must-have for any kindergarten classroom. Don't forget to check out her blog for some fantastic tips and resources.
Super Simple Songs
Super Simple Songs, created by teachers of the Knock Knock English school for children in Tokyo, Japan, produces award-winning CDs of songs made super simple for young learners. The original CD series covers a diverse range of basic concepts, and includes circle time activities, transition music, choosing rhymes, finger plays, and chants. For some songs, they have two versions Ã¢ÂÂ the regular one, and one where they speak and sing the song slowly and clearly, and then follow up with an instrumental for practice. The Web site includes song samples, free lyrics, gestures, videos, picture cards, worksheets, activity suggestions, and phonics games and videos, which make the learning truly multisensory. They also have Super Simple CDs for the ABCs and animals, both of which include tons of teaching materials. While I have only recently discovered Super Simple Songs, I love what I have heard and seen so far, and so do my students.
Child1st Publications covers all the bases of teaching to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. Its products include Easy-for-Me Books, which help kids read in a holistic and multisensory way by teaching each sound and immediately combining them to make words, and through SnapLetters cards, which use symbols, sounds, jingles, and motions to help children snap a mental picture of each letter; SnapWords cards, which teach words in the same way; and Alphabet Tales, a collection of stories that explain how each letter came to have its shape and sound. Learning how to use stories with visual cues to teach concepts is one of the things I've liked most about reading the Child1st blog, which has many innovative ideas, such as teaching letter sounds by finger-mapping, teaching series of sounds (a, ai, a-e, ay) rather than letter spellings, and more. Reading the blog is a must, as it is very empathetic towards the nontraditional learner. You can also preview and buy a guide on how to write the visual, kinesthetic, and auditory alphabet.
In the following pictures from Child1st, you can see a SnapLetters card; a SnapWords card (the boy in the picture can play soccer only IF he makes the bed); a visual to show that if the letter J is reversed, it will pierce the letter next to it; a visual to show that OW can have two different sounds (Oh! and Ow!); a visual for measurement; visuals to distinguish plurals and possessives; and a visual for fractions.
Everything you would ever want to find for movement, you can find in the SchoolSpecialty Sportime catalog:
You can purchase all kinds of resources from School Specialty, including the Thinking On Your Feet Book, which has 250 lesson plans that include kinesthetic movement. There are also lots of products for visual learners, such as the Sense-Of-Timers, a set of hourglasses with color-coded sand that help children visualize the passing of time.
Songs for Teaching
If you want songs for every teaching need, subject, or opportunity, this site is for you. Songs for Teaching has music CDs and downloads, song previews, lyrics, and sheet music for thousands of songs, as well as teaching tips, resources, and printables such as coloring pages and blackline masters. A recently added section includes scripts for musical plays, operas, and reader's theater performances. If that's not enough, there are tips, resources, and a gold mine of articles that will help you learn how to use music and movement to:
You won't want to miss out on this one, so head on over.
Do you know of any other good multisensory resources for the differentiated kindergarten classroom?