Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.
Music is a powerful tool to help a young child learn. It blends movement and rhythm with words and rhyme to increase phonemic awareness.
Music helps young children naturally cross “over the midline” to understand left-to-right progression, a key element for reading and writing successfully. Music also helps the brain enhance memory.
Putting music to rhymes can help with gross and fine motor skills as well as math practice.
Here are two simple and easily recognizable songs to boost rhyming, early reading, and counting skills:
This Old Man
This old man, he played one
He played knick knack on his thumb
With a knick knack, paddywhack
Give the dog a bone
This old man came rolling home
Examples of the sequential verses are “two shoe, three knee, four door, five hive, six sticks, seven heaven, eight gate, nine line, ten pen.”
Down by the Bay
Down by the bay
Where the watermelons grow,
Back to my home,
I dare not go,
For if I do
My mother will say,
Did you ever see a whale, swishing its tail…down by the bay?
Additional rhyming verses are “Did you ever see a pig, dancing a jig? Did you ever see a goat, sailing a boat?” Or you can use any funny animal rhymes you can create together.
Little students love songs and movement. Incorporating music helps make learning fun and memorable!