I'm Being Featured on Education to the Core Tomorrow!

 How exciting! Emily from Education to the Core was kind enough to have me as a guest blogger on her amazing blog! It's one of my all time favorite and I had read all the posts for about 6 months now and Pin everything and mention it on Facebook so I beside myself with excitement!                                                                                                                                                  My topic? Terrific Apps for the Primary Classroom! Stop by Education to the Core, tomorrow, 10/19/15 to check out the post! Click here!

25 Pop Songs to Use with Students

Want to find some music that you can use in your elementary classroom? Looking for songs that are fun and that students recognize, or songs that have a positive message? Last spring I was looking for some songs to use in a video for my students and did not know where to start. It took me a while but  I finally found 2 appropriate and child-friendly pop songs in my over 3,000+ song collection. I knew there had to be more options than that!  If you're interested in 25 Oldies Songs to Use in  Your Classroom, check out my related post here

This summer I set about to researching pop songs from the last 10 years or so and finding a good pool of them. I teach second grade and these songs, in my opinion, would be fine for classroom use. Some may even already be used for brain breaks in programs such as GoNoodle and Just Dance! 

So how did I choose them? I listened to about 100 songs I thought might be okay and eliminated most, then read the lyrics and a few more didn't make the cut. If you'd like to read the lyrics yourself, try AZ Lyrics' website.

I will post links to the videos for the songs so you can hear the song but I can not vouch for the videos themselves. If you need to find music videos that are okay for elementary students, please search through videos on your own.  I can only vouch for the songs themselves! If you have any other songs you know well and would recommend, please comment and let us know!

Here they are-25 Pop Songs to Use with Students

HAPPY by Pharrell Williams
Well, of course! I don't think I need to say anything else!

ROAR by Katy Perry
I used this song as one of the two for my end of the year videos last year. It has such a positive message. Love it! 

FIREWORK by Katy Perry
Yep, Katy Perry is one of quite a few artists who are on this list more than once. This is another positive, life affirming song. I remember I saw her perform it on the show Home for the Holidays one Christmas. The show promotes the Dave Thomas Foundation (for adoption) and all these children who had once been in the foster care system who had been adopted were in the front. So many happy smiles. It was the perfect song for it.

UNWRITTEN by Natasha Bedingfield
This is the other song I used in my end-of-the-year video, and yes, you may also recognize it as the song played at the beginning of those The Hills shows on TV about 10 years ago. Its great and always makes me feel good when I hear it.

POCKETFUL OF SUNSHINE by Natasha Bedingfield
More positivity here. Bedingfield has a message of creating your own happiness and staying positive, despite hard times.

BEST DAY OF MY LIFE by American Authors
This song is pretty new and I wasn't that familiar with it until a few months ago. It reminds me of Lovin' Each Day by Ronan Keating (which I loved but couldn't make this list because it has one "bad" word). Its happy, uplifting and might be a good song for your alarm each morning.

I am sure you know this one, but Clarkson sings about being strong on her own and not relying on others for happiness. Of course it is about a breakup, but the message is pretty general. You may have to explain the saying "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" but if you don't mind that, it's a great choice.

BREAKAWAY by Kelly Clarkson
Another Clarkson song that is appropriate for younger kids, Breakaway talks about moving away from home and being on your own. It explains some times you need to take some risks in life and that doing so and embracing your independence can lead to real happiness.

This is an interesting song! I never would have thought of Flo Rida for this list but I remembered the chorus and researched the lyrics and it's a solid, positive song. Flo Rida sings (well raps) about loving the life you're living and about how working hard, really hard, leads to success. He also reflects on the feeling of beating the odds and living his dream.

STEREO HEARTS by Gym Class Heroes Ft. Adam Levine
This is a light, happy song, that is about love, but also can be applied to any relationship where two people love and support each other. 

HALL OF FAME by The Script Ft. Will I. Am
You may not know the band or recognize the song name but you will recognize it once you hear it. It's another song about working hard and becoming successful. The song also reminds children (and adults) you can be what you want - a  teacher, lawyer, preacher, doctor, whatever you dream is possible.

Sorry 1D haters, this makes the list because it's sweet, fun, light, and has no risque lines or curses. And it promotes positive self esteem too!

HOME by Philip Philips
A great song from a former American Idol winner about supporting and being there for each other.

KEEP YOUR HEAD UP by Andy Grammar
So catchy and fun! I always walk a little taller after hearing it.

LET'S GO by Calvin Harris Ft. Ne-Yo
This song is not as well know as some of the others but its a fun dance song with a catchy chorus. As you might guess from the title, it's about not procrastinating and taking action now.

FEEL AGAIN by Onerepublic
This is a song about healing after a break up but it might not be obvious. The lyrics make it clear that you can get through hard times with support and love. Just a note there are two versions and both mention "a gun" once (I never even noticed until I looked up the lyrics). The radio version says "just shy of a gun" but the album version says "Just shot a gun". Just FYI in case it affects your choice to use it or not.

This is a terrific, uplifting song that celebrates diversity. Everyone is different and unique but we can support each other and get along. There is one line that mentions "biting the bullet" which you may have to explain has nothing to do with an actual weapon. 

COOL KIDS by Echosmith
A song from this year by a band led by family members. It promotes the fact that you don't need to be a certain type of kid to be happy. The lyrics question the need to be a "cool kid" and points out it's best to be yourself. It is similar to the message of Different Colors but  a very different song.

HOUSE OF GOLD by Twenty One Pilots
This is a fascinating song which details a conversation between mother and son. She is discussing growing old and asks if he will take care of her and buy her a "house of gold". He says he will take care of her, love her, and keep her healthy. It's extremely rare to find a song about a mother and son so this is a neat one.

SHAKE IT OFF by Taylor Swift
Not much to say here. All the kids already know this song, so if someone is going to hate, just shake it off!

SAFE AND SOUND by Capital Cities
This is a fun song that you will probably recognize even if you have no idea who this band is. Its about positivity and knowing that with the support of a loved one, everything will be okay. There is one lyric which if someone is listening very hard, may ask about: "Even if we're six feet underground I know that we'll be safe and sound". Just so you know it's in there!

RIPTIDE by Vance Joy
This is a catchy one that I bet you've heard. Its about a crush and how fun the feeling is, but if you listen to it, you may not even notice what its about!

HURRICANE by The Vamps
This song may be familiar to you if you saw that movie Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible...To sum up, its about a happy, fun day!

THE MAN by Aloe Blacc
This is the song with the chorus, "You can tell everyone, oh you can tell everyone, I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man, yes I am, yes I am, Yes I am..." It's pretty positive overall! My research indicated there is an explicit version and a clean version but I listened to both and looked up both lyrics and didn't see anything questionable. Just to be safe look for the clean version.
The video below is the "clean" version.

Another one from T. Swift this is about how you can really be yourself with those close friends and family members! Positive and fun!
Thanks for stopping by everyone! I appreciate you taking time out to check out this post! For my related post on 25 Oldies Songs to Use with Students, click here on on the image below. 

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    Top 3 Social Media Posts for this Week!

    So I am back with my top 3 Social Media Posts of the week! First:
    Lots of people liked my picture of the quilt I had made from my precious tee shirts from Project Repat. They did a super job and were pretty affordable (half the cost of some of the places I checked out that would make them for me) and the guys who founded the company do a lot of charity work in Africa and donate some of their profits to charity so I was all for it.

    Next: FACEBOOK
    This post, just added last night, was the most viewed post I had all week. I guess everyone can identify with being busy, overscheduled, and needing to help kids find balance in this busy world.

    And in my blogger post as I type I can't see the pins, which is weird, but I know from preview mode they are left aligned but I can't figure out how to center them! Oh well. The most popular pin was this one to an article of awesome ways to use IKEA products to make your life easier as a teacher. I totally understand why that was a hit! I mean, next time I go down there I am totally getting the timers and a bunch of other stuff! The other pin, a close second was repinned only a few times less was this link to a post about helping your active students who are not paying attention. Apparently they have been in my classroom this fall ;)  ! 

    SALE for World Teacher Day plus a Gift Card Giveaway!

    Check it out everyone! Some teacher bloggers and some of the bloggers at i Teach Second are all having a TPT sale on Monday, October 5th to celebrate World Teacher Day! Yahoo! PLUS we are giving away a $25 gift card (Winner's Choice) so head over to i Teach Second to enter!

    Everything at my store will be 20% off! Head over by clicking here! Find out who else from i Teach Second is having a sale too by clicking here or on the image below.  Enjoy the day!
    SALE at Reading and Writing Redhead's TPT Store for World Teacher Day!

    Currently-How is it October?

    Hey all! I am linking up with the terrific Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for Currently! And how in the world is it October? September flew by, which is good and bad! 
    LISTENING: WERS (Emerson College Radio in Boston) has terrific music and no commercials (except for 40 seconds of ads for Emerson and the radio station every so often)! I really like their late night show too, The Secret Spot. They platy some great Soul and R&B, both current and classic! Plus they have an app so you can listen anywhere. I don't have a working radio at home so that's how I listen.

    LOVING: Fear The Walking Dead! Yep I am totally on board. Sad the season finale is tomorrow but that means Walking Dead starts NEXT WEEK! YIPPEE!

    THINKING: I have fallen off my exercise routine in the last two weeks. Time to get back into a routine. Actually I am away in NYC this weekend for  the TPT Blogger meet up so when I get back, on Monday, I will start up again.  It is a constant effort to get exercise in!

    NEEDING: SLEEP. Simple as that.

    BOO-TIFUL: Thanks to my wonderful family and friends who support me! You rock!

    Five for Friday- October 1

    Hey everyone! I am linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching for her always fun Five for Friday! I like sharing some school happening and some experiences from my outside school life so people can get to know me better!
    Earlier this week I realized I was going to be at two meetings during the day today and tomorrow I would be out. I remembered sometime in 2014 I saw a pin with rules for when there are substitutes. I had my class brainstorm what they thought were good rules for when there was a sub. I asked them to think about what would need to happen for it to be a happy day - a day when everyone goes home happy and the sub has nice things to say about everything and everyone in the note! Today was successful - I got a really good report from the sub, but tomorrow I will be out the whole day. My sub tomorrow is amazing and I hope my kiddos can keep it together.
     This week I went to a free seminar led by Belinda Ellsworth. If you are in direct sales and don't know her, google her now (well, actually after you read this post!). She is amazing and she is a firecracker with so much energy! She has terrific ideas! The hotel was a Crowne Plaza and near the conference rooms was all this cool decor.  Check it out! I sat on one of these barbershop chairs and texted during our break!
    Mmmm. Who has a dime for Fresh Candy? Just pull the knob! 
     And check this out, it was at the end of a hallway. Really neat!
    OMG We have only been in school a couple weeks and some kids' headphones (after 4 uses) are tangled like crazy! Ack! Do you have any suggestions for how to deal with this?
    I found a bunch of old photos at my mom's house! These are just a couple samples! Look at that straight hair. My mom used to blow dry it straight because she didn't know what else to do with it. Cute!
    So this is what happens when my hair is just its natural curly self. There is so much going on here. I have a sporty shirt, a rainbow skirt, crazy curls, and playing violin, and look at that clock and wallpaper! Whoah!
    Finally so excited to go to NYC this weekend to meet up with some other terrific teachers! I bet I will learn a lot and have fun!