Friday, November 28, 2014

Facilitating Communication, Counting, and Connection Through an Interactive Song Book

For those of you finding us via the Special Education Bloggers Blog Hop, welcome to the Considerate Classroom community.  I AM SO THANKFUL FOR SPECIAL EDUCATORS!! 

It's been a professionally humbling and inspiring year thanks to the loyal following of the Considerate Classroom community and the virtual relationships I have made with other special education and preschool bloggers.  Your dedication to the field never seizes to amaze me.

This is a post I have been meaning to share for a while but time just continues to get away from me.  But this Special Education Bloggers Blog Hop is a the perfect opportunity give back and share this freebie with all of you.  It's one of my favorites...Our class song book with moveable parts!

There's a choice board inside that allows students to choose a song to sing. 

NOTE:  This choice board is designed like our class PODD books and aided language boards. For more information about how to use these tools, visit this earlier post titled "Improving Communication Skills for Non-Verbal Children Through the Use of Aided Language Boards".

Each page following the choice board contains a different song. For example, here is page one..."The Wheels on the Bus"!

The back side of the page displays icons that represent different verses of the song.  The students can either use a choice board to pick which verse to sing or the teacher can use it as a visual to go through the verses of the song.  

The next page contains one of my student’s favorites, "Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree".

The page has moveable monkeys on the back side to add to the tree for math and counting.

When I use this page, I really gauge my audience and our time.  If we have been sitting for quite some time and the kids are getting restless, or if I would like more time for other friends to have the opportunity to pick other songs, then I may only have two monkeys in the tree. Or if I am singing the song with one kiddo who needs some modeling, then I will start with five monkeys so we have more opportunities to practice the actions of the song.  

The monkeys from page two are also used for page 3's "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed".  I use this song quite a bit when the kids are getting restless or have sat a long time as it provides them with an opportunity to get up and jump.

Page four is another favorite, "Alice Had a Camel with Five Humps".

The moveable parts take a bit of imagination as they are simply circles cut in half.  

Again, I only put on the number of pieces my students can be successful with in that moment.  It is much easier to keep student engagement rather than having to gain it back!!

Are you sensing a pattern yet with the counting songs?  The year I made this book my students were really into them.  

Here is another number song but on a different level, "B-I-N-G-O".

A great visual motor piece as students have to watch to see when to clap.  In the beginning, it may be for the last letter or the first letter but then as the kids get good at it, we will clap on every other letter or the last letter and first letter.

Here is what the back looks like.

Next, page six is "Old MacDonald" in which we put different animals in the barn. 

The back side has different animals to choose from.  It can be used as a choice board or just as visuals for the teacher to pull from.  

And finally, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". 

But not just any Twinke, Twinkle!!  On this one, the kids get to pick "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" or my favorite, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star What a Wonderful Child You Are!".

"Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, What a wonderful Child You Are" is an I Love You Ritual from Dr. Becky Baily of Conscious Discipline.  

Watch as my son, Payt, and I sing it below along with other songs.  Note that prior to videotaping, we had never used the song book at home. cute, right?  Well, I might be a little biased to my little Payton Douglas, but the video definitely drives home my last point.  As shared with me by Dr. Becky Bailey, "All kids need to be interacted with and loved through eye contact, touch, presence and a playful situation."  

As much as I love this song book, it is not really about the song book.  It is about being present and building connections with kids.  We live in a busy world with everything at our fingertips which leads us to forget about what matters the most...making time for one another!  

The best present you can give a child is YOUR presence.

So with that, I encourage you to be present, loving and playful with your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, and students this holiday season.  

Click here to use my song book to do just that! :)  Note that this version's format is a tiny bit different to save on colored ink and paper.

To the Considerate Classroom family both old and new...thank YOU for all your support and encouragement.  Happy Holidays to you and yours! 

Check back in next week for fun holiday crafts and traditions.  For more tips and strategies follow me on Facebook, I try to post an idea, tip or strategy there everyday!     

Thanks for stopping by!


For more freebies and tips, continue the trip through the blog hop by checking out Teach.Love.Autism...just click the button below.


  1. Love the songbook and video! Thanks for sharing and being a part of our bloghop!

    The Bender Bunch

  2. Your book looks great for the students! Enjoyed reading your post.
    Burke's Special Kids

  3. Love your ideas! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Just incredible! I can tell you are very passionate about your students and kids :) Thanks so much for sharing this great resource :)

    Mindful Rambles

  5. I loved the concept and will incorporate it into my classroom! Having all kids be able to participate is really important to me and music especially is something all of my students love. Thanks for your freebie!