Review: HeidiSongs Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds

SingSongs-Combo_1I have used many different methods of teaching letters and letter sounds over the years, some approaches have been more effective than others.   Our pre-k program didn’t begin teaching letter sounds until 2002 and the state of TX didn’t even address teaching letter sounds in pre-k until just last year.    When we were first told we would be teaching letter sounds in pre-k panic took hold as we tried to figure out how to do that.  Gradually, over the next few years most of us found a method of teaching letter sounds that we were comfortable with, but there was no continuity.  We were told we had to teach letter sounds but we were never told how.   Then, we transitioned to full-day from half-day pre-k and the pressure was on, no longer was it o.k. to just introduce the students to letter sounds and if they got it, fine and if not then hope they got it in kinder. 

Last year, when Heidi’s Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds first came out I was very excited because I was already using her Sing & Spell series to teach sight words and had found it highly effective.  At the time, I was using the Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD and CD to “hook” my kids on letters, but I was concerned because the learning was passive.  I noticed that all my students loved the LeapFrog songs but not all of them were “getting it”, especially those low, low babies;  I knew that something was missing but I wasn’t sure what it was.   As soon as I watched Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds for the very first time I realized what that missing piece was, movement!   My students were getting the auditory and visual aspects from LeapFrog, but the missing piece of the puzzle was movement.   Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds uses a multisensory approach, incorporating music AND movement to engage young learners.  There is a unique song for every letter of the alphabet.  Each song includes the sound of the letter, a picture of the letter, a movement or “dance” to go with the song, and an animation of the letter formation.   You can see for yourself in the video below.

I introduced Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds to the pre-k teachers in my district and several campuses purchased the DVD for every pre-k classroom.  I witnessed class after class of four year olds who were able to fluently identify the alphabet, both upper and lowercase, as well as all letter sounds.   The movements for each song help the students not only identify the letters, but write them as well because it is imprinted in their “muscle memory”.   Another benefit of Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds is that it accelerates the process of learning to identify letters and sounds.  Instead of taking half the school year, or heaven forbid, the whole school year to learn these concepts, students were learning to identify their letters and sounds in only a few short weeks!   This isn’t just a claim I am making up, we have the test scores to prove it! 

I do not work for Heidi Songs, but I did have the pleasure of seeing Heidi present at the 2008 NAEYC conference in Dallas.   In addition to being a talented teacher Heidi also presents her music and ideas at various conferences around the U.S., you can see her next at the I Teach K! conference in Las Vegas on July 13th.

Advertisements

3 Responses

  1. I have this video in my classroom and I showed it to my students occasionally but I am curious as to how you incorporated it into your curriculum — when during the schedule did you show it and how often to be as effective as you say?
    Thank you,
    Sarah

    • Hi Sarah: In order for anything to be effective it needs to be done on a consistent basis. We know that young children learn best via repetition which is why we teach things like rhyming, patterning, and concepts of print all year long. The classes that had the best results with Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds were those that showed the DVD daily. Of course, it’s too long to show all at once, so most teachers would show 4-6 letters at a time during transitions. For example, when the teacher was setting up ABC centers she may show letters A-E, when she was setting up for math centers show F-J, then after lunch she shows K-O while the kids cool down and so on. When shown on a consistent, daily basis over a specific period of time Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds is highly effective. I’m sure if you e-mail Heidi at her website she would also be glad to give you ideas and support for using the Letters and Sounds products, she is super nice.
      -vanessa

  2. I view something genuinely interesting about your blog so I saved to favorites.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: