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NAEYC: Singing a-long with Bob McGrath

bobWe are still processing all the great experiences we had at the NAEYC annual conference in Atlanta last week. A frequent presenter at the conference was a childhood favorite of ours … Mr. Bob McGrath from Sesame Street! How fun it was to sing songs that I remember from the show (all the words come back to you!). As an early childhood professional, it’s interesting to look at all those songs with different eyes … and how those songs tie into early learning concepts for children.

Bob McGrath

Very calming and entertaining, Bob McGrath gave a great presentation in Atlanta – despite arriving very late the night before due to the winter storm that hit NY that week.

Bob McGrath

Remember all those fun songs from Sesame Street? Used with your preschoolers in class or at home, those fun songs also incorporate learning concepts that you can use to extend topics that you may already be talking about.

Tressa got up on stage with Bob when he (and those of us in the audience) sang to “This Little Light of Mine“.

Bob McGrath2

Using instruments, (like the triangle Tressa is holding) – they emphasized the rhyming words in the song by hitting their bells or triangles. Such a simple and effective idea to use in your classroom to take a song that the children are familiar with; but having them really listen for the rhyming words and then reinforcing that by tapping on an instrument.

I agreed with Tressa that the next time there was an opportunity to go up on stage, that I would do it. So of course, there was DANCING involved (I thought Tressa was supposed to do the boogie!) I did my best, as we got up to do the “Dinosaur Swing“.

And then it was time to ROAR!!

It was fun … and gave us another musical song choice that we can use for “Dinosaur Book & Boogie“!

Our favorite new song!

Bob McGrath

By far, our FAVORITE new (to us) song was “Everyone Asked About You” – which is basically a song version of this book. We had never heard this one before, and loved the rhythms in the music and the story that is told. Bob told of a teacher who uses this story and song at the beginning of each school year – and when one year she decided to change it, all the kids complained that they wanted “Nora Blue”!

Again, I think of the teaching aspects that can be used with this book and song. Nora experiences that feeling of being lonely, which children can relate to – don’t we ALL want to feel like people miss us or “ask about us” when we are not around? So it opens up an opportunity for discussion with your children (“Why do you think Nora didn’t want to come out at first?” “How was she feeling?” “Have you ever felt that way?”) When all the very colorful and vibrant characters come at the end of the story … it’s a great celebration! The song component really helps to make this a story that the children will remember.

We very much enjoyed Bob’s workshop … and we are still learning from him, just as we did when we were kids!

You can view all our NAEYC conference photos on our Facebook page!


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