Language acquisition, verbal memory, and reading skills are strongly tied to music and movement.  Research shows positive student behavior is also enahanced in classrooms where the day begins with song and dance!  (Even William Congreve knew this as he stated, back in the 1600's, "Music has charms to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.") 
I begin every day of the school year with 60 to 80 children (depending on the school year) for 40 minutes. I have all our first graders and also autism and special day class students in my classroom to sing, dance, and cheer!  We use sign language, cross-brain movements, and much humor to lower the affective filter (stress-level) of our students to set the tone of quality learning for the rest of their school day. Throughout the year, they learn well over 125 songs and much sign language, about 30 dances, and 85 "cheers" for sight words using the So Simple Sightwords program. (The program contains 77 words. Check this website periodically for instructions for the extra 8 words.)
The students I teach daily are more prepared to take on academic challenges and the needed focus to work throughout the day after 20 minutes of music & movement and another 20 minutes using the So Simple Sightwords program. (Success of this method is documented in our brochure.  If you'd like a copy, please email
The songlist on this web page is full of tried-and-true songs first graders enjoy!  Most of them can be found on i-Tunes.  I also suggest adding sign language to many of the "Just Enjoy 'Em" songs.  A great website with a sign language video dictionary is through Michigan State.  The link appears below:
Click below to see a list of over 100 songs first graders enjoy!
These "cheers" aren't part of  the 77 "cheers" offered on the So Simple Sightwords DVD's. Enjoy!
Cheer for "BEAUTIFUL"
*List Revised 07/20/12
Cheer for "ABOUT"
So Simple
First Grade
Cheer for "WHY"
Cheer for "ALSO"
Cross-brain dances are finally here! (Remember, this is not "professionally" filmed like So Simple SIghtwords is!) I'll add more as I get them filmed at school.
Quick links to pages: (click words to access pages)
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