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If you have a computer and a digital projector, you can use karaoke to improve your students' literacy skills while teaching music.
- Digital Projector
- Microphone (optional)
- Karafun software (www.karafun.com [www.karafun.com] - Karafun is a free program)
- Digital music files
- To improve fluency and sight word recognition
- To allow beginning readers the chance to sing karaoke. Many commerical karaoke cds are too visually confusing for children, and the words are too difficult for them to read.
- To incorporate music across the curriculum.
1. Download Karafun software to your PC (not Mac compatible)
2. Choose an easy to learn song that has short decodable text and beginning sight words (i.e. Mary Had a Little Lamb, The Lollipop Tree, This Old Man) and download it from iTunes, Walmart.com, or other music download sources. Or, you can use songs from cds you already own. When searching online, type the title you want and either "karaoke" or "demonstration" with it. Many songs are available with a singing track as well as an instrumental one.
2. Using the Karafun Editor, upload a song and enter text using their easy to follow instructions under the "help" tag. Make sure to input the text with a / between syllables. Once you have entered the text, syncronize the music to it by hitting the spacebar with each syllable. Make the text very simple and clear, with no added graphics or movements. Save your file and check your work on the Karafun Player.
3. Once you have created your song, you can play it on your computer and display it via the digital projector onto a wall, whiteboard, smartboard, or screen. Make sure you have the text large enough for all students to read and the music playing loudly enough for all students to hear.
I have created Karaoke files for our first grade holiday program. Each teacher has loaded Karafun onto their classroom computers and we practice our songs daily. It has really made a difference in their memorization of the lyrics and their focus during practices.
If you purchase one or two microphones, the students can take turns singing into them for added fun and as a reward.
If you have specific words you want to teach, try changing up the lyrics to songs. Purchase an instrumental song and then type the text of your choice!
Standard reading assessments can be used to determine if fluency, decoding, and word recognition skills are improving.
Microphones can help with the assessment of individual students. You can let one sing and take a "running record" with them not even knowing it.
You will also know if the kids are learning just by watching them and hearing them sing as a group. They really love it and will stay focused!