About Heidi

I am a credentialed Reading Specialist with over 25 years experience in the Primary classroom. After years of developing my own curriculum, my peers urged me to present this material at the California Kindergarten Conference, which generated an overwhelming response to publish my program. I have since grown this basic curriculum into the ‘HeidiSongs’ product line and website, which now includes both music and videos, plus presentations and keynotes nationwide.
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  1. Hi Heidi!
    I am a 3rd Year student in BA Early Childhood Education and Care in Ireland. I am doing a piece of research around being active during story-time with the children. I have been looking at your videos around the use of puppetry when telling a story. I was wondering if you could help me with something? I want to find out if children remember more about the story when you have read it to them and used puppetry/props to compliment the story rather than just reading it to them!
    thank you

    • Hi, Clara!
      That sounds like a great question! I would love to know the answer as well. I wouldn’t know how to go about helping you find out, though! I expect that when the children are more engaged, they are more likely to remember more, and puppets and props usually lead to better engagement. We would have to tell the story both ways to similar groups of children, and then give comprehension tests to both classes.

  2. Hello Heidi
    I just want to thank you for shareing your genius with everyone. I was lucky enough to get to go to the kindergarten conf. in San Jose this winter. I saw your presentation and was hooked. Bought several of your DVDs. Wow! My students LOVE them. They beg for them all the time. This year I just popped them in and used them as sponges next year I will be useing them in a more planned approach. Either way this years students spell better and can ID numbers better because of your genius. Thank you

  3. Hi again,
    I have a few questions I have been dying to ask you. How do you go about matching a word or number to a song? How long does it take you? Do you ever have trouble getting them out of your head. I sure do. Sometimes one will go running through my head all night long.Love them!

    • Hi, Cristi!
      Whenever I introduce a song, I hold that word or number in my hand so that the connection is (hopefully) made right away. OR, I am pointing to it on the screen of the DVD. Sometimes I do BOTH! And as soon as the song is over, I try to pause that DVD and point to the word or number and say, “What is that word/letter/number?” etc. Sometimes I ask it twice in a row: “What’s that word? What’s that word?” This is because I am just trying to get EVERYONE in the class to answer verbally, rather than daydream. When I am writing in front of them, I sing the songs as I write that sight word, and when I am teaching printing, I may sing that alphabet song, too! So I use those songs continually throughout the day to help build those connections.
      Another thing that helps is to put on the DVD and have the children write those words/letters/numbers, etc. while the song is playing on dry erase boards or paper. As soon as the song is over, they shout out the word, and then erase it. It really does help make a connection for them.
      I think that if you continually relate the songs to your instruction throughout the day, you won’t have any trouble getting the kids to make that connection!
      And YES- those songs do run through my head, day and night! If it is not one of MY songs, it’s someone else’s!

  4. Hi Heidi..I truly enjoyed your webpage and have shared it with other students at Grand Canyon University. Your heidisongs has showed me how to incorporate music into other areas of my teaching experience. I want to thank you for sharing with us new and pioneer teaching professionals. I look forward to visiting your site again.

  5. Hi, I’m from India, the land of “zero” and I think your site is the first one I have seen which focuses on teaching the concept of zero. I work with children with special needs and was looking for some more ideas to teach them the concept of zero.

    • Hi, Diana!
      I have never heard of India referred to as “the Land of Zero!” That’s a good idea for a topic! I’ll add it to my list of things to do! I think it would be a good thing to discuss on my HeidiSongs Facebook page, too! We have discussions each evening, and people send me questions to post for all of my followers to help answer. I think I’ll post this one tomorrow night, Dec. 16th. Look for it for some good ideas from the expert group of teachers there! There are always great ideas coming from that group!

      • Thanks. In India we call zero “sunya”… Since the majority of the concept of zero came from Indian mathematicians, India is referred to as “The land of zero”.
        Looking forward to the discussion.

  6. Hello Heidi!

    I am glad that your songs are helping so many children and teachers! You are truly talented! My daughter Sarah is now a senior in high school and she still can sing many of your songs! Thanks for being a fabulous influence in her learning!
    Much admiration,

    • Hi, Heather!
      How sweet of you to leave me a message! Wow, I can’t believe that Sarah is now graduating from high school! Amazing! Boy, time really flies. I think I need a video tape of her singing some of my songs! That would be really something! How old is your little one now? πŸ™‚
      Keep in touch!

  7. Heidi your awesome! I’ve been running a large home preschool for 14 years and now they are finally picking up A LOT MORE sight words πŸ™‚ My 2 yr olds write and 4 year old read …..Im super excited about your program! The future is BRIGHT! GREAT JOB!

  8. Hello Heidi,

    I am working in a school in Thailand teaching 3 year olds, a very academic program, your material has been amazing for these kids, I can push academics for about an hour with the schools handwriting requirements, stories ect then I let them play, which we just did not have the time for before I started using your materials.

    Last year my brighter students knew 40 sight words which was great. I only started teaching it at the end of second term. This year I figured I should teach it in first term all the way through as it helped those lower level kids to learn letters, while the middle and higher end of the class could be extended.

    Do you have any suggestions for pacing in regards to the words with ESL learners, the children are 3 years old (over half already know the entire alphabet), I want it to be more efficient this year. I have started off with dvd 1 and just a few words, but I am not sure how I should pace this considering the children know more letters and sounds at the start of this year than last years group. Some children speak alot of English, others very little.

    I also bought the cvc word songs, as the brighter children were able to get the songs you had on youtube, so I thought I would try it out. I am feeling unsure how to pace things? The children attend 5 days a week i get them for about 2 hours per day.

    Any suggestions would be very helpful.

    • Hi, Lin,
      I’m glad to hear of your great results, but a little uncomfortable telling you how much academics to push onto those three year old babies in your program! Some parents choose to do this at home with their own children, but preschool teachers that run very academic programs rarely admit to this online, because they tend to get some pretty severe backlash! I sometimes get criticism on my site, just for encouraging preschoolers to learn the alphabet and a few sight words.
      I have a Kindergarten Pacing Guide and a First Grade Pacing Guide posted. These are meant for children ages 4.5 to age 7, so you can take this information and adapt it for your needs.
      Good luck to you!

      • Hi Heidi,

        Thank you I will have a look at your pacing guide for kindergarten and see how I can pace it better.

        Many schools in Asia teach academics from a very young age. I think it may be partly to do with the children needing to learn reading and writing in two or more languages. This is certainly a complex process for any child and often this starts early to ensure they are successful. Not always having parents at home who can help them with English is also a reason many schools start early. Some cultural differences in what parents expect from their children is also very different, both socially and academically, it’s hard for westerners to judge from their own perspective. I can see both points of view and it has made me much more open minded to the differences and benefits of both types of programs and why different cultures may prefer one over the other.

        Teaching young children letters and sounds before age 4 is fairly typical of most schools where I live. So it is interesting how the cultural differences influence what is taught in schools and how people perceive what is appropriate.

        The children really like your songs and it is great that they have so much fun with them while learning at the same time.

        Thank you

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