Friday, 13 November 2015

Rocking Dan's Journey to 1 Million YouTube views!

Today my YouTube Channel  Rocking Dan Teaching Man   reached an amazing milestone, 1 Million YouTube views!  A big thank you to everyone who has helped me on my YouTube journey! Thanks to all the amazing children, teachers, parents, subscribers, friends, bloggers and educational presenters who have watched and shared my animated songs. Check out my Thank you song below.

The Rocking Dan Teaching Man YouTube Channel integrates music and movement with the primary Curriculum. Music and movement is a great way to help children with their learning.

It's such great news, I feel like dancing like a scarecrow!

My interest in integrating music with the primary curriculum was sparked when I was completing a  post graduate certificate in Education (Early Childhood) in 2008/2009. I wanted to see if I could engage the children in my Year 1 class with their writing through music, movement and song. I was keen to see if the use of music would have a positive impact on their learning. During the two years of the course I collaborated and record a number songs with the children in my class. We composed description songs about book characters and procedural (how to) songs and recorded them. Collaborating with the children in the writing and recording of the songs was really important as it gave them a sense of ownership of the music and really engaged them. I burnt all the songs onto CDs for the children. I found the children loved creating and recording songs and it had an amazingly positive impact on their writing.

Here is a picture from the Rocking Dan Teaching Man archive (2008) Playing "We're going to make a snowflake!") With the Year 1 children.

My favourite quote from the research I did into music and education at the time was: 
"If readin’, writin’, and rithmetic are the heart of education, the arts and music are the soul.”(2010) Hansen, M, Harrison (N.Y.) Association of Teachers. American Teacher Feb 2010

In 2012 I changed grades and became a Kindergarten teacher. I decided I wanted to add a visual element to the music. I was lucky enough to find a user friendly animation program called Flip Boom All Stars by Toon Boom and so I started to add animations to the songs.

On  October 28th 2012 I uploaded my first animated educational song to YouTube "The Friends of 10". I came up with the song to help my Kindergarten class with their number fluency for the addition combinations of 10. And that was the beginning of the Rocking Dan Teaching Man YouTube channel.  I have since remade and recorded the song.  Here is the updated version below.

By the end of the year "The Friends of 10" had 886 hits, which I thought was amazing! Not long after the song was publish on YouTube the wonderfully talented children's musician, author and educational blogger Debbie Clement shared it on her Google + site and over night the song started to get a lot of plays. (Thanks Debbie!) Rainbows within reach Debbie Clement  Something about the song captured the imagination of teachers and children. It certainly has helped children learn their addition facts of 10!  Something that I made to help my own class has help many children from all over the world. So that is great!

 I then added "The Polar Bear Length song" which was based on a child's question from my class "How tall is a polar bear? " I put the question on our wonder wall and I found out that a adult male polar bear can be as tall as 3 metres. So I created a polar bear in the classroom that was made out of paper and cardboard. The children measured him with informal measurement objects. I took all the information that the children had found out about the polar bear and created a song and animation about it. When the song was finished and I showed the children they had the biggest smiles on their faces. It was such an engaging learning experience and the students were so proud of all the things they had discovered about  the length of a polar bear.

After a while those two songs started to get a few views and "The Polar Bear Length Song"proved to be popular with older grades as well. I was really surprised by the response but it was great to see that my music had gone beyond  my classroom and was helping to engage other children with their learning.  So I started to write and record more songs for my class and shared them on YouTube. Song such as "Stack Slide or Roll", "The Dinosaur Number Conservation Song", "Come on and Meet the 2D Shapes",  "Rocking Our Way to 100", "The Elephant Mass Song" and "What's Heavier Than a Lunch Box?"

"What's Heavier Than a Lunch Box?" (A song from a child's question.)

Then in late December I had the privilege of meeting  educational musical super star Heidi Butkus from Heidi Songs on Linkedin, She told me she had seen "The Elephant Mass Song"on YouTube and really liked it.

Heidi then offered me the chance to co write a song with her for then upcoming album "Musical Math 2". "What is place value?" It was fantastic making demos and sending different version of the song back and forth with Heidi over the internet 12065km away! Heidi has been an amazing friend and mentor and she has shared so many of my YouTube songs via her Facebook page Heidi Songs Facebook page
including "The Friends of 10" and "What makes a good Friend". It was a real thrill to meet Heidi in person at the I teach K conference in Las Vegas in 2014. Her support certainly helped to expose my music to a wider audience. (Thanks Heidi!)

Shortly after that I was contacted by Carolyn Kisloski a wonderful teacher, blogger and educational author. She told me she had shared "Rocking Our Way to 100"on her blog Kindergarten Holding Hands and Sticking Together. Carolyn regularly shares my songs and animations on her blog which is great and I am so grateful for all her support and feedback. She also gave me the idea for the song Secret Agent Number Bond. (Thanks Carolyn!)
It was really great that other Teacher/ bloggers had started to share my music on their blogs and other social media. I was overwhelmed when the very talented and world famous Kindergarten blogger Greg Smedley-Warren from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard shared Come on and Meet the Shapes on his Facebook page! He also invited lots of his followers to like my page. I had an immediate influx of people checking out my YouTube channel because of that! Greg also included me in one of his blog post about male Kindergarten teachers which was great. (Thanks Greg!).

Here is an updated version of the song with Vertices! It Rocks! 

In 2013 I was very fortunate to receive The Frater Travel Scholarship from The Australian Catholic University. I was given the award for my work with music, movement and the primary curriculum.
(With Bob and Margaret Frater and Professor Anne Cummins)

 The scholarship allowed me the opportunity to travel to The I Teach K conference in Las Vegas.  This gave me the opportunity to meet some fantastic teachers and take part in some incredible professional development. The session I was looking forward to the most was Pete Harry's Harry Kindergarten Music YouTube channel Teaching with YouTube. The session was fantastic, it really helped me explore some new ideas about using YouTube. Pete's YouTube channel is a fantastic teaching and learning resource for K-2 learners and is also extremely popular with teachers and children. Pete surprised me by putting a image of me up on the screen during his presentation! It was a great boast to my YouTube channel. ( Thanks Pete!)

It was wonderful experience to be in the audience at Deanna Jump's Mrs Jump's Class blog workshop on writing when she showed a clip of my song "The Big Bad wolf description song" and said it was a great stimulus for writing. 
It was tremendous to see a song of mine being used at a  national conference in the USA. Wow! Thanks Deanna, that was a big thrill for me and a huge boast to my YouTube Channel.

In Las Vegas also had the pleasure of meeting Palma Lindsay from kfundamentals. She really liked my music and has since shared some of my songs such as "The Friends of 10", "The Gingerbread Man Description Song" and "Secret Agent Number Bond"at some of her Kindergarten professional development workshops. (Thanks Palma!)
Thanks for sharing Palma! 

Thanks to Susanna from whimsy workshop teaching for giving me the fantastic clipart used in the video of  "Secret Agent Number Bond song." I have also used her clipart in "Good Morning Sit on the Floor Quietly" Susanna very generously shared this song on social media. Thanks Susanna!

Terri from Kinder Kapers has been a wonderful supporter of mine as well. She has included my music in some of her blog posts. Terri is a really warm, friendly and helpful person as well as a fine educator and now mentor to other teachers. Thanks Terri for your promotion of my YouTube channel. 

Fellow Australian Kim from Music Teacher Resources has also been a great promoter of my music too. I got a big surge in view on "Where am I now? the position song" when she shared it on Pinterest. (Thanks Kim!)
Bev Dunbar maths matters resources has been a fantastic help as well.  She has helped me out with the language of maths for some of my songs and has given me lots of constructive feedback as well as sharing my songs on her website.(Thanks Bev.)

Kindergarten blogger Cindy Price Mrs Prices' Kindergators blog has also been a wonderful supporter of mine. Thanks for the many shares and retweets on twitter and Facebook Cindy!
Many other bloggers have been generous and shared my YouTube videos or media articles on various social media platforms such as Kathy Griffin Teaching StrategiesKelly's ClassroomTeaching in Blue Jeans ,  Mrs Wills Kindergarten and I'm sure their are many other bloggers who I don't know about. (Thank you)

As my YouTube channel started to grow I was getting some interest from the media. My story featured in About Catholic Schools Magazine, ACU Inisight Magazine, Australian Teacher Magazine, a few local papers and then in  The Sydney Morning Herald! 
Australian Teacher Magazine Article

I was also interviewed on Sydney Radio ABC 702! It was fantastic to be able to get the message of the importance of music and movement in primary curriculum to a wider audience and to talk about how my YouTube channel can help with this!

In mid 2014 I had the chance to work with some expert sensory teachers. They gave me some great ideas about how to incorporate movement, music, and visuals  into the classroom to help children self regulate and get them ready to learn. From these meetings I came up with the songs "Do the bear walk",  "Good morning sit on the floor quietly", "Rocking Star" and  "Get ready for the silent bean bag game" As well as some brain break songs like "Dance like a scarecrow" and "Get up and dance to The Alphabet". These movement songs have been a great addition to my YouTube channel and are so much fun! 

In April this year I was able to present at the GAFE summit in Sydney.  My presentation "YouTube in the classroom and beyond" showcased the way I use YouTube as a teaching and learning tool to  help children with their academic, social, emotional and physical development.  

It has been a  great experience moving onto an older grade this year and seeing how the kids still respond to music and movement. My class got a fantastic thrill after we collaborated on a procedure song about making paper frogs. My class were so happy when we started to receive emails from children in other countries sharing images of paper frogs they had made following our song! Powerful learning indeed!

Just three weeks ago I received another award, this time from the ACU Alumni association. The Highly Commended Community engagement award. That was such a great thrill and honour. I am so humbled to have received this great recognition. 

With Professor Greg Craven Vice Chancellor ACU

It was wonderful to receive a letter of support and congratulations from my Regional Director!
I am very thankful to everyone who has listen to my music, shared it and danced to it. It is so wonderful that I am helping children around the world with their learning.
Some interesting facts about the Rocking Dan Teaching Man YouTube Channel:
 The top five countries by percentage of number of views:
USA 49%, Australia 15%, U.K. 14%, Canada 4.4%, Singapore 1.5%
The most number of views on one day was 3747 on April 27th 2015
The top ten songs by number of views: The Friends of 10, Stack Slide or Roll, The Polar Bear Length song, The Elephant Mass Song, Come on and Meet the Shapes, Where am I Now? The position song, What makes a good friend?, What's Heavier Than a Lunchbox, Secret Agent Number Bond, The Dinosaur Number Conservation Song.

My YouTube Channel recently reached another milestone, 1000 subscribers. Thanks to everyone who has subscribed to my channel!


 So that's the Rocking Dan Teaching Man Journey to 1 million YouTube views story! 
Music and movement is a great way to help support children's learning and develop their social skills! No matter what age you are sometimes you just need To Get up and dance to the Alphabet!

Zed version Australia

Zee Version USA

Until next time Rock on and Subscribe to my YouTube channel!
Rocking Dan Teaching Man.
. There are some great educational song on the channel including songs about Maths, Literacy, Social Skills, Brain breaks, Co ordination and motor skills!

“It is clear that music is good for Children’s cognitive development and should be apart of  the preschool and primary school curriculum.”Dr Takako Fujioka

Keep on Rocking,
Rocking Dan Teaching Man

No comments:

Post a Comment