Custom Song: Counting With Tally Marks

by Rachel on October 13, 2011

Tally Mark Song

I’ll tell you what…I’m getting quite a bit of mileage out of the “Banana Boat Song” around here lately. Over the summer, I recorded a fruit shakers version for one of my music therapy students, and today I have a custom song based on it.

This particular song is all about tally marks — what they are, and how to count with them. Rene, who wins the award for most custom songs ever purchased (thanks Rene!), gave me a list of key terms to include in the song, several of which are tally mark, vertical, diagonal, equals, sum, groups, and add. I managed to fit each of the terms into the lyrics, as well as some practice counting by fives.

Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Each little tally mark equals one
Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Count by five and we get the sum

Counting with tally marks, adding up some numbers
4 vertical and 1 diagonal lines
Counting with tally marks, adding up some numbers
One set of tally marks equals five

One, two, three, four, vertical lines
One diagonal line makes five
One, two, three, four, vertical lines
One diagonal line makes five

Day, me say day-ay-ay-o
Each little tally mark equals one
Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Count by five and we get the sum

Counting with tally marks, adding up some numbers
Now add up all the groups of five
Counting with tally marks, adding up some numbers
Here we go, sing this counting jive

Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five
Thirty, thirty-five, add ‘em up.
Forty, forty-five, fifty, fifty-five
Sixty, sixty-five, add ‘em up.

Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Each little tally mark equals one
Day-o, day-ay-ay-o
Count by five and we get the sum


One of the things I love most about being a music therapist is never knowing what kind of subject matter I’ll be asked to address next. I’m always up for a good challenge! If you’re in need of a song for a specific topic, skill or concept, click here to learn more about my custom song package.



Songbook: Tapping, Shaking, Music Making!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon Boyle October 13, 2011 at 9:52 am

I appreciate this song, not only as a music therapist and educator, but as a parent! My first grade daughter is working on tally marks right now in school. Thanks so much. :)

Sharon

Reply

Rachel October 14, 2011 at 9:43 am

That is great to hear, Sharon! I hope it helps her with this concept!

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Amanda Ellis, MT-BC October 13, 2011 at 4:06 pm

This one is cute, Rachel! :)

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Rachel October 14, 2011 at 9:43 am

Thanks Amanda! Just doing what I can to keep up with you ;)

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Rene October 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Well, of course, my kiddos loved this!!! You are the best Rachel. At the end of the week in our math journals my students have to write one thing they learned this week. You guessed it, almost all of my students wrote “how to make tally marks.” Man, where were you when I was trying to learn the quadratic formula? Just be glad I teach elementary or I’d tap you for a song about sine and cosine. UGH!… Now if I can just figure out how to do a Power Point with animation, I’ll download a visual.

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Rachel October 16, 2011 at 7:53 pm

That makes me SO happy to hear!!!!

Here’s a little ditty for learning the quadratic formula, to the tune of “Pop, Goes the Weasel” –

X equals negative B,
Plus or minus the square root
Of B squared minus 4AC
All over 2A

You know, just in case you ever have a need for it! ;)

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Carla Springer June 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Your tally marks song is TERRIFIC for my first graders. Ever think of helping my kiddos in 3rd grade with a song on the difference between “area” and “perimeter”

Thanks for the rhombus also.

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Rachel June 16, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Hi Carla! I’m so glad the song is helpful to your students! Hmmm…area and perimeter…I think those are topics I could tackle at some point soon (I knew being the president of math club in high school would come in handy later in life, haha). I’ll keep you posted!

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