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11. U.S. students struggle with vocabulary! Why The Jazzles Vocabulary Approach IS the NAEP’s Vocabulary Approach!

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Number 11 in My Series – Strategies Making the Jazzles Difference
‘U.S. students struggle with vocabulary’, says a new study from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
The same article adds ‘Vocabulary skills of students nationwide closely track students’ reading comprehension levels.’

So where do we go from doomsday?
Commenting on the research, Francie Alexander, Vice President and Chief Academic Officer for Scholastic Education, says the results show that developing a rich vocabulary “can become a huge task for students, one that schools must take on beginning in the earliest grades and continuing through high school.”

Does Vocabulary Development Have to be a Huge Task?
Certainly not! With Jazzles, children acquire vocabulary knowledge intuitively, easily and almost automatically, through the combination of:
1. Highly engaging, song themed, vocabulary rich resources.
2. The use of multiple mnemonic-based strategies to power vocabulary development – e.g. Matching Captions; prolific alliteration: developing vocabulary using connected text; lyrics emphasizing nearly 75% of words found in high fluency and sight word lists; creative writing using storyboarding; etc.
3. The use of creative arts for reinforcing and extending vocabulary and comprehension. For example, the use of drama and creative play to develop expressive vocabulary and oral skills.

Benefits go beyond developing vocabulary and comprehension, because when children know a word and are then asked to use it in a phonological awareness exercise, they will find the task easier than if they had to use an unfamiliar word.
See footnote: Research shows that, as in Jazzles ELA, musical and phonemic processing interact.

If every child had access to Jazzles ELA, I can tell you this.
Jazzles is absolutely ‘guaranteed’ to build your students knowledge not only of most of the words they need to know, but also hundreds of words that add sparkle to their texts!

As Headstart teacher Judy Toscano of San Antonio confirms (2013):

“As for how former students are doing, the Pre-k 4 teachers and the kindergarten teachers can see a huge difference between my students that have used Jazzles and other students that have not. They demonstrate a more advanced vocabulary and have letter names and letter sounds more developed. My students also show better scores on the assessments we administer then the other pre-3 classes on my campus.

Here’s the Jazzles Quick Guide to Oral Language Development!
Jazzles fosters vocabulary using group/choral singing supported by song-themed discussion topics, and visual and performing arts experiences.
1. The Jazzles animated song stories achieve high levels of intellectual and emotional engagement.
2. The content of each song story is both highly relevant but more importantly ‘relatable’ – perhaps best defined by Tracy Johnson, one of America’s top media audience programmers, as ” .. turning content into connective communication that resonates with the audience.”
3. The story content ignites curiosity that children can immediately explore using the Google and Bing (Maps and Video) toolbar embedded into our user interface.
4. The Jazzles Advanced ELA Lesson Plans provide teachers with discussion topics that achieve very high levels of student interest and interaction.
5. Widespread participation is achieved because, having related to the song animations, children are familiar with the ‘plot’. This creates the interest and self-confidence to share their knowledge and real-life experiences. This is especially important for ESL students.

The Jazzles Vocabulary Approach IS the NAEP Vocabulary Approach

“The results come from the biennial National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly called The Nation’s Report Card.
The NAEP vocabulary test demanded more high-order, abstract thinking from students, inviting them to use the context of a passage to figure out words’ meanings instead of simply asking them to define words in isolation.” Says USA Today.

That’s exactly what Jazzles does!
You would be amazed at all the creativity generated when children become TV reporters, weather anchors, ‘witnesses’ etc.!

I get children to work in pairs or small groups, planning an interview, creating a storyboard, playing a role, developing a story or dramatic performance related to the animated song story!

From the very first time they sing along to the Jazzles animated stories (JazzleOke 1), you can see just how fast and naturally students develop not only their oral vocabulary but also their communication and cooperative skills!
As a teacher, I just love their confident report-backs and group interactions!

Try It! Why Not?
Are you struggling because of vocabulary deficits, particularly with the disadvantaged?
Why not just test Jazzles in your classroom?
Just click the link to download and install the Jazzles ELA demo unit – ‘Blue Bus Blues’ (38Mb – no information required – includes uninstall.exe) – and then experience the Jazzles’ power to develop vocabulary and listening skills in real-time!

Start by referencing page 2 of the Advanced ELA Lesson Plans.
Here, you can see the structured Inferential, Literal and Evaluative Question prompts suggested. Now just add/tailor your own!

As Core Knowledge founder E.D. Hirsch Jr. says “Students don’t learn new words by studying vocabulary lists. They do so by guessing new meanings within the overall gist of what they are hearing or reading.”

Note:
Research shows that musical and phonemic processing interact – benefiting attention span, comprehension and memory. Source: ‘The Effect of Harmonic Context on Phoneme Monitoring in Vocal Music’’ National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine USA Also The Relationship of Lyrics and Tunes in the Processing of Unfamiliar Songs: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Adaptation Study’ The Society for Neuroscience

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You can’t teach them unless you reach them – no matter how great a teacher is!

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I LOVE TEACHERS!
How many of us remember with fondness those teachers who made a difference in our lives?
Teachers today have to love what they do!
The teachers I know love to inspire and guide.
They love to redirect curiosity and creativity in divergent self initiated learning pathways
The teachers I know love children and are dedicated to bringing out the best in them.

So it pains me to see creative teaching constrained by pressure to produce results in literacy and maths above all else!!!

Vilifying teachers for not producing high scores in just these areas is cruel and unconscionable!

Yes, I agree literacy is king, but what about the social and communicative skills so important to securing and maintaining jobs?
These skills need to be fostered as well.

How many parents ask you: “How does Johnny/Mary get on with others”?

Parents know the importance of being happy at school, maintaining friendships and emotional well-being for focused learning.

The evidence of the repercussions of unhappy, unresolved relationships in the home or workplace in sadly evident on the news!

Technology has its indisputable place in education, but so do the Arts.
Let’s get back to a sensible integrated program with a balance of technology and social interaction.

Visual and Performing Arts facilitate the development of cognitive (communication and vocabulary development to develop reading and writing fluency), and the non-cognitive skills of cooperation, taking turns, negotiation, confidence, etc, as well as opportunities to identify multiple intelligences.

At risk students cite the ARTS as a deterrent of truancy.
You can’t teach them unless you reach them – no matter how great a teacher is!
Arts is a powerful tool – so, please, can we return to balance?

For more information (supported by great statistics) on the importance of the Arts in narrowing the achievement gap though greater student engagement click here!

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10: Defying challenges of word deficits, word knowledge, even books and pencils!

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Number 10 in My Series – Strategies Making the Jazzles Difference

Here’s why the Jazzles ELA methodology is so different to any other early reading/ ELA program you have experienced.
“…a committee of nationally recognized professors and educators, seeking to bring some sense to the arguments over the best way of teaching reading, produced a report that said no single reading instruction method, used in isolation, works best for all children. The report by the National Research Council recommended that teachers use a mix of phonics and creative exercises.” — The Washington Post 1998 (Book Review of ‘Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children’ by Catherine E. Snow, M. Susan Burns, and Peg Griffin) June 2010

Jazzles ELA absolutely follows that recommendation.

I’ve designed the program to include over 50 substantive instructional strategies to help children learn skills they need to defy the challenges of word deficits, word knowledge and even, as in New Canton, Virginia, children too poor to experience even books and pencils.

The more Reading Strategies children are able to use, the easier it will be for them to read new text successfully.

These strategies include applying meaning, internalized language knowledge (vocabulary) and phonemic awareness skills.

With Jazzles ELA, children are taught never to rely on only one of these skills but how to use two or even three strategies to successfully decode and correct mistakes.

Once learned, these strategies will become tools that are eventually applied automatically – as when they graduate to independent readers.

For example, the following strategies used simultaneously help children decode an unknown word in an illustrated book. Children can:
• Use the initial sound/letter of the word (phonemic awareness).
• Use the illustration (for meaning).
• Consider what word would fit naturally into the sentence ( internalized knowledge of the structure of English sentences).

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A fun, new, ‘learn to read’ methodology for disadvantaged children?

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Can every child (including ESL, SPED and socio-economic disadvantaged children) experience beginning reading success?

Is there a new ‘learn to read’, multimedia approach that engages the spectrum of learning needs in every mixed ability class?

Interested? Test it out!
Digital/visual media, music, singing and movement engage today’s children.

The Jazzles ELA’s unique ‘learn to read’ methodology uses all these features to emotionally and intellectually engage beginning readers.

Together, they create optimal, simultaneous visual, aural and kinetic engagement by catering for every child’s preferred learning style profile.

Using supporting themed resources and visual and performing arts, Jazzles creates fun, interactive social and digital experiences that provides multiple forms of practice to consolidate skills without the dreaded ‘drill and kill’ that annihilates any learning/ teaching joy!

Try It! Why Not?
Your free, Jazzles ‘Blue Bus Blues’ Unit download allows you test levels of joy and engagement with your students, and explore how the Jazzles song-powered ELA program works.

Its key resource – JazzleOke 1 - shows how the 6 beginning ‘learn to read’ skills (Letter-Sound Correspondence, Phonemic Awareness, Vocabulary, Comprehension, Fluency and Concepts about Print) are acquired intuitively through fun visual, aural and kinesthetic interaction.

Can Jazzles unique ‘learn to read’ methodology be a life-changing, ‘beginning reading success’ solution for teachers with disadvantaged children in mixed ability classes ?
Let me know what you think.

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Teachers: Will We Ever Learn? And What I’m Doing About It!

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‘Teachers: Will We Ever Learn?’ is a headline in yesterday’s New York Times. Click here to open.

It’s a great article by Jal Mehta, an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the author of the forthcoming book “The Allure of Order: High Hopes, Dashed Expectations, and the Troubled Quest to Remake American Schooling.”

He says in one paragraph: “… what happens in classrooms, hasn’t changed much in the century since the Progressive Era. On the whole, we still have the same teachers, in the same roles, with the same level of knowledge, in the same schools, with the same materials, and much the same level of parental support.”

Professor Mehta, not for the want of trying!
Unlike Sir Ken Robinson et al, there’s little point in complaining about lack of creativity in schools. I’ve sold my house to create and fund a totally new 21st Century Engagement Pedagogy designed to cater for VAK-T learning styles – using new ground breaking pedagogical resources.

Dianne Ravitch may not support the Common Core Standards. I do, because it provides a benchmark upon which DoE’s and ISDs can judge materials – mine included. And guess what, Jazzles ELA will beat any other PreK to K program hands down and meet/exceed CCSS ELA for Kindergarten!

So what am going to do about it today??
I’m taking time off to work out a new strategy as to how I can get DoEs, ISDs and Principals to say, in the words of Eli Broad, “Why not?” as in “Lesley Beth is claiming all these things about how her program is solving issues of engaging mixed ability PreK-G1 classes. Is it fact or garbage?”

Well just two weeks trying out Jazzles in a class would tell you. So why not try it??
As I said in previous blog, give me your toughest PreK-G1, and I’ll show you how I can engage, manage and motivate them! What’s the risk? NOTHING!
Except you might turn upside down the theories and resources of yesterday.

I’m Going Bush!
So for the next 10 days, I’m going bush – no phones, no electricity, so many stars, you’re dazzled!

And here’s a good summary of where my husband and I are going – courtesy of Australia’s greatest poet, Banjo Patterson

“And down by Kosciusko, where the pine-clad ridges raise
Their torn and rugged battlements on high,
Where the air is clear as crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze
At midnight in the cold and frosty sky,
And where around The Overflow the reed beds sweep and sway
To the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide,
The man from Snowy River is a household word today,
And the stockmen tell the story of his ride.”

My husband, who’s British, insists on swimming. It’s cold but crystal clear – we drink it without boiling!
Back on the 22nd April – and thanks for all the hundreds of messages of support.
Tweet@lesleyBeth

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