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6: Why song-powered Jazzles ELA? Strategies Making the Jazzles Difference

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When watching ‘American Idol’ or ‘The Voice’, have you been intrigued to see the judges singing every word of the song being performed, and even more amazingly, they often predict the song just by hearing the introductory, instrumental bars ?

So have you found yourself mentally able predict the next song on a familiarized album – even before it begins?
I have!
It’s scientifically described as ‘ear-worms’ – ‘a piece of music that gets stuck in your head so you hear it, even when it‘s not being played’.
That’s the amazing recall power of songs that I use for literacy purpose.

Let’s take ‘The Voice’ analogy a step further. The brilliance of the concept, is that the judges only evaluate on the voice – not the appearance.
Sadly, that’s not how it works in life!
After the initial judgement call on appearance, children and adults are judged on their ability to communicate!
Poor oral fluency can wrongly create misconceptions about intelligence or cause low self esteem and cost jobs as an adult.

Even sadder, research consistently finds teachers spend as little as 6% of their time on vocabulary development and even less (only 1.4%) allotted to content area vocabulary.

Every teacher knows that apart from the intervention of repeated practice (requiring time they can’t find), it’s almost impossible to change ingrained, grammatically incorrect vocabulary e.g. ‘I seen him’, ‘She went to the shopping’ etc.!

I believe we are created with equal brain capacity to learn – just inequality of opportunity.
Music and singing is accessible to everyone – engaging the brain for remembering intonation and pronunciation and the grammatical structure of language.

I deliberately use a wide variety of upbeat musical styles and singing performances as the key Jazzles ELA strategy for emotional engagement and recall.
Singing happily and automatically unifies groups of children – no matter what their socio-economic status is.
It is also the ideal way to practice and internalize English vocabulary – to say nothing of confident oral expression!

Can you think of a more powerful and enjoyable way to activate vocabulary?
It is the single best predictor of success in all school subject areas. And essential for mixed ability classes!
Based on the amount of time devoted to it, you wouldn’t thinks so!

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What Can Be Done When ONLY 12% of Black Boys are on Grade Level?

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The figure of 12% is to be found in Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu’s recently released book – ‘Understanding Black Male Learning Styles’ – in which he says, “Understanding black male learning styles is critical to academic success.”

Which takes us to today Thursday 11th April, Dr. Yvette Jackson will be the keynote speaker at the NYC DOE EMPOWERING BOYS INITIATIVE (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture).

Here Dr. Jackson will present research supporting her ‘Pedagogy of Confidence: Inspiring High Intellectual Performance in Urban Schools‘.

The essence is that high intellectual performance can be achieved when instruction and classroom environment are modified to include culturally relevant strategies through High Operational Practices that fortify the cognitive skills necessary for all students to meet the demands of the Common Core State Standards.

I Blend Research and Classroom Practice!
My Jazzles ELA program is built on research, focusing particularly on VAK-T learning styles and mnemonics. But some times I think research gets more attention than solutions.

So here’s this blog’s takeout!
There is a solution for Black American boys in PreK-G2. It’s called Jazzles ELA.
It is based on decades of practical classroom experiences and the oft forgotten, old time teacher skills, of ingenuity and creativity!
(Sadly replaced these days by committee-based prescriptive pedagogies.)

Using Jazzles ELA, schools will significantly reverse 50 years of failed resources and pedagogies to achieve consistently high levels of reading proficiency among our most disadvantaged.

As Eli Broad (@UnreasonableEli), says in a current tweet ‘Anyone in any line of work can use “Why Not?” to make small but significant changes in day-today operations’.

So my little request to Dr Jackson, Dr. Kunjufu, and all schools experiencing this issue, is:
Why not review Jazzles ELA in the toughest school you can ‘throw’ at me?
All I need is 1-2 weeks, an Interactive Whiteboard, some photocopy paper and art materials.
(Notes: You’ll see an impact on day 1. Doesn’t need much teacher training, because Jazzles is essentially ‘intuitive’.)

Summary
Dr. Yvette Jackson’s is the ‘Pedagogy of Confidence’.
Mine is the ‘Pedagogy of Engagement‘.
Through it’s pedagogy, particularly teaching from what is known, children acquire confidence because risks of failure are effectively removed. (See my very next blog!!)

How Jazzles caters for Black American boys – without losing the girls (or anyone else!).

BLACK AMERICAN Students
Movement and rhythm components are vital – along with the full battery of Jazzles resources and strategies. This includes:
• Kinesthetic/tactile experiences.
• Processing visual information.
• Opportunities for expressive creativity (e.g. oral expression).
• Nonverbal communication (including intonation, body language, dance and drama, etc.).

Important strategies include working with background music playing (a key Jazzles language practice strategy) and creating an environment that encourages harmony, cooperation, and socialization.

Jazzles embeds all these strategies in its resources and pedagog

BOYS

Stunning!
Says New York Times Best Selling author Michael Gurian ( ‘The Minds of Boys’).

Jazzles resources and pedagogy is embedded with differentiated instruction strategies that create boy friendly classrooms – while still engaging the girls, both sexes at extraordinary levels.
For boys,Jazzles is full of experiential single-task focus projects and visual-spatial/body-kinesthetic learning, the latter catering for boys’ natural desire to move.

LOW SES
The Jazzles pedagogy tackles all the core challenges these students face including lack of vocabulary, general knowledge, self-confidence as well as behavioral and emotional problems. Features include:
• Jazzles ELA is a multifaceted program that enables children to experience and practice learning in a multitude of different ways. For example, a key vocabulary strategy is to use the JazzleOke cartoons to power language rich conversations, drama and topic exploration.
• By focusing on one JazzleOke theme a week, children rapidly develop a common class-wide language base familiar to every child. This enables every child, advantaged and disadvantaged, to join-in happily.
• Week by week, low SES students incrementally develop their language base, general knowledge, their confidence and the joy of learning cooperatively.
• With Jazzles, there are frequent, varied, and extensive language experiences through its directed listening and discussion strategies.
• This includes the role of rich language. Around 5% of Jazzles lyrics are composed of ‘big/unfamiliar’ words – like ‘astronaut’, ‘astonished’ and ‘outstretched’. These big words are the ones children find easiest to remember while also fostering word consciousness.
• For low SES students, song-powered Jazzles brightens their day with happiness and joy. It also provides unique opportunities to engage families in their children’s education, and in the process improve literacy standards in the home.

Re Other Groups
For Hispanic, REGED, SPED, ESL/EFL refer to Equity for All on my website.

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One of Our Headstart Teachers Facebooked About Our New YouTube Videos.

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“Lesley, loved seeing faces of the fabulous Jazzles singers! Now my kids can see the people singing their favorites songs.”

Here are the links:
Sneaky Snake
Up! Up! Umbrella!

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5: Emotional and Intellectual Cohesion – Strategies Making the Jazzles Difference

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Creating a cohesive group and happy learning environment!
Management issues in mixed groups arise from children with widely differing levels of cognitive and non cognitive skills and learning style profiles. Your mixed ability class almost certainly will also include children from homes under stress.

Music and coral singing creates group unity and makes everyone feel happier. It’s research-proven that when children are happy and not stressed, they can emotionally engage to learn.

Creating group unity and a common vocabulary base
Jazzles ELA helps from day one, by ‘hooking’ children with jazzy music and group singing that lifts spirits.
Coral singing uniquely develops a common oral language framework with high levels of vocabulary. Not only does singing boost language recall, but automatically practices English pitch and pronunciation for those learning English.
This unity and common teaching language framework (song lyrics) means that children learn because they are all on the same page – including the ‘most at risk’.

Every child can learn best working together in a stress-free, happy, learning environment. With the power of music and song to emotionally engage, Jazzles song-themed learning experiences also engage kinesthetically and visually to cater for all learning styles – ensuring optimal learning and minimal behavior management.

With student management minimized, child-teacher relationships thrive and learning accelerates. Jazzles absolutely delivers happy learning. That’s especially important for those disadvantaged by ethnicity and socio-economic backgrounds.

Here’s how a teacher described the impact.

“My assessments were done last month. Letter/sound recognition has increased, along with interest in reading. But what I notice most is the unity that Jazzles bring to the group. They will just be sitting there ready for snack, and they will start singing. That brings tears to my eyes, because they will have fond memories of singing those songs together. They are excited about Jazzles, and ask for it daily. They just love it!”

Tomorrow: So Many Memory Strategies – but never boring rote!

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Sneaky Learning

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Watch the video!
So many of you are asking “Who are the Jazzles?”, I’ve YouTube’d a recording session!
I was delighted to hear that in the remote village of Ngukurr on the Roper River, in the Northern Territory of Australia, ‘Sneaky Snake’ is a favorite among Aboriginal children because The Rainbow Serpent (Snake) is an important part of the beliefs and culture of many of their peoples.
Of course this song is animated.
Every time it is watched and performed, the kids go off to play doing what sneaky snakes do!
Lots of fun.
More important, lots of social interaction!!

Key Point
I was tempted to let you just enjoy our singers but watching their moves, I had to add some captions to explain that the songs are not just ordinary ‘hearing’ songs.
Every song is an ‘ear-wormed’ mini literacy package (meaning it gets stuck in your head!).
The video gives you a hint of how to use but my Lesson Plans guide you step-by-step. Reading these you will see how they incorporate advanced ELA strategies that cater for every child’s learning styles.
No worries (as we say in Australia), it’s all embedded.

So…
Look at the video and be teased about all the things you can do with resources like this.
The kids won’t even realize their learning.
Sneaky!
Watch the video!

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