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What Type of Tears Do You Shed for Your Curriculum Materials?

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“More tears have been shed over wishes granted than wishes denied,”  said the iconic Burmese opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi
Here are a few instances experienced with Jazzles!
Teacher 1 PreK Headstart Texas

“The kids are loving Jazzles and one of my students cried today because we didn’t have time for Jazzles, I mean real tears. We were getting gifts ready for parents and no time for Jazzles today.  I thought I will make sure that never happens again.

They love all the songs and we are working with letter Nn (No! No!) currently.

Again, Jazzles has made a difference in my program, and the kids request it, sometimes even with tears.  To say they love Jazzles is an understatement”

Teacher 2 Western Australia
“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!”

Teacher 3 Illinois

Working with Jazzles Lyrics Pages, these 2nd and 3rd Grade Bilingual Students in an Illinois school brought tears to their teacher’s eyes

Working with Jazzles Lyrics Pages, these 2nd and 3rd Grade Bilingual Students in an Illinois school brought tears to their teacher’s eyes

“Last week, we had student-led conferences with parents and after two of the boys above had finished, the one on the right, Christopher who had arrived in the USA just 8 weeks ago, asked if he could show his mom“the computer”.

I asked him what he wanted to show and said “the songs”. I asked which one and he said (Jazzles) ‘Lots of Love’.

We put it on the screen and the two boys grabbed their song books and proceeded to sing to their moms!

My eyes welled up with tears and I could hardly tell who was smiling more – the boys or their moms.

It was cool!  (It was the two boys on the right above – seen reading their printed Jazzles lyrics.).

When I look over at my students singing along, you can see the level of concentration on their faces. We found out the girls sang ‘Orange Octopus’ better than the boys and ‘No! No! No!’ is definitely a Halloween favorite.

I thought of you often while singing the songs and just wanted you to know you have given our year a significant jump start. Thanks for developing such a unique approach to early literacy.
They think I’m a cool, fun teacher, but you laid the groundwork for all of us!”

 

 

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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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What Makes Jazzles Different?

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Despite nearly 50 years of national focus on reading development, the majority of children are still failing to read at a proficient level.

So what’s going to change it all?
Jazzles ELA will, if you give me a helping hand!

Here’s the biggest hurdle.
Has anyone noticed we now have growing numbers of poor, ESL and SPED students in our mixed ability classes?
Has anyone asked what curriculum resources can teachers be offered that will emotionally and intellectually engage these students in order to overcome the growing challenge of beginning reading success?

Yet we hear all the time about what teachers need to do!
How we need to improve our skills, how we need to apply technology to engage our students, how we need to work harder and longer to develop our plans and resources.

I have a different take on what needs to be done.
What we never, ever, hear about is the crying need for a 21st Century pedagogy with integrated multimedia resources that will engage today’s students in mixed ability classes at very high levels.

There are lots of people ‘spruiking’ about non-scalable, unaffordable methodologies requiring lower pupil to teacher ratios, or technology solutions based on more rote to lift reading levels. Or telling us what’s wrong in today’s schools but without a fix!

In contrast, how often do you hear of a 21st Century solution that focuses on the skills that truly count – rich oral language, contextual phonological awareness/ letter/ word knowledge, background knowledge, concepts about print, visual literacy and vital non-cognitive skills?

So that’s what this Blog is about
Over the next 2 months, I will show you why Jazzles ELA is a new, highly effective, highly scalable ‘big picture’, VAK approach.

Now, I don’t have the resources to promote Jazzles ELA though traditional channels.

So help me make the story of Jazzles go viral.
FB, Tweet, Vine, YouTube and Blog your way around your colleagues, your superintendents, your curriculum directors, your family and friends.

It will help get the message out to all those teachers struggling with mixed abilities and required to improve scores.

A 2007 PISA (OECD) study, showed levels of ‘engagement’ was the single factor that differentiated the nations with the highest and lowest levels of student achievement.
I’d pitch Jazzles ELA against any PreK-G1/ESL curriculum program. It will win hands down!

Note: Jazzles meets/exceeds Common Core State Standards for Kindergarten ELA. Jazzles PreK offers the Foundation for CCSS Kindergarten ELA and 21st Century Readiness Success for Every Student.

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Using ‘Whole-Part-Whole’ processing to teach the structure of a ‘Narrative’ text

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Here’s an actual classroom experience demonstrating the value my ‘Whole-Part-Whole’ approach. (See number 3 in the Jazzles Advantage Series.)

Whole
I used the Jazzles ELA ‘Fat Fish’ animated song, with its Matching Captions, to teach year 1 and 2 students the structure of a ‘narrative’.
This ‘song’ story clearly demonstrates an ‘Orientation’, ‘Sequence of Events’, ‘Complication’ and ‘Resolution’.

By repeated singing with actions and percussion-playing to the ‘Fat Fish’ JazzleOke 1, students were thoroughly immersed in the vocabulary of the lyrics.
They understood it and could recall it.

Students then had enormous fun, by taking turns miming the human characters, the flies, seagulls, palm trees and ocean waves to the audio backing of the song.

This dramatic performance consolidated the sequence order of the story and its comprehension.

Part
We discussed the structure of a ‘Narrative‘ in terms of this story.
Then in pairs, children were given 4 images to sequence. They discussed and then matched them with ‘Orientation‘, ‘Complication‘ and ‘Resolution‘ labels.

Next, I made 5 sentence strips (only very slightly adjusting the text to include character names).

Together we read them out loud, and I had to smile as the children automatically broke into song. They began singing the familiarized vocabulary they were reading!
Those who may have struggled if they couldn’t read the text, were free to concentrate on the literacy purpose of this activity!

Whole
Again in pairs, students cut out the sentences, arranged them to match the images, and then read the whole text.
Outcome!
I don’t believe that those children will ever forget how to construct a ‘Narrative’.

Importance
“..studies in the 1980s and 1990s have suggested that there is little reading comprehension instruction in schools…. We desperately need to understand why many teachers do not focus directly on comprehension strategies and routines, and we need to learn more about how to help teachers provide good comprehension instruction.”

“The early work documented the significance of attention to text structure, pointing out that students who are…more knowledgeable about text structure recall more textual information than those less knowledgeable…. It also suggested that knowledge is not enough; students must actually follow the text’s structure in building their recall in order for the effect to be realized; not surprisingly, more good than poor readers are inclined to do so.”
(‘Effective Practices for Developing Reading Comprehension’ Duke, Nell and Pearson)

Take-Out!
“A central question is,” asks Duke, Nell and Pearson, “how can and should teachers embed all these research-documented practices into a curriculum?”
As you can see Jazzles ELA is a great start! The basis is all in the Lesson Plans – that’s why we call them ‘Advanced ELA’!

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2: Ear-Worms – Strategies Making the Jazzles Difference!

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As a teacher, I have designed every aspect of the Jazzles program to do the heavy lifting in terms of VAK engagement, internalization and recall.

So What does the lifting?
Jazzles uses song-power and performance to engage VAK learning.
Think of it as the ‘American Idol’ for literacy!
Technically Jazzles is full of songs that are scientifically described as ‘ear-worms’. These are defined as ‘a piece of music that gets stuck in your head so you hear it, even when it is not being played’.

Jazzles Ear-Worms – a Huge Difference to Any Other ELA Program!
Uniquely, Jazzles applies ‘ear-worms’ strategically and comprehensively to English Language Arts’. The ear-worms are specifically composed to target beginning reading skills and oral language using my interactive reading songs resource – JazzleOke 1.

As explained yesterday, here’s one example of an ear-worm benefit. When a child is struggling in reading, they can automatically remember the sounds of the letters by recalling the songs – even when it is not being played. Another very strong benefit is predictive reading skills – developing at an early age the ability to predict in advance the most likely next word(s) in a sentence or phrase before actually reading them.
For example, ‘wake up‘, ‘love my‘, ‘lots of‘.
Without predictive reading skills, children will labor in reading and understanding. Predictive reading skills are also essential for our ESL/ELL students.

As research shows, with ear-worms, we are able to hear a song perfectly within memory. The ear may not necessarily be hearing the music, but the brain will hear it perceptually.

Ear-Worms, Phonemic Awareness and Mnemonics
Leaving animation aside, Jazzles songs are prolifically alliterative.
Children love alliteration that, especially in songs, acts as a very powerful language mnemonic, particularly in developing oral vocabulary, phonological awareness and alphabetic principle – 3 of the 5 most important predictors of future literacy success.

Every time students, interact with a JazzleOke 1, they are seeing, hearing, singing, moving, tapping, performing, dramatizing, creating actions or playing a percussion instrument to the beat.
So every child’s learning style profile is engaged for maximum learning.
They are intuitively learning the 6 big ideas learning to read and happily practicing oral English!
What other literacy/ESL program has children eagerly and happily practicing?

“My kindergarten students sing along with the Jazzles songs constantly and I was astonished
to see how much their (DIBELS, Scott Foresman Reading Street and Reading A-Z) scores improved after incorporating the JAZZLES songs. Using actions helps with the total brain stimulation and actually rote memorization as well.”
TOMORROW
The ‘Big Picture’ Jazzles Difference!
Note: Please help me. I’ve self-funded Jazzles ELA. So please send the link to your colleagues, principal, curriculum director and your friends!

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Serving a new definition of educators! At last!

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For every one interested in the return of Arts to the mainstream curricula, I encourage you to click the link below and read this excellent article:
Reading Through the Arts – How theater and visual arts can engage students in reading.’

What amazed me was the article’s source – it is from ARTSEDGE, an education program of The Kennedy Center.

Maybe I’m showing a bit of naiveté, but I had never associated The Kennedy Center as a mainstream source for teaching and learning in the arts.
Now, thinking about Jacqueline Kennedy’s role in using the White House to “showcase” the arts and her role in establishing the National Cultural Center, now The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, it all makes a lot of sense!

One statistic stands out.
On it’s ‘Welcome to ARTSEDGE’ webpage, The Center says:

“The full impact of ARTSEDGE might be measured by considering that of the eleven million people who participate in Kennedy Center Education Department programming each year, four million do it through ARTSEDGE resources.”
That’s a lot of people!

And the best is yet to come:

The Welcome page continues:
“In an education landscape that is evolving with new ideas of how, when and where we teach, learn and create, the ARTSEDGE team has revisited every part of what— and how—we offer resources. We are expanding our content to serve a new definition of educators, encompassing classroom and out-of-school teachers, with the single-minded goal to support arts-based student learning, whether in the classroom or an informal learning environment, like the home. We’re focused on ways to support innovative teaching with the arts, and meet changing trends in education and to accommodate the ever-evolving impact of technology in our lives. ”

I love it! I hope you do too!
Lesley Beth
(Note: I found the link through Twitter, which provides me with more insight and links to educational movers and shakers than any search engine has ever done.)

Note: From Wikipedia: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is the busiest performing arts facility in the United States and annually hosts approximately 2,000 performances for audiences totaling nearly two million; Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts welcome 20 million more. Now in its 41st season, the Center presents the greatest examples of music, dance and theater; supports artists in the creation of new work; and serves the nation as a leader in arts education. With its artistic affiliate, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Center’s achievements as a commissioner, producer, and nurturer of developing artists have resulted in over 200 theatrical productions, dozens of new ballets, operas, and musical works.

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Generational Poverty Does Not Extinguish Creativity And Why This Is So Important!

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No one disputes generational poverty is inherent and likely to grow.
But as a teacher, we have to cope with the children of generational poverty.
And you know?
We can!
It just depends on the resources and strategies we are given to use.
Assuming the school looks after the hunger, just imagine these kids entering the classroom.
They are stressed, depressed, angry, depressed and oppositional!
Why wouldn’t they be?

What’s the solution?
Arts Integration because it creates joy and inclusion to power whole class engagement and motivation

I use JazzlesELA.com, my own ‘Arts Integrated’ curriculum program.
(In fact, having canvassed every major LinkedIn educational groups and every educational #tag one on Twitter, it appears to be the only one that meets/exceeds Common Core Kindergarten ELA)

From class start, I create a joy-filled classroom with children watching carefully structured animated music videos. They are singing, they are moving, they are creating actions – all for a purpose – memory power. When you see, laugh, hear, move and sing, you remember everything! By following specially formatted prolifically alliterative, phonemic awareness, rich subtitles, they are intuitively developing all six big ideas of reading.

Instead of knocking TV, we borrow familiarized program format properties. Working in groups, children dramatize the sung story becoming weather anchors and news reporters. With karaoke, they’re stars of ‘The Voice’, backing singers or members of air-bands, etc. No guitar but they can all be a Keith Urban!

All of this is building their creativity (which generational poverty does not extinguish) while powering themed, systematically evolving vocabulary and oral language skills. Plus, they are working together in groups learning 21st Century Skills, like co-operation, sharing, being kind to each other.

So, let’s start forgetting children’s backgrounds.

Ask any PreK or Kindergarten class. Can you use a computer? Can you sing? Can you dance? Can you color and paint? Can you pretend to be a slippery snake? Hands will go up everywhere because they are at an age when they can. (Children use the computers to research topics, etc.)

Let’s start using Arts Integration to give these children a sense of purpose and value.
Finally, remember for them to learn, they have to read, and to read they have to have vocabulary.
To adopt a quote by Robert Pondiscio of the Core Knowledge Foundation, generational poverty isn’t destiny, but vocabulary, confidence and creativity definitely will be.

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