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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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9: Phonemic Awareness Skills – What Education Schools Aren’t Teaching!

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Number 9 in My Series – Strategies Making the Jazzles Difference
In May 2006, the National Council on Teacher Quality published an extensive report on ‘What Education Schools Aren’t Teaching About Reading’.

It found that “the two ‘newest’ components of good reading instruction — phonemic awareness and fluency— were broached in the fewest classes, just one in 20 education schools. In contrast, phonics, long the linchpin of reading, was taught in one out of seven classes, with slightly more frequency than comprehension, arguably the hallmark component for the whole language approach.”

Providing Support for Elementary Teachers
Unlike nearly every other PreK-G1 resource, Jazzles focuses on developing phonemic awareness skills via songs that are prolifically alliterative (the repetition of the same initial sound in several words in connected text). Children love alliteration because it is ‘tongue-twisting’ and memorable.

Over 40,000 YouTube Plays

Over 40,000 YouTube Plays

Click to Play and see alliteration in action!

Strong Mnemonic Aid
Alliteration is also a key component of the Jazzles multiple memory strategies.
Research shows that it is more probable that children will consistently remember expressions that alliterate than those that don’t.  This appears to be almost intuitive.

Phonemic awareness is the strongest predictor of reading success – more highly related to reading development than intelligence, reading readiness, and listening comprehension (Stanovich, 1986,1994). Jazzles lyrics excel at developing the phonemic awareness skill of initial sound fluency.

Two independent theses (2008) using Jazzles Songs support its effectiveness. See Previous Post

What’s the Take-Out?
Jazzles ELA not only provides the resources that engage children to intuitively develop their phonemic awareness skills, it also provides the teachers with how to teach it using the Jazzles ELA Advanced Lesson Plans!

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8: How to Easily Catch Up to Reading Levels of Shanghai, HK, Finland, Sweden, S. Korea and Singapore!

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No 8 in 30 Pedagogical Strategies Making the Jazzles Difference

The deliberate integration of the arts into my Jazzles English Arts program creates positive group culture and accelerates literacy skill acquisition. 

Benefits also extend into math (patterns) and non-cognitive skills, including student focus and behavoir.

 Two independent 2008 university supervised studies prove that’s what Jazzles does!

Whether you are a regular or specialist teacher, just by using Jazzles multimedia resources and song-themed lesson plans (especially created for mixed abilities), you can achieve extremely high levels of engagement and ELA learning resulting in superior outcomes.

In 2008, as part of her Masters of Arts Degree, a Missouri kindergarten teacher wrote a thesis focusing on the impact of using music (in effect, Jazzles songs) to improve kindergarten reading levels.  Using tests such as DIBELS, Scott Foresman, Reading Street, Reading A-Z, just under  40% of her class achieved end of year kindergarten literacy levels in the first semester. (Half were entitled to free meals) 

 

Change over 12 weeks in the first semester using Jazzles

Kindergarten student scores achieved over 12 weeks in the first semester using Jazzles

Achieved in 12 weeks of first semester.

Kindergarten student scores achieved over 12 weeks in the  first semester using Jazzles.

“I was astonished,” said the teacher, “to see how much their DIBELS scores improved after incorporating Jazzles!”

Places like Shanghai, Hong Kong, Finland, Sweden, South Korea and Singapore are at the top level of academic achievement for reading, math and science.

What these top achievers have in common, is providing real time for music in the classroom.  Compare this to the tokenism, if any, found in lower performing USA, UK and Australia.

While Jazzles is not a music instruction program, it is the first complete curriculum program to  intelligently uses the attributes of song (automatic, practice, elevated happy emotion, and language memory) and performance, to develop cognitive (especially literacy) and non cognitive skills, including social skills, confidence and focus.

Music/songs engage intellectually and emotionally.  Drama linked to familiar songs provides ‘virtual experiences’ – bringing language to life and opportunity for inferential and creative thinking. Think how powerful a package of skills that is!  Jazzles has it and more!

In the process, Jazzles is helping prepare children for the Conceptual/‘Right Brain’ Age – where it is expected that futures will be determined more by peoples’ abilities to apply creative, holistic and innovative thinking, than logical and linear thinking.

Every Jazzles Unit of song-themed, Lesson Plans with activity pages, interactive games and Visual and Performing Arts activities continue to extend the ‘whole-part-whole’ ELA learning, motivate self initiated learning in other areas!

Click here and download a free Jazzles Advanced ELA Lesson Plan and see how Creative Arts can easily be integrated to power literacy and vital non-cognitive skills.

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