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Is Jazzles ELA the Change-Making Program I Claim?

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An Open Invitation to Psychologists and Neuroscientists Interested in the Science of Music and Song in Education
As scientists, how often do you have the opportunity to really influence a major shift in how children learn, opening a pathway to mass literacy and transforming the lives of millions of disadvantaged children?

Join me!
Most research as to how music changes our minds and what that means for education, has been conducted across general or very specific areas.
For example, what is the relationship between music and memory? How music engages us? How music creates emotions? How it makes us want to move? How music changes our brain’s plasticity and does this make us smarter? Why some music is more powerful than others? How it improves auditory capabilities? Music and the motor system. The relationship between music and verbal language including the processing of linguistic syntax. And of course, the benefits of music for speech therapy, etc.

A Different Opportunity – A Whole Curriculum Program
Now, for the first time, there is the opportunity for leading psychologists and neuroscientists to research the effect of music and song across a whole critical curriculum program and determine, whether or not, Jazzles ELA and its methodology holds the power to breakthrough over 50 years of plateaued reading levels.

Targeting PreK-Kindergarten, Jazzles ELA is unique as the only fully integrated, song-powered curriculum program in the world.
So it’s the only program that can be used to research the power of music at the most important developmental period for children, in the most important curriculum subject, measurable over time in a real educational environment.

The subject of two theses, Jazzles ELA delivers outcomes matching the research findings and discussions from experts in this field including Lawrence Parsons, Jamshed Bharucha, Daniel J. Levitin and Aniruddh Patel (etc).

The Key Question To Be Answered!
‘What is going on inside children’s brains, when Jazzles is going on?’
Anecdotal evidence suggests ‘lots’ but we don’t know.

Think About the Implications!
If current research findings in the science of music and song apply to Jazzles ELA, then the program will be shown to make children smarter, help them read earlier, read faster and carry over in other cognitive areas like math.

An Aussie teacher, a Revolutionary Approach and How It Almost Didn’t Happen.
Now, the obvious reaction to ask is how is it possible, that out of the blue, an Australian kindergarten teacher could produce anything capable of delivering a change-making program when unsupported by any university or financier.

Well, that is partly answered by clicking this link.
A lot is centered on my love of music and my skills to compose, visualize and produce animated learning songs seeing how these can be thematically integrated with the Arts to pluralize learning.
For a publisher, that’s a hard combination of skills to put together.

Here’s What Jazzles ELA Does:
Broadly, most children that readily achieve reading fluency do so because their parents have a literacy ‘rich’ background. .
But what if the parents have no literacy background and can’t functionally read?
Look at the figures! Forget reading to children in bed as the savior for literacy! Nearly 1-in-2 kids in the US and 3 in 10 in UK have no books. I cannot find a figure for Australia but adult functional illiteracy and innumeracy is 47% as a national average – hardly the ideal incubator of developing reading skills.

The Jazzles ‘animated reading songs’ succeed with all kids but importantly, with children from low or no English literacy backgrounds.
The system’s essence is a series of carefully structured animated alliterative lyrics that create rich recallable vocabulary (with understanding) across a mixed-ability class.

This provides the scaffolding for discussions, role play, reading and writing scenarios. Activated oral vocabulary is viewed as multimodal texts from which children can learn sight words, grammatical information, the use of punctuation and spelling. It’s VAK-T.

Through music, song, laughter and performance, Jazzles ELA effortlessly develops all 6 beginning reading skills: Alphabetic Principle, Phonemic Awareness, Vocabulary, Comprehension, Fluency and Concepts about Print.

Very Importantly – It’s Pure Howard Gardener!
In his just released book, ‘The App Generation’, Howard Gardner says, “Pluralize your teaching. Teach important materials in several ways, not just one (e.g. through stories, works of art, diagrams, role play).”

Pluralization is a critical attribute of the Jazzles ELA program – and very important for ESL/SPED students in mixed ability classes.

Join Me and Let’s Change Children’s Lives.
Two independent theses, plus independent classroom teachers, support this program for ‘astonishing results’ far ahead of anything they are mandated to use.
Based on our extensive experience, Jazzles represents a big missing piece in the puzzle as to how music and song can influence education – at least in terms of how to achieve mass-literacy.

If you are interested, have any suggestions, just click this link to email me.

NOTE: I like to add my thanks to Elena Mannes and her acclaimed PBS documentary “The Music Instinct: Science & Song,” that has opened my eyes to recent discoveries of the power of music and its connection to the body, the brain, and the world of nature. Elena’s book ‘The Power of Music: Pioneering Discoveries in the New Science of Song’ is available from Amazon by clicking this link.

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Today’s Kids Don’t Have Time on Their Side – Do Something About It Now!

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On July 7, 2013, the New York Times, published an editorial by well respected columnist Paul Krugman, titled ‘Defining Prosperity Down’.
Commenting on latest employment date, he wrote “Full recovery still looks a very long way off. And I’m beginning to worry that it may never happen.”

Growing levels of poverty, lack of certainity and opportunity for our children weighs heavy on the minds of myself and my husband who, figuratively speaking, took pen to paper to write a comment that the NYT published.

Kevin’s end message is not that we need to rethink the role of ‘Arts Integration’, but we need to do it now!!
DoEs, ISDs, politicians (on comfortable salaries), today’s kids don’t have your time on their side. You need to act now!

Here’s what he said:
“Paul, I am afraid long-term unemployment, particularly for disadvantaged, is a reality. It will get worse.
When I grew up I worked for employers like Unilever (Lever Bros) and Interpublc who fostered my career.
Today, its carnage for every employee.

I live in Australia where the average wage is $70,000 but where property values now exceed 10 times earnings. A different type of poverty!
I am not sure of the solution but I do think its foundations is PreK – G1.
We have to create literate kids with confidence – and instill in them the ethos to create their own way to earning money without relying on organization unless they are like COSTCO which do the right things by their employees.

My kids went to top schools, they live very comfortably and I know they look after the people who help them.
Paying garbage wages is a social disgrace but if you look at TV soaps, etc, why would you be surprised!”
Kevin Condon Sydney
TAKE OUT
Arts Integration has the ability to power literacy, build confidence, creativity and instill all children with a positive view of their ability to succeed!
JazzlesELA.com proves it! If you have any doubts, just ask me!

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Arne Duncan Experiencing the Power of Songs

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 U.S. Secretary of Education

Arnie Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education

Straight off!  They were not my reading songs but the outcomes are identical.

“As a parent, I have witnessed the ability of one arts educator to enrich the learning of my daughter and son, who attend a public elementary school that weaves science throughout the curriculum.

The school’s music teacher writes and teaches songs to the kids about science. In his music room, children sing about gravity, sedimentation, rocks, and the planets. Students sing, clap, and dance about solids, liquids, and gases.

On holidays celebrating American heroes, Mr. Puzzo writes songs for the students about them. Years later, when students sit down to take their SATs, they report humming Mr. Puzzo’s songs to recall historical and scientific content.

These musical experiences provide more than a memorization tool to master facts. They provide opportunities to experience learning in creative ways.
They engage students in musical experiences that introduce them to the power and beauty of the creative process for its own enjoyment and enrichment.

It’s an unfortunate truth that many schools today are falling far short of providing students with a full experience of the arts that helps them engage and succeed in other academic areas and build skills that would serve them well in the innovation economy. Too often, students are saddled with boring textbooks, dummied-down to the lowest common denominator. Today’s curriculum fails to spark student curiosity or stimulate a love of learning. As this report documents, the arts significantly boost student achievement, reduce discipline problems and increase the odds that students will go on to graduate from college. It demonstrates that arts education can play an important role in narrowing the achievement gap between minorities and whites. And it offers examples of arts-rich schools where teachers and visiting artists use the magic of the arts to illuminate literature, social studies, math, science, and other subjects.”

Source: President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools, Washington, DC, May 2011 Download the full report by clicking here.

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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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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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13. How Jazzles ELA’s ‘Matching Captions’ can Develop Mass Literacy.

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Number 13 in My Series – Strategies Making the Jazzles Difference
Jazzles ELA uses an advanced, customized version of a widely acclaimed literacy development strategy called ‘Same Language Subtitles’.

Integrated with music videos, the SLS strategy is endorsed by the Google Foundation, UNESCO, World Bank, various governments and academics as a way of helping millions of people, particularly the disadvantaged, gain access to regular reading practice and improve literacy.

Here’s how it works and why it’s so important.
Extensive research shows that subtitles such as the ‘Matching Captions’ in the JazzleOke animations, are read just like text in a book.

Unlike subtitles, close captioning and karaoke, the visualization of each JazzleOke animation is designed to create comprehension of the meanings in the ‘Matching Captions’ lyrical text. This way children relate the words they see to the content represented in the images.
This visual explanation of the connected text enhances comprehension.

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Additionally, the design creates a binding relationship between the audio, the sound track, the visualization and the ‘Matching Captions’.
This enables students to ‘take-out’ letter-sounds, while familiarizing themselves with words, phrases and meanings.

Watching the JazzleOke animations, reading the ‘Matching Captions’, seeing contextual clues in story lines, collectively singing and moving to the beat, all children (including English Learners, mildly autistic and disadvantaged students) experience an unbeatable combination of ways to absorb and internalize words and their meanings.

Even if too young to read with understanding, these ‘Matching Captions’ intuitively familiarize children with short sets of connected text while promoting ‘left to right tracking’ of words in meaningful context while also building familiarity with Concepts about Print.

By mixing entertaining cartoons with catchy music, prolifically alliterative alphabetic lyrics and specially formatted subtitles, Jazzles entertains while powerfully, yet intuitively developing all the foundations for learning to read.

Additional Benefits
Research shows that musical and phonemic processing interact – benefiting attention span, comprehension and memory.

Singing along to Jazzles Matching Captions, transforms the usual passive-observation role of screen exposure that includes text into interactive conscious and subconscious learning. Benefits go beyond developing vocabulary, comprehension, fluency and concepts about print – because when children know a word and are then asked to use it in a phonological awareness exercise; they find the task easier than if they had to use an unfamiliar word.

Creative Writing – Teaching Tip!
Here is a way to develop listening, understanding and creative writing skills with the JazzleOke ‘Matching Captions’ Challenge!

Turn children into make-believe ‘Movie Script Writers’.

Have them watch the JazzleOke animation and then write their own ‘Matching Caption’ for the storyboard. (When developmentally ready.) This way you are turning ‘watching and listening’ into creative play that combines aural, visual and written skills! Creating ‘Big Picture Matching Captions’ is a powerful language learning strategy that is fun and anxiety free. Children are far more interested in learning to write and spell when they are using words for a purpose

“Very Funny! Excellent Idea!” “Mixing cartoons and learning is very suitable for teaching Phonics to EFL learners … even adults like watching cartoons!” Says Dr. Kusumarasdyati, PhD. Lecturer English Department, Surabaya State University, Indonesia

Special Education
For children requiring intervention programs, Jazzles ELA is a breath of fresh air! Suddenly, they are creatively learning more than just simplistic English. Singing along to the JazzleOke Matching Captions, children comfortably take risks with their pronunciation, knowing they will be unexposed to any embarrassment.

Singing allows them to concentrate very carefully on each subtle sound until they get it right!

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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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