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3: ‘Whole-Part-Whole’ Learning – Strategies Making the Jazzles Difference

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This is possibly the most important blog about Jazzles ELA. If you understand this, you ‘get’ Jazzles ELA!

The Jazzles learning system uses a ‘whole-part-whole’ learning approach.
We know from experience that if we first see the complete image for a jigsaw, we have a framework and valuable information upon which we can fit the pieces together.

Mixed Ability Classes and the Applicability of Whole-Part-Whole/Global Processing
This is all about embedding learning styles within a pedagogy fully integrated with resource to meet the needs of today’s diverse student intake.

The Jazzles ELA program is rich in kinesthetic and tactual-kinesthetic experiences appropriate for ‘global thinkers’ preferring ‘whole-part-whole’ processing.
This benefits three core student groups in mixed ability classes:
1. Research substantiates that most Special Education children are global processors, with tactual and kinesthetic-perceptual strengths (Kyriacou & Dunn, 1994).
2. This is also true for Hispanic Americans/Asian Americans/ and EFL/ESL including most Asian students (Dunn & Griggs, 1995). Also the majority of children today are visual/kinesthetic learners. (See also #3)
3. Critically importantly for African-Americans, particularly boys. Acknowledged African-American Educational expert, Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu estimates that as many as two-thirds of students and an even larger percentage of African American males are visual-picture, oral/auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic learners (right-brain). However, most of the learning activities are oriented toward visual-print learners (left-brain). According to Dr. Kunjufu, this conflict between pedagogy and Black male learning styles has created a disastrous learning environment for right-brain students, and it must be resolved if Black boys are to improve their classroom performance. (Source: www.africanamericanimages.com)

Meeting the engagement demands of this diversity of children to activate learning is what is so spectacular about Jazzles ELA. No other program does it.

It is true that the process of reading involves the application of more than 1 skill simultaneously. In the past, learning to read involved teaching beginning reading skills often in isolation, and then incorporating them.

Jazzles’ new, song-powered approach is to first emotionally engage children with ‘whole’ text in the engaging form of JazzleOke 1. From then on, every fun, visual, kinaesthetic and aural interaction with this unique resource is the framework for an intuitive, ‘learn to read’ tutorial’!

This is why I encourage everyone to download Jazzles ‘Blue Bus Blues’ Unit to test and explore the themed lesson plans, ‘arts’ activities and interactive experiences. This way you can fully appreciate why both students and teachers love this ‘whole-part-whole’ processing program.

Here’s how!
With every JazzleOke 1 experience, children are simultaneously learning the 6 beginning reading skills while practicing oral vocabulary.

Check how children will process these 6 beginning reading skills as they watch JazzleOke1 ‘Blue Bus Blues’.
• Letter/sound and upper/lowercase correspondence, (Alphabetic Principle)
• Initial sound fluency (Phonemic Awareness)
• Understanding words in context/ visual literacy (Comprehension)
• Internalized English language knowledge (Vocabulary)
• Pronunciation, intonation and phrasing(Fluency)
• L-R tracking , one to one correspondence, use of punctuation (Concepts about Print)

From the mental scaffolding of an internalized language (lyric) framework, students have learning purpose to ‘take out’ sight and spelling words, unusual phonemes, grammatical information and punctuation. Etc. Learned words and language information can then be applied purposefully in communication, reading, and writing.

When JazzleOke I is transformed into the ‘whole’ text as in JazzleBook 2 or in JazzleOke 3, it’s a simple step to experience initial reading success!

This is why I am excited – especially when receive feedback about children effortlessly developing vocabulary and beginning reading confidence that can mean the crucial difference between future failure or success.

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4: Reading-Songs and VAK Engagement – Strategies Making the Jazzles Difference!

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Here’s today’s challenge!
As an educator, have you ever heard of any publisher focusing on engagement as the single most important contributor to our children’s learning outcomes?
Yet a major, 2007 PISA (OECD) study, shows levels of ‘engagement’ is the the single factor that differentiates nations with the highest and lowest levels of student achievement.

A few days ago, I said I’d pitch Jazzles ELA against any PreK-G1/ESL curriculum program, knowing from experience it will win hands down!

So impressed was this Missouri kindergarten with Jazzles, she wrote a brilliant thesis that explains why Jazzles works.

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.

So here’s why I’ve spent my own money creating multimedia resources that emotionally and intellectually engage at extraordinary levels, while also creating harmonious, happy environment, that produces spectacular results.

Why children ignore school bells when Jazzles is around!
As a teacher, I have designed every aspect of the program to do the heavy lifting in terms of VAK engagement, internalization and recall.

So what does the heavy lifting? What creates mixed class unity?
It’s the Jazzles song-powered multimedia resources integrating with performance that ‘dynamizes’ highly engaging VAK learning.

Think of Jazzles as ‘American Idol’ for literacy!
Apart from the amazing memory power of music and song, we have all experienced the power of group singing to motivate and elevate feelings.

Technically, Jazzles songs can be 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’. Uniquely, Jazzles applies ‘ear-worms’ strategically and comprehensively to its English Language Arts System – specifically targeting beginning reading skills and oral English.

Leaving animation aside, Jazzles songs are prolifically alliterative. Children love alliteration that in songs, acts as a very powerful, language mnemonic – particularly in developing Oral Vocabulary, Phonological Awareness and Alphabetic Principle – 3 of the five most important predictors of future literacy success.

JazzleOke 1 – it’s a powerful, scaffolded ‘pot-pourri’ of VAK-ELA learning!
Singing, cartoons, captions, involuntary/repetitive movements of hands
and feet moving in synchrony … no other program moves children to learn like Jazzles ELA!!

The emotional engagement of group singing and animation enhances the meaning of the ‘matching captions’ – and the ‘matching captions’ in turn incorporate built-in phonological learning.
That’s why each Jazzles ELA unit is a ‘learn to read’ power pack!

Every time students, interact with a JazzleOke 1 they are seeing, hearing, singing, and moving by tapping, dancing or playing a percussion instrument to the beat, performing by miming or using actions. Every child’s learning style profile is engaged for optimal learning.

AND, they are actively learning the 6 big beginning reading skills while happily practicing oral English!

Jazzles song-themed Lesson Plans expand and consolidate with the social interaction of Visual and Performing Arts.

Following on from JazzleOke1’s interactive learning, your ‘reading stars’ can perform ‘karaoke style’ to JazzleOke 2 and JazzleOke 3 with backing tracks. Their fun performances effortlessly practice reading skills (L- R tracking and return sweep, one to one correspondence, letter/sound/word correspondence) and oral English while developing confidence!

For those interested in educational frameworks based on research in the learning sciences, Jazzles is following the three core principles of the Universal Design for Learning:
• multiple means of engagement (VAK)
• multiple means of action and expression(Visual and Performing Arts)
• multiple means of representation

Name another beginning ELA/ESL program that has children so eagerly and happily practicing!
Don’t believe me! Just download the free install and try it. Observe your class – now tell what child is not engaged by the humor and antics in these colorful song powered cartoons?

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What one of America’s Most Respected Educators Thinks About Jazzles

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Back in 2008, James J. Harrigan Principal New York State Recognized Closing the Gap School, agreed to write a review of our Jazzles program. Since then, we have done an enormous amount of work on integrating Jazzles to meet and mostly exceed the Common Core State Standards for Kindergarten ELA; created ‘advanced’ ELA Lesson Plans, added a few resources, and renamed the program Jazzles ELA.

Principal Harrigan is a veteran educator with over 30 years experience within the nation’s largest Public School System. He is a past recipient of the New York State Catholic Teacher’s Association’s EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR, the New York City Board of Education SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR award and the Emerald Society’s EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR. Here is his forword to a manual we created on the Jazzles methodology and pedagogy, soon to be republished.

THE JAZZLES LEARNING SYSTEM

If someone told you that your 5-6 year old child could be guaranteed to graduate from high school, more than likely graduate from college as well, and earn an extra million dollars over the course of their work career, you’d probably say “Where do I sign up?”

Well, the above scenario is not a hypothetical situation. In reality, nearly 40% of parents of children beginning school in kindergarten or grade one face this situation. Why? Because their children do not have the requisite skills to become proficient readers and will be relegated to a second class academic and economic status.

The cold statistics of decades of educational research confirm the following statement: Nothing is more critical to the academic success of a child, as well as their future economic and social well being, than the ability to read well and with understanding.

That is why, as a principal of an urban elementary school for 20 years, I strongly recommend the Jazzles Learning System as an effective and cost efficient tool to increase student reading achievement.

Before I return to why I know Jazzles is an effective program to help struggling reading and enhance the reading ability of all young readers, let’s briefly examine the state of reading in the United States:

Despite nearly 50 years of national focus on reading development, from the 1960’s ESEA legislation to the recent NCLB initiative, the majority of children in the U.S. are still failing to read at a proficient level. These statistics, based upon the most recent (2007) National Assessment of Educational Progress *(NAEP) of reading achievement, are sobering, if not alarming.

What does NAEP tell us? It tells us that only 67% of grade 4 students scored at or above the basic level, with only 33% of students scoring at the proficient level. Conversely, this means that one-third of this national representative sample of 4th graders scored below basic, that is, they do not even have an even partial mastery (the definition of basic) of the skills necessary to become good readers.

So what is the usual reaction to this dire news and depressing statistics?

Both parents and educators usually grasp on to the latest reading initiative or embrace the “flavor of the month” reading program. Alas, as any experienced teacher will tell you, there is no panacea or “silver bullet” to generate skilled readers.

However, there are communities and schools using curricula and programs, which defy the odds and turn out proficient and advanced readers. Their success story can be duplicated.

From my personal experience, the Jazzles Learning System falls into this elite category. Why? For a number of reasons:

Jazzles is practical and time-tested. An early childhood teacher with over 20 years of classroom experience teaching kindergarten and grade one students developed the program.

Jazzles utilizes a multi-sensory approach, emphasizing visual, auditory and kinetic activities and Jazzles is consistent with the latest brain research on learning. It takes the traditional activities of early childhood education and integrates them with 21st century literacy benchmarks and classroom technology advances – particularly interactive whiteboards.

What it really does superbly is take these traditional early childhood classroom activities, and through its interactive program of music, movement and creative games, it enhances and reinforces the literary skills expected of kindergarten and grade one students today.

Most importantly, Jazzles corresponds clearly with any balanced, comprehensive and sequential reading curriculum. Its games and activities are consistent with the essential elements of reading – phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension and vocabulary development. For example, the Jazzles Learning System emphasizes nearly three quarters of the English language words included in most high fluency and sight word lists.

Jazzles is an individualized and differentiated learning system. The technology allows the students, whatever their reading ability, to access the program at their own level. The scaffolded learning system allows students to advance at their own pace. Jazzles also works especially well for ELL and special needs students who react immediately to the positive reinforcement and feedback built into the program’s strategy. As these special populations increase in number and percentage in our schools, Jazzles can be one pragmatic solution to help these students reach state and national literacy standards.

Lastly, and most importantly in a school or home setting, Jazzles is a near perfect supplement to a K-1 reading program. Through its feedback assessment system, it allows teachers to identify and isolate particular reading deficiencies and utilize Jazzles activities to target, remediate and reinforce the skills necessary to bring students up to grade level.

There is probably no greater joy for a parent or educator than to see a reluctant or struggling reader become totally engaged and enthusiastic about reading.

I have seen this occur consistently with students using the Jazzles Learning System- you can make it happen for your children as well.

James J. Harrigan
Principal
New York State Recognized Closing the Gap School

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Too Poor For Pencils But Richer for JazzleOke!

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“We have kids on the honor roll at school now that have NEVER been on the list. Thanks to your wonderful creation.”

What more can I ask? JazzleOke showed its power to engage the ‘educationally at risk’ in the small coal mining community of New Canton, Virginia with children from (mostly) single parent homes with an average income of $22,000 pa.

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7: Memory Strategies Making the Jazzles Difference – But Never Rote!

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How often have parents come up to you and complained their child is ‘bored’ at school?
Somehow it is inferred that it’s the teacher’s responsibility to produce entertaining, educational resources that can compete with today’s interactive games!
In the past perhaps, because teachers were allowed to use their creativity. Today, it’s all about highly prescriptive programs ‘teaching for the test’!

To teach them you must first reach them! How?
Engaging resources! Engaging pedagogical experiences! That’s how I designed Jazzles ELA – so the resources do the heavy lifting, slashing class management issues and creating quality teachiing time.

Embedded Learning Styles
The Jazzles learning system excels in using VAK engagement, but also provides experience opportunities for identifying and developing multiple intelligences!

When you see, laugh, hear, move and sing, you remember everything!
This is the Jazzles claim that is both research based and accepted by every educator. For the first time, these features are integrated into a comprehensive, song-powered, ELA program, designed to accelerate learning in mixed ability classes.

The Jazzles ELA Learning system balances social interaction and interactive technology. That is why Visual and Performing Arts feature highly. Not only do ‘Arts’ experiences develop vocabulary which is the greatest predictor of reading writing success, but all importantly, non cognitive skills of communication, negotiation, creative, inferential and critical thinking, etc.

What about practicing skills?
It’s been proven that children need to practice 16 times to be able to automatically recall. For children with learning difficulties over 40 times.

So how can we get children to want to practice without the boredom of rote?
Jazzles uses multiple, ‘memory-embedded’, practice strategies and resources that are highly engaging and fun!
It’s variety! Variety! Practice! Practice - but practice that is never, ever the same!
Jazzles uniquely keeps children’s learning ‘everyday’ fresh, intriguing and newsworthy for parents!

How?
Each Jazzles ELA Unit starts with its key resource JazzleOke 1 (animated, reading-songs with matching text/captions).

Children automatically join in, to happily practice and learn – because of the:
• Variety of 22 different styles of music over 26 songs! (From ‘Big Band’ to ‘Funk’.)
• Variety of musical backing instrumentation (think kinetic percussion).
• Musical ‘hooks’ – the most powerful mnemonic – that ‘catch’ the ear of the listener.
• Multiple singers – male/ female with solo, duet, trio and unison plus harmonies.
• A wide variety of song topics that interest children with cross curriculum links.
• Lyrical ‘hooks’ – deliberately and prolifically alliterative to ‘hook’ the brain for recall.
• Alliteratively highlighted Matching Captions – synchronized text (reading) to matching images. (Visual Literacy)
• Humor and mischievous cartoon characters – not perfect, but always good or trying to help!

After all this fun practice that activates vocabulary and beginning reading skills, Jazzles Advanced ELA Lesson Plans deliver multiple means of practice using JazzleOke 2 and 3, Interactive JazzleBooks 1 and 2, creative Visual and Performing Arts, and guided play (including interactive games). All of these are scaffolded to reinforce the top indicators of beginning reading and writing (internalized/oral language, phonemic awareness, comprehension and concepts about print).

As one teacher remarked:

“They spontaneously sing the songs when they are working, they talk about it & it helps them find the links with letters & other words.”

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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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Can you integrate rigor with joy to create peak level engaged, active learning?

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Education to Save the World is one of my favorite blogs. Today, they carry an articles “Your Turn: How do you create a joyful classroom?”
I read it with interest because it is missing or understating the concept of rigor.

Rigor sounds the opposite of joy and often is.
So what is rigor and how can you integrate rigor with joy to create engaged, active learning?

Richard W. Strong (2001) defined rigor as “the goal of helping students develop the capacity to understand content that is complex, ambiguous, provocative, and personally or emotionally challenging”. In her (2008) book ‘Rigor is NOT a Four-Letter Word’, Barbara Blackburn’ wrote that “Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels, each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels, and each student demonstrates learning at high levels.”

In a 2012 whitepaper entitled “How do you identify rigor in the classroom?” Rick Jenkins, Jeff Goldhorn, and Mike Webb wrote: “To teach with rigor is to teach accurately and completely. In order to teach accurately, a teacher must have knowledge of both content and pedagogy. Teachers must teach their content without error and have content knowledge that is deeper than that which they teach. Teaching accurately also implies a use of pedagogy that ensures students learn content for understanding. Content knowledge without pedagogy leads to superficial and short-term learning. Pedagogy without content knowledge can result in student misconceptions and misunderstandings.”

So there’s the challenge! Joy does indeed create engagement. But high engagement may come with very low rigor.
What’s the answer?

You have to create a pedagogy/methodology incorporating the rigor integrated with resources and activities that bring the joy!

With JazzlesELA, I have extensive song–themed resources combining animated, subtitled songs, karaoke and interactive song books enhanced with interactive games and printable activity pages. Scalable lesson plans provide the fun/joy with the rigor.

The program does achieve exceptional results – broadly it halves the time to achieve Common Core Kindergarten ELA outcomes.
Here are a few of my strategies:
• The attention and memory power of music and songs.
• Coral singing to create a happy, unified optimum learning environment.
• Singing to activate a class-wide common, oral vocabulary base (song lyrics) – irrespective of the range vocabulary levels (including ESL) of children entering the class. (Diversity is the biggest challenge in public school classrooms.
• The power of ‘whole /part/ whole’ and contextual teaching for developing reading and writing skills and strategies.
• VAK engagement for optimal learning.
• Creative Visual and Performing Arts.
• Interactive technology.
• Visual Literacy.
• Multiple, fun practice strategies.
• Themed, curriculum extensions.
• Guided and independent learning.
• Pair and group interaction.
How to increase rigor and combine the joy is the real challenge!
With JazzlesELA, you have a best practice case – supported by research.

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