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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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Jazzles – Changing Students Lives

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With the upgrade to CCSS Jazzles ELA, I’ve been getting wonderful feedback from our teachers. “My students continued to LOVE Jazzles this year. It is extremely engaging and has helped tremendously with phonemic awareness. I used the phonemic awareness activities from the lesson plans daily. I like the new Jazzles ELA interface, especially Jazzleoke 3. The advanced lesson plans are very complete as well. The websearch integration is a great way to easily incorporate reality. It makes it so convenient not to have to switch windows on the computer to pull up information. I have personally endorsed Jazzles to many teachers. I remember the first Sunday I found Jazzles when I was searching on the computer for new teaching material. I was so excited I could not wait for Monday to introduce Jazzles because I knew it would change my students lives.”
Note:
1. What more can you ask than a program that changes children’s lives!
2. While I do not attribute, take my word as a teacher that this feedback is as received.

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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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Time for TED debate on Quality PreK! Let’s Get Real!

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If you are a teacher like me, who goes to school everyday with the aim of improving children’s lives through education, please read this article in today’s (06/14/2013) ‘Education Next’ – ‘How Poverty Is Like Global Warming (& Other Parting Thoughts)’.

It is the last of a series of blogs between Michael Petrilli’s and Deborah Meier, the highly respected ‘founder’ of the modern small schools movement.

In the blog, Mr. Petrilli’s comments that “High-quality preschool, for instance, has great potential, but we don’t really know how to scale up the kinds of programs that have gotten dramatic long-term results.”

Read that twice.
What Mr. Petrilli is saying, by default, is that the programs that have gotten results (like Appletree in DC) have uneconomic teacher-student ratios and require lots of intensive training.

I completely disagree with Mr. Petrilli’s sentiments and substance.
I’ve posted my response on the Education Next blog site.

But, just in case, moderators at Education Next decide not to publish the response (be interesting to see), I thought the issue is so important, I’d publish it this blog.
(Update: After 24 hours, my response not yet published!)

Mr. Petrilli might not know how to scale up high quality PreK but I do!
I have spent 10 years doing it – developing Jazzles ELA.
It is a highly scalable ‘Arts in Education’ early education/beginning literacy program that transforms children’s intellectual and emotional engagement.

It’s not theory; its at work in schools in the US and Australia.
Two independent theses proves it works for Kindergarten children.
Anecdotal reports show it works for PreK.

I cannot provide the long-term stats that Mr. Petrilli relies on because that is a chicken and the egg argument.
After all, the egg is now being laid!

What amazes me is that there are so many educators, like Mr. Petrilli, who make statements like this yet so few who invite educational innovators, particularly ordinary, ‘working at the rockface’, teachers like you and me, to present their 21st Century solutions.

Think about this way!
Despite nearly 50 years of national focus, the majority of children in the U.S. are still failing to read at a proficient level.
So academia and mega-publishers really can’t claim to have monopoly on solutions – their record is not that good!

  • Why do we place so much value on their formula solutions?
  • Why do we never ask them to prove their solutions to engage diverse children on standard teacher/student ratios?

Why? Because if you can’t engage, you cannot teach them? And here’s a fact you’ll never read! A 2007 PISA (OECD) study, showed levels of ‘engagement’ is the single factor that differentiated the nations with the highest and lowest levels of student achievement. And that goes for PreK too!

So Mike Petrilli, Sir Ken Robinson, Lord Puttenham, Geoffrey Canada, Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu, step up to the plate for a real debate on what constitutes a new model for high quality PreK that, unlike A+ schools, Appletree, (et.al.) highly scalable, highly cost effective (ok, let’s use the word cheap) and transforming for the disadvantaged.

I’m ready! Let’s do it on TED! BECAUSE it is a debate worth having!
And by the way, lets not focus always on poverty because there are so many abused and stressed kids we need to help too.
If you agree with this post, and your mad with the naysayers, use Twitter and Facebook to send it viral!
It’s worth it!

BIG NOTE:
Love it! New website ‘Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates‘ is publishing messages from teachers to the Microsoft founder

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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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What is Your Creative Vision for Education?

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Why do we need creativity in education and what are the barriers to achieving it?

Adobe has just published this thought-provoking video on clamor to return creativity to the curriculum.

86% of parents and 73% of educators in the USA believe that creativity provides for higher quality teaching and learning.
But no-one directing the curriculum appears to be listening!
And parents are revolting!

For example, just last month, the Washington Examiner reported parents fighting back after DC Public Schools announced plans to cut more than $300,000 from The Fillmore Arts Center that offers classes on two campuses in dance, digital arts, theater, music, visual arts, creative writing and physical education to students in 11 DCPS elementary schools this year.

Why I’m Fighting Back Too!
Watch the video! As Adobe says, “…there is a growing concern that the education system itself is a barrier to developing the creativity that drives innovation. Parents and educators agree that today’s education system places too much emphasis on testing and not enough investment in the training, tools and time needed to teach creativity.”

Adobe’s video is great but I’ve actually done exactly what they are advocating.

JazzlesELA is a whole creative curriculum – hundreds of resources including animations, games and lesson plans – all done with Adobe Creative Suite!

In fact, I should offer Adobe access to the JazzlesELA website to demonstrate the concept of a creative curriculum!

Take Out Point!
In the video, you will notice some clever graphical texts that evolve to form the title ‘A Transformative Change’.
It’s not so much the issue of creativity, what frightens educators is the culture and training needs to achieve it.
It appears daunting! Well for PreK-Kindergarten, it’s not – JazzlesELA is the only packaged ‘Arts in Education’ multimedia, learning styles on the market.
Two independent theses to support it. It’s best case based on UNESCO standards targeting PREK to G2 plus ELL, ESL, SPED.

If you want me to talk about it on a panel or TV show, just call me 530-687-6305 or email me lesleybeth@jazzles.com – you can ask me any question because I’ve years of practical experience teaching 1000′s of children with an arts integrated program.

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Neuroeducation specialist wanted to test Jazzles ELA Conceptual Model.

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We are trying to find a neuroscientist / neuroeducation specialist to research why the Jazzles ELA program  and conceptual model achieves boosts in learning and reading skills.  
Educational equity would be the major beneficiary as well as facilitating quality teaching.
If you know of any institute or PHD who would be interested, please let me know.
Sincerely
Lesley Beth 
lesleybeth@jazzles.com
The Brief
Does the conceptual framework and the pedagogical methodology approach typified by Jazzles ELA boost memory, attention, language, reading skills, mathematical patterns, curiosity, preparedness for learning and global intelligences and if so how can this be demonstrated using for example fMRI,EEG with supporting data and images.
Background
Jazzles ELA is a very large music/song powered VAK multimedia program independently researched to boost literacy outcomes/reducing learning times.
Musically animated videos, catchy ‘can’t get it out of your head’ ear-worms/repetunes plus key changes and ‘same language’ subtitles appear to be the major factors.
Educational equity would be the major beneficiary as well as facilitating quality teaching.

See my previous blog Creating Mass Literacy – Overcoming Disadvantage

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