Sing into Reading: the Blog

Little ones love literacy.

Music is magic! 

Balanced Literacy With Music

 

What is Balanced Literacy? Balanced Literacy is a reading curriculum that includes Read Aloud, Modeled Writing, Independent Writing, Independent Reading, Shared Reading, Interactive Writing, Guided Reading, Phonics and Word Study.

I learned about Balanced Literacy at The Reading and Writing Project (TRWP) at Teachers College, Columbia University. What I do differently at Sing into Reading is that I use songs as our texts. 

Keep singing,

Risa

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A Child in the World: The Developmental-Interaction Approach

 

At Bank Street College,  I learned the developmental-interaction approach, or "The Bank Street Approach." This progressive approach to education is a whole-child approach that places as much value on a child's social and emotional development as on a child's academic development. At Sing into Reading, we value SEL (social emotional learning). 

One of the hallmarks of the developmental-interaction approach is the child-centered social studies curriculum. We start our social studies curriculum with the center: the self. A child moves through the curriculum in ever-widening arcs of experience, progressing through a family study, a community study, national studies, international studies, and then astronomy. Just as Maria Montessori talks about "sensitive periods" - periods of time when a child is easily able to learn certain concepts, the developmental-interaction approach recognizes that a child is self-centered, and that their interest in the outside world expands over...

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Literacy in Progressive Education

 

I am a progressive educator - to the core.

I received my M.S.Ed. in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from Bank Street College, where I learned the developmental-interaction approach. This is a constructivist approach. Teachers using a constructivist approach facilitate a learning environment where a child is encouraged to construct their own knowledge. Constructivist theory says that students do not simply soak up knowledge "like a sponge." They see children constructing knowledge as a more active task. The developmental-interactive approach distinguishes itself from other constructivist approaches by the emphasis placed on the child's emotional life. In the developmental-interactive approach, a child's emotional life and SEL (social emotional learning) skills are seen as equally important and intrinsically connected to academic skills.

I also studied at The Reading and Writing Project (TRWP) at Teachers College, Columbia University. There, I learned balanced literacy,...

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Montessori Songs

 

Today I presented "Montessori Songs" at the Early Childhood Global Mastermind Group, a group of early childhood educators from around the world. They has asked me to present "Montessori Songs." 

I wanted to share the presentation with you!

Learn songs that help a child develop a sense of self, and their place in the world. These songs are perfect for a Montessori classroom, or any preschool setting. 

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Child Writers are Courageous

 

Child Writers are Courageous

Writers have to be courageous. I model this for students by embracing the process myself. I write and revise songs and stories in front of my students and their parents - in real time - so they can see the process. Just as we model reading and writing, we also model bravery. Indeed, the very writing of this blog puts my ideals on the line and is an act of bravery, a model for my students.

For ten years, I taught Music and Literacy at a school. At the end of each school year, the kindergartners performed songs on stage in a performance called "Spring Sing." Every year, before we went on stage, a couple of students would say they were scared. I told them, "When you are scared, you have to be brave. Being brave is doing what you know you need to do, even if it's scary."

The goal of perfection is a dangerous one that breeds inaction and fear. Perfectionism results in fear because we know that perfection is unattainable. Letting go of perfectionism and...

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New Year

 

Happy New Year!

 January is my favorite month of the year. It's my birthday month, and, in January we celebrate one of our country's heros: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

I also enjoy setting New Year's goals. Let's be clear - I always enjoy personal development - any time of year.

The concept of a year, and time in general, is enigmatic. Time is a continuum, and dividing it into units - seconds, days, weeks, months, and years - is a big concept for kids to understand. So be sure to teach and review it often. Sing days of the week songs, and months of the year songs. Sing "It's a New Year!"

It's hard for grownups to understand time, too. All I know is, the older I get, the faster it moves.

I wrote a new song, "It's a New Year." Listen to it on the blog, and let me know what you think of it.

Ask your children (four and older) what they want to do this year. Maybe they want to learn to ride a bike, swim, or tie their shoes. Maybe they want to sing more. Or, maybe they...

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Slow Down

 

Sometimes you need to slow down so you can speed up again.

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Creating a Literacy-Rich Environment

 

Members of Sing into Reading receive excellent instruction for children teaching literacy through music and love. For a limited time, members will also receive instruction for parents: "Teach Your Child to Read With Music and Love." Check out this sample class, "Creating a Literacy-Rich Environment." 

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Cherish the Rosy Moments

gratitude learning love Dec 10, 2020
 

You know those moments where you feel like you are in a Capra fim, and everything feels right? I call them "rosy moments." Cherish them.

I have two boys, 12 and 14. When I think back on their babyhood and when they were young children, I remember a few rosy moments. (And I remember a few "not-so-rosy-moments.") The rest is a wash.

When you find yourself in a rosy moment, cherish it. Write about it. Save it.

I would like to give you more rosy moments with your little ones. Please come to a free class. I am offering a free Baby Music class tomorrow, sign up here:  https://www.singintoreading.com/baby-music. Parents of 2-8 year olds, please come to the Open House. Sign up here: https://www.singintoreading.com/membership-class.

Enjoy your holidays. 

Cherish the rosy moments.

Keep singing,

Risa

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Gratitude Journal

 

Gratitude is a two-way street. The more you give, the more you get. 

I am receiving gratitude from people who are thankful for the Thanks and Giving Celebration. Here’s the thing: I am so grateful to you for supporting this dream of mine to teach literacy through music and movement.

Choose gratitude. Every minute of every day you have a choice. You can choose to complain about what you do not have, or be thankful for what you do. Choose appreciation. Choose gratitude. You can find things to be thankful for, even when things are not going well. That's when it is especially important to practice gratitude.

Gratitude, like love, creates what I call "rosy moments." Cherish them. Savor them. Make them last. Writing down what you are grateful for will help you remember the rosy moments and make them last longer.

 There are many benefits of using a gratitude journal, including closer relationships, improved physical health, reduced aggression, better sleep,...

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