Sing into Reading: the Blog

Little ones love literacy.

Music is magic! 

Encouraging Literacy: Raising Readers with Encouragement

 

Encouragement is having high, but attainable expectations, celebrating every success, and showing compassion in the face of failure.

In How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish write,  “Let us realize that, along with food, shelter, and clothing, we have another obligation to our children, and that is to affirm their ‘rightness.’ The whole world will tell them what’s wrong with them—loud and often. Our job is to let our children know what’s right about them.” (p.191) (I love this book. Their book, Siblings Without Rivalry is also excellent.) The world can be a discouraging place. Our homes don’t have to be. We can choose to encourage our children.

Let’s focus on progress, not perfection. Focus on the wins, employing a strength model vs. a deficit model.

Recognize your child as a reader. (Check out this blog: https://www.singintoreading.com/blog/recognizing-readers)

When I...

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Reading and Writing Poetry with Children

 

Today is World Poetry Day!

Poetry is all about using words to evoke emotion.
Poetry is about using beautiful language.

I often talk about the importance of reading books to children daily. It is important to expose our children to poetry as well. There are many wonderful poetry books for children. My favorite is "Honey, I Love," by Eloise Greenfield.

Not only do we read poetry to our children, but we also encourage them to write it. Children are natural poets. The world, seen through a child's eyes, is poetry. The words a child uses are often poetry.

Collect your child's words. When your child says something poetic, save it. Say, "That is beautiful language." Write it down and hang onto these precious words.

As a classroom teacher, I had a poster on the wall that was titled, "Beautiful Language." When students said something beautiful, I wrote it down, hung it on the bulletin, and read it aloud to the class.

Here is one of my favorites... When my oldest (now 15) was 4, he referred to the...

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Teach Reading with LOVE

 

Get your free booklet, "Ten Tips to Teach Your Child to Read with Music and Love" here: 

https://www.singintoreading.com/ten-tips

Do all things with love. This is my mantra. Especially when teaching or parenting, we want to do it with love and encouragement. When we lose our patience with children, that is discouraging. Facing discouragement puts someone in a state of dysregulation - which is not a state receptive to learning. Instead, if we want our children to be open to learning, we need to encourage them.

Parents in my membership receive a "Rosy Moment Visualization." In this guided meditation, I walk parents and guardians through a special memory of their child. Once this memory is solidified, you can breathe into it at times when you feel you are losing your patience. It is a tool I use to bring me back to encouragement and love.

How do you keep your patience and remain loving when you feel upset? What are your favorite ways to do all things with love? Let...

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#50PreciousWords

 

If you know me, you know that I am the Creative Director of Sing into Reading, and I teach literacy through music. You probably also know that I write songs. 

Did you know that I write stories. too? You might not know because, until this week, I had never submitted a story for publishing. I have been writing stories for young readers since 2001, when I took "Children's Literature" at Bank Street College. And, I want to share them with the world, so I am (finally) submitting! I made two submissions earlier this week (to a contest and an award) and today I will submit to #50PreciousWords.

50PreciousWords is a writing contest run by Vivan Kirkfield. Vivan is a wonderfully talented author for young readers. Check out her books!

Here is my submission for #50PreciousWords:

THE LIGHT SWITCH

“Mommy, why does the light switch say, ‘No?’”

 

“The light switch doesn’t say, ‘No.’”

 

“Yes, it does.”

 

“The...

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Teaching Literacy Through Music: ECGMG

 

I am a member of the Early Childhood Global Mastermind Group.

I recently had the pleasure of bring interviewed by Mar. Harman of Music with Mar. in a Spotlight: "Teaching Literacy Through Music." 

Mar. and Atul have graciously allowed me to repost this interview here. 

If you are an early childhood educator, be sure to check out the Early Childhood Global Mastermind Group.

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Peaceful Holidays with Children

 

Holidays can be a crazy time. There is so much to do and just not enough time to get it all done. 

Let's face it, holidays don't always feel like a Hallmark show. Holidays can be stressful - especially with children.

I invite you to join me in deliberately stopping to breathe whenever you feel stressed.

No matter how much we have to do, we always have time to breathe.

Wishing you PEACEFUL holidays filled with love, joy, and music!

Keep singing,

Risa

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Teach Your Child to Read with Music and Love: Self-Assessment

 

In this Masterclass for parents and educators, I talk about how to teach your child(ren) to read with music and love. Then I guide you through a self-assessment, so that you can recognize and celebrate what you are doing well in building a loving literacy foundation for the children in your life. The self - assessment will also help you realize which habits you want to add to your routines. Finally, through habit-stacking, I can help you craft a schedule that fits your life. 

When we start the journaling, after my explanation, pause the video. You can find the journaling prompts here. Click "Make a copy." (Then you can rename the file in your own Google Drive account.) Then, when you are finished with your own self-assessment, resume the video.

Keep singing,

Risa

P.S. Enroll in the membership here: https://www.singintoreading.com/literacy-foundation

 

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Recognizing Our Children as Readers

 

In this "Edutalk" I explore recognizing our children as readers, no matter what level they read at currently. I redefine literacy, reading, and writing to a wider definition of these words. In this talk, I explain how this wider view of literacy is more encouraging for our children. 

I want to thank Noha Barrania of Edulane. Noha has given me permission to post this on the Sing into Reading blog. You can find more edutalks by other educators at https://www.facebook.com/edulaneeg

Keep singing,

Risa

 

 

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Freedom to Read and Sing!

 

We just finished celebrating Independence Day.

This holiday is all about FREEDOM.

What does freedom mean to you?

For me, freedom is not necessarily doing everything we want to, all the time.

(Let’s face it, nobody gets to do everything we want all the time. We all do the dishes and the laundry - even when we don’t want to.)

For me, freedom is all about having CHOICES.

I value choice and freedom.

That’s why as a teacher, and also as a parent, I offer choices whenever possible.

I give my students a sense of ownership over our classes, and I give my kids a sense of autonomy over their own lives.

Whenever possible.

Be free!

Keep singing,
Risa

'Cause I'm Free
by Risa Cohen

I’ll do what I want to do
And I’ll say what I want to say
And I’ll be what I want to be
‘Cause I’m free

I’ll do what is good for you
And I’ll say what is good for us
And I’ll be what is good for me
‘Cause I’m free

I’m kind! I am kind to you.
And...

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Zipper Songs

 

Zipper songs are fantastic tools for teaching literacy. A zipper song is a "fill-in-the-blank song." I ask the children to fill in the blank, and zip their ideas right into the song. For example, my song, "Holidays are For Family" is a zipper song, since I can ask the students their favorite holidays and then sing about them.

In this blog, I talk about how to use zipper songs to teach literacy. Zipper songs can be used for modeled reading, shared reading, modeled writing, interactive writing, independent reading, and independent writing. The suggestions students make for zipper songs can easily be a springboard into word study and phonics work.

What is your favorite zipper song?

Keep singing,

Risa

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