Sing into Reading: the Blog

Little ones love literacy.

Music is magic! 

Name Songs

 

Name Songs are important. Not only do they help children feel welcome and included, but they teach that words and letters have meaning. 

In this blog I demonstrate how to use name songs for word study, modeled writing, interactive writing, and independent writing.

Here are the name songs in this blog:

  • "Round and Around is the Name of the Game"
    • This song incorporates motions that cross the midline.
  • "Hickety Pickety Bumblebee" 
    • This song helps teach suyllables.
  • "Do You Know This Friend of Mine"
    • The melody of this song piggy-backs on "Do You Know the Muffin Man"
  • "Oh, _____, We Love You"
    • You can get your own personalized recording of this song, with a customized digital book! Get your copy here.

Keep singing,

Risa

P.S. This blog first aired in the Early Childhood Global Mastermind Group. Huge thanks to Atul, Mar., and the gang.

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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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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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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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