This grant will provide songs, rhymes and materials to help every student in TK through 3rd grade access reading and rhyming success by singing and reading songs and poems. Students will use multiple modalities to strengthen reading skills in BOTH Spanish and English. Students will sing, read and learn vocabulary by sharing, analyzing, rehearsing, and even performing the songs and rhymes in these materials. By singing and following along in the student songbooks, students will strengthen tracking, pronunciation, comprehension, and decoding skills. Our textbook adoptions do not include songs and songbooks. These are supplemental items, however, research shows that students learn best via repetition, and many learn language best through auditory channels. These songs, played and read repeatedly, are the perfect vehicle where reading and concept instruction meet fun and engagement.
Many students struggle with learning vocabulary and concepts in their second language. This is the cause of the "achievement gap" that is the bane of educators everywhere. Why don't students achieve as well in their second language? Partly, they need easily memorable access to vocabulary that invades their psyche - such as vocabulary in carefully crafted and taught songs and rhymes that teach content. The materials I have selected relate to all areas of the curriculum, are in both languages, and can be utilized by regular, resource, music and even PE teachers to assist students in reading and remembering the vocabulary and concepts that students are lacking. These materials can easily be shared among our TK - 3rd grade teachers, so that all students have access to them. Our Reading Intervention teacher can use them to improve reading, our PE teacher can use them to bring content songs to the gym, and our Music teacher is very excited to bring them into music class to teach reading as she teaches musical concepts.
The success of the program would be when teachers are using the songs regularly, to help students read, learn concepts and access vocabulary. These songs teach about: grammar, syntax, letters, phonics, science, math, celebrations, cultural awareness, equity, comprehension strategies, fairy tales, logic, seasons, and more. When students are singing the songs in the hallway and at recess, we will know that it is a success. The catchy tex-mex tunes are hard to forget, and make learning fun! Reading scores should increase, vocabulary understanding increase, and engagement increase as well. With the 5 volumes of songs, there are songs to teach nearly everything. Teachers will find a song to help teach a concept - from outer space to counting by two's, and they will use them in both languages to help our second language learners - which is everyone!- grasp the concepts and vocabulary.
Our music teacher will have all of the materials available in a checkout system for teachers to use at their leisure. The CD's can be uploaded into our iTunes for daily use in each class, and the books and flip charts can be used to introduce new songs. The rhyming packs can be checked out to use with groups of students who need help with rhyming in Spanish. Each teacher will have access to all of the materials and can integrate them into their daily lessons. Students will learn the songs and rhymes and read along - thereby increasing both reading skills and vocabulary skills.
As delineated, this grant will be shared with all teachers TK- 3rd. That's 13 classrooms. The 4th grade could use as well, though the content and the vocabulary in the songs more directly correlates with TK-3.
The PACE - our PTO- and Measure A monies as well as site funds have all been allotted to other priorities. Although these items may be considered extras, they will most certainly assist our most reluctant readers to read and sing these songs! No other funding has been found for these materials.