Thoughtful, Thankful and Thrilling Writing Prompts for Thanksgiving


Tweet With Thanksgiving around the corner, of course we need to stop and think about all the things we are thankful for.  Having students create crafts and pictures of turkeys makes for fun activities and there’s always the wonderful writing prompt: “What are you thankful for?” But there are other things students can write about […]

Blackout Poetry and Summarizing


Tweet I taught a lesson on summarizing text in my class yesterday. We did it a pretty traditional way using a great program my fourth grade team purchased that focuses on differentiating the teaching of the reading comprehension strategies.  (Comprehension Strategies Kit by Sundance) The class and I looked at a short fictional text and […]

It’s Future Day!

future day

Tweet Today I smiled all day.  It’s the 30th anniversary of the day Marty McFly goes to the future – October 21, 2015.  I woke up excited and knew I would have to share the love I have for the Back to the Future trilogy with my students! I started by adding some fun images […]

How Design Can Impact Learning – Info Graphic


Tweet Sometimes you can glean interesting information and ideas to consider for your classroom through an info graphic.  Enjoy this info graphic about classroom design and add your own comments below.  

Music and Learning: Why Teachers Should Consider Music in the Classroom

sheet music

Tweet Countless research studies have shown us that music causes a wide range of psychosomatic effects to our bodies. It can be helpful in dealing with chronic pain, reduce blood pressure or even boost our immunity. At some point music caught the eye of psychologists examining human cognitive capabilities and learning. Consequently, music was unveiled […]

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Music IS Language

Tweet “Music is the universal language of mankind.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Ask any musician or music lover and they will agree that music, is in and of itself, a language.  You can be literate in music.   And once this happens whether you become literate in reading, writing, creating or listening to music, a […]

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ESL, Literacy and Jazz

Tweet Judy DeFilippo supervises student teachers getting their MATESL degree at Simmons College and is an ESL (English as a Second Language) specialist.  She has authored and co-authored numerous textbooks for ESL students including So to Speak 1 and 2, Grammar Plus, and Great Dictations.  All her books are available on Amazon. Over the years, Judy […]

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Lyrics and Literacy

Tweet Oddly enough, it’s been almost an entire month of writing about music and literacy and I haven’t even mentioned lyrics in music! Well, now is the time. Of course lyrics are a natural connection music has to literacy. They are authentic texts!  Composers and song writers go through their own creative writing process to […]

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Active Listening Time – A Vehicle for the Music-Literacy Connection

Tweet Over the last weeks, I have received many emails, a few comments and some personal inquiries into active listening time. In nearly each post in this series I’ve highlighted how this time allows me to make connections between music and literacy every day with my students. Whether it be visualization and reading, listening for […]

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The BME Rule

Tweet If there is one thing my students learn before they leave me to move onto the next teacher, it’s the BME Rule.  I have a sign in my classroom that states: “The BME Rule – All Good Writing is Following It!” It has to do with the fact that all good pieces of writing […]

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Visualization in Music and Writing

Tweet In my last post, I wrote about how visualization using music can help students build their visualization in reading.  In this post, I want to explore the possibilities of using musical visualization to prompt good writing. Being able to allow students to imagine their story, repeat it in their minds, and “walk around” their […]

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Music in Foreign Language Instruction: Classroom Activities

Tweet I am excited to bring you another guest blogger today!  Maria Rainier is a classically trained pianist, piano teacher, blogger for First in Education and is fluent in Spanish.  I’m sure you will find her ideas inspiring not for foreign language study, but for literacy in general!  ~EMP I’ve been through years of Spanish […]

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Guest Blogger – Maria Rainier

Tweet Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education, playing with the newly revealed college degree value calculator and researching the best paying degrees available. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop. She studied English and music at […]

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Visualization in Reading and Music

Tweet Using visualization strategies while listening to music is very beneficial to students as they read and write.  When students close their eyes, they can then describe what they imagine when they listen to music. These experiences can be used to draw their attention to how visualization with music parallels with reading.  Some students may […]

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