March into Music and Literacy (original)

music-w-bookMarch is one of my favorite months at The Inspired Class as we devote all the posts to Music and Literacy!  We already have some guest bloggers lined up to provide you with great information and have a few surprises too.  In this post, you will get a listing of some of our favorite and most popular posts for both music and literacy.  There are so many great articles listed here, you just may want to bookmark this post!

But first, let me share our first surprise which combines both topics:

Inspired by Listening book on Sale

To celebrate both music AND literacy, we are putting our best seller Inspired by Listening on sale ALL month!  This music integration book focuses on how to use listening experiences in your classroom to inspire all kinds of writing (including sentence and paragraph writing, poetry and narratives), reading strategies (including visualization and main idea) and even grammar practice; all while listening to music that you love.  For more information about the book (including how to order), go HERE.

Music Favorites:

It’s Music in Our Schools Month and we love music around here!  In fact it was my love for music and the desire to share it with my students that got me interested in arts integration in the first place.  (I was even a MS music teacher for seven years!)  Here are some great articles that speak to the power of music.

  • The Benefit of Music in Education Music is known for being a powerful tool; a universal language. Music connects people together regardless of personal […]
  • Classroom Ideas for Just One Drum A drum can be powerful.  I love drums!  Although not a drummer (well, in my heart I think I am), I sure can beat on one.   How much fun would it be to bring the intensity and enjoyment that so many people have with drums into the classroom?  Here are some great ideas […]
  • Let the Music be Your Master It’s time to get back to the roots of The Inspired Classroom.  Although I will be posting other material as well, the arts are calling and I must heed their call. So first, a story: The year was 1992 and I, a young freshman in high school was on a band trip to Hershey, […]
  • Grooveshark – Making Playlists for the Classroom My last two posts have included live playlists powered by Grooveshark.  In a sentence – I LOVE Grooveshark.  I’ve only been using it only for a short time, but I can see so many possibilities for it in my teaching and sharing with teachers.  Let me explain: As the author of a book about […]
  • Collaboration in Action – Music Listening Experiences Many of our readers are interested in actual lesson plans and ideas.  So, here you go! My mind over the last week has been focused on collaboration and how it is the key to effective integration.   We cannot all be experts in everything, so we need to ask for assistance with things we may […]
  • I Remember You Heard this song before?  It’s one of my all time favorites: hard, passionate, rockin’, beautiful; it hits me to the core every time I hear it bringing me back to a time when guitar solos ruled the radio.  It had no less of an effect on me the other day when it came on […]
  • Drum Circle One of the best ways to illustrate freedom in structure is in a drum circle. Here, a leader starts by drumming an ostinato or rhythm that is repeated over and over. Then the others in the circle begin to play. Some play alongside the leader, others play their own creations, adding their own creative […]
  • 4th Grade Boys and Chopin Every month, I introduce my students to a new composer or genre and for that month, we listen to the music of that composer or genre everyday during snack. Last month, our focus was on Chopin. Undoubtedly, there are students that make a connection with the music or composers that we listen to, be […]

Literacy Favorites:

Dr. Seuss’s birth is here and I’m pretty sure that is why this month is Literacy Month.  We discuss literacy a lot at The Inspired Classroom.  For a listing of all the resources on this website, please check out the literacy tag.  We have numerous posts by a variety of authors on the topic of literacy.   The following posts are our most popular in the category of literacy:

  • Literacy Is Essential My last post Blueberries and Students talks about how we educators are required to teach all students, that is part of the promise of public education.  Here, Amanda discusses this further and poses a possible solution to the issue of many who struggle with […]
  • Making Paper Blogs to Prepare for the Online Experience I’ve decided to take my students on a fun-filled blogging journey for the last few weeks of school.  In some ways I think I might be crazy trying to do this in such little time, but my guts are telling me to, “Just do it!”  I’m glad I listened! I decided to start as […]
  • 4+1 Reasons to Get Poetry into Your Classroom Poetry is great!  ‘Come on, don’t you agree?  Poetry can be sweet and rhyme-y or in-your-face  and raw.  It contains so much passion, so many illusions.  It can tell a story, describe an emotion, explain a situation or throw down the truth.  But how much time do we actually commit to poetry in our […]
  • Pre-Game Excitement (and reading)  Pre-Game excitement – You know what I mean.  You get dressed up, read up on stats, pump yourself up, maybe put on a little rock and roll and get excited about what’s about to happen on the field or court or ring.  So what does this have to do with reading?  Plenty.  Our students […]
  • Engaging Readers with Reading – the What, the Why and the How The success I had last year with the reading intervention program Language! was not simply a result of the program working, but because I saw an opportunity to bring YA novels into the classroom. As soon as my boys became […]
  • Writing: When Experience Molds Your Teaching – the What, the Why and the How Eleven years ago I created a portfolio for an Expressive Writing class at York High School. I remember thinking that this class was awesome because it didn’t feel like school. We were not writing five paragraph essays like all my other classes. We were not reading boring novels[…]
  • 4 Tips for Helping Parents Help their Children Read Young children love to imitate what the adults in their lives are doing. They will happily “clean” the house while Mom performs her chores or “mow” the lawn in imitation of […]
  • Vocabulary and the Arts Yesterday our district had a professional development day on the topic of vocabulary.  Some 4th grade colleagues presented to all the elementary and middle school teachers a method of introducing vocabulary that they had started last year.  What they were doing was centered around Robert Marzano’s teachings from his book Building Background Knowledge for […]
  • The Creative Process and Revision Kristina Peterson is back to share her insights about writing, specifically revision – an important part of the writing process, a creative process.
Music and Literacy Favorites:

Now, this is a topic I could discuss all day long.  (In fact, I have!)  Here are some posts that will give you great ways to integrate music into your literacy studies this month:

  • Using Music to Help Struggling Readers Our students come to us with many interests and talents. Music is one of them. Whether it’s Beethoven, the Beatles, Bon Jovi or (Justin) Bieber, tapping into their love of listening to music can help students become better readers. The two disciplines are innately very similar, and teachers and parents can take advantage of these similarities to help struggling readers become motivated learners.
  • Story Beginnings and Beethoven How do great stories begin?  They capture your interest, grab your attention, introduce you to characters and setting, and give you a sense of the overall feel of the story as they set you into a series of events that ultimately bring you to the climax of the story. Great music begins the same […]
  • Grasping a Teachable, Musical Moment to Write Sometimes you have such a teachable moment and you just have to go with it.  That’s what happened the other day during my class’s Active Listening time at snack.  Each day my students and I listen to music – one piece per week.  We listen, discuss and learn about music and how music is […]
  • The Blues, Storytelling and Science For the past few weeks, my students have been learning about “Land and Water.”  They’ve been conducting experiments, learning about the water cycle, making it rain, observing erosion, carving out riverbeds and watching the power of water. This week, we started listening to the blues and to kick things off, I chose Backwater Blues […]
  • Reading and Drumming The school year is in full swing and reading is filling the air in my fourth grade classroom.  We read independently, in groups, with partners, as a whole class, as a read aloud, online and hopefully at home as well.   Let’s face it, reading is a very important part of an elementary school classroom.  […]
  • Reading and Drumming The school year is in full swing and reading is filling the air in my fourth grade classroom.  We read independently, in groups, with partners, as a whole class, as a read aloud, online and hopefully at home as well.   Let’s face it, reading is a very important part of an elementary school classroom.  […]
  • The BME Rule 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 […]
  • Visualization in Music and Writing 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 […]
  • Visualization in Reading and Music  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 […]
  • Reinforce the Writing Process through Musical Creation  What better way to explore the writing process than with music?!  Musical creation, or composition, is nearly identical to the writing process that we teach our students.  Just look: Composing Writing Prewriting Students brainstorm sounds/melodies for their composition. Students brainstorm ideas/topics  for their writing. Rough Draft Students get their ideas down. Students get their […]
  • The Good Things about Reading (and Listening) Again One parallel between reading and listening to music that comes up again and again in my classroom is repetitive listenings and readings.  When you actively listen to music, it is important to have students listen again and again over the course of some time (each day for a week, for example).  Each time your […]
  • The Connections Between Music and Reading It has always fascinated me to think of all the connections music has with reading.  In fact, last year, I remember looking over my district’s literacy curriculum, thinking how nearly everything stated on those pages about reading and literacy could be paralleled to music study. In my book, Inspired by Listening, I explore all […]

For a listing of all our posts on integrating music and literacy, go to THIS LINK.

All month our posts will be focused on literacy and music, so be sure to check in often and see the latest.  Enjoy!

~EMP

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Article by Elizabeth Peterson

Elizabeth Peterson has devoted her life to education and to reaching out to other teachers who want to remain inspired. Mrs. Peterson teaches fourth grade in Amesbury, Massachusetts and is the host of www.theinspiredclassroom.com. She holds an M.Ed. in Education, “Arts and Learning” and a C.A.G.S. degree with a focus in “Arts Leadership and Learning.” Elizabeth is author of Inspired by Listening, a teacher resource book that includes a method of music integration she has developed and implemented into her own teaching. She teaches workshops and courses on the integration of the arts into the curriculum and organizes the annual summer Teacher Art Retreat. Mrs. Peterson believes there is a love of active, integrated learning in all children and from their enthusiasm, teachers can shape great opportunities to learn.
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