I am so excited!  Today 8 colleagues and I are going to become trained in a program called Reading and Rhythm.  It incorporates the natural tendencies of rhythm in spoken and written word and helps those who struggle to find more fluency in their reading.  In addition, it helps build students’ comprehension and vocabulary.

Stephanie Yao Long / The Oregonian

Where does this program originate?  Based in Santa Monica, California, prodigy drummer, Steven Angel is the founder of the Drumming for Your Life Institute, a non-profit organization that is

dedicated to using the power of rhythm to help children and youth develop the emotional, academic, and social skills needed to succeed in school and in life.”

Wow!  How awesome, right?

I’ve been able to watch first hand how music and drumming can transform a person in a moment.  Watched how drumming can build bonds, mesmerize and even bring people to tears. And now, I’m going to learn how to use the power of rhythm, a natural element of our existence, help students to read.  I.  Am.  Exploding with excitement.

So for the next week, our facilitator will be training us and then working with us in our classrooms each day for 30 minutes as we implement the program with students.  We have classroom teachers, a reading specialist, a special ed teacher, an ELL teacher, a technology, music and library teacher.  We plan to work with whole classes and small groups of struggling students.  Yesterday we worked to get a baseline of reading ability using both Dibels and Daze testing.  At the end of six weeks, we will assess the students again and see their growth.

Will we see growth?  I believe in my heart of hearts that we will.  This makes so much sense to me: use rhythm to create momentum and move students forward so that their fluency improves and with it, their comprehension.  There is so much I will be learning today and this week!

Need to know more?  (I don’t blame you!)  Please watch this video and then add a comment about what you think of this program.  I will be coming back here throughout the week to update you on our progress in the comments and hope you will join in on the conversation.

I am looking forward to an exhilarating and powerful week!