Music and Literacy

Risa Cohen

Risa Cohen

Risa Cohen calls herself, “a Literacy teacher disguised as a Music and Movement teacher.”

As Children’s House students arrive in the morning they sing and dance with Risa. Then, during work time, the students do shared reading, independent reading, and literacy activities, using the songs they sang as their texts.

 

Since coming back from winter break, some new students have joined many Children’s House classrooms. We are enjoying making new friends, and we have added a new song to our folders titled, “Make New Friends.” Here are the lyrics:

Make New Friends

Make new friends
But keep the old
One is silver
And the other gold

A circle is round
It has no end
That’s how longĀ 
I want to be your friend

Until now, all of the songs in our folders have been one page in length. This song, with two verses, stretches across two facing pages. In reading two pages in a row, children notice the jump the finger (or eye) makes from the bottom right corner of the left page, to the top left corner of the right page, reinforcing left-to-right directionality.

Using colored pencils, we illustrated the first verse with pictures of our friends. For the second verse, we drew circles using our circular insets or frames. These Montessori materials develop fine motor skills and strengthen handwriting skills.

I learned this song from my mother as a child, when I was in Brownies, and she was my troop leader. It is beautiful when sung in canon. The kindergartners will sing this song on May 7 in “Spring Sing: Circle of Friends.” I hope to see you there.

I hope you will also join me for a sing along at 2:30 p.m. at the Toledo Campus during WSM’s Open House on February 9. Please bring your little ones and all their friends.

Keep singing,

Risa