Rock Your Students’ World
This activity-based workshop is intended for classroom teachers who are looking to incorporate music, movement, and storytelling strategies into their standards-based instruction to improve student learning and transform their overall classroom environment. Strategies that incorporate movement, music, and storytelling offer unparalleled novelty, interest, stimulation, excitement, and joy, and as a result, students become emotionally involved in these activities, pay more attention, remember better, and, in short, learn better. In addition, the activities featured improve class morale, build self-esteem and enthusiasm for learning, and increase feelings of student “connectedness” to the class and to one another. Specifically, this session focuses on the following topics:
- A morning movement warm-up routine that prepares students mentally and physically to have a productive school day by helping them achieve an ideal mindset for learning - calm, relaxed, focused, and confident.
- Teaching math, language arts, social studies, and science content through “concept-embedded movement.” In the examples presented, the activity itself features a type of movement that represents, matches, or embodies the meaning of the content students are expected to learn. Thus, when students move around and participate in the activity, they are actually bringing the content to life.
- Using “Piggyback” Songs to Entrain New Learning. Includes fifteen songs that set academic content to music to help students learn and memorize information.
- Scheduling short “Movement Breaks” between academic activities to allow time for children to process new learning, catch their breath, and recharge their batteries. This section describes a series of engaging, user-friendly Movement Breaks that reenergize the room, increase the sense of connection students feel to one another and to the class, and simply make everyone happier and more cheerful. Three categories of Movement Breaks are addressed: individual, partner, and those involving objects.
- Incorporating rhythms, chants, and movement stories into the curriculum. This part focuses on two broad categories of teaching strategies consistent with the well-known Total Physical Response (TPR) approach that aids students in their understanding of academic concepts through the use of hand and body movements. The first features short, simple rhythms and chants that help children learn information and transfer it to long-term memory. Movement stories (a newer, lesser-known strategy) enable teachers to harness the power of storytelling to great advantage in our efforts to provide novel, multi-modal instruction to our students. In a movement story children learn, practice, and review important knowledge and skills in a meaningful, engaging context.
Feedback from Previous Students
- “I have not come across someone who values students as much as Steve does.”
- “Steve Reifman is an exceptional instructor. He clearly strives to be an outstanding educator in his elementary classroom and he sets a high standard for us as educators to follow. He should be proud of his continued efforts to improve his own teaching styles and know that his efforts are helping to change the lives of children and educators.”
- “This is the best course I’ve taken. All teachers should be a part of this course. We would solve a lot of problems in education if we began implementing the philosophies of this course.”
- “I will recommend Mr. Reifman to my colleagues.”
- “Should be required for all teachers.”
- “He set a very good example for the kind of teacher I’d like to be.”
- “You come out inspired.”
- “Great class. Mr. Reifman is a very dedicated teacher. He gives me hope for the future.”
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Teaching Tip of the Week
Teaching Kids How to Get "Unstuck" While Writing (Teaching Tip #106)In this Teaching Tip I provide a link to a short YouTube video I created. The video features two effective strategies that help children become “unstuck” while they are writing. The first of these strategies is a familiar one, while the second is less well-known and a bit more novel. Try these ideas in class with your students or at home with your children.
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