Archive for January, 2010
Students at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) are working with local elementary teachers to implement the “Reading In Motion” program to help kindergarten students develop their literacy skills by introducing interdisciplinary music activities.
University Park Elementary School in Irvine, California, hosts a Newcomers program that is the recommended program placement for beginning and early intermediate English language learners. Speaking of the need for early attention to language acquisition skills, Associate Professor Liane Brouillete explains:
In an English immersion classroom, English language learners (ELLs) need exposure to oral English and practice in using oral English to learn the language effectively. One of the most critical pre-reading skills addressed in kindergarten is phonemic awareness. This is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate phonemes, the smallest units of sound that can differentiate meaning. Yet, in most classrooms, the children spend much more time completing worksheets or listening to the teacher than on the types of interpersonal communication that build skills in oral English.
With the assistance of UCI undergraduates Jessica Haugen, Jackie Wang, and Rebecca Wang, doctoral student Shelly VanAmburg is helping kindergartners in the Newcomers classroom at University Park Elementary in Irvine to get a head start in learning literacy skills through setting them to music. She and her team are introducing the children in the Newcomers class to Reading In Motion, a program that uses music to teach initial sound fluency, phoneme segmentation, and nonsense word decoding. Music encourages the children to engage in developing these skills through rhythm, tempo, and call-and-response lyrics.
Reading In Motion (RIM) was developed by a non-profit organization founded in 1983 to assist at-risk inner city Chicago, Illinois students in high-poverty neighborhood schools. The sequential curriculum was developed from years of experience working with students. For more information on Reading In Motion, please visit http://readinginmotion.org/.
ArtsBridge America is delighted to be partnering with Reading In Motion to introduce the kindergarten curriculum in classrooms across the country. The multi-campus initiative involves the University of Delaware, Utah State University, Lawrence University of Wisconsin, and the University of California, Irvine.
In Spring 2009, a 7-hour workshop was offered at the ArtsBridge America conference, held at UC Irvine, for university students interested in learning the Reading in Motion teaching methods. The UCI team at University Park finished their first term of implementation in December 2009.
For the 2009-2010 academic year, Jessica Haugen, Jackie Wang, and Rebecca Wang have been appointed Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) Fellows and will receive a $500 stipend in support of their research project to be carried out in conjunction with their University Park activities: “Reading In Motion: Using Music and Dance to Teach Phonemic Awareness.” Dr. Brouillette will be serving as their advisor.