Reading for Meaning is at the heart of Phil's program on Reading Comprehension Strategies. Through the use of written text, interactive games, songs, and sound stories, Phil engages students in the process of strategic reading by: activating their prior knowledge, visualizing the story, looking for clues, asking questions, and practicing prediction. Phil also shows the students a number of fun activities and games that connect their knowledge of sequence, prediction and inference to everyday life. Finally, he brings it all together with his new version of the classic Rudyard Kipling tale that explains how the elephant got its trunk—complete with African drums and rhythms, interactive questions, story mapping ideas, and think-aloud games!
Science and Technology
Phil’s dynamic new presentation on math, science and technology integrates hands-on experiments and multimedia tools that make learning fun and engaging! Phil shows how energy and matter can be converted into multiple forms. Using a FOSS sound cannon, he demonstrates how motion and mechanical energy is converted into sound. Next, he shows how sound is transmitted over a beam of light using a flashlight and a solar cell! After that, he focuses on electricity and simple circuits. A highlight of the presentation is when several student volunteers join hands to make an electrical circuit that plays music! Phil uses technology tools that enhance the learning of core subjects. During his presentation, he incorporates sound and graphics in a multimedia format. He also features inexpensive apps that work on an iPad and are readily available. Lastly, Phil has created a large collection of multimedia web activities for your students to use as a follow-up to this program!
Connecting Language Arts, History and Culture
Phil's new multimedia program blends the Common Core English Language Arts standards with popular media, American History, and language from diverse cultures. Phil starts with an entertaining multimedia presentation of popular cartoon and movie phrases that exemplify the characteristics of fluent and expressive reading. He then shows the students how to articulate their own ideas clearly and persuasively using seven key strategies. These reading and listening strategies are designed to guide the students through the conventions of oral reading and effective communication. He shows them how to use expression and punctuation for effect, and how to communicate their ideas precisely, by grouping words into phrases. In addition, he integrates a musical approach to language, by connecting reading and speaking to the musical elements of pitch, tempo, and dynamics. Next, Phil applies these key strategies to excerpts from two famous historical speeches from President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. With each example, the students hear how these great communicators used expression and phrasing to convey meaning and create shared understanding. The students listen first, and then read along with these two skillful speakers — modeling their reading styles and internalizing the strategies they used. Lastly, Phil connects the Common Core standards on the Craft and Structure of poetry, to music and rhythms from Spain, Mexico, and Cuba. A highlight of the program is when Phil teaches the kids how students in Ghana use meter, verse, and rhythm to communicate phrases effectively in their language, called Twi. Your students learn how to pronounce Twi phrases with proper expression and intonation, and then see and hear how these phrases are integrated in schools throughout Ghana
Know Your Math Facts
Phil’s new program features Rhythm Mathematics—his new standards-based activities that use West African drum rhythms to teach and reinforce math facts: doubles & doubles plus one, skip counting, multiplication facts, and fractions and ratios. He presents both primary and intermediate assemblies, and tailors each program so that it is grade-level appropriate. Phil also provides a free site license CD so your school can continue to reinforce math facts with these exciting rhythms throughout the year. During the assembly, your students will also participate in a Native American acorn grinding song based on repeating mathematical patterns, and will learn how the ancient Greek mathematician, Pythagoras, used ratios and fractions to make music. Finally, they will hear how fractions are represented in music from Indonesia, Mexico, Africa, China, and the Caribbean.
Family Activity Nights
Invite your families back to school for this wonderful hands-on activity night. The kids build their own didgeridoos, toad croakers, bee buzzers, and duck quackers, and then join together for an interactive Vietnamese musical story about a very special toad. Phil also shows parents how they can help their kids become better readers by playing comprehension games at home. Finally, they finish off the night with a sound effects concert featuring some of Phils favorite old time radio broadcasts!
Invite your families back to school for this fun-filled evening featuring hands-on instrument making, and music from the Aztec and Incan empires! Students learn how to count ancient Aztec rhythms using pie fractions, and design pan pipes with the fractional lengths used by the Incas. The students build their own maracas and panpipes — based on fractions of length used by the Incas. Then they join together for a dynamic concert featuring ancient Aztec rhythms using pie fractions.
#3: Math and
Invite your families back for a fun and entertaining musical presentation on the math and science. Phil guides everyone through an enriching series of hands-on FOSS experiments and Exploratorium displays. Then, the students apply their knowledge by making rhythm and string instruments and joining together for an exciting concert featuring Dragon Dance Drumming from China!
#4: Reading in
Get ready to move on this one! Reading in Rhythm begins with an entertaining exploration of the rhythms of language through shared reading, movement, and a variety of Caribbean, African, and Latin American instruments. Next, the students make their own Peruvian rain sticks, African stamping tubes, and Latin American guiros. After everyone finishes, we all join together for a dynamic concert of rhythm and shared reading. In addition, Phil covers the major elements of how parents can read with their children and encourage their children to read through a number of helpful handouts and displays based on Jim Treleases classic, The Read-Aloud Handbook..
#5: Rhythm and Math
At the Rhythm and Math Night, the kids learn how to make musical instruments with geometric shapes and fractions, and apply their knowledge to build origami poppers and tube drums. Then, they perform popular hand drum rhythms from Nigeria, Guinea, and Liberia, and join together to form a giant drum circle featuring rhythms from around the world!
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