Sunday, June 2, 2013

TOP 10 Reasons to Play with Rhyme

SCHOOL'S OUT! Top 10 Series for Summer 

photo of: Top 10+ Reasons to PLAY with Rhyme: KBN Top 10 Series at RainbowsWithinReach 

It's June! Surely that means summer? 
Today is the launch of the TOP 10 Series from KBN
{{{Look here for: Kid Blogger Network's Awesome Pinboard}}}


I've chosen a subject very near and dear to my heart
for my Top 10 List:  
This may very well be your first visit under my rainbow. 
WELCOME! Happy Exploring! ENJOY!

Last Friday I finished my 17th year as a 'music-lady' morphed into a picture book author-illustrator. SEVENTEEN years! I have written and recorded over 100 original songs for children ~~ onto a total of nine albums!   I will launch my 18th year with the biggest opportunity of my professional career: by giving the OPENING KEYNOTE for the international convention of Kindergarten Teachers in Vegas next month! I guess that makes me something of a wordsmith. 

photo of: "I  Teach Kindergarten" VEGAS Conference

Let's rewind. Seventeen years ago I began this adventure. When I got promoted to being 'all-administrator-all-the-time' I resigned from my full-time position at a private center serving young children with special needs. I launched this RWR journey with a vision of bringing the ARTS to children. "Have guitar will travel." 
I started off by singing all of the 'classics.' 

One of my all time early favorites was the familiar "Down by the Bay." Everywhere I went children delighted in writing their own verses: "Have you ever seen a kitten wearing a mitten?"  At that point in time, I already had over a decade of experience observing and directing children in song.

photo of: Writing and Rhyme with Drawing at RainbowsWithinReach

What did they like? What did they sing? 
What were their favorites? 

Call and Response! 

Those were my observations of the previous decade.
Fill in the blank with rhyme? An all-time popular choice!  

photo of: Writing and Rhyme with Drawing at RainbowsWithinReach

Fairly early in this 17 year chapter I began writing my own little 'ditties.' 
So simple, I hesitated to label them as songs. 

Little rhymes with the simplest of melodies: 

photo of: "Goldie Goldfish" Debbie Clement's first dittie!!

That's the first 'dittie' I ever wrote.
It was recorded on my first-ever cassette tape. 
{{{Oh.My.Word. Remember those? I'm 'dating' myself now.}}} 
The tune is the whiny 'childhood chant.'
(Think 'na-na-na-na-boo-boo.') 

Here's a teeny little video version glimpse ~~
from my nationally award winning DVD, Kweezletown.  

That's where it all started. 

When we think of rhyme, we think of songs, fingerplays, chants, poems, lap bounces, patty-cake jingles, skip-rope bits and storytelling classics that have stood the test of time from generation to generation. Now we can add the subcategory of 'rap' to the ever growing list of favorite rhyme genres. 

Mother Goose, summer camp classics, hymns, and lullabies: previous generations used these as common denominators with their children, as their parents had before them. Turns out that all of this RHYME is 'good for you, too.' Academically speaking. 

Don't ya just LUV when the latest brain research catches up with proving that your great-great-grandparents had been on the cutting edge of early childhood development? There are many swings of the education pendulum and I'm delighted to see new enthusiasm and scope brought to the rhyme-classics. 

Last Friday I went as an "Artist in the Schools" for my 10th annual EOY (end-of-year) kindergarten visit to St. Paul Catholic School in Westerville, OH. Every year they surprise me by creating art in response to my ditties. 

photo of: Kindergarten Bulletin Board for Self Esteem and Rhyme at RainbowsWithinReach

Unbeknownst to me, this year, their bulletin board celebrates my dittie: 
ya gotta love me for who I am."
They chose one of my very first 'classics' -- one that is filled stem to stern with rhyme and nonsense to immortalize on the bulletin board.


Each of the nine verses of 'Calamity Sam' rhyme with his name: 
"I run through the kitchen and I spill the jam." 
"When I go outside I let the door slam.
"The bathtub overflowed when I built a dam." 

"Calamity Sam, Calamity Sam....
 ya gotta love me for who I am."

I've gathered 10+ Resources from around the web, 
that explain in depth just WHY rhyme is critical for your child's development. 
Summer is the PERFECT time for parents to be conscientious and direct the play-with-words in the midst of quality family summer fun. 

Weave rhyme into your day while swinging, hiking or returning the library books and it will go from fascination to foundation. Your child will receive a lifetime of benefit.

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."

1. "Learning to recognize rhyming patterns in language is an essential skill for emergent readers. As students manipulate words and sounds to create simple rhymes, they become aware of word and letter patterns that will help them develop decoding skills." {ReadWriteThink: Generating Rhymes|}

2. "Rhyme is found in poetry, songs, and many children's books and games. Most children also love to sing and recite nursery rhymes." {Reading Rockets: Rhyming Games

photo of: Nursery Rhyme Projects in Preschool: Humpty Dumpty Bulletin Board

3. "Rhymers are Readers. Nursery rhymes are fun, children love them, and they provide a warm, nurturing experience between parent and child. Songs and rhymes for young children have been passed down for generations." {KBYUTV: Rhymers are Readers}

4. "One of the easiest phonological awareness tasks is working with rhyming words. There are three stages of difficulty in working with rhyme: hearing words that rhyme; discriminating rhyme, which involves picking out words that rhyme from a list of words; and producing rhyme, which involves naming words that rhyme with a given word." {Reading Tutors Teaching Tips: Phonological Awareness}

photo of: Anchor Chart for Humpty Dumpty (from Kindergarten)

5. "A fun, easy way to provide your students with opportunities to hear and identify rhymes is by regularly reciting nursery rhymes and other simple poems. There are many variations to a traditional choral reading of the poem that you can use. You could recite the poem in a call-response mode."  {Reading First in Virginia. Activities to Develop Phonological Development: Rhyme and Alliteration}

photo of: Kindergarten Study of Nursery Rhymes: Humpty Dumpty Craft Project

6. "Research indicates a strong relationship between early phoneme awareness and later reading success." {Reading Rockets: "How Now Brown Cow"}

7. "Through phonological awareness, children learn to associate sounds with symbols and create links to word recognition and decoding skills necessary for reading." {Phonological Awareness Org: Rhyming Awareness Activities}

8. "A student’s level of phonological awareness at the end of kindergarten is one of the strongest predictors of future reading success, in grade one and beyond........*This “chunking” of sounds makes the reading and spelling process much more effective and ef´Čücient. These letter patterns are based on familiar syllable or rhyme patterns as well as sound clusters and individual sounds." {Hand to Mind Kindergarten: Phonological Awareness, page 118}

9. "We know that phonemic and phonological awareness are equally important and are important earlier in a child’s life. These are key skills for three- and four-year-olds. Helping children understand rhyming is one key skill of phonemic awareness." {Ready for School and Life: Parent News: Phonemic Awareness and Rhyme}

10. "The recognition of rhyme may be the entry point to phonemic awareness development for many children. To be aware that words can have a similar end-sound implies a critical step in metalinguistic understanding - that of ignoring the meaning of a word in order to attend to its internal structure." {Education Oasis -- Phonemic Awareness: What Does it Mean?}

11. "As research and best practice by teachers reveal, Mother Goose is ready and willing to help young learners develop phonemic awareness, one of the first steps on the path to becoming eager, proficient readers." {Professional Development Series: "Nursery Rhymes and Phonemic Awareness"}

I'll be adding more in time to this article. I still need to share about my picture books and their rhyme patterns. Later gator. After while crocodile.

***Before I hit publish, I want you to be aware that I am currently hosting a GIVEAWAY for one of my Author-Illustrator Virtual Visits, a School Skype. Read all about the concept under the tab at the top of this page! Then pop over to "PreK+K Sharing" to enter. Good luck!

Resources from my fellow Kinderland friends: 

"Rhyming Words Freebie Assessment" Teaching with Grace* 
{*perfect to determine how much your wee-wonder is grasping in the rhyme department}
"Rhyme Time Robots Freebie" Mary Lirette's Learning Detectives

From Some of my Fellow KBN Bloggers:


rhyming books and songs for children, rhyming with kids
A Great Collection Already Gathered in the 5 Part Series on Rhyme at "Fun-A-Day" 

"6 Ways to Add Rhymes to Everyday Life" at What We Do All Day
"Rhyming: Picture Book Rhyming Games" at Kids Activities Blog
"Why is Rhyming Important" at The Measured Mom
"How to Teach Your Child to Rhyme" at The Measured Mom
"Shadow Rhyming Freebie" at Royal Baloo + Logi Bear, Too
"Why is Teaching Rhyming Important" at Fun-A-Day
"Introducing Rhyming to Children" at Fun-A-Day
"Rhyming Books and Songs" at Fun-A-Day
"Rhyming Activities for Children" at Fun-A-Day
"Even More Rhyming Activities" at Fun-A-Day
"Incy Wincy Spider Craft" at Nurture Store
"Miss Polly had a Dolly" at The Fairy and the Frog
"Pre-Reading Rhyming Basket" at Carrots are Orange
"Find & Rhyme Gross Motor Game" at No Time for Flash Cards
"Broken Heart Rhyming Game" at School Time Snippets

There will be quite a bit more added here over the hours, days and weeks ahead, but the publication date has arrived and this is what I have right now. I'm so grateful for your pin! That's how people find me.

-- Debbie --
Here's the rest of the week's line-up. 

Sunday ~ This Reading Mama | The Educators' Spin on It | Kitchen Counter Chronicle | Rainbows within Reach | Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers | Monday ~ Train Up a Child Learn as We Go | Housing a Forest | Royal Baloo | Living Montessori Now | Tuesday ~ Toddler Approved | Play Trains! | 3 Dinosaurs | Wednesday ~ The Outlaw Mom | Teach Beside Me | Hands On as We Grow | Thursday ~ JDaniel 4's Mom | All Done Monkey | Fantastic Fun & Learning | KC Edventures | Playing with Words 365 | Friday ~ Teach Mama | The Usual Mayhem | Nature and Play | True Aim Education | Saturday ~ Creative World of Varya | Craftoart | My Buddies and I


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