literacy music phonological awareness


I am excited to report that I have been published in the 2015 edition of imagine, an online magazine for sharing evidence-based information related to early childhood music therapy!

The 2014 issue included a book review of my Alphabet Stew and Chocolate Too book. More info about the book review here.  In 2014, I also submitted an article titled "Rhythm, Rhyme and Remarkable Repetition," which was recorded as a podcast per the request of the imagine editorial team.  More info about the podcast here.  

While a podcast in imagine was definitely an honor, I am excited to report that in the 2015 issue, my submission was chosen for the “ideas” section, personally a favorite of mine as it always includes intervention ideas that can be implemented immediately. 

Click here for a direct link to my article—Dot to Dot Drumming:  Teaching Early Literacy Skills—on p. 106.

Dot to Dot Drumming is a fun and interactive way to teach left to right tracking as well as sentence segmentation and word substitution.  In simple terms, this just means being able to tap a drum one time for each word in a left to right sequence—segmenting a sentence into words.  By changing one word in the sentence (I see a dog.  I see a cat.), the meaning of the sentence changes and you are also able to target the skills of word substitution and comprehension. 

Including drums makes a fine motor and visual (and typically seated) experience into one that includes movement and gross motor skills.  Tapping the drums in a left to right sequence also provides timing cues for verbalizations and improves the ability to articulate a full sentence.

The imagine article includes a link to a 9 page free download that includes word/picture cards for the “I see a cat” sentence as well as a more complex sentence: “The cat sat on/in/under the table.” 

To involve more children and emphasize the skill of comprehension, large versions of each visual are included so the animal can be physically moved on or under the table, for example.  I prefer to attach magnets to the back of my visuals so that they can be easily manipulated on a dry erase board.

literacy music sentence substitution


If you find that your students are ready for a greater variety beyond cat, dog, mouse, table, couch and basket (included in the free download), there is a 20 page expanded set of visuals available here.  The expanded set also includes the following: 

  • Large and small pictures for cat, dog, mouse, table, couch, basket, chair, umbrella, box, rug, and bed in addition to a visual representation for in, on, and under. 
  • Additional word cards to fade use of picture cues for sight words.
  • Word cards for sentence variations that include we, you, your, I, like, to, a/an, is.
  • Large print word cards for students who are visually impaired or to create a duplicate sentence in front of a classroom.

For the months of October and November, I am offering this resource to you for half price.  Simply enter THANKS as a coupon code and this resource is yours for only $5.  It will arrive as an immediate download.

As always, I would love to hear about your experiences using this resource for improving literacy skills.  You can email me directly or leave a comment below.

Happy drumming and learning!

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