Are you into singing or rapping? Both are great for learning!

I believe wholeheartedly in the power of music to enhance speech and language learning. Whether you are trying to remember your phone number, memorize 5 facts for a history test, or learn how to spell a complicated word, attaching those skills with a song can be a huge help. The same is true for young children learning to talk. Music is a learning tool.


In my journey of writing songs, I discovered that some children would cover their ears when hearing people sing. This was certainly a frustrating situation when I was trying to create songs that would be helpful to their communication skills. In watching them, though, they seemed to tolerate spoken words that were put to rhythm and music more than singing. That was the beginning of my life as a “rapper!” Please keep in mind that I use the term, “rapping,” very loosely. ????


When you listen to song samples of my songs, you will hear that some are sung and some are spoken, but all contain simple, catchy rhythm and melody in the background. I know that “rapping” may have a totally different definition than I am using here, but for lack of a better word, I call my songs with spoken words, “raps.”


Let me give you an example. Go to my song sample page of Imitation Exploration Set 1. The song, Baby Blowing Bubbles, is a simple song that is sung and emphasizes vocabulary associated with blowing bubbles. Kids love this song! In my “rap” style, you can go to the “Hi Song” and hear a distinct rhythm and melody but with spoken words emphasizing 2 word phrases. Both songs are loved by kids, but both have a distinctly different style.


I challenge all of you to create your own songs or raps to teach your children or yourself a skill that you find complex. You may be surprised at how much easier it is to learn.

The Parents of our Parent-Teacher Organization Are SPECIAL!!

Thinking about parents – As I get ready for a new school year, my mind often goes, not only to my little students, but their parents as well. I thought I would share something I wrote for our Early Childhood Special Education PTO defining the word, “special”.
I have been a staff representative for the Early Childhood Special Education PTO for about 20 years now. You would think that I would move on to other committees in our program, but none have moved me like the PTO. So I stay and continue to be blessed by the dedicated parents who give their time to make our ECSE program a better place.


Parents of children with “special” needs are truly very special in their own right. In my opinion, the word “special”, as it is used to describe our students in ECSE, does not equate to something that is “wrong” with our kids. Quite to the contrary, I see “special” as being exactly that. The children in our program are so uniquely special in the ways that they learn, accomplish new goals, and tackle new activities. But if you are looking for other people who are “special”, look at the parents of our students.
I looked up the word “special” in an online dictionary and some of the synonyms that came up were: superior, exceptional, distinctive, extraordinary, out of the ordinary, unique, and different.

Hey There Educators, Who Needs You More?

I was sitting in a staff development workshop one day. As I sat there, I began drifting off, thinking about our students and then the teachers who have classrooms of children. I asked myself this question: Which child in your class needs you more?

The quiet one? The loud one? The crying one? The laughing one? The artistic one? The mechanical one? The budding writer? The amazing builder? The one mis-behaving? The one withdrawn? The parents who are always there? The parents who are never there? The child on free and reduced lunch? The child who has everything and needs to learn that sharing is an amazing virtue? The one who causes no trouble but gets lost in the shuffle? The one who gets noticed by everyone but usually gets negative attention? The one who can’t read? The one who reads well above age level? The one who never jumps to be first in line? The one who is always first in line? The one who gets bullied? The one who bullies others?

This list can be as long as there are children in the world. Every child is different and comes with a bag FULL of needs. The answer is that every child needs you more. It just depends on the day and the situation. It depends on the teachable moment at the time and who needs to learn it. It depends on who is struggling and who may be able to help a friend who is struggling. It just depends, doesn’t it?

Teaching is a mind boggling job. I have the utmost respect for all educators and especially those who teach a classroom. Best wishes for a new year!

I wrote a song while running today. It’s to the tune of Camptown Races (an excellent song for all sorts of speech and language practice.) This may help you as you teach your little ones this week or next. Have fun! The kids you teach are very special. Give them everything you’ve got!

We Are All in School Today

We are all in school today. Hooray! Hooray!

We are all in school today. Yes!!

!! Hooray!!!!

(repeat those two lines)

Some came in a car.

Some came in a bus.

Did anyone come in a plane? NO, NOT US!!!

Who all came to school today? Jacob, Kelsey, Erik, Sam

Who else came to school today? Robin and Phillip, too.

Some came in a car.

Some came in a bus.

Did anyone come in a boat? NO, NOT US!!!