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With the class in which Jim (my favorite young rock star) is a student, I’ve been playing a card game in which three students come up, I show them a picture of a new phonics word and they flip over one card that’s on the ground. Some of the cards have letters – and if they turn over the same letter as the beginning letter of the phonics picture, their team gets a point. If they flip over a card that has a silly picture or word, they need to do whatever the silly picture or word is telling them to do. For example, we have a card with a picture of a hand that means, “Give Miss Eliza a high five!” We have a card with a picture of a monkey that means, “Dance like a monkey back to your chair!” Etc. Loads of fun.

One card has musical notes and says, “SING,” and if a kid turns it over, it means they have to sing a song for the class. Jim, every single time we play, technically cheating but in a way I refuse to reprimand, turns cards over *until* he finds this card – his favorite. Even though he’s been hunting for the card and the opportunity to sing to his class, he always gets shy and requires a little coaxing. He holds my hand, looks at his feet a bit, and breaks into what I might call a Taiwanese folk song – in the Taiwanese language, which is no longer widely spoken. His classmates love it. He loves it. I super-love it. I don’t know how many people in the room can understand it, but it’s great for everyone.

Let your students sing! Beautiful things will happen!

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