Friday, February 19, 2010

Pick me! Pick me!!

One thing we try to notice with our ELLs is their level of participation in their classrooms. We try to stay rather connected to the mainstream classroom to make our time as meaningful to them as possible. For instance, one time, we pre-taught the concept of similies during ESL. The very next day, one of our teachers (Imelda) was helping in their classroom, where they just happened to be learning about similies. Sweet! Imelda was so excited to see which kid would pick it up first that they already knew the concept. Guess how many did. None. That's right. None. Zero. Not a one. Zippo. (You get the picture.) You can imagine the talking to we had with our students the next day. It went something like this:

Me: So I hear you talked about something in writing yesterday.
Kids: We did?
Me: Yeah, something that you already knew about. Something that starts with an "s."
Kids: blank stares
Me: Similies!
Kids: incredulously We did?!

You see, within the stream of consciousness that comes out of our (teachers') mouths, ELLs have a difficult time picking the most important words to catch along the way.

Back to the main point. Our kids are extremely quiet in their classrooms. It's as though they wish to remain invisible. After all, it's easier that way; you can't be wrong.

But this mind set is not one that we tolerate in our classroom. And because of this and because of giving students comprehensible input, this is what we get:

I promise these photos were not staged (Karyn and Imelda can vouch for me!). This is how they are every day! They want to answer, because they know the answer, because we give them input they can understand.

*Sigh* My heart gets so overwhelmed with happiness that I absolutely must capture these moments on camera. I love them!

1 comment:

  1. Definitely not staged. Our ELLs are always eager to participate in class.