Thursday, October 28, 2010

Teacher Spotlight

We've shared with our teachers the importance of allowing students the opportunity to use their native language to better understand new concepts. Here are some quotes we shared with them:

Why Native Language Support Works
“Learning most effectively occurs in the language that the learner knows best. The skills and understanding acquired in the first language are accessible to a learner in the second language.”
When Should They Use Each Language?
“If your focus is higher order thinking skills or prior knowledge connections, EL students should probably work together in their native languages. If you want EL students to practice using some of their new English language structures and vocabulary, you should pair them with native English speakers.”
Brooks, Kathryn, & Karathanos, Katya. (2009). Building on the cultural and linguistic capital of English learner (EL) students. Multicultural Education, 46-50.

One 3rd grade teacher (Sara Hawblitzel) really took it to heart.

 Her students were learning about classifying creatures according to whatever different features they could come up with. Then they would be learning about specific classifications within the animal kingdom. Here's the list that some of our shared students came up with:

Needless to say, I was so proud, as were the students to be allowed to use their strength (Spanish) to understand something new! Thanks, Mrs. Hawblitzel!

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