Sunday, July 16, 2017

Innovation is Essential for ESL Students

I often think about how important it is for all of my students to have access to technology, skills that develop innovation and creative thinking, and real life problem solving skills. In the article I read this week it talked about using a program called Launch to have a specials class in the six day cycle. When I think about my L2 students I think about how real world problem solving, and more student centered learning would really enhance their language and their confidence as English speakers in the classroom.

The best part about a STEM class like this is that it ties in all of the other content areas. Now students have the ability to problem solve and question in a way that is meaningful. Despite if the classroom teacher is comfortable, every student it getting it every six days. There are some who say that doing it in isolation is not the way to go, but I think it is a great start. Plus, as classroom teachers our spaces and materials can be limited. What if this was an extra way to go above and beyond the curriculum to enrich the students’ experiences in the school. I am wondering if this will make its way to our school! It sounds really neat!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Coding speaks in all al

I was extremely excited this week as I began reading. I found a quick article and video about using coding and robotics with L2 students in the classroom. Coding has been a passion of mine for a few years and one thing that I have noticed is that girls and minorities are grossly underrepresented in the technology field. As a female and an inclusion teacher for L2 students I knew that I wanted to make sure that all students in my classroom had the opportunity to code and learn about technology. In my small town our migrant population does not always have access to devices and internet. There was a clear digital divide happening in my classroom and I wanted to address it. During small groups I would pull my students who had less experience with technology and the language and give them extra supports. I often taught them little tricky to boost their confidence.

As the weeks rolled on I noticed I was hearing them speak more, take control of the robots, and working with their peers. It was a hands on activity and the coding language spoke to all of them. As a class we really built a great team unit and I feel that it brought us closer together. The robots could be programmed to speak and sometimes they would speak in English and sometimes they would program them to speak in Spanish. It was amazing and heartwarming to see them come together and celebrate their diversity.