Thursday, April 28, 2011

A New Challenge!

Two new, non-Engish speaking students are moving into our school system and my classroom next week. I'm very excited about the challenge, and thinking about how we'll help these girls feel comfortable while they learn.

As soon as I get the paperwork, I'll send out an email for volunteers.  We have a mom at our school who speaks the same language, and is eager to help out.  I also have a couple of dual-language speakers in my class who speak the same language so I'll enlist their help with making signs and thinking of ways that we can all help the students understand.

I'll also think about some ways that we can have a two-way language learning opportunity happening in the classroom.  I know that the experienced language-teacher, parent volunteer will teach the English speakers her native language, and help the non-English speakers learn English.  I've also asked the tech integration specialist for a couple of additional iPads or notebooks to give the girls one-to-one access so they can access Google translate for "conversations" with other students, and research in their own language that can be easily translated and read in English using the computer.

What else? If we have time, we may begin a whole study of the girls' native country.  Since it's the end of the year, and we've met most of our goals, I think I'll be able to carve out some time for this teachable geography moment.  I'm sure I'll be blogging more about this new challenge.  Please let me know if you have any helpful ideas.