This afternoon I had a chance to talk to two kindergarten teachers. One is a first year teacher; the other has taught three or four years. Both are very young teachers compared to this gray-headed old lady. For the first time in over a year, team meetings were not all test-data compilation time. We talked about students and I tried to shed some light on the behavior of young English learners. The little boy who disrupts is really an outgoing child who wants to communicate but doesn't have the English skills to play with his classmates. I suggested that the teacher help him with short social phrases like 'let's play', that will enable him to play instead of disrupt. We talked about how level 1 ELs need to hear others model new language, so putting them in mixed language groups helps them.
One boy seems not to pay attention. My thoughts were that he may get tired of long stretches of a language he doesn't understand and then drifts off. I shared backward build up as a way to get ELs to repeat longer sentences. I suggested 'yes' or 'no' questions for level 1 students. The next step is to offer a choice in the question: "Is this a cat or a dog?" In my class the kindergartners like songs to learn new words, stories with very few words, or repetitive stories. In nine weeks some have made lots of progress. Others are just beginning to tune in. It was a very productive exchange.
I've just got to share the good stuff I read.
I love to read. I read every chance I get. If I read something really good, I want to share it with my friends and co-workers. I make copies of magazine articles, read aloud to my students, tell others about good books I'm reading, and keep a book with me at all times.
I love teaching and learning new things. I need a place to share some of the lessons and what my students and I learn. Since my teaching situation is different from everyone else's in my school, I would like to tell all of you in the blog-o-sphere about these great lessons.
Feel free to share what you are reading, teaching and learning with us in the comments.