Five people from different environments, three are from elementary: one foreign language teacher, librarian, and kindergarten, while the other two are from secondary science and administration.
We decided all of us would focus on each line of inquiry, which are:
- What role does the physical environment play in language learning? (Daniel)
- What role does the social environment play in language learning? (Jonathan)
- How can we be authentic role models? (Rachel)
- How can we foster student ownership over their learning environment? (Sara, Theany)
Half of my Grade 5 students just started their Khmer language class for less than 1 month ago. It was quite challenging to differentiate the learning so that all of them could develop their skills in a short time. 15 helpful strategies for ELLs, which I found in the SPELTAC resources, lead me trying something new and this is what I want to share.
I started my lesson by providing the students flashcards and corresponding vocabulary words. Then, I asked them to scaffold in the group of three or four students. The small group of students helped each other and shared their answers before presenting their understanding to the entire class. This strategy helped beginner students to gain their confidence and to feel more comfortable to raise their hand, to catch up as they actively participate in the whole class activities.
Before our PD day I joined strategies group but on Friday, I changed to environment group.
What made me interested in environment group is the sentence “create an environment in which students feel comfortable to take risk in their language learning”.
As a foreign language teacher, I really want to encourage my students to take risk by using their new language out of their classroom. I am passionate about the way to create an environment for my students to feel comfortable and to take risk.
During our PD day we created inquiry questions:
- What role does the physical environment play in language learning?
- What role does the social environment play in language learning?
- How can we authentic role models?
- How can we foster student ownership over their learning environment?
I am looking forward to our group meeting together soon. We have six Wednesday that we come together and then we present our final production to the staff.
In my classroom I created one board and wanted to have my students put their questions about the new unit on it. I have not used it yet because I was wondering how can I help my students to think more deeply about their questions and connect what they learn to real life. I was thinking how could I do that? I was inspired when I read the blog on the flipboard magazine about how to help learners develop their own essential questions.
My name is Theany and I lived in Cambodia all my life. I am getting excited about SPELTAC.