My students need miniature objects representing the sounds of the alphabet and teaching tubs to help them learn the different sounds letters make.
Imagine how it would feel to begin elementary school if you didn't speak the same language as your teacher and your classmates of if the alphabet you learned at home was different than the alphabet taught in school.
I work with a small population of English Language Learners at an public charter school in Missouri that primarily serves students from low-income families.
My students are in kindergarten through sixth grade. These students, who speak a language other than English at home, represent less than 5 percent of the school's total enrollment. That means my students — who this year speak either Spanish or Swahili at home — might enter school as the only child in their class that doesn't speak English natively. He or she might be the only child in a class that can't count to 10 in English, or the only child that doesn't understand a teacher's directions on the first day of school.
My English Language Learners, even those in the upper elementary grades, need basic instruction in phonics to help them develop the English proficiency to succeed in school and perform at the same level as their native English-speaking peers.
I would be able to provide much-needed and quick reinforcement of phonics and letter-sound relationships to my students with the help of Alphabet and Vowel Sounds Teaching Tubs from Lakeshore Learning. These tubs are filled with miniature objects representing the sounds of each letter of the alphabet. For example, the "A" bucket holds a plastic apple and the "Y" bucket holds a yo-yo.
English Language Learners benefit from seeing examples of the vocabulary words they are learning. This helps them connect new English words to objects and concepts they already understand in their native language. For example, it's much easier to help my students understand the meaning of the word "boat" by showing them a model of a boat, rather than by trying to define it in words. The Alphabet Tubs provide examples of dozens of vocabulary words that I can use to help my students connect the English names for objects to what they already know in their native languages.
Donations to this project will help my students develop their English communication abilities, a skill that is essential if they are to become productive U.S.
citizens. This project will benefit students throughout all grades levels and in many classrooms in my school. I'll take the portable Alphabet Tubs with me as I travel among classrooms to support different students. These resources are also durable and reusable. They will benefit students both this year and for many years to come!
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