Effective Learning Starts With Effective Organization!
My students need in-house binders to organize and effectively utilize the notes, handouts, and tools they create throughout the year without having to spend valuable instructional time retrieving these items from their locker.
My 8th grade Spanish for Spanish Speakers class is very unique. Students in this class have been part of a Dual-Language immersion program since they were in kindergarten. In this program, students have developed strong literacy skills and language proficiency in both English and Spanish, paving the way for them to become bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural.
In the Dual-Immersion program, students have the unique opportunity not only to gain valuable language skills but to use the language skills that they already have to teach their peers.
It's widely known that teaching a skill is the best way to master that skill and these students have been able to do that because of the student composition. Half of the students in the class are native Spanish-speakers (Spanish is spoken at home) and native English-speakers (English is spoken at home). As they've grown they have continually exchanged knowledge and improved both their English and Spanish skills.
At the middle school level, the focus is on building Spanish vocabulary and refining Spanish grammar and fluidity. I use a variety of media-rich resources to create a fully immersive Spanish experience every day for a full 40 minutes using videos, songs, literature, and debate.
In 8th grade, students are still learning executive functioning skills that allow them to thrive in the real world. Organization is a skill my 8th graders need in order to succeed and survive high school.
These binders allow students to organize and effectively utilize the handouts, notes, and tools they've created throughout the year without having to retrieve these materials from their locker.
The binders stay in the classroom and are ready to go as soon as students walk in, allowing them to start learning immediately. Each binder contains tab dividers that allows them to access any tool quickly and at a moment's notice.
Maximixing instructional time: This binder system saves very valuable time in class that lasts only 40 minutes. Transitions are quick and class begins as soon as the bell rings. Students use these 40 minutes to build vocabulary, construct phrases, recall grammar rules, verbally express complex ideas, all in a second language, and all while taking direction in Spanish. There is little time to fumble over where their notes or grammar sheets are.
Teaching executive function and organizational skills: These binders not only maximize instructional time, they also teach students valuable organizational and study skills. At the end of each unit, students are responsible for pulling out any resources from their binder they feel will help them on their unit test. Having an organized binder full of everything we've gone over allows them to see the value of keeping materials organized, to see the value of what they're learning day to day, and to exercise the studying skills that are integral to the success of every life-long learner.
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