My students are a diverse bunch, ranging in age from 5-9 years. They come from over six different countries and three continents. Many are coming to school and hearing English spoken for the first time. Others were born in the United States but are experiencing academic language for the first time. My students are very curious and are quickly learning conversational English just by being in school and making friends.
The use of visuals is a powerful tool for comprehension.
Through the use of a multisensory approach, students are able to comprehend at a much higher level. I would like to build on their knowledge. Visuals provide access to understanding and help to create meaning. It also helps to make a task more meaningful for my students. If you came to our school you would most likely find us singing, reciting nursery rhymes, carving a pumpkin or using manipulatives to solve problems.
Research on the effectiveness of using visuals in classrooms shows that it can improve learning. Visuals help the teacher to clarify concepts and enable her to make learning more concrete, interesting and engaging for students.
Using visuals increase motivation and help students maintain attention.
As my students are second language learners, providing pictures or photographs helps uplift their understanding. I plan on using the color printer with my Kindergarten children to make individual alphabet books. I will print each child their own alphabet book to teach the letters and sounds of the English alphabet and use their classmate's photos to teach letter and sounds. If there are no students with that letter of the alphabet, students will be allowed to choose something that represents that letter to help them learn.
In First grade, I plan on using the color printer to help with documenting language experiences. I plan on taking pictures of students teaching other students how to do something. Then the students will use those photos to create "How to Books". These books will be shared with each other as well as their families when we have an author's tea. Students will be practicing speaking, listening, reading as well as writing. The printer will be used with my second-grade students to capture their math work. They are creating real-world math problems and giving them to their classmates to solve. I will document their work and then create a class problem-solving book.
Having a color printer will increase the level of student engagement, motivation and interest in learning for my students as well as for myself! :)
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