My students need a wireless listening center and 25 Weekly Reader subscriptions to expand their knowledge of the world.
In order to give individual attention to students, I rotate them through centers. A listening center will allow some to hear that week's story on CD while I teach others reading skills. A source like Weekly Reader will help them expand their reading skills and their knowledge of current events.
Our school is an elementary school (Pre-K - 5th).
Half of our population are students whose families have come from other countries. Many of the parents don't speak English. Because of this, there is little reading (in English) in the home. My students are eager to learn and would respond well to new ways of learning. Helping them increase their fluency will boost their self-esteem and their desire to excel.
Because students learn best in small groups, I plan to assign my students to groups of six. With four groups, I can have one group on computers doing math, one group working on Weekly Reader, one group with me reading a leveled reader, and one group hearing that week's selection at the listening center. The following day, the groups rotate to the next center. This setting helps students learn self-control, time management, and responsibility for completing work. They also learn how to get along and work together within their centers.
With ESL students, there are so many words they don't understand--words like sunbonnet, covered wagon, and Pony Express.
Being able to work with a few at a time lets me explain any words that are confusing. (They are more apt to ask in a small group.)
Teaching this way is differentiation of a different kind. Unique settings need creative interventions. These tools will impact these students' learning for years to come.
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