My students come from many different countries across the globe. They speak multiple languages and have some incredible life stories that I love to listen to as I learn about each of them. Their experiences are both incredible and harrowing, and yet we all come together in the same classroom to find comfort, education, a positive environment, and unique learning experiences.
What makes these students so special is that they all have something to teach each other, and they always have something to teach me.
Each year, I learn a great deal about my students and about the experiences they've had and the places they've been. In a world where new technology and traditional education is always at our fingertips, it's meaningful for me as a teacher to expose my students to special opportunities, unique trips, and a comfortable setting where learning is evident and expected, and students will remain engaged so that we can try new things and always remain successful!
Many of the students in my classes are disengaged from school for many reasons. One of the reasons is that they are intimidated by difficult lessons and readings in school because they speak many languages other then English. Most of my students are English Language Learners and are sometimes fearful of not understanding what is going on in class. They may choose to put their head down in class or fool around, or skip class or skip school all together. Our need for differentiated texts has become more necessary since many of my students don't speak English and need to be supported and taught in different languages.
I think it's very meaningful to provide these reluctant and disengaged students with books that they can use in class in order to build connections and create personalization by providing them what they need in Spanish, their native language.
This also creates the knowledge that their teachers care about them and their needs and will encourage them to come to school and to class and become engaged!
My hope with these books is that students can work together or independently and increase their comprehension while also listening to read alouds in English to become fluent in English as well. Having these options in class will build self-confidence and turn disengaged students into engaged students on track to success!
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