What do you do when people around you use lingo that you do not understand? I shut down and my mind drifts. This is what it is like for many students when they hear the language of science, especially English language learners. Help me bring the science language alive for my students!
We are a public school in Texas and my 7th grade classes are large.
If you peek through the window, you will see diversity. This year, I have over half of our school's English language learners in my classes. These are students who are just beginning to grasp the English language and are also expected to firmly grasp the language of science as well. This is a language that is foreign to all of my students, but can be exceptionally challenging for those who do not have a fair understanding of English. What I am seeing is a dire need for students to build a foundation of complex vocabulary so they can fully understand the broad concepts in science, many of which are very abstract. Many students come to us not understanding words like "flawed" or "decrease." They stumble when they see these words on a test or assignment. So many are dedicated, and try so hard. They want to be successful, and are willing to learn but they need the extra boost.
Students will be able to map out concepts in large groups on chart paper. They will then be able to critique each other and add information to be displayed in class. We will be creating lapbooks, a creative visual summary of concepts and vocabulary. The folders become a book of their learning with their work, drawings, foldables, and visual vocabulary all neatly glued in. We will be able to create interactive word walls that students can manipulate and use to prioritize and visualize science vocabulary. The words will be laminated so they can be used again from year to year. The third part of my mission involves student engagement. During lab activities, each student will wear a lanyard with a specific role. This will help the students to stay engaged and not feel so lost. Having a special job to do gives students a sense of accountability and takes away some of the confusion of a complex lab. The lanyards will also be used for roles during games and activities.
My students struggle with the science.
The concepts taught are advanced and require much attention to the language. This will benefit each of my students, but will be especially important to my Language Learners. It can be very frustrating and discouraging to be thrown into a classroom with little command of one language, much less adding another. These resources will help me to help them. Thank you for your consideration.Read More
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