I teach Kindergarten in a Dual Language school in East Oakland, CA where students are learning Spanish and English in two different classrooms throughout the day. We are both a Title 1 school where 100% of students receive free or reduced price lunch, and a Newcomer school, meaning many students are new to the U.S. within 3 years. My students are predominantly native Spanish-speakers, but many speak Indigenous languages originating from Central America.
My students receive content in English with me and then rotate to another classroom to learn Spanish, so having visuals are essential, especially since many don't yet speak either language.
They are amazing sponges that soak up everything they see and are able to translate it into verbal speech. On the first day of school I read a book called Every Little Thing written by Cedella Marley, singing the words as they sound in the song. At first, only my English speakers were singing along. Now that I've reread it throughout the week all my students, including non-English or Spanish speakers, can sing the words.
The carpet is where the bulk of important things happen throughout the day in a Kindergarten classroom. I will use this A Place For Everyone carpet to assign each student a square of their own, creating a sense of ownership as well as reinforcing boundaries. I can also more thoughtfully pair students up to talk to each other- encouraging quieter kids to speak more, and optimize student talk in the target language.
This carpet makes it easier for students to predict their day, get used to their routine, and feel comfortable and confident at school.
It also serves as reinforcement of primary colors, team building for transitions, and a life-sized math aid for 1-10 counting.
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