This is my first year teaching in a Dual Language program and, to be honest, I was a little nervous. With all the “requirements”, student movement and team-teaching it seemed really overwhelming. Now, that we’ve settled in and the kids have learned the routines, though, it isn’t overwhelming at all! And, so far, my kids are really loving it!
So here’s how it works for us:
I am an ESL teacher and I teach in English only. I am paired with a Bilingual teacher who teaches in Spanish. Our homeroom classes are made up of both native Spanish and native English speakers. I teach Language Arts in English to the native English speakers (13 kids – woohoo!) from 8 to 10am. Then, the kids switch classes (some of them) and I teach Math to my homeroom kids in English. **Ideally, the program calls for Math to be taught and supported in English ONLY. However, I have some students who currently speak VERY little English so here’s how it really goes down: My lesson and whole-group instruction is in English, but I sometimes support small group or partner work in Spanish.
Later, the classes switch rooms and I teach Math again to the other homeroom class in English. My homeroom kids go to the other teacher for Science in Spanish.
The kids also get English and Spanish support through the Language of the Day. Transitions, lunch, recess, lining up, welcome and dismissal, calendar time and restroom/water breaks are done in Spanish on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and English on Tuesday/Thursday.
Here are some things we’ve created in the classroom to help support Dual Language:
Student Generated Alphabets in English (blue) and Spanish (red):
Working with a Buddy Chart:
Classroom Labels in English and Spanish – to download, click here!
Colored Poms Labeled in English & Spanish:
Classroom Library Boxes Labeled in English and Spanish – to download click here:
So far, my kids and I are loving Dual Language! The kids are excited to work together and learn in two languages and I’m learning too! There have been a few kinks as far as grade books and conferences, but so far we’ve managed to work all those out with little/no complications. The native-English students are already learning (and USING) some Spanish and there is a real sense of community between the two classrooms. It really has made all the difference for the kids and has been fun for me, too! I can’t wait to see the progress my kids make this year!!
Coming soon, our new baby – Hendrix the Guinea Pig!! He’s coming home to our classroom next week!