Day 23: Write about one way that you “meaningfully” involve the community in the learning in your classroom.
For a while now I have been meaning to blog about having High School Spanish students teach lessons at the elementary. Update another post about Elementary Lessons
I believe that implementing such a program has the following benefits:
- High school students reinforce basic language concepts be teaching them to others.
- Elementary students are exposed to Spanish at a younger age.
- Relationships are built between teachers at different buildings in the district.
- High school students are able to act as positive mentors and role models to elementary students.
- Parents are excited that their elementary students are coming home speaking to them in Spanish.
- The foreign language department is seen positively through the eyes of the community for providing this service.
- Administration is happy that all of the above is happening, when there is no budget for FLES programs in their schools.
How Elementary Spanish Lessons Work at My School This Year
- The teacher contacts the elementary school teachers at the beginning of the school year with the proposed plan to see if there is any interest.
- Spanish IV plans and teaches all lessons, under the guidance of the Spanish teacher.
- The elementary is conveniently located across the street, and there is only one section of each grade 2-5.
- They teach 30 minute lessons in groups of 2 or 3 high school students
- 2nd & 3rd grade 2x/month
- 4th & 5th grade 1x/month (due to scheduling)
- All classes are covering the same basic topics each week, with variation based on age
Other Elementary Spanish Lessons Models I Have Used
- Having Spanish Club Teach Lessons
- The last 2 years, all high school students had a 30 minute homeroom before lunch. This is the time our Spanish Club we used to teach elementary lessons. With the elimination of this homeroom, this year I decided to instead have our “teachers” be Spanish IV students.
- I think our new model actually works better since before our volunteer teachers would sometimes back out at the last minute for other commitments during homeroom. This way teaching and planning lessons is a part of Spanish IV’s class expectations and grade. Before the lesson planning heavily fell on the teacher, and now it can be shared with the students more.
- Student Teaching – Bussing HS Spanish Students to the Local Elementary
- While student teaching the elementary school was across town, so once per month during the 90 minute block period, Spanish IV would be bussed to the elementary.
- The high school students were broken into groups that taught all four sections of 2nd grade for about 45 minutes.
- Each group was supposed to plan on weeks worth of lessons and then they would all swap each week, but this did not work as planned since some groups did not put in the necessary effort in their plans and materials.
***What I learned from tis experience if you need to TEACH the high schoolers how to instruct elementary students. You can not expect them to have behavior management skills, attention getters, positive validations, transitions, and other necessary items in their personal bag of tricks on their own. We did a mini unit this year on how to teach elementary, where they even practiced teaching on each other.
Have you ever had students teach students?