Language Intense

One of the benefits of being part of a 1:1 program the last 3 years has been how language intense the experience has been. This is valuable no matter who your students are, but for my second language elementary school students, it has been even more than I could have hoped for them. Between blogging, designing wiki pages, Skyping, doing general research and reading and writing about topics of their choice, my students are constantly immersed in language.

All types of literacy – speaking, writing, reading … just what they need. Early on if we were going to Skype with someone, we would practice expressing ourselves about whatever our topic was, only to freeze up when the connection  was made. This led to some fantastic conversations in class about public speaking, and over time my students blossomed as presenters (getting a new class of 9 year olds has reminded me just how much my last class grew).

Our blog posts, really all our written work, went from needing 5 or more (usually more) re-writes, to publishing right away. If you check out our class blog you won’t notice a huge shift, because you only see finished products – not all the work that went into them. When we first started students would take a week and, as mentioned before, numerous drafts to get to a publishable product. Eventually they were publishing right away (with a few exceptions). One of my biggest takeaways from this experience was how even though we blogged and blogged and wrote stories constantly and wrote about what we were learning in science and social studies and other areas, my students didn’t burn out.  I learned so much, and as with any experience now I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface as to getting the most out of a 1:1 program, but I also feel very good about what my students learned and experienced.

There is much more to say about the value of a 1:1 program, but one of the most valuable aspects I’ve found is the language intensity involved, It is powerful for all involved.

Learning is messy!

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4 Responses to Language Intense

  1. Jeff Utecht says:

    Thanks for this Brian! I’ll be passing this along to teachers as I work. Great timing too as I’m just leaving to work with elementary teachers who are 1:1 in grades 3-6.

  2. Mark Ahlness says:

    Thanks Brian! Heading into a staff PD session on writing tomorrow, this will be great to share. – Mark

  3. Harold Daw says:

    Thanks Brian. As I have worked for the last two weeks with students finally getting their own laptops, I can affirm much of what you have said. It truly is a whole new world of language when students have a laptop in front of them.

  4. Margo Sistek says:

    I just finish SIOP training for ELL’s so this is on the for front of my mind. What a great way to get those guys using thwir new language skills. Well really all our students as they are all english langueage learners, thats what a mojority of our day as educators is, is teaching them how to use language. And blogging is a great free way for them to get “published” and how that must build the students confindance to know that they wrote something that people all over the world can read and responde to! These blogs of yours are a great encouragement to continue to think out of the box when trying to draw our students in and make learning real for them.

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