A Dual Immersion Program For Hispanic Children From Kindergarten From Barbour Dual Language Immersion Academy
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This quarter I am continuing my observations with Heather Cyrus from Barbour Dual-Language Immersion Academy. She is a unique second grade teacher for Spanish and English speaking students. In my prior fieldwork assignments, I have not met another teacher who has been so ahead of her peers in evolving the classroom for successful, 21st century education.
Barbour runs a dual immersion program for Latino children from kindergarten through eighth grade. Starting in the lower grades more Spanish instruction is the main concentration with English incorporated more and more each year. The classrooms are split as evenly as possible with English speakers and Spanish speakers of all backgrounds and ethnicities. The average class size is 26 students…show more content… Her philosophy of learning is “ever changing” and she believes “the learner is the most important piece of the puzzle…” . (H. Cyrus, personal communication, January 20, 2017) She works continuously with the other second grade teachers in a team to set the plan on the standards and how they will meet them each year. They do not follow a curriculum, but the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) with the Essential Learning Outcomes (ELO) and Depth of Knowledge (DOK) levels. The curriculum Math Investigations is offered in the district for her grade level, but it is not a main focus for her lessons. She utilizes curriculums provided by the district as resources and supplements for lessons alone.
When sitting down with her fellow teachers, they do what’s called “unpacking” the standards. Project- based lessons are built in putting as many subjects in to the units as possible. With ESL students, vocabulary is a large part of their unit design and plays a significant role in Spanish or English in teaching students to understand the lessons. There are pretests devised based on these objectives and units for each teacher to determine the needs of their students in their particular classrooms.
Like most teachers, she supports the CCSS but does acknowledge the flaws of their implementation. In our interview Heather tells me, “the CCSS are not developmentally appropriate, …often times social/emotional standards are less emphasized, … the amount of CCSS we often are