Each day I thank the good Lord for allowing me to work with my simultaneous bilingual and to promote biliteracy every single day! They are a joy to teach and have been making such process. I believe that they are making substantial progress is because the structure of language that I have in my classroom. In order for the brain to learn it needs two things: what I am teaching has to make sense and it has to be relevant. I also believe that bilinguals need to seek out patterns. Learning English and Spanish language patterns are vital. Breaking things down so that the students can see and experience patterns through mentor text, my writing, and their writing, has paid dividends. We had previously studied the narrative structure using something as simple as Little Miss Muffet. We sketched out the nursery rhyme in four quadrants. I exposed them to such academic language such as protagonist, antagonist, exposition, setting, tension, suspense, rising action, conflict, resolution, plot structure, denouement, resolution and falling action. They sketched and acted out the structure in groups. I added hand gestures to accompany the narrative structure "play". This way, they had to know their part, and the audience helped them with their lines. In others words, they really learned the academic language through the nursery rhyme, sketching, adapting it to a presentation, two picture books (Red, the Crayon Story and Too Many Frogs). They made a story board using Too Many Frogs making sure to include the aforementioned literacy terms. I connected the learning immediately to Gretchen Bernabei's Memory Kernel because it has all the components. I didn't even have to ask them if the narrative structure was similar to the Memory Kernel. They already told me that it does. I love the connections. I am sure the synapse are popping and the dendrites are growing! Today, one of my sweet boys said, "Ms. Ucles I am so sleepy today to start class. I didn't sleep well last night. I think I might be grouchy. I may be the antagonist today!" Then another student added, "I am going to be the protagonist then!" It was rather fun! I said to the first student, "Maybe you will be the protagonist after a while. Go drink some water and wash your face to see if that helps!"
By the end of the week, I will give them the RADAR Revision lesson using the revision pens. I will explore this ideas of replace, add, delete and reorder using a quickwrite and showing how I go over my writing using different colored pens. After I do this, they will be able to go back to their kernel expansion and then revise from a cold read. I am looking forward to it. I have to do it rather quickly because I want to start the study of expository text on Monday or Tuesday at the latest.
I am about 2.75 weeks behind in where I would have liked to be in my grammar, spelling, and composition work. I feel behind, but not behind the eight ball...yet. My students are progressing fine. I don't want to hit any panic button. Instead, I want to be laser focused and move forward. The weather looks pretty decent right now. I love teaching simultaneous bilinguals! I am blessed!