One of Jose’s goals for ISB is to be including translanguaging alongside the 4 domains (reading, writing, speaking, and listening). Until recently, I had discounted the possibility of having the children understand what translanguaging meant, let alone have a well developed concept of how I was, or could, authentically integrate the practice into my classroom. The more I have examined my professional practice and the more times my students prove me wrong by demonstrating the depth of their understanding about translanguaging, the more excited I have become in promoting this skill within the classroom. As part of my goal for providing resources that support the work we do in DL, particularly in relation to cross-linguistic representation and bridging, I was excited to design a logo to represent the +1 domain! I hope that it will be used alongside our existing icons as we teaching within our classrooms and have tried to match the style but also add the individual details of our program.
It turns out I really do want to do it all! As I looked at the goal I set for myself, it seemed far to broad and unfocused… a noble, but gargantuan task. It was also dry. I want something meatier, something that gets me excited!
I decided to stick with a goal within the Consolidation frame of Tripod’s 7 C’s. This time, I really sat down and thought more deeply about not only what I want to achieve, but also what makes me excited in moving forward. It turns out, I LOVE teaching Dual Language, especially because of all the collaborating I get to do! I wanted to do more collaborating across the languages to help consolidate our students learning in the DL program. I began to think about ways in which I can support children both within my classroom and into Judy’s Chinese room.
WE are working hard to set routines and expectations that convey to the children continuity and a sense of community. We spend a great deal of time hashing out the nitty gritty so our children can move seamlessly between their two learning environments, comfortable in knowing the common expectations of the two. However, we can do more to consolidate their learning across their growing linguistic repertoires. In order to support the children’s cross-linguistic development, I would like to develop a number of resources which contain visual prompts, as well as both English and Chinese language so that they may be used commonly in both classrooms.
This also lends well to moving forward with the feedback I received from Jose Medina today concerning developing an area of the room which gives visual representation to the translanguaging and cross-linguistic connections children are making (Naomi C6 Observation_September 2019). This will be a likely collateral benefit of developing more resources bilingually! Judy and I have already started discussing how we can make these connections for the children. Our first step was to seek out some guidance and approval from Kendra in order to move forward with the Emergent storybook unit for Reader’s Workshop. We decided that it was best for our students to have books that were available in both languages. This way, when the text is read repeatedly across days and lessons, children are more readily able to make linguistic connections. We were so excited! We even agreed on how we would display them and began our ordering immediately.
This goal sits better with me. I feel more enthusiastic, excited, and connected to my goal than I did before.
Goal (round 2) – To develop cross-linguistic resources to support our DL learners (Consolidation)
Setting this goal was no easy feat! Teachers seem to be naturally inclined towards a a continuous cycle of self reflection, growth and criticism. There were so many things that I could choose from, even things I perceive I do well, such as building positive classroom relationships and community, I can always do better!
It was tempting to revisit my goal from last year, especially with Jose Medina’s impending visit. Although, truthfully, I don’t really think that last year I ever really clarified and refined my goal for myself. I wanted to start afresh, with a move into the Dual Language program, I have a plethora of new opportunities for professional (and personal) growth.
One of my initial ideas was to focus on how to best use the multitude of people that I coordinate, plan and co-teach with for the benefits of our learners. These relationships and the consistency we try to generate, are vitally important for the success of the students we share. I also considered how I could contribute to the children’s development as bicultural learners as the English teacher in the Dual language program. Both are things I feel passionately about and hope that with guidance from the wonderful Judy Zhang with whom I teach most closely with, we will develop and continue to refine these skills as the year progresses.
Digging deep I decided to choose something I feel vulnerable and uncomfortable in… documentation. Defining what this goal really means, I discovered what I wanted to do most successfully was:
- Help the children document their learning consistently using Seesaw
- Keep accurate and relevant records which provide information of the children as learners
- Provide children with regular and meaningful feedback
I want the children to take ownership and show pride in their growth as learners and love that Seesaw also helps build connections between the school and home community. Secondly, managing 36 students can be quite a juggle! I need to make sure that I keep organised records in order to ensure that I am meeting every child where they are. These records will also help me to better understand my learners and to collaborate with other professionals who share them with me. And lastly, everyone needs to be told they are doing a good job sometimes! I have received not only some great feedback on my professional practice, but also encouragement which bolsters my confidence. These notes left for me are so important that I keep them, and look back on them often (see some samples attached below). Children need similar encouragement, and relevant feedback on their work. I want to ensure I give both feedback and encouragement to ALL students regularly, especially in tangible form, something they too can keep and look back on to keep them motivated and feeling successful, as well as help them grow.