We are pleased that in our bilingual program we have exceptional teachers who strongly believe in the bilingual program and in the children they teach. Two such teachers are Mrs. Jaimes and Mr. Medal.
Mrs. Jaimes (Grade 1) is integrating technology into all core subject areas.
Students are using the IPADs and computers during rotating stations to develop math and reading skills.
Currently they are focusing on place value, incorporating base ten blocks and recording sheets where the number is recorded in standard, expanded, and written form. They are also reinforcing concepts already taught with fun APPs on the IPAD, like Motion Math and on the computer with Successmaker Math. In reading, they are focusing on fluency. They also work on sight words with fun IPAD games, such as Word Bingo.
“Technology is how kids are driven so we focus on it, making learning fun. If learning a concept is made fun, it is easier to learn,” Jaimes states.
With all of this fun learning, there has been a lot of progress made by the students as evident by Tejas Lee testing and Math Star testing. Oral language has particularly improved since the beginning of the year. “I teach so I can help students succeed,” says Mrs. Jaimes. “I connect with the children because I too was an ELL student coming from Mexico to America. I had to be put in an ESL class because back then there was not a bilingual program. It was hard for me. My teacher did not know Spanish. My kids have the advantage of having a teacher who knows their language and understands their culture. It makes the transition to English much easier.”
Fourth and fifth grade bilingual teacher Mr. Medal also appreciates the importance of the bilingual program in WISD.
“I was born in Mexico City and went to medical school in Mexico. When I came to America, I did not speak English. I went to school and took an intensive English course. I know what it is like to learn a new language. I understand the fact that it takes a while to learn new language. Kids have a great advantage because they are young and transitioning is easier for them,” Mr. Medal states. Fourth and fifth grade classes are focusing on fractions in math, author’s purpose in reading, and writing expository text in writing. His class is also using technology to foster learning, starting as early as 7:30 in the morning with My Reading Coach, Successmaker, and Lexia on the computers. Mr. Medal says he tries to make connections to real life in all the areas that he teaches, so children will know why each concept is important. Provident Heights’ immigrant students are making excellent progress. Mr. Medal says, “It sounds like a cliché, but teaching children is the most important thing that you can do. Teachers help these kids become important citizens.”