Mrs. Martinez, the kindergarten bilingual teacher, has both bilingual and monolingual students in her class.
“I have both bilingual students as well as students who only speak English. They help each other beautifully. The English speaking students are getting exposed to Spanish and are learning it very well. And likewise, the Spanish bilingual students are picking up on English quickly. They are like sponges. They absorb any language I give them. I am amazed how fast they pick up the language considering that they are not exposed to it at home. ”
Kindergarten is currently studying the letter “v”, practicing addition and subtraction in math using a lot of manipulatives, learning about the various types of thermometers in science, and studying the Texas flag in Social Studies. They write in their journals every day. Mrs. Martinez shares that what she likes best about teaching a bilingual classroom is how much progress the children have made in such a short time in class.
“Their brains are very fast. They just absorb learning. I think being bilingual is definitely an advantage and we encourage students to speak both languages here at Alta Vista.”
Ms. Cleveland’s first grade bilingual class has seen improvement in reading this year.
“They are doing an awesome job,” Ms. Cleveland says. “They love using technology too. It’s a fun way for them to learn how to read at their own pace.”
Teachers at Alta Vista also use manipulatives and differentiate to help with vocabulary. Ms. Cleveland also enjoys the cultural exposure her students are receiving. Every student at Alta Vista is enjoying getting to learn a new culture from the bilingual students just as the bilingual students learn a new culture from the English students. In all, Alta Vista has a great mix of student diversity and cultural awareness.