Technology Across the Curriculum
Recently, when picking up my students from their Foreign Language Elementary School Spanish (FLES) class, I was totally surprised to see the lesson they were engaged in. It is not unusual to walk into any foreign language class and see your students exchanging salutations, reading or listening to a story in another language, or even writing a dictation.
Mrs. Zaida Brewer takes it just a bit further than that. Her 21st century teaching and learning abilities stand out when you observe her students working comfortably with their “clickers” from the SMART Response System. Mrs. Brewer has selected to utilize this technology in her classroom as it drastically shortens the teacher-student feedback when discussing content or reviewing assessment data. It has also enabled her students to strengthen their confidence and take accountability for their learning with everyone having a voice with just a click of a button. Mrs. Brewer is able to analyze data with her students one the spot, engage her them in mini math lessons discussing percentages, estimations, reading graphs, and using this same data to set long and short term goals within the content.
After I inquired about my students’ engagement with the clickers and how they are learning to read their own data, Mrs. Brewer was not shy to share her pride in her students’ ability to carry their elementary language studies and propel in their language studies when in middle school and even high school. Her belief is that, “The earlier students are introduced to foreign languages; they are able to carry it with them wherever they go.” She is also able to peak their interests to learn more through the after-school Spanish Club she hosts for students in grades 1 through 6. All students are able to continue that excitement with their learning with dancing, singing, art-based projects, writing and competing in poetry and essays, as well as creating murals and posters all year long.
As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 through October 15, Mrs. Brewer and selected students will participate in the NAF Atsugi Base Cultural Program at Triology on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 1 p.m.. See you there!