Saturday, August 18, 2012

Getting Started With Labeling Your Classroom and Making A Student Generated Alphabet

As I've previously discussed, my school district recently adopted the Gómez and Gómez model of dual language instruction. Although many of the strategies they utilize make more sense in the dual language environment, they've decided to have the English only classrooms implement some of the model as well. Right now, I'm still focused on set up, which includes the student generated alphabet (a one time project in which students create a grade level appropriate list of each letter with a picture (and a sentence in the upper grades), and the labeling of the classroom environment.

The model asks for English words to be labeled in blue, and Spanish in red.

Of course, what I'm about to link to here can be used in any classroom that does labeling or student alphabets, not just within the Gómez and Gómez model (they hardly invented these things after all, they just repackaged it all).

First up, let's begin by looking at a few resources for labeling the classroom environment, and what I mean by this is actually labeling things like doors, clocks, book shelves, etc, as to immerse students in the language vocabulary.

As with most things that are out there in elementary schools, the materials are made for primary grades. As an intermediate grade teacher, I don't even flinch anymore when I see this. In almost every single adoption that has occurred in my career, the materials that are handed down are meant for primary classrooms, and the older age classes are expected to "adapt" them. This is a fancy way of saying "we didn't take the time to do this right, so you do it."

Because, after all, I don't want the same labels that are in a first grade classroom in my fifth grade classroom. Hopefully my students know what a door, clock, and board are. What we're looking for is some higher level thinking. So think of using "analog clock" in place of clock, "fluorescent lights" instead of lights, and "door hinges" instead of door, just to name a few.

Finally, I'll end with a few templates that I've come up with on my own:
  • This template is printable classroom label blanks. This is a very simple pdf with black rectangles for printing. 
  • Finally, here is my student generated alphabet blank template. The box on the top is for the upper and lowercase print version of a letter, and the bottom box is for the cursive upper and lower case letter. The lines next to the print box are for a sentence about the word chosen to represent this letter, and the lines at the bottom are for the same sentence in cursive. The big box in the middle is where the drawing of the chosen word goes, as well as the word written out. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments on this blog will be moderated, please stay on topic and refrain from using profanity. Spam will simply be ignored.