One of the key goals of Two Way Immersion programs is that of children acquiring content area in a second language as they develop bilingualism and biliteracy skills in a multilingual and multicultural learning environment. One of the limitations teachers and students face in this type of programs is the lack of materials there are to ensure that children have access to a high quality curriculum. As the Spanish component teacher in a Dual Language or Two Way Immersion Program, I often have to create my own materials so my students can meet district goals and objectives within the guiding principles of Dual Language education. This curricular unit is a first step in creating some new materials to use with second language learners in mind.
As part of this program, the students receive all instruction in their second language 50% of the time. Thus two teachers, each with a separate class, are in charged of teaching the corresponding mathematics, science, and social studies curriculum. As the Spanish component teacher, my task is to ensure the students acquire content subject matter through their second language. This creates a few challenges other than making sure I have materials in Spanish, the most poignant being, to create lessons that are comprehensible to the students in their second language. For such a purpose, I make use of instructional strategies that enhance the development of bilingualism, biliteracy, and academic achievement. Many of the strategies used come directly from theory on Sheltered Instruction. I am constantly adjusting my rate of speech, I make use of real objects and/or pictures that represent what we are discussing, which becomes the scaffold upon which students can begin to build. I use short and simple sentences, repetition, restatements, and the same grammatical structures being targeted over and over again. I give instructions in simple sequential steps and pair L1 (native language) and L2 (non-native language) speakers so they can translate or help as needed. These strategies among others, hand-in-hand with cooperative learning techniques that provide students with opportunities to use language in real life and learning situations, describe my classroom environment.
When the word energy is mentioned, the first thought in many people’s minds relates to liveliness or capacity to do work. Therefore, we speak of having no energy, as if we were so tired that we cannot perform a task and are in need of food and nourishment. Also we tend to associate it directly with the “juice” needed for a home appliance to function. Although, these uses of the word energy are indeed appropriate to what energy is, there is much more involved and essential to our lives in the definition and make up of all its elements.
This unit will dispel some of the myths and generalizations as we discover and uncover what energy is, how it affects our lives, why it plays such an integral part of who we are and what we do. Consequently, this unit will serve as a primer and will touch upon many of key issues, that individuals and developing as well as industrial societies face in order to make their economies viable.
As an elementary school teacher, I attempt to explore in this unit the role energy plays in our lives. My objective is to bring to my students’ attention the importance that energy has in a technological society and to encourage students to explore their lives looking for ways they are affected both positively and negatively by energy.