Working in a dual language schools creates a unique daily schedule in my classroom. Throughout the day, I teach (exclusively in English) three different groupings of children, with quite a range of academic ability and English-language proficiency. During the literacy block, I instruct only English dominant students. I teach a mixed group of English dominant and Spanish dominant students during math. However, at the end of the day, I have a 45-60 minute block of time during which I only instruct the Spanish dominant students. The objectives for this time frame focus on the development of English oral language skills, vocabulary and content understanding in the areas of science and social studies. Although my Spanish dominant students are not formally instructed to read in English (they receive their literacy instruction in Spanish), I do use big books and "read alouds" to begin to expose my students to aspects of reading in English.
For this unit, I will be specifically addressing those Spanish dominant students during the last part of the day. Thus, many of our lessons will focus on developing new vocabulary, English oral language skills, beginning literacy skills (in English) and social studies. Art and music will also be used as well, as these are great strategies for helping second-language learners.