LEAP LITERACY teachers

All LEAP teachers are credentialed and have specific training and experience working with English Language Learners.

Shaunna Koza, Beswick Elementary

I have the privilege of teaching English language development and guided reading groups to 3rd-5th grade students at Beswick Elementary School. The pandemic and distance learning have adversely affected these students in multiple ways, and their English language development and reading abilities are alarmingly low. This is where the LEAP Program shines. With small group instruction, I can create a bond with these students and tailor my instruction to their individual needs and interests. Student participation comes naturally when these groups of eight students become a virtual classroom family, and we can collaborate over mentor texts and learning goals. Many of these students have not returned to campus and miss conversing with their peers. In my English language development classes, my goal is that they are speaking 75% of the time in a supportive learning environment. This allows the students to practice read-aloud skills, use academic and domain-specific vocabulary as well as active listening and responding to their peers.

Kristi Huynh, Estock Elementary

English was not my first language. As an elementary school student, I felt embarrassed and defeated because I could not read or speak like some of my other peers. That’s why I can empathize with my English language learner students. I appreciate how LEAP utilizes a small-group format, which allows me to connect deeply with my students. It’s a privilege to be working alongside a team that is incredibly passionate about serving economically disadvantaged populations.

Nicole Miranda, Heideman Elementary

Over the last two months, we have become a digital family! We are reading, writing, speaking, and learning every day. In LEAP, students have the opportunity to think freely and use higher-level thinking skills. Equally important, they have the freedom and space to articulate their thoughts. It’s absolutely amazing to see what happens when you simply give children time to talk—my groups are having the kind of academic discussion and discourse I would expect in a college class! We have had such interesting discussions about monuments, inventions, the environment. Our children have so many opinions and thoughts about what they are learning!! There is just no time in the traditional classroom for roundtable discussions such as these. The classroom teacher can’t possibly listen to feedback from 30 kids about a story or lesson. I can, however, and the students love it! I have seen my children start to grow not only in their ability to write and speak but in their confidence and in their ability to articulate their ideas. The children feel seen, heard, and validated by their peers and me.

Robin Sanders, Nelson Elementary

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with The LEAP/ELD program going virtual with Kindergarten and 1st graders. I honestly didn’t think we’d accomplish too much, but I was wrong! It’s amazing how much we’ve accomplished together already! The students are fully engaged and eager to participate each day. We are implementing purposeful learning activities and basic skill-building using the four domains of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We can do this by using the ELD Wonders slides and workbooks to guide experiences and discussions, trade books to practice reading skills and story elements, sentence starter writing, and so much more! The students have a natural desire to learn, grow, and interact with each other, and we are doing this through our LEAP experiences. COVID can’t stop a child’s sense of community, their creativity, or their capable journey of learning!

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