A Través de los Grados (Across the Grades)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 0 Comments A + a -

This afternoon marked an event that is rapidly becoming a tradition in our district's Spanish Immersion program.  Nipmuc students in Nick Pezzotte's Hispanic Civilization, Culture & Literature Honors class traveled to Clough to read to students in Thais Lopez's kindergarten Spanish Immersion class.  The high school students, most of whom are sophomores, are veterans of the SI Program and were SI kindergarteners themselves a mere decade ago.

The storybooks the high school students read the kindergarteners were written and illustrated by the students in Spanish (por supuesto).  Each book had a fairy tale theme with a distinct moral lesson for the young readers.  In either small groups or one on one the high school students proudly read their work in perfectly fluent Spanish.  It was truly inspirational to see our students across a wide grade level connecting around learning.

Throughout the years there has been considerable research showing the benefits of pairing older students with younger ones to build skills such reading comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary.  The same studies also show that the confidence and self-esteem of both the younger and older learners is also often improved.  To be sure, this was a nice event for those reasons; however it was also a celebration of a fine program, one that is true innovation in our district.

We need to do this more in our district:  namely creating opportunities where meaningful learning connections can occur among our students across different ages all four schools.  So many of our students at the high school and middle school have so much to offer as models for their younger counterparts. This event is a great starting point and can serve as a model.

¡Felicidades y gracias, Sr. Pezzotte y Srta.Lopez!