Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Prompt # 2 Goldenberg

The linguistic, ethnic and sociocultural characteristics of the students in the classroom that I tutor in are very different from my own, and are basically what I expected overall. They vary in multiple ways. When I was in elementary school, middle school and high school I would consider the schools that I attended, somewhat multi cultural but the majority of the students were of Portuguese decent, but at the same time I did attend school with other people from many different ethic groups and with many people who had different sociocultural characteristics than my own. I was used to being around people from all different backgrounds and I am comfortable with that. Therefore it was easy for me to get comfortable when at my school that I tutor at and in my classroom.
The linguistic characteristics of my students vary because of the fact that some of them speak English as a second language, and some live around or with people who do not speak English properly therefore they speak not as well as they should. I have a child who speaks Spanish as her first language. Ironically enough I found that out because she travels to my classroom for our tutoring session, so I checked out her classroom that she travels from and it is one of the bilingual classrooms in the school. During that same day I noticed her walking in the hallway after our tutoring session with a friend and she automatically started speaking Spanish so fast and quickly. I was surprised because although her English is not the most proper, I can always understand her well. What i did observe was she is the student out of my three that has the hardest time who simple vocabulary that the other two students do not. But I thought it was so amazing how a child at 6 years old could actually speak another language other than English so well. For whatever reason it made me happy to hear her speak. I actually had an opportunity to meet with one of the mother's of the of the children I tutor one day. He happens to be my best student as far as academics, and his mother spoke very well and proper, which makes sense that he speaks English well, and from what I can see, is a good student academically. My third student likes to use slang words when she speaks such as " aight" and "k" " nosa" But I know that English is her only language spoke at home. But overall, they can all speak English, but at the same time they could all use some more help. I wanted to point out also that I found an automatic connection to Goldenberg when I heard one of my students speaking Spanish after class that one day. My connection was how I realized that out of my three students, she was the most far behind in our "Reading Buddy" activities. Goldenberg talks about how students seem to fall behind because of the language barriers with speaking one language constantly at home and then English at school. His observation was to teach dual language speaking students in both native and English language.
The ethnic and sociocultural chracteristics that I have observed while tutoring is that right around the time that I am getting ready to leave, the kids have snack time. I tutor in a kindergarten class, and they get to have snack time. It is so interesting to me to see what these kids pack for snacks. They bring things I have never seen before. Home made little sandwitches, and cracker combinations. For example in my household we have certain cookies that are "Portuguese" cookies, so someone from a non Portguese area would probably not know what kind of cookie I was eating. I also find it interesting how some kids snacks and lunch boxes are neatly organized, and some look like they were tossed in a brown ripped, paper bag two seconds before the school bus came to pick the child up in the morning. I think that has to do with the parenting, and how they take care of time managment and organization. Also I always observe how the students come dressed to class. Whose shirts are ironed and whose pants are wrinkled. I think that is telling. A child in a kindergarten class, in my opinion should not be responisble for getting him or herself dressed in the morning and I think that all has to do with the household in which they live. Its obvious that some of these children are less fortunate than others, just by looking at the clothes they wear.

In conclusion, I agree with Goldenberg and to better then English speaking children of our school system we as educators should use both a childs native and the English language when teaching a student. I also think that schools should try to inforce having to wear uniforms so that all children are looked as as equal and all look the same.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Promt #1

The neighborhood in which my school is located, is an urban, busy environment. Located very close by to local hospitals. There are a lot of street lights, and people always seem to be in a rush. The outside of the school building is made out a brick. The railing adjacent to the stairs look old and rusted. To get into the building one needs to ring the buzzer, in order to be allowed in. The school building does not stand tall, probably only consisting of two floors. The signs outside of the school building are not only in English but in Spanish as well. Right away I knew that this school was going to have many Spanish, oriented speaking students, coming from Spanish cultures and back rounds. Where I am from, there were never any signs outside of schools with different languages on them other than English. Inside of the school building it smelt just like I remembered an elementary school smelling. I saw smiling,grumpy and tired looking faces as I walked in for the first time.I heard whining and the sniffling of stuffy noses. Right inside of the main entrance to the building there were kids waiting outside the main office, for late slips to class, for they were late to school that morning. It was evident to me already at that point that I was in a school community where minorities were the majority. I thought the space and the surrounds of the school were welcoming, and I imagined the school to look a lot different than what it did. The lighting in the building is dull, but the brightly colored signs, and paintings seemed to brighten things up within the schools corridors. The signs on the hall way walls were all educational and positive sayings, for example " Today is a great day to do your best!" More over, I was happy to find out that I was going to be tutoring in a particular room because it is a large, open, colorful room with space and versatility. Right away the children were very welcoming and happy to see me there. Some of the kindergarten classrooms were very stuffed and cluttered. Classrooms with the same amount of children in them varied in size. Over all, the school felt welcoming, although at times the adults inside it did not. My teacher seems very focused on her students. She adapts to certain children to accomedate their individual needs. She shows motivation and great concern. She is caring and friendly as well. Right away I was introduced to what this school values. My school values the three words, respect,responsibilty, and safety. In order to exagerate the importance of those words, definaitions and examples are posted throughout the school. Students are rewarded feathers(feathers because their schools mascott is a bird) everytime they show either of those vauled words and after recieveing a certain amount of feathers, they get to choose from prizes, which for school aged children is very rewarding and exciting.