Electrifying Learning at Blackshear Elementary

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Klein ISD teachers are always looking for ways to foster a classroom culture of risk-taking, innovation, and self-reflection.

Blackshear elementary teacher Enrique Paz at did just that when he created a circuitry project for his fifth-grade bilingual students.

“We were covering circuits, so we did a lesson that extends knowledge by telling the students how circuits work in real life situations,” Paz said.

Students were learning about insulators, conductors, and circuits and Mr. Paz extended the learning by having students create circuits to light a house. The students went through the design process of researching, creating a floor plan, and building the house and circuit.

Most of the fifth-grade learners in Mr. Paz’s class are newcomers and needed scaffolding to understand new vocabulary for this unit. Scaffolding is an instructional approach used to strengthen student’s foundational knowledge of content. Mr. Paz used the Sheltered Instruction approach in which teachers use strategies to make grade-level content more accessible to English Learners.

Sheltered Instruction strategies include, but are not limited to:

  • Word Wall with Visuals
  • Sentence Stems
  • Student Created Visuals

According to Mr. Paz, this approach helped his students not only with acquiring vocabulary, but it increased reading fluency and comprehension of the content.

“Mr. Paz has thoughtfully disrupted the status quo in order to provide engaging, collaborative learning experiences for his students,” Meagan White, Blackshear Elementary Principal said. “These experiences are growing them into goal-oriented problem solvers and forever learners! As a bilingual teacher, Mr. Paz utilizes the sheltered instruction approach in order to help his students succeed both academically and linguistically, setting them on the pathway to success!”

To learn more about how Klein ISD is Reimaging Learning every day, visit http://kisd.us/rleveryday!

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