Last week we completed testing our students using the Pre-IPT. We were interested to see how our results compared. Interestingly we both tested about half of our students. This means that half of our pre-k students speak a language besides English at home. One student speaks Arabic at home, while the rest of the students speak Spanish in the home. We also found that we both tested more students in our morning groups than in our afternoon groups. We found that we had anticipated the results of most of our students. Many of our three year olds were found to be Non-English Speaking. These students' proficiency level was found to be Beginning. These students appeared confused by the majority of the questions within the Pre-IPT. We began to think about ways to help these students. Our non-English speaking students are often very quiet during classroom time. A few of them remained silent through the test - as we had anticipated. We both heavily rely on Ms. Espinoza and Mrs. Cancel to help these students throughout the day. They are able to translate information that we may not have the Spanish vocabulary for. We found this assistance especially important during our safety day. It was crucial that our students knew what we were doing and why. Both classrooms use a lot of visuals throughout the day that are also helpful to our non-English speaking students. We use a lot of body language as well. We are excited for our students to start opening up more in class. We hope that they feel comfortable experimenting with English in our classrooms, but also using their home languages. Unfortunately we do not have a staff member that speaks Arabic. We have started to understand a few phrases and words that our student uses to communicate her needs. This week she began inquiring about the names of other students. She enjoys singing and interacting with her peers. We are excited that she feels that she is a part of our classroom community. Initially we were concerned that she may feel isolated, but she has mixed in with our group greatly!
Through our Pre-IPT testing we also found that we have a large group of students that are Limited English speaking. These students have definitely caught on to our daily routine and can answer simple questions in English. Most likely the English skills of these students will quickly increase. Our limited English speakers often use a combination of English and Spanish in the classroom. We want to be sure that these students also feel comfortable using both languages to best communicate their thoughts and needs.
Finally we each had only a handful of students that were found to be Fluent English speaking. As we were discussing these students we discovered that most of them have grandparents or other relatives in the home that spoke Spanish. Their parent(s) generally are able to communicate in English to some degree. We both feel that these are students that we often see helping our non-English and limited-English speaking students. They either translate information or re-word information for these students. We discussed that our fluent English speakers are great resources to have in the classroom. Students often respond best to their peers. It can also be difficult for our students to work together, so this is a good way to help build that collaborative learning environment.
Next week we begin our ESI-R and ESI-K screenings. We use these screenings to determine if any of our students need referrals. Most often our screenings lead to speech referrals. We are eager to see how our students score on the screening. This will help us determine