The SIOP® Model is an essential tool I utilize while working with Newcomer students. Consistent use of this framework of techniques and protocols continues to yield an increase in academic performance and social interaction with peers for my Newcomer students. Lesson planning is my first step, as it allows me to plan all other areas of this framework to ensure student growth and achievement!
What content and language objectives do I want my Newcomers to achieve? What level of background knowledge will I need to build, in order for the content to be comprehensible? Lesson planning has allowed me to plan lesson facilitation with the end in mind. I organize scaffolding that includes building background knowledge, pre-teaching vocabulary, use of word banks, visuals, sentence stems, graphic organizers, etc. to ensure student comprehension. While lesson planning, I am also able to differentiate instruction and plan for student misunderstandings due to language and cultural barriers. The use of differentiation, including small-group instruction and modifying assessments/assignments ensures our Newcomers have the opportunity to be academically successful.
Value Their L1
It is very important that our Newcomers maintain their L1 (first language). Allowing them to write in their L1 provides comfort, as well as opportunities to truly show their levels of understanding. Having reading materials in their L1 has been very helpful when introducing new concepts. Creating foldables about their cultures is a great way to build relationships and learn more about all students and their home cultures.
Get Up & Move
Singing and dancing has been a great way for us to maintain engagement with our Newcomer students. Videos for learning the alphabet, parts of the body, reading skills and more, are all fun ways for Newcomer students to learn!
Rock it with Realia
Bringing in real-world items (realia) has been a great way for our Newcomer students to grasp certain concepts and ideas being introduced and taught. It also provides opportunities for hands-on experiences, which will help build background knowledge.