Summer Bridge Program Provides Language and Literacy Education

by Michelle Earle
August 20, 2014 • 172 views

El Monte

Several of Mountain View School District’s youngest students got a jump start on the school year as they participated in the SEAL (Sobrato Early Academic Language) Summer Bridge Program.   Designed for English language learners, SEAL is a comprehensive model of intensive, enriched language and literacy education for students in preschool through third grade.
The 10-day summer program, geared for Kindergarten and first grade students provided exceptional learning opportunities.  Teachers utilized thematic units of instruction focusing on insects and the ocean as they implemented Common Core and English Language Development standards to develop the students’ language and literacy skills.  Designed to be “alive with language” the SEAL classrooms were buzzing with conversations as teachers engaged the students to talk about what they were learning, ask questions, and predict and wonder about their world. MVSD’s SEAL teachers received training in the program and use rich, expressive language to create an environment where academic vocabulary comes to life.  The classrooms were vibrant with student-produced work adorning the walls.
The curious young students had fun developing their skills while they studied bees, ladybugs, dragon flies, marine life, oceans, and more.
“Ladybugs have a head, thorax, abdomen, wings and compound eyes,” shared a kindergartner in Mrs. Rodriguez’s class at Cogswell School.  “It was fun learning about the ladybugs and other insects.”
In another classroom students were studying marine life and engaged in collaborative conversations about octopus, rainbow fish, crabs, the ocean animals’ food chain and much more.
“The Summer Bridge Program has been wonderful,” said teacher, Elsa Perini. “The kids are wonderful and the program is really good for them.  It’s been an intense few days of instruction but it’s been terrific and enables the students to enhance their language development greatly.”
Recognizing that strong partnerships between parents and teachers enhances the development of language, literacy and academic success, a special Gallery Walk was held at the conclusion of the program where parents and family members visited the classrooms to see first-hand what the students learned during the 10 days.  Family members enjoyed completing an art project and creating a yummy treat with their children in some of the classrooms.
“I liked my class and learning about all the neat ocean animals,” said a soon to be first grader.  “We got to do lots of art and even made an aquarium.  I can’t wait to take all my stuff home,” she said.

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