As you all know, elementary students grades K-2 have returned for the 4+ model in which they will be attending school Monday-Thursday and having a virtual learning day on Fridays. Grades 3-5 are scheduled to return on October 19th for the 4+ model as well. This will be a relief to immersion parents who have been struggling to help their kids with work at home during the hybrid model. Thank you for all you have done and are doing to support your kids during this time. Just a reminder, that they should be able to do most if not all of the work on their own, and we do not recommend parents trying to Google translate everything. Try these tips if your child is stuck:
Have him or her read the problem out loud. Sometimes that helps it to click when reading silently seems too challenging to your child.
For math, you can always look at the model problems, and direct your child to look at the model problems. Those usually give a good clue as to the type of work he or she is expected to do in the rest of the page.
Finally, if he or she is really stuck on a specific problem, circle it and write a note to the teacher that your child will need some extra help when they return for a face to face day.
This year we made the decision to offer Passport virtually for all middle school immersion students. This was done because the number of exploratory classes being offered was already cut back and we wanted immersion students to have the opportunity to still take some of their choice exploratory classes. Your student should be spending no more than 30 minutes a day on work for Passport, and this class should be mostly self-paced and asynchronous, with some options for Zoom meetings on Fridays, or projects due on Fridays. If your child is struggling to complete these tasks, your first line of communication should be your child's teacher. He or she is working to adjust to this new format just as you are, and is certainly willing to hear any concerns, questions or positive feedback.
High school immersion classes are following their usual format, except for the changes brought about by the hybrid model. Teachers have been adjusting to the social distancing requirements by creating more opportunities for virtual interaction so that students still get to practice the language through oral communication. Our LOOLA classes are also going as scheduled and teachers have been adjusting the Virtual SC curriculum to meet our immersion students' needs.
Thank you for your continued support.
Seal of Biliteracy
In other news, your high schools will begin sign ups for the Seal of Biliteracy this week, so please encourage your juniors and seniors to be on the look out for those virtual meetings.
You can find more information here:
Student Application (your school contact will be sending a Google Doc version of this application)
Lexington District One’s Online Learning Academy for Immersion Students
Many parents are wondering, “If my child is in elementary immersion, can she or he choose the Online Learning Academy and stay in Immersion?” The answer is yes.
What will it look like?
At the elementary level, supplemental instruction will be provided in the immersion language to help students maintain a high level of language proficiency so they do not fall behind their peers who choose the face to face option. Students will receive all of their core content areas in English, through Lexington One’s Online Learning Academy (LOOLA) and will also be provided with a language enrichment class. The language enrichment class will include both independent online language practice, as well as guided language practice from an immersion teacher.
For more information, contact Dr. Liza Speece
Coordinator of World Languages and Immersion
February was a big month for our immersion program. We opened 5K registration on February 18th, and will let parents know results some time in April. It is also the month we celebrate love and friendship on Valentine's day. The image above was taken by Sra. Guttierez's 2nd grade immersion Spanish class at RBES who started a pen pal exchange with an immersion class in Los Angeles. They shared Christmas and Valentine's cards which is giving them a chance to practice their Spanish in an authentic setting. Great job Sra. Guttierez!
We are also opening our immersion summer camp registration in March. Click here for more information.
Elementary Immersion Updates
Midway Elementary has earned an international honor! Immersion students and staff received the exciting news during a surprise assembly on Jan. 22. Various district and community leaders attended the program. MES Principal Jan Fickling and Lexington County School District One Superintendent Dr. Greg Little gave remarks which highlighted the importance of learning a second language, and the opportunities it provides in education and the workplace.The school earned the “LabelFrancÉducation” seal which is awarded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Established in 2012, the seal is granted to schools promoting French language and culture as part of the curriculum. Currently, 395 schools from across the world have received the “LabelFrancÉducation” seal. MES is the only school in South Carolina to receive this award and one of just five schools in the Southeast. Read the full article from Inside Voice here ://custapp.marketvolt.com/cv.aspx?cm=1457020138&x=37570536
Deerfield Elementary submitted this video to the Goethe Institute for the "Our Sustainable Future" competition. Check out their great ideas to help take care of our planet. Results will be in by April 1st and Deerfield was the only Elementary school worldwide participating in the competition.
MGES performed two versions of their Chinese New Year Celebration this year, one in the morning for the school, and one in the evening for parents. The incredible performances by both teachers and students were given the most fantastic finale with the traditional Lion Dance. There was music, art, singing, dancing and teacher written dramas, all in Mandarin Chinese.
Secondary Immersion Updates
Marcy Hite, 6th grade immersion teacher at PHMS shares, "My passport classes just got done with studying foods of Venezuela. The kids were able to bring in Venezuelan dishes for others to try. It's nice the kids had a chance to experience different things. In their Spanish 1 classes, the students have been creating a promotional video of PHMS for their school unit. Once it's ready, I will share it on YouTube and send it to my friends in South America and students can give their comments. Soon, students will be speaking LIVE with Venezuelan students, asking and answering questions about each others' schools." Thanks Marcy for working to make such interesting and interactive experiences for our immersion students.
Recently, immersion students from LHS and GHS participated in a cross-site collaboration. Their teachers, Anahi Anaya and Martha Rapio created a scenario that required students to play the role of a futuristic society in which a Third World War was about to occur. Only a certain number of people could be allowed into the shelter, and they had to take on imaginary personalities and backgrounds, such as doctor or firefighter, and then try to persuade the group to allow them into the shelter. The activity was a success for a variety of reasons. Here is what students said: "I like being able to meet new people from other schools, and the idea was very interesting because it is actually possible that a Third World War could actually happen." When I asked students what they like about immersion they said, "I like that everyone is like family. I like it because it is fun. And I like it because we do lots of different activities." What an incredible opportunity for our students in Lexington One!
Immersion 5K Registration
Happy New Year, and welcome back to school for 2020--a year to continue improving our vision. As the new year begins, we also begin preparing for 5K immersion registration. The online registration site will open at 4:00 p.m., February 18th. We will also have parent information meetings at the following times:
Here is a link to the informational flyer.
Here is a link to the website where registration will take place.
German Center of Excellence
Lexington One was recently awarded the honor of being named a German Center of Excellence. This national honor recognizes districts with exceptional curriculum, highly qualified teachers, and a growing and thriving German program. The American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) said this about our program, "The jury was impressed in particular that the German program is so very well established and growing. There is clear evidence that the program has strong support from the administration, professional colleagues, parents and students, and has strong ties to the wider community." They also went on to praise our curriculum, and the value we place on student feedback saying, "This is truly a program that is designed to meet the needs of students." We are so proud of all of our immersion programs, and are especially pleased to have our German program become nationally recognized.
These students from GES are describing a project they made on landforms in science. Notice their beautiful accents as well as their knowledge of science content and their creativity in the creation of landforms out of play doh. Great job girls, and thank you Sra. Arias for providing fun opportunities for students to show their knowledge of science and language.
Hear also what these middle school french immersion students have to say about immersion and what a great experience it is for them. If you have friends or neighbors who are contemplating registering for 5K, feel free to share this link with them as well. Thank you Mlle. Hamner for highlighting your students' points of view.
RBHS has recently created a partnership with a sister school, St. Martine de France in Paris, France. Students from St. Martine will visit RBHS in February 2020, and RBHS students will visit St. Martine in April of 2020. Students from St. Martine sent videos to our students and our students are now creating videos to send back. We also received this photo collage from St. Martine to help our students know what to expect when they arrive in Paris. Lexington One also has the following sister schools: Blaise Pascal in Clermont Ferrand, France, Adolfinum Gymnasium in Bückeburg, Germany and No. 1 Middle School in Chengdu, China.
Immersion Completer Guidelines
Last week I had the honor of advocating for our students on Capitol Hill. Educators from 44 states assembled in Washington D.C. through our national language conference. We met with senators and representatives and asked them to support funding for World Language programs. As I was advocating for your children and our school district, I thought of you since you are your child's biggest advocate. Thank you for trusting Lexington District One to give your child a world class immersion education.
I am pleased to offer you a tool that will help you continue to advocate for your children on their immersion journey. As they enter middle and high school, you will be faced with many decisions about which courses to take. We want you to have clarity as you make those choices, and to understand what it means to be considered an Immersion Completer upon graduation.
These official guidelines explain how students qualify as Immersion Completers. This process is similar to all Center of Study completion guidelines, and will go into effect for the current 2019-2020 academic year. We are publishing the guidelines now so that students graduating this year will have time to follow up if they feel that they should be recognized but do not meet the minimum requirements. We also want current middle schoolers to plan well for high school so that they will be recognized when they graduate as well.
Elementary immersion teachers gathered for Professional Learning in November. We focused on activities to get students talking, and that also motivate kids to have fun with language. Teachers gave feedback on performance assessments that will be integrated with science. This will help teachers assess student language growth and prepare students for the types of integrated performance assessments (IPAs) that they will be getting in middle and high school.
Dr. Liza Speece, World Languages and Partial Immersion Coordinator
How is my child doing in immersion?
As an immersion parent myself, I am concerned not only that my son is learning math and science, but that he is becoming more fluent in French. I am excited, now that he is in third grade, that he will be tested for the first time in all four language skills of French: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Why am I looking forward to a test? Because the STAMP test is a STAndards-based Measurement of Proficiency. That means it is a nationally recognized instrument that will help me understand how my son is progressing in his language skills.
Starting in the third grade, all immersion students begin taking the STAMP test and are tested each Spring through the 12th grade. This test does not affect students' grades; however, it gives us a chance to measure the progress of immersion students' language development. It also helps us assess the success of our immersion program. The state of SC also accepts STAMP scores to award the Seal of Biliteracy (see the October update for info on the Seal of Biliteracy).
In the picture below you will see a data dive with PHES administrators and immersion teachers. Data dives give us the opportunity to look closely at student scores from the previous school year, to set goals for improvement for the current year. Across the nation, immersion students typically score higher on listening skills than the other four; however, we are seeing an increase in reading, writing and speaking skills and we continue to focus on improving instruction.
It's exciting to see how our students are growing in their language skills. Thank you for valuing bilingualism and biliteracy. It is a valuable gift for your child's future. If you have further questions about STAMP testing, your child's scores, or anything to do with your child's development, his or her teacher should be able to help you. You can always send me an email as well.
Amanda Hajji, Teacher Support Specialist for World Languages
Students speak Mandarin in the classroom.
We love when we get to see students speaking and having fun in the language. The videos below show students problem solving and competing in Ms. Li's class on a tower-building activity. You can also see the partnership RBHS and MGE have formed through book buddies, and hear students doing math in Mandarin!
Carolina Springs Middle School teachers implement Capturing Kid's Hearts training in the classroom by encouraging students to share good things going on in their lives. This practice serves to build a welcoming school community and make each child feel appreciated. See how Sra. Zimmerman's class does "Cosas Buenas" where students are sharing good news with their classmates in Spanish! This welcoming environment that has been created through Capturing Kid's Hearts encourages students to take risks with the second language. Sra. Mayride's students presented research projects on Uruguay and Paraguay in Spanish.
Sra Rapio's Spanish immersion class at Gilbert High School is studying the topic: Identifying Strengths. To do so, they created an illustrated story in class, in which they told the story of a character who had to use his/her strengths to overcome conflict. Each student shared their stories with the class.
Rapio's students also practiced grammatical forms with the activity "Running in Circles" where they went on a scavenger hunt around the classroom. This was a fun and active competition to practice grammar and meaning.
Opportunities for Students
Fall is upon us and with the start of a new season, come new opportunities. High school juniors and seniors are strongly encouraged to apply for the South Carolina Seal of Biliteracy. Immersion students stand a very good chance of earning the Seal as the lowest requirement is a proficiency level of Intermediate Mid (which is a 5 on STAMP) in all four areas, Reading, Speaking, Listening and Writing. They also must maintain a GPA of 3.0 in English, or ESOL students can earn a 4.0 composite score on WIDA. For more information, click here.
Last year is the first year the Seal was offered in SC, and we had 103 students who qualified! Let's beat that number this year. The picture above shows RBHS students who earned the seal last year. Many were immersion students. Hard work pays off!
Opportunities for Parents
Dr. Speece, the Coordinator for World Languages and Immersion, will be offering two informational sessions in October for immersion parents who want to learn more about the program. She will share what opportunities your children will have as they get older, and tips for supporting your students in immersion (K-12). They will be held on October 23rd from 8-9 am and October 24th from 12-1 pm at Central Services in the Staff Development Room. Please RSVP to email@example.com. If you have specific questions, or if there are topics you'd like to discuss at future meetings, feel free to email in advance.
Immersion Program Highlights
We would like to welcome our new Elementary French Immersion teacher, Mme. Villalobos Machado!
Mme. Villalobos Machado will be teaching third grade immersion at Midway Elementary. She and her family are from Venezuela, and lived most recently in Panama. Her husband is teaching French at LHS and her sons are attending LHS. They are all trilingual speaking English, Spanish and French! Bienvenue!!
Take a look at all the fun beginning of the year activities going on at Midway!
Meadow Glen Elementary hosted a night for parents to learn more about bilingualism in partnership with the USC Chapter of Bilingualism Matters. If other schools are interested in hosting similar events, contact Dr. Bauer at USC firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meadow Glen Middle is exploring in the Passport curriculum with its students!
The MGMS immersion team, including Senegalese M. Ousmane Fall, is providing opportunities for students to learn about the history, politics, geography and literature in Senegal! Students are currently learning about African Griots and will be working towards creating their own folklore in the Senegalese style by also incorporating a few words in the native tongue of M. Fall, Wolof!
Students identifying the presidents of Senegal!
Gilbert High school has received its first class of 9th grade Spanish immersion students! It is so exciting to watch our programs and our students grow! Sra. Rapio moved from LMS this year to GHS to teach Spanish and Spanish immersion. She recently presented at the Lexington One Summer Institute on incorporating a workshop model into the Spanish classroom, and has worked closely with her digital learning coach to integrate meaningful technology into the classroom.
Did you know...
...that in Lexington One Immersion schools, we have some 5th graders whose language proficiency could earn them the Seal of Biliteracy? Unfortunately, they are not eligible until their junior or senior year in high school, but what great motivation for our kids to stay with their immersion language, and even consider learning a third language in middle school or high school. The sky is the limit for our kids, especially since they are becoming multi-lingual.
Here are some options for continuing language study after high school...College and University Programs.
It's never too early to start thinking about the future.
There are also many options for studying abroad: Some from outside agencies (click here), and others that are lead by Lexington One teachers. PHMS is organizing a trip to the Galapagos Islands for 2021, and Riverbluff High School is working on an exchange with students in France that would allow French students to visit here, and our students to visit there. We will continue to post information and opportunities on this Immersion Updates Blog as they become available.
You can also follow us on Twitter @LOWLT or on Facebook Lexington One World Language Teachers.
A New School Year and New Leadership
Dear Immersion Parents,
I am pleased to introduce myself, Dr. Liza Speece, as the new Coordinator for World Languages and Dual Language Immersion. While I am new to this role, I am not new to Lexington One, or immersion. I began my Lexington One career as a third grade Spanish immersion teacher at Pleasant Hill Elementary. Then I became the World Language Teacher Support Specialist for the district, and I worked alongside our previous coordinator, Dawn Samples for several years. My son is also an immersion student, which means I understand this program from every possible angle.
Before coming to Lexington One I taught Elementary Spanish in a different district, at the University of SC, and at Columbia College and I teach as an adjunct professor for USC and College of Charleston. I am also proud to introduce our new World Language Teacher Support Specialist, Amanda Hajji. Amanda taught French at LHS for 8 years, as well as Yearbook; she has also served on a variety of boards and professional organizations in the World Languages community. I am so glad to have her on board!
You might have heard that we hosted our very first district wide Immersion Summer Camp in July: Passport to Adventure. We had 209 students studying all four immersion languages (Chinese, French, German, and Spanish) under one roof. There were 5 Spanish classes, 3 German, 2 French, and 2 Chinese. It was such a great success, we are already planning for next year! We'd especially like to see more involvement from MS and HS immersion students as classroom helpers. Check out pictures and performances here.
Immersion is such an incredible experience both for children and parents, but at times, it can also be confusing and challenging. I understand that, and it is my goal to keep you informed and make sure that you and your children have the best, most enriching experience possible. Thank you for trusting us with your children, and for believing that languages open doors.
Please check back here monthly for immersion updates and classroom highlights. You can also reach me at email@example.com, or in my office at 803-821-3812. I look forward to hearing from you.
Immersion Program Highlights
Maria Jose Sabillion and Yenobis Amundaray de Galan from RBES presented to a packed room at the National Dual Language Immersion Conference in Charlotte, NC. Attendees were taking notes, asking questions and snapping pictures of all of the great ideas and resources that Maria Jose and Yenobis shared. The title of their session was, "Strategies for Staying in the L2 in Grades 3-5," and they shared tips, strategies and resources for teaching Math and Science without resorting to English. There were over 50 other immersion teachers and administrators from around the world learning from our very own LexOne teachers. It was a VERY proud moment for us all.
Chinese Immersion teachers at MGES hosted another spectacular Chinese New Year celebration.
Kindergarten presented a play, The Story of the Chinese Zodiac. There are 12 Chinese zodiac signs, in the following order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each sign is named after an animal, and each animal has its own unique characteristics. The story story reveals legendary reasons, and some of the characteristics of the 12 animals. It is widespread among Chinese. Though it is made up, it might be interesting for you to tell your children and friends.
First grade immersion performed a dance called Chinese Opera. Chinese Opera is a popular form of drama in China. It has gradually evolved over more than a thousand years.
Second grade performed a rap song call Counting Frogs, which integrated math, language, and music.
Third grade performed a dance called Exercise Song. It is an active dance to advocate for staying healthy.
Fourth grade performed Kong Fu Fan. Kong Fu Fan is the most popular Tai Chi Fan form ever practiced in China. There are 52 movements in the whole routine based on the characteristic Tai Chi posture with the fan's artistic and martial functions.
Fifth grade presented a song using sign language. This song is about a world full of love, which encourages everyone to follow their dreams with perseverance. Here is their introduction “We speak English. We speak Chinese. We use different languages to convey information. We also convey information without speaking, that is sign language.”
MGMS Chinese Immersion students have some exciting events coming up in February. Sixth grade immersion students will go on a field study trip to Charlotte True Buddha Temple and Seventh grade immersion will go to an Asian Market. These are such valuable experiences for students to understand cultural products and practices, as well as to motivate them in their language studies.
CSMS Immersion students will partner with all of the WL classes to present a Festival of Cultures. See flyer below. All are welcome to attend!
Immersion Year 2 at LHS will be examining the needs of their community and ways in which they can be of most use to those in need. Sra. Cormier-Bausch states, "To begin we will work on a collaborative project to bring awareness to the LHS population of our FIT (Food Improving Thinking) program. This will be a broadcast segment on the school’s daily video news in English and in Spanish!" It is great to see immersion students sharing their language skills with the entire school.
RBHS Chinese classes also hosted MGE students to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Immersion News and Important Updates
Former Pleasant Hill Elementary Immersion students who are graduating at LHS this year were recognized recently during the PHES Noche de la Familia event. Immersion students are shown here with their parents.
Dual Language Immersion Registration for 2019-20 5K Kindergarten will begin on February 20, 2019 online only at 4:00 p.m.
Parent information sessions will be held in late January and February and all information from the meetings and how to register will also be updated online soon HERE. Information regarding the parent information sessions will be sent out via Peachjar and posted on the web.
HIGH SCHOOL IMMERSION
The Office of Standards and Learning at the South Carolina Department of Education is pleased to announce the State Board of Education’s approval for the South Carolina Seal of Biliteracy, an award that recognizes students who have attained a functional level of proficiency in two languages (English and one other language) by graduation.
The South Carolina Seal of Biliteracy serves to certify attainment of biliteracy for students, employers, and universities. It is a statement of accomplishment that helps to signal evidence of a student’s readiness for career and college, and for engagement as a global citizen. The Office of Standards and Learning has provided a support document explaining all related guidelines for the South Carolina Seal of Biliteracy, as well as an application that must be used for students to earn the award.
SC Department of Education Supporting Documents:
South Carolina Seal of Biliteracy Overview and Guidelines: https://goo.gl/wuCUny
South Carolina Seal of Biliteracy Student Application: https://goo.gl/PXx4Ba
**If your child has not registered to apply for the Seal of Biliteracy with a teacher at school and would like to do so, please have them see a WL teacher or the WL department about how to apply online and provide the hard copy application to the district as soon as possible! **
For more information visit:
The National Seal of Biliteracy website: https://sealofbiliteracy.org
The South Carolina Department of Modern and Classical Languages:
Lexington One World Languages website: https://lexoneworldlanguages.weebly.com/
Look for information coming soon regarding...
Immersion Program Highlights
Yenobis Amundaray de Galan, 4th grade teacher at RBES, recently created a collaboration through the program, Skype a Scientist (https://www.skypeascientist.com/). Skype a Scientist matches scientists with classrooms around the world! Scientists skype into the classroom for 30-60 minute Q and A sessions that can cover the scientist’s expertise or what it’s like to be a scientist. This was a perfect match for our elementary immersion classroom, since the students are already learning math and science in another language.
We also hosted a visit from the Goethe Institute recognizing DES as a PASCH School (Schools: Partners for the Future). The aim of PASCH is to create and strengthen a global network of partner schools with special links to Germany. The entire school participated in a STEM day, including a visit from a famous TV personality from Germany, who is similar to our Bill Nye the Science Guy. Throughout the rest of the day, students participated in STEM activities in their classrooms.
MES hosted a French author through the French Embassy in Atlanta. She visited the fourth and fifth grade immersion classes and read them a story she had written. Students received an unillustrated version, which they illustrated themselves, and then read aloud.
Neyibeth Gonzalez, 8th grade immersion teacher at PHMS, has created a website for parent communication. This is a fantastic way to stay in communication with parents so they can partner with us in our work with students. Click on the image below to view.
And here are a few moments from her recent classroom activities, which include a presentational speaking activity on a superhero they created for themselves, as well as "Baile Miércoles" (Dance Wednesday) in which students are exposed to songs and dances from Spanish speaking countries.
Marci Hite, also from PHMS, organized a visit from native Spanish speakers from the community to help her 6th grade immersion students practice their Spanish conversational skills. One of the volunteers stated, "Sra. Hite....congrats on the great job you did today....WE LOVED IT, and I do believe the students enjoyed it too. After the session, I chatted with some of the volunteers, and they were pleased to see the students speaking Spanish. There were also some emotional questions, questions that made us remember the beauty of our countries, our families, our food, and how we celebrate some holidays."
Also in middle school immersion, Dr. Todd Spaulding's 7th grade French immersion students at MGMS, recently finished video game presentations. Dr Spaulding states, "All the students were super motivated. Basically, we learned about the history of video games and certain genres. Then we learned what goes into a video game review (both written and video). The students then chose their favorite video game and wrote up a presentational speaking review of their game." Our teachers clearly strive to connect classroom learning to student interests, while also challenging students to improve their language acquisition.
Also, in a connection to the spooky month of October, we they read a Goosebumps book. Dr. Spaulding states, "They’re enjoying it, and learning a lot and creating a lot of visuals to show understanding."
Mandy Domenech, immersion teacher at WKHS, has been encouraging students to read a book of their choice. She explains, "We are at the final half of our unit of Self Identity and have begun our individual reading of a Spanish language novel. The photos below are of our “Book Tasting” of Spanish language young adult novels. They will use information gathered from sampling or “tasting” each book to decide which one they will choose for their independent reading of a novel. There will be vocabulary and grammar lessons pulled from what they read as well as interpersonal conversations and presentations (both written and spoken) based on the books they have chosen." What a personalized approach to language and literacy instruction!