Even though Laurel Elementary School in Los Angeles faces considerable challenges, it boasts an impressive list of accolades.
Most Laurel students come from low-income backgrounds, and about 60 percent are English Language Learners. The students have tended to perform better on math than language arts on California standardized tests, according to The Hechinger Report.
The Hechinger Report article discusses how educators at the school are preparing for the transition toward common core standards, which will be more rigorous and demand more advanced language skills from students.
In response, educators at the school are infusing more language development into math classes. Third-grade teacher Alejandra Monroy, who is from Chile, is teaching vocabulary as she explains math concepts.
While teaching students the concept that “3 X 4 = 12” she explained that the first two numbers are “factors” and the entire series a “multiplication sentence.”
Then she explained the concept of patterns through numbers.
“A pattern can be something like red/blue/red/blue right?” Monroy asked. “A sequence that repeats. When you count by skipping numbers — 2-4-6 — you’re doing a pattern.”
If you speak with teachers, how are they preparing to phase in the common core for ELLs? How are their teaching methods changing? When elementary school teachers teach math, how are they changing their approach?