Striving to Create an Equitable Classroom Community
How do native English speakers and native Spanish speakers interact and communicate in a Dual Language Immersion Classroom and how will this change as we grow together as a classroom community? When you bring two groups of students together from diverse cultural backgrounds, how do you encourage them to form friendships? These questions pushed me to take a closer look at how to foster a more equitable environment for my Kindergarteners at Capri Elementary school in Leucadia, California. Through class discussions, student interviews and observations, I discovered that my students’ backgrounds played a significant part in how they interacted with each other in the classroom. I found they benefited from the use of cooperative learning strategies and from being paired up with a language partner or compañero whose native language was different from their own. I also discovered that daily class meetings were the most successful way to encourage positive behavior and foster friendships.