Academic Discussions and Student Communication

Denise Rodriguez
Second-grade teacher, Kingsford Elementary School, Polk County, Florida

My story is less academic and more of a social success story. In October, I received a new student who spoke very little. She was not non-verbal, she just had a limited vocabulary. When she would ask questions, she would use broken sentences, “I go bathroom?” She was a challenge. When teaming, I made sure she was with a strong group, and she was required to participate to the best of her ability. As the year progressed, my little girl began to blossom. Academically, she made some gains, but socially, wow! I can remember the day when she came to me to tell me about her weekend; she used age/grade appropriate sentence structures. I truly believe that being able to participate in the academic discussions utilized through teaming helped my student communicate more effectively. Next year, because of her being able to communicate more effectively, she will be able to close the gap academically with her peers. LSI/teaming has changed my philosophy about teaching because I see the impact it has made with all of my students.