Emina is an early learner educator. We chatted with her about her experience using Polylino in her classroom.
Hi Emina, we’re so glad you love Polylino! Tell us about how you prep your lessons.
Since our students have their own iPads, I search for a book on Polylino that aligns with our learning goals. Because books are available in different languages, it makes storytime accessible to all students, even those with different language skills. For example, students who speak a language other than English at home can read the book in their home language and increase their understanding of the content.
I divide the students of the same reading level into pairs to read together. According to research, paired reading is considered a more effective and motivating form of reading than individual reading. The experience becomes more structured and the students develop collaboration and relationship skills, and I’ve found that each student can help and support the other with challenges like pronunciation. The purpose of paired reading is also to practice reflection and discussing the story with someone else. Before we start, I find it helpful to set basic rules for listening and talking in their groups.
Tell us more about your lesson plan.
I intentionally keep the same structure to each lesson plan so that the students recognize it and can learn effectively. The lesson structure is based on five steps. Step one is thinking aloud together with some questions I’ve prepared. Those questions are:
What do you think about the title?
What do you think this book is about?
Look at the pictures. What do you understand from them?
This conversation provides students time to visualize the story, and they learn to listen to others’ views and experiences which helps develop their own understanding. Then we move on to step two by having the students listen to some of the story. This is normally when I’ll have us listen to it in English and in various home languages.
After listening to the story, we walk through Aidan Chamber’s four basic questions:
Likes – What caught your attention?
Dislikes – Was there anything that you did not like?
Puzzles – Was there anything you found strange or surprising?
Patterns – Did it remind you of anything?
I have them answer these questions themselves first, and then encourage them to share their answers with their reading partner. I walk around as they share to hear their responses and support them where needed. And finally, I have them share their answers with the class as a whole.