Congratulations to English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher Stacey Westberry on being named as one of two recipients of the Innovate to Accelerate Language Learning grant. The grant, which is funded through Carolina TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages), supplies financial aid of up to $750 for activities and initiatives that promote learning. The intent of the grant is to allow for more creative learning opportunities not normally supported by the school budget to help advance English language acquisition for students.
Mrs. Westberry works with students at both B-L Elementary and Middle Schools. She plans to use the grant money to purchase coding materials such as Ozobots and Bee-Bots that will allow her students to be immersed in authentic critical thinking and problem solving experiences that will help them develop their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. As students program these robots to solve a variety of problems, they will be afforded an opportunity to collaborate with their peers and use real-world skills, thus putting into practice the knowledge they are acquiring through traditional paper and pencil tasks.
“Coding offers great diversity and numerous options for continued use in the ELL (English Language Learners) classroom as my students learn and grow, while also offering opportunities to connect the content being learned in the regular classroom,” said Mrs. Westberry. “Coding allows ELL students who often experience greater challenges and frustrations to be fully engaged and simply have fun while learning!”
Mrs. Westberry hopes to implement her coding project sometime in April. A special thanks goes out to Andrea Derrick, one of Lexington Three’s Digital Learning Coaches, for her assistance in writing the grant.