There's a lot going on these next two weeks in the Lincoln DLP classrooms. There's a need for classroom volunteers, as there are assessments happening. Check with your classroom parents if you are available to help.
Don't forget to attend the Lincoln PTO's Fall Festival this Friday, October 26th at 3pm-6pm. There will be games, prizes, a BBQ, a pie walk, bake sale, produce stand, and much more! Also, remember to wear your orange and black on Friday!
Halloween is next Wednesday and Dia de los Muertos is on Thursday. We need volunteers to help set-up on Thursday for our after school celebration for Dia de los Muertos. You can sign up here:
There will also be opportunities to help during classroom rotations during school hours. Los Maestros are planning various Dia de los Muertos activities and will need assistance from parent volunteers to help with the rotations and activities. More information to follow from your Maestros.
Don't forget to sign-up for the 2nd Annual Dual Immersion Parent Conference on Saturday, November 17th, at 8am-1pm at Boronda Meadows. The conference is free and so is childcare. Children will have the opportunity to participate in enrichment activities, such as, dancing, African music and art. To sign up, you can register here:
If you were at the last DLP parent meeting you know that we have received a $2,500 matching donation for Lincoln DLP "GET SMART" campaign, which means all we have to do is raise that same amount and the donor will match up to $2,500! We have to act quickly, as the deadline is 10/31/12. As you know, we are asking Lincoln DLP families to consider making a donation of $20 a month or a one time donation of $240; however, any amount, large or small, makes a difference (even $5 dollars). Many, many thanks for those of you that have already donated!
Please consider reaching out to your close friends and family and ask them if they might consider giving to this very worthy cause. This is not a requirement, by any means; however, this goes directly to our children's classrooms. Whether you give personally or you ask friends/family to give, your effort and consideration are greatly appreciated!!!!
If you haven't noticed, there are some new plants growing out in front of our school (just left to the main entrance). Margaret D'Arrigo Martin had the idea of doing an afterschool study group and having the kids do a "good deed" afterwards. If you know Margaret, you know she is a "get it done" person. She spoke with our principal, asked McShane's to donate the plants and soil, and recruited a few like minded DLP families to chip in some elbow grease. It was a dirty task and took a little more man power than anticipated, but in the end it was all worth it. The children involved can admire the plants on a daily basis and know they did a little something to help our school look a little nicer. Is there something you'd like to do for our school or our dual language program? If so, let us know. We might be able to help your idea come to life.
(Nico Santos, Sterling Martin, Natalia Santos, Alex Martin, Alec Giannini, Maya Giannini, Max Magana, & Bella Nassiri)
Repost: (Back by popular demand) October and November are full of fun fall activities, such as Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos. For those of you whom have never heard about the holiday we've put togehter some information that will hopefully shed some light on what it's all about. There is also a photo slide show on the right hand column of the blog that highlights some of the festivities that went on at Lincoln last year in celebration of Dia de Los Muertos.
Día de los Muertos(English: Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday that celebrated annually on November 1st and 2nd.
The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and
remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly
celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality of a National
Holiday. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.
Dia de los Muertos is not the Mexican version of Halloween. The
holiday has been celebrated in Mexico since the year 1800 B.C. In the
Mexican culture, this holiday is neither scary nor morbid. It is a time
of celebration and remembrance. It is a mixture of the Catholic
Christian ritual and folk culture.
El Dia de los
Muertos honors those whom have passed. It is a welcomed opportunity to
reflect upon one's life, heritage, ancestry and the meaning of one's
existence. Altars or ofrendas are a way to show honor, love and
remembrance to those whom have departed.
neighbors gather in local cemeteries to share food, music, and fun with
their extended community, both living and departed. The celebration
acknowledges that we still have a relationship with our ancestors and
loved ones that have passed away.
have been added over the years, but for the most part, this ancient
holiday is as it always was - a time of remembrance and love. So, don't
be afraid of the Day of the Dead. This is a happy holiday.
Well, the school year has started and kids, teachers and families are
beginning to fall into the rhythm of the schedule. For many families,
the first few weeks are filled with excitement, anxiety, hope and fear.
It's especially challenging for families that are entering a dual
language program for the first time. Some children are following right
into the routine and others are having a harder time. That's why we've
compiled some words of wisdom from families that have experienced the
transition into language immersion firsthand. If you have questions
and/or concerns or just want to speak with someone who has gone through a
dual language program, be sure to comment or send us an email at
"This one is from Grandma. I
had three children in Spanish Immersion and it was 100% in kinder and
1st grade. Granted that every child is different, I think that you need
to take a deep breath and relax a little. This is the first week. Of
course, your child might come home and say that he/she did not
understand everything but give them a week or two and the picture
should be different. Try not to show your anxiety about this because
your child will pick up on it. Remember that yesterday and for the next
few weeks there will be hundreds of children entering their first
time in a language immersion class. Children are like sponges and they
do pick up very quickly. Some of this difficulty maybe just adjusting
to school in general. Be supportive and positive with your child and
listen to them. If you feel like the problem persists speak with the
teacher. Check to see that your child is eating well and sleeping well
Other signs of difficulty maybe crying alot or being belligerent.
Change in those behaviors can indicate that there is some undue stress
and needs to be addressed further. A lot of times, it may be the
parent that is having the more difficult time. Hope this helps."
Written by Madeline Ehrlich
"Try, as best as you can,
not to show any anxiety to your kids. Tell them how special they are
to be learning another language with their fellow classmates. Kids
look to their parents for understanding and if they see how excited
you are, they'll follow your lead.
Part of the anxiety comes from not knowing. This can be an incredible life lesson for kids and adults, too! There will always
be times of non-knowing something and the more that we can teach them
that this is a natural part of learning, the more they accept it and
the better learners they can become. Relaxed kids = better learners!
of my favorite stories about a kid's first week in a Spanish Dual
Language class is from the principal of our school. A young boy kept
coming home and saying "I think I'm in the wrong class, they speak
Spanish in my class". The mother kept reassuring him that he was in the
right class. Eventually, he stopped saying he was in the wrong
class. This boy was our principal's son!
"You're giving your child an incredible gift!"
Written by Jenny Manriquez, Mother of 5th Grade, Spanish Immersion Student
an English speaking parent of a son who has spent the last five years
in a Dual Immersion Program, I am thrilled with his speaking, reading,
and writing skills in both Spanish and English. As all of his homework
has been in Spanish over the years, the program gave me a chance to
learn Spanish along side of him and opened up a world of resources in
order to help him thrive. No matter your fears or hesitations, you can
do this Your child(ren) will appreciate the gift." written by Michelle
Ramos, Castroville Elementary DLP & Boronda Meadows DLP parent
"Congratulations on your Spanish Dual Language Program!
have three kids, just about to go into 2nd, 4th and 6th grades. We are
an English-only household. Well, my husband and I only speak English!
My kids have been in language immersion since Kindergarten. They LOVE
Spanish. And their state testing in English is through the roof. From
my experience, my kids didn't notice they were in Spanish immersion.
They thought that all schools taught only in Spanish, lol.
reassure your parents that the anxiety their kids feel might be
mirrored anxiety from the parents themselves. Plus, the kindergartners
and first graders might be feeling the same anxiety that many kids feel
going to school for the first time, or back to school after a long
summer - regardless of whether they're in dual language, immersion, or
any other school for that matter.
My husband and I both
agree that giving our kids the gift of a second language is one of the
best things we've done for them. Take care and stay with it! Oh, and
don't forget to take a deep breath. You deserve it!" written by
Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin
Hey DLP Parents- The kinder classes are working on the abecedario
(alphabet) with the use of Alfamigos and los sonidos iniciales.
According to Literacy Connection, phonological awareness is a strong
predictor of later reading success. Phonological awareness refers to the
sensitivity to the sounds. This is important because in order to be
able to sound out words for reading, children need to be able to hear
the similarities and differences in words.
When elementary and secondary schools and colleges around the country open for the fall semester, millions of students will not be studying a foreign language. Not necessarily for lack of interest. They won’t be able to.
In a shrinking world this reality constitutes a threat to our national security. “To prosper economically and to improve relations with other countries,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan declared in 2010, “Americans need to read, speak and understand other languages.” Unfortunately, Duncan pointed out, only 18% of Americans report speaking a language other than English, while 53% of Europeans (and increasing numbers in other parts of the world) can converse in a second language.
More and more students and their parents understand the need to communicate with friends and foes in other countries, and not just on our terms. Demand for and enrollment in foreign language courses is at its highest level since 1968. At public K-12 schools, course enrollment in 2007-2008 reached 8.9 million individuals, about 18.5 percent of all students; between 1995 and 2009, it increased 47.8 percent at colleges and universities.
At the same time, however, schools at every level are balancing their budgets and offsetting reductions in government allocations by cutting their offerings and/or eliminating foreign language requirements.
- The percentage of public and private elementary schools offering foreign language instruction decreased from 31 to 25 percent from 1997 to 2008. Instruction in public elementary schools dropped from 24 percent to 15 percent, with rural districts hit the hardest.
- The percentage of all middle schools offering foreign language instruction decreased from 75 to 58 percent.
- The percentage of high schools offering some foreign language courses remained about the same, at 91 percent.
- About 25 percent of elementary schools and 30 percent of middle schools report a shortage of qualified foreign language teachers.
- In 2009-2010, only 50.7 percent of higher education institutions required foreign language study for a baccalaureate, down from 67.5 percent in 1994-1995. And many colleges and universities, including Cornell, have reduced or eliminated instructional offerings in “less popular” languages.
We should care – a lot – about our foreign language deficit. We need diplomats, intelligence and foreign policy experts, politicians, military leaders, business leaders, scientists, physicians, entrepreneurs, managers, technicians, historians, artists, and writers who are proficient in languages other than English. And we need them to read and speak less commonly taught languages (for which funding has recently been cut by the federal government) that are essential to our strategic and economic interests, such as Farsi, Bengali, Vietnamese, Burmese and Indonesian.
There have been some positive recent developments:
- Over the past decade, the Chicago Public Schools have expanded instruction in Chinese to include 43 schools and serve 12,000 students. Many of these students are Hispanic and will be trilingual.
- The Arlington, Virginia, public schools offer after-school instruction in Chinese and Arabic to middle and high school students.
- Columbia, Yale and Cornell are developing video-conferencing courses to share – and spread – instruction in less-taught languages.
But we need to do more. Much more. We ask parents to urge their children to attain proficiency in a foreign language, whether or not schools require them to do so; PTAs to lobby school boards; faculty members and deans in colleges and universities to re-visit foreign language requirements; readers of Forbes to write to their elected representatives.
The message is simple: in 1957, after the Russians launched Sputnik, Congress passed and President Eisenhower signed the National Defense Education Act, which provided federal support for foreign language instruction as well as science education. We may not be quite as frightened as we were during the height of the Cold War, but we must be just as resolute in designing a comprehensive approach to foreign language acquisition that will prepare the next generation of Americans for success in a highly competitive, tightly interconnected world.
Can Bilingualism Counteract Effects of Poverty? - Learning the Language - Education Week
The bilingual brain is sharper than the monolingual one, more and more research is showing. People with fluency in at least two languages have better attention spans, enhanced memory, among other cognitive advantages.
But do those same cognitive strengths show up in bilingual children who are low-income? In other words, can bilingualism help children in low-income communities overcome the enormous cognitive challenges that poverty presents?
A soon-to-be published study from Pascale Engel de Abreu of the University of Luxembourg and colleagues takes a look at that very question. Their answer in a nutshell: yes. (You can read the unedited manuscript of the study which will be published soon in Pyschological Science.)
Researchers tested 80 2nd graders from low-income families living in Portugal and Luxembourg. Half of them were first- or second-generation Portuguese immigrants to Luxembourg, who spoke both Luxembourgish and Portuguese. The other half lived in Northern Portugal and spoke only Portuguese. The study first tested vocabulary by asking the children to name items presented to them in pictures, with both groups answering in Portuguese and the immigrant children also answering in Luxembourgish.
Then the researchers tested how the students represented knowledge in memory by asking them to find a missing piece that would complete a specific geometric shape. They also measured their memory through various tasks and examined how they could direct and focus their attention when distractions were present. In one visual task, the children were shown a row of yellow fish on a computer screen and were asked to press a button to indicate which direction the fish in the center of the screen faced.
The bilingual kids knew fewer vocabulary words than their monolingual peers, the researchers found, but demonstrated more ability to keep their attention focused on the tasks at hand, in spite of distractions.
"This is the first study to show that, although they may face linguistic challenges, minority bilingual children from low-income families demonstrate important strengths in other cognitive domains," said Engel de Abreu in a news release.
The upshot, the researchers said, is that even more scholars ought to delve into studying the promise of using second language teaching as an academic intervention for poor kids who are struggling.
We know that the majority of Lincoln DLP parents want to be deeply involved with their child's education. I would guess that is one of the reasons we all chose the DLP in the first place. We want to be involved, be proactive and provide our children with as many opportunities for educational success. Right? Well, volunteering in the classroom can help you learn what's happening at school, show your child that you care about education and keep you connected with your child's teacher and other parents.
It doesn't take much, even one hour a month will yield positive results. If one person from every family volunteered once a month, our teachers would always have an assistant. Even if you are a busy, working parent there are still simple and easy things you can do to help from home. With the class size increase in SCESD, parent volunteers are needed more than ever. We took the following excerpts from an article about volunteering featured on Greatschool.org. We hope you find these tidbits helpful.
Tips for Volunteering: 1. Communicate with the teacher and/or the classroom parent. Let your teacher know what types of
things you'd like to help with and get a sense of what she's comfortable
with you doing. At the start of the school year, simply organizing classroom supplies and/or making copies is a huge help. In the younger classes (i.e. Preschool and Kinder) assisting children find their way to the bathroom, helping reinforce the classroom rules (keep your hands to yourself, no talking while the teacher is speaking, etc) is a huge help. Helping decorate your classroom bulletin board can also be a big help for your teacher. Don't be afraid to ask other parents at drop off or pick-up if they can help you in a project for the class. You can also tell your teacher about any special skills or
talents you have that might be helpful to the class. While you should be
clear about your expectations, it is also important to remember that
teachers have different styles. One teacher might want you to design a
project and lead the class in doing it. Another might need to learn to
trust you before he will want you to work independently with a group of
students. 2. Be flexible. You will be most helpful to the teacher if
you are willing to do whatever needs doing. But if you aren't getting
to do the things you'd like to do, discuss that with the teacher after
school hours. There may be a better time for you to come or she may just
not need help in that area. 3. Don't take it personally if the teacher doesn't have time to chat.
Class time must be focused on the students. If you need to talk to the
teacher, make an appointment to talk outside of school hours. This is especially critical for our program, as we want to help our teachers maintain the Spanish model. If you are bilingual, then you can speak with the teacher before or after class. You may even offer to translate for English speaking parents. 4. Remember that it is not your job to discipline the kids.
It is OK to ask students to stop unsafe or unkind behavior, but the next
step is to let a teacher or other school employee know about the
problem. If you are having trouble with a student or group you are
supervising, let the teacher know immediately, and ask her how she'd
like you to handle similar situations in the future. It is also
important to understand the class rules so there are consistent behavior
expectations for the students. 5. Be reliable and on time. The teacher will quickly come to
rely on you and may be caught short-handed if you do not show up. Being
reliable is important even for a one-time volunteer job like chaperoning
a field trip. Teachers count on parents who have said they'll be there.
If you absolutely can't make it, let the teacher know as far in advance
as possible. 6. Don't gossip! While volunteering, you may occasionally
overhear private information about other students' academic progress,
family life or behavior. If you learn any sensitive info, be respectful
and don't tell others. 7. If you work outside the home you can still help. If you
want to help during the school day, you may be able to take time off
from your job to do it. According to the California State Family Leave Act, "Employees who work
for an employer with more than 24 employees can take up to 40 hours per year, no more than 8
hours a month, to participate in a child’s school activities. Eligible employees are required to use
existing vacation, personal leave, or compensatory time for such leave. State employees who
contribute to the State Disability Insurance Program are eligible for the same family and medical
leave benefits as workers in the private sector. State employees may use a direct leave donation
program. In California law, domestic partners have the same rights and responsibilities as
spouses." If you can't take time off from work or you have other daytime
commitments, ask your child's teacher if he needs any assistance behind
the scenes. He might ask you to help during non-school hours by calling
other parents, preparing supplies for an art project or science
experiment, setting up a computer data base, or editing student writing. 8. Prepare your child. Talk with your child before your
volunteer day, and let her know that although you'll be in the
classroom, you may not work directly with her. You might also remind her
that she needs to listen to her teacher and follow directions, even
when you are in the classroom. It is probably easiest to let the teacher
handle disciplining your child during your volunteer time, although you
can remind her to follow the rules just as you would another child.
You'll be amazed how much you learn about your child's life at school,
even while working with other students. 9. Have fun! Learn the names of the students you work with,
and try to praise something they did well during your time together.
Maybe they figured out a tough math problem, cooperated as a group, or
listened to directions. The students will remember your compliment and
be excited to see you next time.
Regardless of whether or not you are able to volunteer a little or a lot, every little bit matters and it matters most to our children!
If you missed the article in the Californian this past Monday, we've reposted it here. It's definitely worth the read.
Two Languages Better Than One for Kids' Brains: Study
Bilingual children excel at problem-solving, creative thinking, research suggests
THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Children who speak more than
one language seem to have a learning advantage: Being bilingual can
improve children's problem-solving skills and creative thinking, a new
The mental sharpness needed to switch between two languages may
develop skills that boost other types of thinking, explained researchers
from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.
"Bilingualism is now largely seen as being beneficial to children but
there remains a view that it can be confusing, and so potentially
detrimental to them," study leader Fraser Lauchlan, a lecturer at the
University of Strathclyde's School of Psychological Sciences &
Health, said in a university news release. "Our study has found that it
can have demonstrable benefits, not only in language but in arithmetic,
problem-solving and enabling children to think creatively."
The study involved 121 children roughly 9 years old in Scotland and
Sardinia who spoke English or Italian. Of these children, 62 were
bilingual and also spoke Gaelic or Sardinian. The children were given
set tasks in English or Italian. Specifically, they were asked to
reproduce patterns of colored blocks, orally repeat a series of numbers,
define words and solve mental math problems.
The bilingual children performed much better on the tasks than those who spoke only one language, the investigators found.
"We also assessed the children's vocabulary, not so much for their
knowledge of words as their understanding of them. Again, there was a
marked difference in the level of detail and richness in description
from the bilingual pupils," said Lauchlan, who is also a visiting
professor at the University of Cagliari in Sardinia.
"We also found they had an aptitude for selective attention -- the
ability to identify and focus on information which is important, while
filtering out what is not -- which could come from the 'code-switching'
of thinking in two different languages," Lauchlan added.
The study authors pointed out that the bilingual children who spoke
Gaelic performed better than those who spoke Sardinian. They suggested
the Gaelic-speaking children may have benefitted from the formal
teaching of the language and its extensive literature. In contrast,
Sardinian has a largely oral tradition with no standardized form of the
The study was released online in advance of print publication in the International Journal of Bilingualism. More information
The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on bilingual effects in the brain.
As of last week, Lincoln hired another DLP teacher! We will now have two full kinders, one full 1st grade, one combo 1st/s2nd grade class, and one 2nd grade class. The new teacher's name is Pablo Toledo. Mr. Toledo comes to us from San Juan Baptista where he taught dual immersion for the past five years. Mr. Toledo will teach the straight 2nd grade class and Maestra Williamns (formerly Boni) will teach the 1/2 combo. I know the DLPA speaks for many Lincoln dlp families when we say "HUGE THANK YOU" to SCESD!!!!
Correction from previous post:
Kinder meet and greet is schedule for Friday, August 10th 3pm-4pm. Also, we apologize for posting the incorrect time for the Back to School Night (6pm instead of 6:30pm); we hope it didn't inconvenience anyone.
As I am sure that many of you already know, Lincoln DLP will have two kinder classes, one first grade class and one second grade class. We will welcome a new teacher: Sra. Maria Covarrubias. Maestra Covarrubias and Maestra Ruiz will teach the two A.M. kindergarten classes. Maestra Gonzalez will teach first and Maestra Williams (the newly married Boni) will teach second. We have heard from the district that there are plans to assist the large first grade and second grade classrooms, but specific details are yet to be disclosed. We will certainly keep you all abreast of any development or news.
Be sure to mark your calendars for the "Back to School" night on Thursday, August 9th at 6pm. Remember that "Back to School" night is for parents only. Kindergarteners are encouraged to meet their teachers on Friday, August 10th from 3pm-4pm. The school's first PTO meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 12 at 6pm. Our first DLP meeting is TBA. We'll keep you posted!
On behalf of the DLPA board, we are all looking forward to seeing you and your children at school in a few weeks. And we are very excited for the new families that will be joining our little community!
The below article peeked my interest and I want to share it with all of you. We will follow the research project closely and post the findings here when they are available. I wish we had 10 dual immersion k-12 programs in our area (maybe in the future)....
Study of Dual-Language Immersion Launches in Portland Schools Education Week By Lesli A. Maxwell
RAND Corporation researchers have kicked off a three-year research project <http://ies.ed.gov/funding/grantsearch/details.asp?ID=1294> -backed with a $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education-to examine the effects of dual-language programs on student achievement in English/language arts, math, and science in the public schools in Portland.
This study's results will be highly anticipated, as the demand for dual-language programs increases and more school districts look to them as the future of language instruction for both English-language learners and native English-speakers.
Researchers will compare achievement, attendance, and behavior outcomes between Portland students who applied through a prekindergarten lottery to enroll in a dual-language program and were selected and students who applied but did not receive entry.
The school district in Portland offers 10 dual-language immersion programs <http://www.pps.k12.or.us/departments/immersion/index.htm> : seven in Spanish, and one each in Japanese, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese.
Portland's programs are somewhat unusual in that they span from kindergarten (in a few cases, prekindergarten) through 12th grade. None of the programs is able to accommodate all the demand for them, so Portland uses a lottery system to determine admission. For the Spanish and Russian dual-language programs, as many as half of the spaces go to native speakers, with the balance left for native English-speakers, which fits the two-way immersion model because of the mix of native and non-native speakers of the target language. The Japanese and Mandarin programs are primarily for native English-speakers.
RAND researchers will partner with researchers from the American Councils for International Education for the study.