Integrating Math, Science, Technology, and Language
A low hum fills a classroom as groups of first graders conduct science experiments. At one table, students peer through squares of various materials as they hold them in front of lights. At another, students dip thermometers into cups of liquid and note the temperatures. At still another table, students pluck guitars made from rubber bands and tissue boxes.
The children are learning about energy first-hand through inquiry-based activities exploring light, heat, and sound. But that is only part of the picture. In this Texas classroom, many of the students primarily speak Spanish. To help them access the content, the activities build academic vocabulary and language skills while teaching science.
The lesson is part of a new SEDL supplemental program, Mosaic: An Integrated Approach to Mathematics, Science, Technology, and Language. Updating our highly popular program Paso Partners, Mosaic is designed to boost math and science achievement among all students in kindergarten through Grade 5, with a focus on English learners. The new program addresses both the national priority for higher math and science achievement as well as the alarming achievement gap between English learners and other students, both in Texas and nationwide.
With Mosaic’s cross-curricular approach, teachers can equip students to scale the difficult terrain of mastering tough math and science standards while learning English. Engaging and demanding lesson plans focus on math and science content while seamlessly bolstering academic language and technology skills. Research-based instructional strategies build on students’ prior knowledge to establish a strong foundation of understanding. In addition, embedded Texas state standards assist teachers in scaffolding content.
The free program, made possible through support from the Sid W. Richardson Foundation, will be available in 2012 and provided online.