Teacher raising money for new tech to help first graders learn English

Local

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Abraham Lincoln Elementary in the Perry Township School district is turning to technology to help its students learn to read.

Principal of Abraham Lincoln Elementary, John Sponsel told News 8 about 40% of its student population aren’t fluent in English.

There are more than a dozen languages spoken at the school and English learner teacher, Laura Moon is raising money to buy headsets to improve reading literacy.

Moon said she plans to purchase 48 headsets for all first grade classes to use.

“The strategy is to build reading fluency because we found we have students who can read a text and decode the words, but they don’t have the deep meaning of the text,” added Moon.

Each headset is $14 and comes with a microphone. The goal is to build a digital library of books read aloud by teachers.

“Each student will be able to go in and find a book at their level, listen to their teacher modeling that story read aloud with fluency with expression, and that will help the students understand what it should sound like when they read on their own,” Moon said.

Students are also able to record themselves reading aloud for teachers to evaluate, including other first graders to watch and learn.

Moon is one of only three English learners responsible for teaching the language to the entire elementary school.

“We do have students that come in with no English language so we are starting from ground zero with a lot of them and it takes a team effort,” Sponsel said. “It takes our English learning teachers and as well as other staff members. Everybody has an understanding and we take one step at a time for them to get to know very simple what we call tier one vocabulary here.”

First graders who become fluent English speakers can then help their families overcome the language barrier.

“This is an opportunity for students to hear repeated reading fluently in English that will support all of our students whether they’re learning English or not,” the teacher said.

Moon mentioned that she’s trying to have the money to purchase the headsets before Christmas. Click here to help make her holiday wish come true.

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