GrapeSEED: A Teacher Testimonial

As an ELL educator, one of the greatest struggles I’ve had over the years is finding a comprehensive program that can support effective English language acquisition for my emergent bilingual Pre-K, kindergarten, and first-grade students who are acquiring English. Without the proper resources, the journey to better English proficiency was tedious, challenging, and overwhelming. As a teacher who has experienced this hardship firsthand, I can assure you that the GrapeSEED English program is making a massive difference in the lives of my students. The curriculum, which includes repetitive opportunities for movement, songs, chants, poems, and stories, is enriching and I have seen significant growth in my students since beginning to use the program! I only wish it had been around when I was a small child, new to the United States!

Before GrapeSEED, I had a hard time providing my students with a curriculum that could support and boost their English. I did my best to find resources and materials to work with, but it was never enough. I found it difficult to provide research-based instruction that my students needed and that was engaging and developmentally appropriate at the same time. GrapeSEED has changed the game, making it easier to create a positive, constructive learning environment for my kids. We have found that it also accommodates all types of learners, including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic, too!

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Celebrating Global Diversity: Let’s Incorporate Cultures into March is Reading Month

If you’re an elementary school staff member, you know March isn’t just any old month! It is the National Reading Month observed across America annually to inspire young readers and celebrate the joys of reading. This month-long celebration began as a way to spread the love of reading among children and encourage them to pick up books, both for pleasure and learning. However, with each passing year, educators and literary enthusiasts have realized the significance of incorporating global diversity into the Reading Month celebrations.

In our increasingly globalized world, it has become essential to expose young learners to different cultures and traditions for a positive impact. Observing global diversity in ‘March is Reading Month’ can be an exciting way to introduce children to the world's multiculturalism through literature. So, let's explore some fun and engaging ideas to add global perspectives to your reading month celebrations.

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What’s the Story?

If you are a teacher or student in the US, you’re likely well aware that March is Reading Month! Ranging from assemblies with favorite local authors, to reading challenges or competitions, to dressing like favorite storybook characters, classrooms across the country have engaged in this tradition of books and stories for years.  

It begs the question, why are we so drawn to stories?

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Celebrating GrapeSEED Success

As educators, one of the most rewarding feelings that we can experience comes from witnessing our students as they encounter a sense of joy and safety in our classrooms. This feeling of security is especially important for children who have recently arrived in the United States, leaving everything familiar behind. GrapeSEED, an English language acquisition program designed for non-native English speakers, has been making waves in ESL classrooms across the country! The program is designed to be just right for newcomers, offering a challenging yet accessible curriculum that provides students with the tools they need to succeed academically and socially. Today, we're sharing just a few of the many success stories of our GrapeSEED students, who have gone from shy and scared newcomers to confident and engaged learners.

One of the most important things GrapeSEED does for students is to help them develop a strong foundation in English vocabulary, language expressions and phonics, which, of course, are the sounds that make up the language. For Monique, a student who had recently arrived from Haiti, learning to sound out words was a major breakthrough. Monique struggled with English at first but, with the help of her GrapeSEED teacher, she quickly picked up on the program's unique and powerful approach to phonics. Now, Monique is reading and speaking English with confidence, and her academic and social skills have flourished.

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Oh the Places You’ll Go, Without Leaving the Classroom!

‘You’re off to great places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!’

Dr. Seuss’s ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’ speaks of venturing out into the world, exploring new opportunities, and seeing far-away places. As educators, we know the benefits of getting our students out of the brick and mortar and into the real world, yet in reality we know that there might be limits (like ‘one field-trip per school year’) and even traditions (such as ‘1st Grade always goes to the local nature center’) in place that prevent us from taking our students everywhere that we might want to. This is where the beauty of technology comes in! Without the additional work of collecting permission slips and entrance fees, recruiting chaperones, booking and paying for transportation and so on, the options are virtually (no pun intended) endless when it comes to virtual trips! As educators, taking advantage of these resources to offer our students a well-rounded education that extends beyond the walls of a classroom.

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