I love this quote from writer, speaker, and coach Todd Stocker: “I wanted to figure out why I was so busy, but I couldn’t find the time to do it.” It’s true that in educators’ worlds today, everyone is busier than ever! Even when we aren’t in the classroom, at a staff meeting, or out in the community, we’re still always ‘on.’ That’s why we were thrilled when twenty-two-year veteran ELL teacher, Brooke Mindnich, from Eatontown, NJ made time to share about her experience with the GrapeSEED curriculum.
Take a look:
“As far as oral language development programs go, GrapeSEED is the best I have experienced in my 22 years teaching in the U.S. public schools. I use GrapeSEED with my beginner and intermediate multilingual kindergarten and first grade students. They are engaged throughout each lesson with movement, songs, stories, poems, and chants that are infused with the target vocabulary and language patterns for each unit. The subsequent unit builds on the prior unit creating continued complexity with just the right balance of comprehensible input and challenge. “Hats off” to the writers and creators of the materials. They have done a phenomenal job. Their organized approach to repetition is genius. Capitalizing on the natural approach to language acquisition, my students are taken by surprise and thrilled when suddenly they are recognizing words and phrases in their mainstream classes and activities that they have been exposed to in their GrapeSEED lessons. They begin to make connections and feel successful due to GrapeSEED’s communicative approach and a carefully organized functional-notional framework. Daily repetition of phonograms, listening to sounds in words, and concepts of print are key parts of each lesson which reinforce content taught in the mainstream class and support the science of reading as students build literacy. My students are excited about our lessons and look forward to each new unit. They enjoy the challenge and are filled with a sense of accomplishment when they move into memory mode (can sing and recite the stories by memory).
As a teacher, I am motivated to learn and present the materials in each new unit with confidence. I feel GrapeSEED is truly invested in their philosophy and are committed to maintaining the integrity of their program and approach to language learning. They do this by providing each teacher with a GrapeSEED coach who is always on call and available to troubleshoot and share experience and ideas. There are a multitude of professional development videos available, and I truly enjoy the GrapeSEED Official Podcast which goes over teaching techniques, specific units, and a plethora of topics to keep me inspired and my lessons fresh.
Since I have started using GrapeSEED 2 years ago in grades K-1, I always feel as though my lessons are effective. There is not a wasted moment. I am using a program backed by research & science and scripted to make the most of each component as I move from lessons 1 to 30 slowly releasing the support and allowing the students to apply what they have learned. The digital content available to project on my SmartBoard is key and keeps the lessons moving along at an efficient pace. I do not have to spend precious teacher time organizing materials and lesson plans. It is all done for me. I review the lessons, highlight questions and interactions, and pull any props I may need to keep the lessons tangible for the students. We have fun and I get A LOT of exercise and so do the students. It is a healthy, stimulating approach to learning.
I am truly grateful to have this program and the support provided to teach our multilingual learners in Eatontown, New Jersey.” -Brooke Mindnich
We’re grateful to Brooke, and to all GrapeSEED teachers and students for making the most of the GrapeSEED curriculum. Are you ready to get your English Language Learner teachers and students started with GrapeSEED? Just click here.