Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All Hallow's Eve

While Sunnyslope's Dual Immersion program is a unique within the school, it really is just another class. The same standards taught in the non-DI classes, for instance, are being taught within the DI classes, plain and simple.

At no time is that unity more evident than in late October.

Along with every other class in the school, the DI classes participate in the annual school's costume parade.

Here are some shots from the 2008 edition. Mrs. Hernandez, who has now moved to third grade, welcomed a slew of superheros, villains and other masked marauders into her classroom.

Once outside, the class took their seats and waited for the parade.

Their leader, Mrs. Hernandez, proved that she too had an inner being that needed a release.

The parade typically coincides with Red Ribbon Week, the annual Say No To Drugs campaign. It's around the classroom, in this case on the door of the room, that you can tell there is a different thing going on here.

Anti-drug pledges all in Spanish from the kindergartners.

So while the DI program is sort of its own unique thing, it's not isolated from the rest of the school in the least bit.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Immersion Elsewhere

This video isn't about our school. No, our school did not pick up and move to Utah. But Granite Schools in the Salt Lake City area of Utah has a burgeoning language immersion program.

This video provides a snippet of the early days of dual immersion.

At Sunnyslope, the DI program is a Spanish-language program but there are other languages taught throughout the country. Spanish is the language that most fits the community's needs here in our corner of Riverside. At Granite School, apparently, there are more programs.

Anyway, here is the video.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Greetings! Welcome to the world of Dual Immersion, Sunnyslope style.

The purpose of this blog is to share our experiences with Dual Immersion with the hopes of enriching, enlightening and entertaining whomever comes across this trusty blog.

What exactly is Dual Immersion? Good question. I haven't taken a poll but I would imagine a fair number of parents who enrolled their children in Sunnyslope Elementary School's DI Program had the same question, and probably could not answer it quite the same way they could now. Now, we're not going to get too technical here. For the nuts-and-bolts of Dual Immersion, also known as Two-Way Immersion in some circles, that's best answered on formal educational Web sites such as this one.

In short, though, Dual Immersion is a special program in which students learn a second language, in our case Spanish. In kindergarten, 90 percent of the day is spent learning in Spanish and 10 percent of it in English and with each passing grade the students learn more in English until by 4th grade it's at 50/50.

Aside from the language itself, what goes on in the DI classes also goes on in the rest of the school. In other words, the same standards that non-DI teachers are teaching are also being taught in DI classes. First and foremost, the standards drive the instruction. The only difference is, DI classes sound different. And the students learn two languages for the price of one.

Anyway, throughout this blog we will bring you more information about our DI program - the 2010/11 school year brings sees our DI program increase to K-3, with eight DI classes. All relevant information about the DI program will hopefully be brought forth here in one way or another, through first-person entries, videos, audio, and whatever methods are most effective.

Mostly though we just hope to provide a glimpse into the world of Dual Immersion, both at Sunnyslope and wherever DI programs exist.