Director of Teaching & Learning Miles Azzeh's Academic Spotlight: Amy Scruggs
Our Lansing USD 469 teachers are incredible at engaging our students in fantastic learning opportunities to reach their full potential every day in our district. To highlight and bring recognition to this great work, Director of Teaching and Learning Miles Azzeh will be regularly shining a spotlight on a stand-out teacher through "academic spotlights."
May 20, 2022 Academic Spotlight by Mr. Miles Azzeh:
Learning a new language is not an easy task, especially English which is considered one of the most challenging languages to master. However, for ESOL teacher Amy Scruggs, guiding her students toward this difficult goal seems like a walk in the park. I was fortunate enough to observe a lesson she did with her students at LES this week, and the amount of hands-on learning to reinforce the language learning was fantastic. The students made homemade lemonade, practicing their vocab and reading fluency as they went along. This experiential learning is something that Amy attributes to the tremendous gains her students have made:
"I try to bring in this type of experiential learning as possible with our English as a Second Language students. Not only is it fun and engaging but it provides tangible whole language learning that enhances their English language acquisition. It is amazing to see the students so excited for learning when they get to do these hands-on activities, for many of them it's the first time they've had an opportunity to create in this way."
This isn't the only activity she's done with her students either:
"This year, different groups have made lemonade, ice cream, drum, woven paper mats, and friendship bracelets."
This type of kinesthetic learning is so beneficial for students as they're learning new concepts or vocabulary. But in order to reach its full potential, Amy has a process that she follows:
"Our "experiences" are book-based. I start with pre-teaching vocabulary, then we read the book one to two times, and then we put that all into application with whatever it is we're experiencing."
As you can imagine, the students absolutely love her class:
"I like this class because we do ice cream and lemonade." - Jules Collin
"I love this class because we get to create things!" - Maëlys Ranson
Kudos to Amy for melding learning and application into her classroom. These experiences will last a lifetime, and it is evident that the students understand the purpose behind the engaging activities:
"I like this class because I am learning English!" - Alexander Concepcíon