Deerpark students lead Pond Springs language enrichment activities

Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL) students at Deerpark Middle School taught Pond Springs Elementary School second-grade students language skills during a collaborative enrichment experience.

For the second-grade students it was their first time at Deerpark, the middle school Pond Springs students feed into. The joint experience gave students from both schools the opportunity to develop and explore new skills.

“Pond Springs uses enrichment as a learning model to give students exposure to hobbies, careers and skills that may interest them later in life,” said Tanaka Ramirez, Pond Springs second-grade teacher.

Students in the Deerpark Spanish class prepared a series of songs to teach the students.

“When students lead a lesson it gives them ownership over their learning,” Deerpark Spanish teacher Terry Carnes said. “By preparing an interactive experience for the elementary students , both levels of students increase their ability to remember and retain the information.”

The ASL student group practiced sign language skills with a question and answer session. Younger students verbally asked questions to the older students about what life was like in middle school and the older students answered by using sign language.

“I got interested in sign language because my mom took some classes,” second-grade student Alex Flores said. “And I like seeing the middle school; my brother is coming here soon.”

When elementary and middle schools cooperate, their learning community realizes goals 1, 3 and 4 of the District’s strategic plan; while providing incoming students an introduction as to what they can expect next in their educational career.