We were welcomed to CEIP Caballero de la Rosa de Logroño by the administration and teachers so that we could observe the development of their daily work and discover the methodology they use, the Learning Communities.
In order to attend several sessions, we split into groups and observed different classrooms, where the teachers were happy to answer our questions.
In general the INTERACTION which seems to have succeeded caught our attention, in which we see reflected positively the three roles that we have studied in our Erasmus Plus program: the role of the teacher as an observer and helper, which is complemented by the action of other adult volunteers; the role of the child who evolves through working with the group; and the role of the parents who provide a notable collaboration to the school.
Among the activities carried out as a community, we were able to see the interactive groups and dialogic gatherings. They accompanied us on a visit to the kindergarten classrooms where children from 3-6 years old were organized by table groups and activity corners, working on projects, participating in interactive groups, and following the reading sponsorship program, among others. They also told us about the importance of emotions and values in both stages, both kindergarten and primary.
We started with the Interactive Groups; they explained the grouping of all students in a classroom in mixed subgroups of four children each, taking into account the level, the language, motivations, etc. In each group there was an adult volunteer accompanying these children, who can be a family member or another person from the community, like university students from the Education faculty. We were shown a weekly schedule in which each color indicated who comes to which group, with lessons before breaktime. There were groups for language and mathematics, and the sixth grade students also had an interactive English group for an hour a week.
We asked about the adequacy of the class content and activities, which are organized by the tutor who coordinates with the volunteers after each session to assess and exchange opinions.
The groups change activities every 15 or 20 minutes, and we could see the second grade students writing punctuation marks in a text, or the third grade students in the classroom next door solving mathematics problems. We were amazed by the absence of noise, and the participation of almost all of the children in the subgroups. It seems it is important the coordination between adults and they have a set of activities to choose from, related to the contents of the official curriculum.
In the dialogic gatherings we were able to see two different groups with a common purpose: the collective construction of knowledge through dialogue, in different disciplines such as literature, in which the children read at least one Classic per year.
In the first group, we saw how they read the same book aloud as a group, with each child following along in their own copy of the book, but respecting each other’s turn to read. At the end of each chapter they talked about what they read, what caught their attention, unfamiliar words, or what everyone wanted to express after the reading.
In the second group, we saw a striking activity in which the teacher made a theatrical representation of a text read on the screen, and used two colors to mark the intonation. The students read one by one, and the reading also involved a tutor. We think that these activities did a good job of encouraging reading, increasing vocabulary, and improving comprehension and oral expression.
At the end of our visit we were able to see the music classroom filled with materials, and with a coffee in hand, several teachers spoke to us enthusiastically about this new professional challenge and the good academic and personal results already seen by their students.