Robots help Arizona students learn English

Robots help Valley students learn English

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. - A teacher has come up with an innovative way of teaching her students math, science and English all at the same time. 

Thelma Whaling has been teaching fourth grade at Evergreen Elementary for seven years. 

A couple of years ago, she started teaching English to students for whom it was a second language, something she herself knows about. 

Originally from Guatemala, Whaling was an English language learner herself.

"I felt like I would connect with students," she said. 

Grade school can be difficult enough, but for the students still working on their English, subjects can be that much tougher. 

"They had to learn English as well as math, English and social studies. And I think sometimes language gets in the way of them being able to learn other subjects," said Whaling. 

She came up with the idea of teaching the students through building robots. 

As the students build their robot, they not only learn math, science and engineering, but English as well. 

"Because it's after school, I could translate some things that I maybe couldn't do during the regular school day," said Whaling.

In just the short time 12 News was there, we heard Whaling and the kids go over words like  "gears, narrow and precise" 

"It's really cool, because like, you get use technology you get a program and build it," said Elijah Vincent who participates in the "Me Gusta Robotics" program. 

Fourth Grader Valeria Nieto said she's noticed it helping her school work. 

"I've improved in my reading. I wasn't very good as a beginner, but then I started getting better", said Nieto. 

 

 

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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