Johnson Creek Elementary using video games to break language barrier

Posted at 6:59 PM, Mar 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 10:53:20-04

Johnson Creek Elementary is using video games to help students break language barriers. 

When Anahi Orona Valdez came to Matthew Cheeks kindergarten classroom at Johnson Creek Elementary at the start of this school year, she didn't speak any English. 

Cheeks says it was thanks to Osmo that all changed. 

"One of the turning points was kind of using Osmo and getting her to laugh and enjoy school," said Cheeks. 

Orona Valdez and her classmates don't see these tablets as video games, but they really are. But what makes these games different is that they're teaching the children. Cheek's students are learning basic coding, math problems, creative drawing, and solving tangram puzzles.

On top of the educational games, Cheeks saw how Orona Valdez would ask her friends for help, before coming to him. This made him very proud. 

"It's nice to see that a group of students really attached to her and were really willing to help," said Cheeks. 

One of Orona Valdez's best friends is Kairi Mahan. They work together quite often says Cheeks. Whether it's at gym class or recess they, they're usually found together. 

While conversations with Orona Valdez are brief, when she speaks you can see the wheels turning, eyes focused and lips perched in a smile. 

You can't help but notice her high energy and sweet personality which makes Cheek's news of her continual growth in learning English all the better to hear. 

Click here for more information on Osmo video games.