This practitioner research study explored the use of student-created digital photo stories combined with focused teacher conversations guided by the NOT-ICE protocol (Author, 2016) to provide insight into why Latin@ students’ talents may be overlooked by classroom teachers. Digital photo stories, created by emergent bilingual elementary Latin@ learners, were used to elicit the primary data from the study. Teacher co-researchers participated in small-group, collaborative discussion sessions to investigate and understand how schooling labels carry potential biases that obscure students’ gifts and talents. Findings indicate that digital photo stories can act as counter-stories by disrupting teachers’ commonly held (mis)perceptions about emergent bilinguals, emphasize students’ strengths, and help teachers see how they might reach these students differently by providing them with challenging and engaging learning opportunities.

Author's Biographies

Dr. Jennifer K. Allen has a B.S.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Georgia and a M.Ed. in Reading Instruction from the University of West Georgia. She holds an endorsement for Gifted Education, ESOL, and Reading Instruction. Dr. Allen taught elementary school students for ten years, working in second, fourth, and fifth grade classrooms and in the gifted resource setting. She earned a PhD in Language and Literacy Education from the University of Georgia and is now an Assistant Professor at the University of West Georgia in the Department of Literacy and Special Education.

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