#ELLchat_BKclub Meta Round 17.0
On December 15th, 2018, Dr. Katie Toppel (co-founder of Twitter chat #ELLchat_bkClub) reached out to a few of us in our PLN (Professional Learning Network) and shared her idea for round 17.0 Twitter book chat.
For round 17.0, Katie offered us to help facilitate a book study on Making Content Comprehensible text from SIOP by each one of us taking charge of a component. The idea was to make this an 8-week "meta" book study - one week for each component. Each facilitator was invited to guide each component with own ideas, resources, videos, live chats, presentations, and connections with other previously read books in our chat.
So each one of us provided our preferences as to which component we wanted to lead. The component assignments were as follows:
As soon as the "meta" promo went out, participants immediately began sending in selfies with the book and showing so much excitement about participating. It was even more amazing with the author Dr. Jana Echevarria started engaging in conversation and even blogged about #ELLchat_bkClub round 17.0 - "Is SIOP Only for ESL Teachers?" - Read her post HERE.
My favorite line is "join the Twitter PLC discussion on SIOP." WOW!! Just awesome to read this from the SIOP author and highly recognized researcher in our field.
We kicked off our book study on March 25th, 2019. It was amazing to see how participants stayed engaged throughout our 8-week study. Each facilitator did an amazing job providing their expertise for each component and others as well.
If you were not able to participate, no worries! Just follow the links below and check out each facilitator's contribution to our book study.
And if this is not enough...Pearson PreK-12 will be hosting a live video chat with SIOP author Dr. MaryEllen Vogt on 5/22/19 7-8pm EST. I will provide the recorded link as soon as it's available.
You can also view leader's tweets by components:
You can also check out Dr. Katie Toppel's website for all readings and more resources on round 17.0 - http://ellchatbkclub.blogspot.com/
The amazing thing about engaging in Twitter chats like this is that learning happens when we want it to happen. We engage when we can - and we take what we need! THIS is what I call Personalized Development!! Especially in our field of teaching English learners. Our county may not be doing their best on providing intentional teacher support to better serve our fast-growing number of ELs; so engaging in book studies like this is definitely worth it!
If you joined this chat live or learned from us afterwards, comment below let me know! I'd love to know how you are taking charge of your personal learning and growth.
Thank you for reading!
Preparing our Readings
I wanted to share our class experience for our second visit to W.M. Irvin elementary school. A couple of days before our visit, we discussed how important it is to be prepared when presenting, or teaching something new. I asked my students to reflect on my lesson delivery. I asked them to share how they know a teacher is well prepared or not so prepared for a lesson. Some were very honest and shared how they can tell when the teacher is thinking on an assignment and expects students to do what it's asked but there's very little support. However, when a teacher has everything printed out, written on slide or board, supports with clarity what's expected, then they perform much better.
After this conversation, I told them how they are becoming teachers when going to the elementary school because the little ones are learning from them. That being said, preparation to even read and ask questions is important. We then brainstormed what we could do to show up to the elementary school and be very well prepared.
Here is what they came up with:
I was so proud of my students because they thinking as educators. They understood that preparation is key to not only feel prepared and ready but also to ensure that the student is supported enough to understand the story.
So, our first step was to choose our book of choice. These are the books my students picked:
Our next step was to read and enjoy our chosen book. These were picture books that my students have never heard of. They were super excited about their choice.
Our last step was to mark our book with prepared questions we wanted to ask our buddies.
For the most part, students were choosing a question that could be answered with the text. My next step would be to teach them how to create questions that follow the BHH framework: In the Book, in the Head, in the Heart. This is a framework I learned from the book Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst.
Here's a video of my students in action! Reading with confidence because they are prepared!!
HS students in action
Pictures with our reading buddies
We had an awesome time with Kindergarteners and first graders. We cannot wait to go back...and this time we'll be even more prepared!
Thank you for reading!
I probably thought about this project a little too late in the school year, but I thought we would give it a try anyway!
Encouraged by Tara M. Martin's Cannonball-In Theory - to "quit dipping your toes in the water and waiting for perfect conditions or for fear to fade. Swallow the lump in your throat and climb the rungs of the high dive." - #REALedu, on March 22, 2019, I emailed our principal my ESL project idea. I asked if it was possible for me to take my English for Beginners second period class to our nearby elementary school to read with students who are enrolled in the Spanish immersion program. Since our class period is 90 minutes, I thought it would be enough time to get there, read with students, and get back on campus on time.
I was not surprised when my principal emailed me back with a green light to carry on with the project because he is very supportive of innovative ideas for our students.
There several purposes to this ESL project:
When I mentioned this project to my newcomers, they were super excited! Just the fact that they were going to be allowed to use their home language to empower other students made them feel like they matter. They immediately started planning what to say and what to do with their new reading buddies.
I also started a Donor's Choose project in order to get books for our students to use during our visit.
For our first visit, we thought about writing our own story to use as we introduced ourselves to our new friends. My students used WriteReader.com to create a book in Spanish where they shared all about themselves. Students added pictures and made the books interesting and compelling for our little friends.
I was amazed at their motivation and wonderful work. They dedicated an entire class period to make their book and were very proud of their finished project.
Here is Marlon's book
Here is Ruth's book
Here is Jorge's book
Here is Yanet's book
Here is Ana's book
Here is Ani's book
Here is Oliver's book
Here is Brandon's book
Here is Brian's book
Here is Whitner's book
Here is Avizaid's book
Our first trip to W. M. Irvin elementary was a success!!! Even though it was pouring down rain, we were super excited to go off campus and go support our new friends.
My students were shocked when they realized that I was driving our activity bus! I wasn't scared to drive since I drove school buses for several years before I started teaching.
Right below, you'll see wonderful pictures that show our students in action. The little ones were super excited to see high school students coming to visit them and read with them. Believe it or not, my high school students were very nervous. It was their first time teaching little ones and it is something they have never done before. However, at the end of our visit, all my students were sharing with one another ideas they have for the next visit. They were sharing all the details they learned from their new friends.
We are super excited to continue visiting our new friends at Irvin elementary every Friday and continue making an impact using and strengthening our home language.
Thank you for reading!
The Greater Cabarrus Reading Association (GCRA) holds an annual mini conference where educators in Cabarrus county and Kannapolis City Schools' teachers have the opportunity to learn from other educators and also earn CEU credits.
This year, I had the greatest opportunity to present and share the awesomeness we are doing in our classroom.
Event Date: 03/23/2019
My session title: Don't Just Make Your Students Write - Make them Authors
Learning how to encourage and inspire students to share their own stories using WriteReader
For a Youtube version on this presentation, watch this video!
My students' work is published on:
Thank you for reading!!
On February 21st, 2019 I had the privilege to collaborate and participate in a webinar hosted by SupportEd. Participating alongside Diane Staehn Fenner - president of SupportEd, Sydney Snyder, and Jill Kester was just beyond an imaginable opportunity.
First of all, I am a huge fan of their book, "Unlocking English Learners' Potential". This book provides an array of strategies and ideas to support ELs on working at their fullest potential. I've also participated in several of their free webinars and I've learned so much.
So, the title of our webinar is
Supporting ELs' Oral Language Development Through Academic Conversation.
You can access the recorded webinar here.
In the webinar, Jill Kester shared on the Importance of Oral Language Practice for ELs.
Sydney Snyder shared on Fostering ELs' Oral Language Development based on their book "Unlocking English Learners' Potential".
Sydney shared an oral language activity checklist to improve activities used throughout our lessons.
Access to the template and more resources are provided in the Padlet below:
"By developing lessons that support ELs' participation and engagement in academic conversations, YOU are advocating for ELS' equal access to content, supporting high academic expectations for ELs, and providing Els with opportunities to develop their academic identity."
~ Unlocking English Learners' Potential book
I shared on Effective Activities Supporting Language Development.
Of course, before sharing activities for academic language development, I focused on the importance of affirming identity. I shared activities that affirm identity and support language development with newcomers and all ELs in general.
The 3 activities I shared are:
I also shared ways to develop oral language activities that support ELs' participation. I believe that it is imperative for teachers to intentionally plan activities that will support our students if we want them to be engaged in any task given.
We first must:
Overall, the webinar was a great success. We had about 10 minutes of Q&A and the feedback we received was fantastic.
I hope you take your time to watch this webinar and add a few new tools to your ESL teaching toolbox!
Thank you for reading!