I wanted to share a great conversation I had with Adam Strong, director of Re-Imagining Migration, on how to build effective and lasting relationships with newcomers.
You'll notice who this is a very simple conversation but loaded with practical and effective ways to create and maintain strong relationships with newcomers. I have no doubt that all students need and deserve a teacher who takes his/her time to get to know them and care for them. However, newcomers, students who not only left their country behind but could've experienced a lot to be here in the USA, have an urgent need to be heard and understood.
Our conversation was first posted on Re-Imagining website on March 3rd, 2020 - and you can read it here.
On March 13th, 2020 - Share My Lesson website shared it too!! I am so excited to see how a simple conversation about supporting newcomers is so very well accepted by these platforms that work hard to provide effective lessons to educators.
You can find the same post here: "Building Relationships with ELL Students and Newcomers: A Conversation with Emily Francis".
Learning and understanding what your students have experienced can give a perspective you’ve never had. Learning their experiences can open up your eyes to a world you’ve never seen or lived before.
Thank you for reading!
Just in case you don't know yet, I wanted to post here about our current bilingual Twitter book study on Integrando Lenguage, Lectura, Escritura y Contenidos en español e inglés ~ Integrating Language, Reading, Writing, and Content in English and Spanish.
This book is not available on Amazon. You can get your copy through Velázquez Press following this link.
This book study is through the very well known hashtag #ELLchat_bkClub by Katie Toppel and Tan Huynh. Katie allowed us to include this book study to the reading rounds so it is round 24.0! This book study is bilingual (Spanish and English) because the book is written in both languages (side-by-side).
A list of questions will be posted every Sunday just to guide out conversation but you're welcome to post anything. Some ideas to post are: Favorite quotes, own questions, #BookSnaps, own thoughts, etc!
This book has great content and support for all teachers who are:
We started on March 15th and we'll be following the schedule on the image above. We'd love to have you join us if you can.
Check out all the awesome participants we have so far!
Katie Toppel has more information on her website if you're looking for all the questions and for more information on how this chats work.
Her Website is: http://ellchatbkclub.blogspot.com/
Thank you for reading!
High-Impact Literacy Instruction for ELL Students
I wanted to share with you this amazing opportunity to learn ways to support your English language learners. Bret Gosselin from TX and I will be joining literacy expert Shaelynn Farnsworth on a webinar to share effective practices to support students with reading and writing.
Here's what you'll learn:
Participants will learn creative ways to build relationships and community, specific literacy instructional practices and strategies to implement in the classroom, and advice on how to measure achievement growth in EL learners. We’ll also be sharing tools and tech that you can use in your classroom, inclusive to EL learners, along with writing assignments designed to grow great writers.
The webinar will be on Wednesday, March 18th at 5:00 pm ET.
To register follow this link!
I hope you join us! Please comment below if you registered and share your thoughts after attending our webinar.
A recording will be posted the day after. A link to the recorded webinar will be posted here as well.
Thank you for reading!
"If there's a book you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."
~ Tony morrison
Last year I received a phone call from an author and very good friend, Carol Salva. Carol has always been so supportive of my work and is always sharing my immigrant journey during her presentations. She called me to let me know that John Seidlitz, the owner of Seidlitz Publishing, was interested in publishing my story. I cried! I was so excited to hear this because I've read several books published by Seidlitz and they are all centered around English learners and how to support them. I was also excited because finally, I was having the opportunity to publish my story.
This all became a reality on February 7th when John Seidlitz and Sarah Welch came to NC to visit me and discuss my future book.
There's not much I can tell you about the making, title, or format, or timing; but what I can tell you is that is coming!
My book is coming!!
Not only will I be sharing my immigrant journey and experiences as an English learner but also my students' stories.
As soon as I have more information I can share, I'll be posting about it. Thank you for supporting me and my work. I can't wait to share with you this amazing accomplishment.
Thank you for reading.
Blog post on ESL Strategies Course: Session #5
During our 5th session on Effective strategies for ELs (click here to read about session 1-4), we took most of the time to dig deeper into our ELLevation Instructional Framework activities.
We started our session reviewing the 6 effective practices we learned about during session 4.
We used Kahoot to not only have a little fun but also to review our learning.
The game consisted of answering reflective questions that teachers were to analyze and assign to the corresponding practice. For example, a question was..."Am I considering non-traditional experiences as well as mainstream experiences when I discuss and teach something in class?" is this Building Background Practice or Developing Academic Language Practice?!?!? Of course, this question is referring to "Building Background".
You can play the game here if you'd like.
We notice how teachers are as competitive as students are! Congratulations to Mrs. Pierce for getting 1st place.
An Activity in Your Pocket Chart
We made our 5th session centered on ELLevation activities because these classroom activities are effective to use during instruction and are research-supported to help improve language acquisition and content learning. These activities are non-content specific and they can be used in any core content classroom.
We thought that a fun and creative way to show our learning was to create a chart containing activities for each practice. So, we created an "An Activity in Your Pocket" chart. This is an idea taken from the popular "a Poem in Your Pocket" chart.
Since there are 85+ activities available for teachers, I thought each teacher could find a classroom activity for each practice learned, write it on a strip of paper provided, and place it in the corresponding practice pocket.
Teachers shared their favorite activity as they placed them in the practice pocket.
You can see the picture below - our chart is filled with amazing and effective classroom activities to share with your colleagues.
A couple of great observations was pointed out by our math teacher and our Spanish as a foreign language teacher.
Our math teacher expressed how it was a challenge to find activities she could apply while teaching Math III but she had a few that she will definitely be using in class.
The same was addressed by our Spanish teacher, however, she said how she will be able to twist these activities to use them as she teaches Spanish.
Overall, we were really excited about our teachers' excitement as they shared their favorite activities. You can't hide passion...and passion was what they were sharing as they told us how they'll be using the activities in class.
These are some of the activities we were finding interesting:
Thank you so much for reading!
Blog post on ESL Strategies Course: Session #4
Cabarrus County Schools use ELLevation as a platform to house and store our ELLs' data information. I know there are several counties who use this platform.
ELLevation also provides ELLEvation InClass platform section that teachers can use to improve instruction for ELLs. The instructional platform is an additional license counties can purchase to support with academic and language instruction.
We are so lucky to be able to have the data and the instructional platform for ALL teachers in our county.
This ESL pd session was understanding the instructional framework that ELLevation provides for educators. The resources learned here can really be applied in any county whether you have ELLevation system or not. It is a teaching framework with effective practices that can make you just a better teacher.
To Review, we practiced and activity called "Inside-Outside Circle" where teachers had the opportunity to share what they've learned so far in out ESL sessions.
We modeled this activity hoping that teachers will take this activity and use in their classroom and foster interactions among their students.
Blog post on ESL Strategies Course: Session #3
Our 4th ESL pd was part two of our second language acquisition (SLA) lesson. We were on our EOC week so not everyone attended but information was emailed out so teachers can still learn about this content.
Teachers were asked to share their thoughts and the conversation led into a deeper conversation on learning vs acquiring the language.
The Wakelet below has a great presentation that explains the difference on learning and acquiring a second language.
This learning led us to dig deeper on one of the most important theories known on SLA - The AFFECTIVE FILTER! This theory is researched and supported by studies and its founder, Steven Krashen, is who you want to read about if you want to learn more about this topic.
We talked about how important it is for students to use academic language in the classroom to help them acquire the language. One way we recommended for students to use academic language consistency is posting sentence starters and model for all students to use.
This chart on sentence starters is just an example of what you can post for all students to use.
The article we read was "To Help English Learners, You Need Ways to Reduce Their Affective Filter" by Kara Wyman, MEd and you can read it here
On November 26th, 2019, I received an email from Alex Granados, a Senior Reporter for EducationNC. His email stated that he was "working on a series about "rock star" teachers...who are considered particularly beloved, effective, or innovative..." and he wanted to come to my school to learn more about me and my students.
Of course, we were thrilled to welcome him to our school and see our classes and students in action.
On December 4th, 2019, Mr. Granados visited our ESL classroom and was able to see my newcomers and my instruction in action!
My students were all working at their seats working on other class assignments and/or an assignments I had provided.
Meanwhile, I was pulling small groups to provide individualized and personalized instruction.
Mr. Granados interviewed me, observed my students, and met with my principal, Dr. Auerbach.
While Mr. Granados was in the room, we took a minute to cheer and celebrate one of our students. Oliver had just received a letter from the NC superintendent congratulating him for a recent recognition as Athlete of the Week for the Charlotte Observer.
I share this with you because I LOVE it (and students do too) when we are highlighted and featured for what we do best...learning and building a culture where the possibilities as endless!
My Favorite part of the article is this:
"Sitting in her classroom, one can see how that experience translates into a personal connection. The students work on their ESL assignments. But they also work on homework from their other classes, periodically checking in with Francis to ask questions or seek advice. The students chat with her in a way that is rare for students to interact with teachers.
“If I didn’t have my struggles and experiences, I wouldn’t be as effective as I am,” Francis said."
So, here is the beautiful article Mr. Granados featured on us! Enjoy!
An immigrant’s dream to be a teacher: Emily Francis of Cabarrus County