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!
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!
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
Blog post on ESL Strategies Course: Session #2
This were the amazing posters they created to show their learning.
For homework assignment, teachers were to read the provided articles and power point presentation and share thoughts on our padlet.
Everything you need and more for this pd is in the Wakelet below!
Blog post on ESL Strategies Course: Session #1
We kicked off our ESL PD for teachers highlighting students background - learning who our ELs are, seeing them for who they are, and for what they CAN accomplish.
All the resources used are in the Wakelet below.
The 5 simple key questions to ask about our ELs came from this article from Barbara Gottschalk. Teachers were asked to work with a partner and each partner was to read one of the key questions and create a poster to share with the rest of us.
The 5 key questions are represented here:
Mrs. Hatley and I are both ESL teachers at Concord HS. We both provide co-teaching/inclusion services in all content areas. Our teachers are amazing and very open to collaborate and learn new ways to support our English learners. Together we are creating a culture of responsibility to grow our English learners not only academically but also linguistically.
During the month of December, we sent our staff an email offering an ELL strategies course where teachers can learn effective practices to support ELs. Participation to our course was not made mandatory and CEUs (content credits) were offered.
We were super excited when we heard from over 25 staff members who wanted to participate.
Our group meets once a week for 30 minutes with a 30 minute homework assignment to be completed during the week.
During the month of January, we met four times and we've had a total of 10 teachers participating with consistency. Among the attendees, we have out MTSS couch, administrators, and core teachers.
The session and strategies learned were as follows:
Thank you for reading!