I LOVE highlighting and posting on Twitter and Instagram my students' work. Just like they are proud of their work, I'm proud of it too. So, last week, right after posting about my newcomers' fantastic writing, I received a question from a follower. She asked: "How are you able to get newcomers to produce that much written language? I am super curious!"
This question surprised me because I've worked with newcomers for years, and I don't have a problem getting my newcomers to produce written work - unless, the student is a SLIFE (students with limited formal education). -- But even like that, I've figured out ways for newcomers to produce written work that demonstrates their learning...see this lesson here.
Anyway, I thought I'd share here how my newcomers' written work was scaffolded so they demonstrate their full potential.
Picture Book Project
In my opinion, picture books are the best text we could use with newcomers that will provide the understanding and the language they need to be able to retell the story.
I started by sharing with my newcomers a list of guiding questions we were to use to help us understand and retell the story.
Next, I model for students how to complete all guiding questions while answering on chart paper. Reading the book aloud was my favorite part - students were engaged and eager to help me answer all the questions. Together we completed a retell of the picture book "BiblioBurro"
Last, assigned students their partner or group and they all decided which picture book to work on. I reassured students that perfection was not the expectation. The expectation was fun and language learning. I reassure them that the purpose was not to know every single word in the book but to use background knowledge and the images to make sense of the story.
I told them that the reason they were working in groups or with a partner was so that I could pull groups and work on guided reading.
Newcomers' Amazing Work
As an extension to these wonderful posters created in groups, students practiced their speaking skills by presenting their projects in front of their peers. Before they started sharing, we established norms to ensure that all students were feeling safe as they took the risk to read their part out loud.
Put it all together
After each presentation, students watched me as I took all the information I had on my poster and created a paragraph. It just made it easier to read with more fluency since the information was not all scattered out.
Then, each student typed the paragraph onto a document to practice their typing skills. Since the ACCESS written component is typed, I have my students type as much as possible.
I hope you found this information helpful! If you implement any of this, I'd love to hear from you.
Thank yo for reading!!