#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.
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:
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.