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
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!
It's here...Year 2020 is here!! This time of year is by far the most exciting time of the year for me. This is the time of year when many of us get into deep thought about all the exciting events that we experienced throughout the past year. A time of year to reflect and embrace what we have or have not accomplished as the year comes to an end.
This is also a time of the year to think about new beginnings, new goals, new journeys.
A new year brings hope and encouragement to perhaps complete what we couldn't accomplish the year before.
I don't know about you but I am not very good about making a New Year's resolution or a list of things to accomplish. I just feel like I wouldn't be able to keep up with what I want and I don't want to feel disappointed.
I LOVE to be surprised by life! I don't know what this year has in store for me. I don't know where I'll go. I don't know who I'll be meeting.
What I do know is that I need a WORD. One word that will serve as a core focus to what I do, why, and how I do things in life. Whether is personal or professional, this word helps me stay focus on what matters to stay passionate about everything I do.
I started choosing an inspirational word for a few years now and the intentionality I put on focusing on this word has been powerful.
I blogged about my #OneWord2018 and #OneWord2019 if you'd like to read it.