What Would Be the Tagline for Your English Learner Initiative?

In the Building Our Collective session at our Spring Symposia, we asked administrators and teacher leaders to create and share a tagline about their district's English learner initiative. For some, it was a summary of their district’s biggest accomplishments, for others, it was a motivational motto, and for some a guiding principle. In this time of professional uncertainty and physical disconnect from our collaborative communities, we believe it is powerful – and imperative – to communicate with each other to align our visions and hone in on why we do the work.

Instructional leaders reflect on English learner initiatives 

 

 

A tremendous thank you to each leader who shared their voice in this video and offered us a brief glimpse of their vision for equity and growth for English learners.

 

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351 Hits

Online Learning Designed for Students and Families

As a result of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, online learning has taken massive leaps across the country, virtual and overnight. The challenges of teaching and requirements of tools for learning now fall to parents and students, as well as teachers. Here is a list of resources geared to students and parents in a distant learning environment.

· Quality media and at-home learning opportunities for families during the coronavirus pandemic are provided by Common Sense Media. 
www.commonsensemedia.org

 

· As parents and teachers collaborate to build students' access to learning, everyone is empowered. Here is a step-by-step guide to help parents understand how to use a valuable learning tool, Google Classroom:
Learning Google Classroom

 

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495 Hits

English Learner Interview

This is a time when many of us are profoundly missing our students, and possibly mourning the fact that we won't see them in person again this academic year.

It can be comforting and reinvigorating to remember that our students are still as vibrant and curious as ever, and we can still play an integral and positive role in their lives. 

With that in mind, we'd like to share an uplifting interview our co-founder Michelle conducted with a middle school English learner named Jianung. 

ELD success story  

E.L. Achieve Interview with Jianung 

 

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471 Hits

Free Standards-Aligned Lesson Videos and Plans

Resources for online learning

PBS and local radio stations have curated free, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans, and more for teachers with state-specific websites. Subjects include math, English language arts, science, social studies, health and PE, the arts and professional development.

www.pbslearningmedia.org

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312 Hits

Three Tips for Noticing Language Proficiency in Writing

There's no doubt becoming proficient in a second language is a complex process. With so much nuance and detail to learn, it's hard to know where to focus our attention, not to mention knowing the best next step for teaching our English learners.

Instead of overly relying on (stale) standardized test scores to understand students' English proficiency, we can look at their writing. Here are three key hallmarks to guide you in recognizing where students' writing lands on a continuum of proficiency:

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1040 Hits

Coaching Cycles to Support Implementation of CM

Nancy Reynolds and Karen MacDonald

Salem-Keizer School District

Last year, our district began learning more about effective professional development. 

From our inquiry into research around this topic, we discovered that professional development alone has a limited impact on teachers’ instructional practice. Yet, when professional development is followed up with coaching, the impact on teacher practice increases exponentially. 

In response to what we learned, we are rethinking how we deliver our CM teacher institutes. To be sure there is a coaching component to the professional development offered, we are adding an hour of 1:1 coaching for each participant, each week, to support them as they begin to implement each step of CM. The fieldwork for each institute day gives us a focus for each of these sessions. 

Cycle of Implementation Support
We know from our continued partnership with E.L. Achieve that implementation is a process and that to truly know how it’s going, we have to look to classroom practice. This is what the Cycle of Implementation Support is all about.

Given this, our coaching team designed a multi-phase approach to creating our coaching cycles. This is new for us and our teachers, and we recognize that as part of making the sessions work, we have to build in time to develop our relationships and start to earn trust.

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1396 Hits

Keys to Completing the Instructional Sequence in ELD

Vanessa Dexter, Certified Elementary ELD Presenter and teacher,
Southern Oregon Education Service District
Guest blogger 

As an Elementary Systematic ELD Presenter, I hear many teachers asking how they can get through the entire instructional sequence within a lesson.

syseld instructional sequenceTo be effective, a lesson needs to include:

  • An Open the Lesson section to set the purpose for learning.
  • Teach  section (often called a mini-lesson) for the teacher to take the lead in modeling and explaining the target.
  • Guided practice – time for students to Practice  together and then Take the Language to Application on their own. 
  • A Closing to recap and transfer the learning. 

If we're not organized, it's easy to fill the lesson with teacher talk or focused on the process and procedure of getting students into interaction routines. Then we end up having to shorten or, even worse, cut certain parts of the lesson. 

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1411 Hits

Practice Makes Fluent

practice makes fluentMelissa Bowen, Administrator and Certified Secondary CM Presenter, Salinas Union High School District
Guest blogger

Multiple and consistent opportunities for our English learners to practice the target language – not just with writing and reading but with speaking, too – are so important. This year our instructional coaching team decided to shadow an English learner student for the entire school day, and it was one of the saddest things I have ever witnessed.

The student I shadowed, along with many others, literally only had seconds of structured student talk time for the entire day.

Our English learners were literally sitting in each classroom in complete silence!

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1213 Hits

Assets-Based Introduction to Language Acquisition

Jan Bautista, District Coach TSA and Certified Elementary ELD Presenter,
San Francisco Unified School District
Guest bloggerGA 3 6 BEI W4 L2a

When we meet some of our multilingual learners in the 6th grade, they have had a few years with the stigma of being an English learner and being "stuck" in an ELD class. At San Francisco Unified, we have been embracing the work of Zaretta Hammond's Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain and strive to spend the first two weeks of the school year building relationships with our students and getting to know them to help them become unstuck.

The Art of Getting Along Elementary Systematic ELD Instructional Unit is definitely a great way to start this. We also make plenty of time for community circles, using translation support from peers and Google to allow students the safety of expressing themselves as they are.

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1687 Hits

Reading Students' Invisible Subtitles

pencil poemOften, English learners disappear in their classrooms and don't feel connected to their peers or teachers. Sometimes they are mislabeled as being disengaged or uncaring. Frequently, they are carrying burdens and hurt we don't know about. These barriers can be crippling – but with skillful teaching strategies, they can be transformed.

As a new high school teacher, Grace Dearborn found out that when she reacted to challenging situations with frustration or anger, it rarely helped. A few years into teaching, she realized that using compassion to teach her high school students school-appropriate behavior created a major shift in classroom dynamics. She started to see happier and more engaged students.   

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2082 Hits

Growing English Proficiency, Pt. 2

In this series, we discuss Student Interaction Routines, which are task-based strategies that help ensure each student has abundant strategic practice using new language for meaningful purposes. Developing a robust wheelhouse of interaction routines enhances student engagement and increases productive talk time.

Lines of Communication 

lines of communicationThis a whole-class routine that provides multiple opportunities for language production with a variety of partner combinations. It can be structured to practice asking and answering questions, building on each other’s ideas, or reviewing tricky language patterns. Students of all ages enjoy the opportunity to talk to multiple classmates about interesting topics. It is perfect for the You Do Together portion of the lesson.

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4248 Hits

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2450 La Mirada Dr.
Vista, CA 92081
P: 760-290-3461
F: 831-536-1616

elachieve.org

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