Our blogs bring you experiences and musings on teaching, learning, and leading – from our team, E. L. Achieve partners, and students.


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 [...]

2021-06-14T15:18:25-05:00June 4, 2020|Blog|

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.   · [...]

2020-05-28T18:35:00-05:00May 28, 2020|Blog|

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 [...]

2021-08-11T16:35:41-05:00April 3, 2020|Blog|

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.

2020-03-28T18:35:00-05:00March 28, 2020|Blog|

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: Grab [...]

2022-02-07T08:36:31-06:00March 9, 2020|Blog|

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 [...]

2019-09-11T22:40:00-05:00September 11, 2019|Blog|

Keys to Completing the Instructional Sequence in ELD

Vanessa Dexter, Certified Elementary ELD Presenter and teacher, Southern Oregon Education Service DistrictGuest blogger  As an Elementary Systematic ELD Presenter, I hear many teachers asking how they can get through the entire instructional sequence within a lesson. To be effective, a lesson needs to include: An Open the Lesson section to set the purpose for learning. A 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 [...]

2021-04-30T05:03:10-05:00July 6, 2019|Blog|

Practice Makes Fluent

Melissa Bowen, Administrator and Certified Secondary CM Presenter, Salinas Union High School DistrictGuest 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 [...]

2019-05-28T22:40:00-05:00May 28, 2019|Blog|

Reading Students’ Invisible Subtitles

Often, 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 [...]

2019-04-18T22:40:00-05:00April 18, 2019|Blog|

Assets-Based Introduction to Language Acquisition

Jan Bautista, District Coach TSA and Certified Elementary ELD Presenter,San Francisco Unified School DistrictGuest blogger 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 [...]

2019-04-18T22:40:00-05:00April 18, 2019|Blog|


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