File Name: getting ready to teach english language learners from day one .zip
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As the COVID coronavirus continues to spread, schools around the globe are shifting to online learning in an effort to slow the spread of the disease. Here are some of the best ideas from educators from around the world, many of whom have already been teaching during coronavirus closures. Equity is the biggest obstacle in preparing for online learning, and the first thing you should be thinking about. If your district is not and does not have devices to send home with everyone, survey teachers and families ahead of time to figure out who will need devices and bandwidth.
Send your questions to lferlazzo epe. Read more from this blog. This is the fourth post in a multipart series. Vari, Deb Blaz, and Cindi Rigsbee offered their ideas. He has taught at Sandburg for the past eight years:. Over the course of the last week, we have embarked on the E-learning journey. Much like many of you, it has been a week of twists, turns, questions, and uncertainness.
However, our school community has come together and supplied valuable learning opportunities for our students. In a school of over 3, kids, our EL population consists of students in which we service 60 students daily in our fully sheltered EL program.
Our students mostly speak Arabic and Spanish and have similar cultural backgrounds. In our classes, their English abilities range from level 0 to fully proficient.
This can be both challenging and awesome at the same time. We are extremely lucky to have students who are driven and want to master the English language. The use of technology is nothing new and is a vital part to our successes as teachers and for our students.
Take a look! Use your team - I am lucky to be surrounded by such great teachers and teacher aides. Use online tools to help assist students and their language needs - YouTube videos, recordings of you explaining directions, videos of you teaching a difficult math problem, using various online resources to help teach material.
Translations are essential in all languages—directions for sure! All are so important in keeping students engaged. Making work easily accessible - We use the online course-management software Canvas as a district. It has been awesome in posting resources, lectures, notes, readings, quizzes, etc. We also use Skyward to get information to students. Google Classroom is free for districts that do not have something in place.
Let the students guide the instruction - Have them record, video, explain, and teach a vocab word, a topic, a story, etc. By letting students have a voice in their learning especially in a time when it truly is on them , it allows them to still feel connected to class and their classmates.
Be patient - In the educational field, we want things to move at our pace. I have learned over the course of the last few days that less is more. I was trying to build these great engaging lessons all while online, but in reality, I needed to give short, pointed assignments that clearly taught the concept at hand. This is so important for English-learners. Be flexible - Just like in the EL classroom, you need to be flexible in the online space. Make sure the students have what they need to succeed.
You may even have to reach out to them personally to make sure they know what to do! Use your aides - Our EL aides are the best.
They have been available via Google Hangouts chat and video to help our students with translations, questions, and clarifications. They have been so important! Online learning is a perfect way to do this! Once you get back to the classroom, these will be great tools to use as you continue on with your semester. Helen Vassiliou is an immigrant herself and ESL specialist in West Chester, Ohio, currently serving the most fantastic elementary students and families at Adena Elementary:.
It has always been integral to provide ELs with the same educational opportunities as their peers, if not more. I have made it my goal to demonstrate how ELs in Ohio can benefit from personalized learning using tech tools and online platforms.
As their biggest advocate I have implemented new building procedures that give all students access to learning content and English with technology. My students have created videos using WEvideo, they have created New Family Welcome Guides using GoogleDocs, and they have demonstrated that they can use the tools effectively if they have the experience, exposure, and opportunities to do so at school.
My ELs are change agents. Last week, after hearing about the school closures and the need for remote learning, I began to panic. How will my students learn without me? How will they engage in content if they do not have access to technology or Wi-Fi at home? Knowing this, I had to get creative. I sent the video to families using the Talking Points App, which I often use. After students and their families responded back to my video, I knew I had one platform I could use to communicate with kids and parents.
Many of my students do not have technology at home. Their apartment complex has a clubhouse with a few to use, but due to the social distancing, they cannot use them at all.
Next week, I will be returning to work virtually. I have only taught online college classes to adults. I am expected to use the Canvas platform to instruct 3rd-6th grade students during the day. Canvas is a great and all-encompassing tool for remote learning. I can upload videos, give assessments, and upload documents. I am privileged to have it as a district resource available to me, but it may not be the solution for all of my students.
Knowing that many of our ELs will not have access to Canvas or technology at all, I decided to make lessons using Nearpod. I make interesting and fun interactive lessons and share the codes with parents via text or Talking Points.
I have created two lessons during my break this week, one about bats and one about Anne Frank, and pushed them out as a trial. What has happened in the last two days is that the parents are learning alongside their children. I can collect data and check for understanding.
Students are engaged in learning, even if they have to use a Smartphone or an X-Box instead of a tablet or computer. The uneasy feeling of inequity still exists. Will this kind of learning be enough? No, it will not. Will it be comparable to what their peers receive? No, but this is a plan that I have to try and build and improve, keeping in mind that access to anything is better than no access at all. I will continue to push out videos using Flipgrid. My students need to see me.
We are much more than just a class, we are more like a family. I need to see them, too. When they respond to videos or send messages, I know that they are still thinking about school. Our district is currently working on a plan to get technology and connectivity to each and every student to use and continue to learn from home.
District leaders are working on solutions to include all students, including ELs and homeless students in using Canvas as a learning platform. Until those issues get resolved, I will continue to make my daily videos of what I am cooking, the measurements I need for ingredients, quick stories about family traditions and share those with my students. I am thankful for all of the open educational resources I have access to and the free versions that have now become available to use with students and families.
As I build the Canvas course to maintain student learning of all language domains, I will make sure that these students have opportunities to create, write books, visit museums, conduct research, collaborate, make up their own songs, and most importantly grow as learners of English.
Because I taught them how to use technology for learning, they now will have to use it to continue to learn with me, but not next to me. We may fail, we may prevail, but we will be together again accessing learning.
For a quick list of the online resources I am starting to collect to use with ELs, please visit here. Exactly one week ago, I finished a busy school day at my South Carolina high school, doing exactly what I do every day. I taught ESL to a class of newcomers; I provided support to dozens of English-learners ELs who needed help with assignments, quizzes, and tests before co-teaching biology during the last period of the day. I spent time interacting with my mostly Latino students during two lunch periods, as I usually do.
Over the weekend, the governor of the state of South Carolina announced that, as of Monday, March 16, all schools would be closed for two weeks. Our school uses Google Classroom, but teachers are not required to use it. My English-language support is typically very personalized and differentiated, not something that lends itself well to Google Classroom. The school had planned to survey students on Monday about their access to computers, tablets, smartphones, and the internet during a possible school closure.
However, since there was no school on Monday, this survey was sent out via email to parents. Asking about internet access via email may sound a bit odd, but there were no other ways to find out this information!
On Day 1 of the school closure, I made my very first Google Classroom site. I posted a welcome message, inviting students to join. I recorded an online presentation, mimicking my usual morning routine of conversation and speaking practice.
Thanks to Twitter friends and several Facebook groups of ESL teachers, I spent hours perusing websites with free listening and reading activities for English-learners.
The creative process would have been more enjoyable if I had not been so pressed for time. The school recommended providing a no-tech option, a choice board of activities for ESL students. To be honest, I have been at my computer for much more than six hours per day. One EL student emailed me asking for help with comprehension of a video that a teacher recorded.
If there had been one day to prepare for all of this, I would have shown students how to use my Google Classroom.
Think back to your childhood. Do you remember when an adult asked you something and you just stared open-mouthed not because you were trying to be rude or anything because it was all gobbledygook to you? Put yourself in their shoes—how would you feel if some stranger starts saying weird stuff at you and expects you to reply in the same alien language? Don't have a provider lined up yet? Absolute beginners are a tough nut to crack because they have no previous knowledge of English. On the other hand, false beginners think they know English because of past exposure. Still scampering around trying to plan teaching English to beginners material?
ESL icebreakers are a great way to accomplish this, as they get students moving, build confidence, and set the tone for class. Throughout the term, English students might be coming to class tired after a long day or groggy and sleepy-eyed, so you want to get them engaged and energetic, and it might take a little creative ice-breaking to do that! A good ESL icebreaker is, first and foremost, fun, meaning that it should appeal to your students. Additionally, ESL icebreakers that only have a few rules are typically easier to explain to English learners and ensure that you spend less time going over instructions and more time actually conducting the activity. No time for prep?
PreK—K , 1—2 , 3—5 , 6—8 , 9— Teaching students to speak, read and write English has always been challenging. But the challenges are worthwhile when it is clear that students are learning and succeeding. Toward this goal, authors Katharine Davies Samway and Dorothy Taylor offer several strategies at grades 6 to 12 and grades K to 5 that will help you tackle the day-to-day job of bringing comprehension to students who are struggling to master a second language. Here are four suggestions based on teacher questions for grades K to 5 ELL students.
Instead of preparing charts before the first day of school, make them as you teach new strategies throughout the year so your ELLs are familiar with the concept.
However, ELLs will need additional support in learning how to read, and the strategies here will help you to provide assistance in your everyday teaching, particularly for newcomers students who have recently arrived in the U. Teaching reading to English language learners ELLs may seem daunting, but the good news is that you don't have to learn an entirely new method. You can and should use what you already know to be effective, research-based reading instruction.
Over 10 percent of students in the United States—more than 4. Though these students do not learn differently than their native-English-speaking peers, they do have particular educational needs. The group emphasized that the strategies listed here, which include both big-picture mindsets and nitty-gritty teaching tactics, can be incorporated into all classrooms, benefiting both native English speakers and ELLs. No surprise here. A successful classroom, our educators agreed, is one in which students feel known, appreciated, and comfortable taking emotional and intellectual risks.
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