Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wednesday Wonderful with ELs

Happy Hump Day! As some of you know I get the best of both worlds with my job.  I am a half time Assistant Principal and half time EL teacher.  What this means is that I get to keep teaching while being an administrator!  FYI...that's a dream for most administrators.  This summer I've been brushing up on some professional development and diving into a wonderful book of tools to help my ELs be more successful in the classroom. I thought I'd share what I've been learning.

250 and 1,950
Anyone know how these numbers are connected?  Well, it's the differential in time when an EL student is with an actual EL teacher versus how long they are with their classroom teacher.  Wow!  So what I have to say is:  Every teacher is a language teacher!  Or, we have to be a language teacher.  To think that some EL kiddos would only get language related services for 11% of their day seems crazy!

So, this is the reason why I want to share my learning.  We all need great strategies to use for our students in order to give them what they deserve each and every day.

This is a GREAT resource to get started.  It's a bit pricey (Maybe your school can order some with Title III funds?!), but definitely worth it!

There is an entire chapter dedicated to graphic organizers.  What I like about this chapter, though, is that it doesn't just list a bunch of graphic organizers, it categorizes them by need.  As I was thinking about this, I realized that I needed to be a bit more intentional about how I pick the graphic organizers I use for my EL kiddos. I ended up making this bookmark to put in my files and keep with my graphic organizer resources. 

QUESTION 1: What do you want your students to do with the content?
This is the SO IMPORTANT!
• These are the 6 different categories that Rojas uses to divide graphic organizers, and I just love them!  Sometimes I would go to my organizers and pick one that I knew my students already knew how to complete, was familiar, or quite frankly, would be easy and quick.  However, this doesn't help frame thinking for these students, organize their thoughts the best way, or build their content knowledge.  Looking at these 6 categories makes me think about what I really want students to know and understand.

QUESTION 2: Have you modeled this organizer before? 
• The students shouldn't be halted by not knowing how to fill out the organizer.  Make sure you have modeled the organizer before you send them off on their way.  This will ensure that students are talking about the content, not the organizer itself.

QUESTION 3: Will students do this independently, with a partner, or in small groups, and WHY?
• I think this is key to an organizer, and I think this decision comes down to what part of the learning process they are in.  If students are trying to learn new content or evaluate a text, partners or small groups might be best so they can learn from each other and bounce ideas off one another.  If you're using it for a prewriting activity or an assessment, it might be best if done individually.

QUESTION 4: Will all students be expected to use the same organizer or will you differentiate for some students?
• Graphic organizers are a great way to differentiate for students.  Maybe your SpEd or EL students will show their learning in a different - perhaps through a graphic organizer.  You'll want to keep the expected content the same, but maybe the way they show it is different.

QUESTION 5: How will you or the students use the information on the organizer?
• You'll want to clarify for students if this is for them to build understanding, show understanding, or assess understanding.

Sorry for all of the text today, but I just wanted to explain why I included these questions for consideration on this bookmark.  Pick up this Freebie in my TpT store, and share with your colleagues.  Remember, every teacher is a language teacher!

Also, a blogger friend is turning 30 and having a big Birthday Bash!  Head over TODAY for her last day to enter her giveaways.  You could win up to $80 in TpT products from different sellers or $100 from Whimsy Clips! She has a bunch of different giveaways from each day this week that end tonight! Head over to enter!

Gotta run, well walk!  (I can't wait until the babe's 4th month appt. to get the approval to run with him!)


No comments: