BAP075 All My Distance Learning Webinars in One Place

These are my TOP TIPS for how I’d set up and deliver instruction this coming year.  These are for online, face-to-face or a hybrid situation.  I’ve done SEVERAL webinars since we went on lockdown and they are all different. Below are all the webinars with a bit of info about each.

You can hear me talk about this on the latest episode of Boosting Achievement ESL Podcast right here or just scroll down to find the webinar that is most helpful to you.  I hope you do get a chance to listen because I recorded highlights and thoughts for you.

Listen to “BAP075 ALL My Distance Learning Webinars” on Spreaker.

So here are the webinars:

Supporting SLIFE & Newcomers in Distance Learning with Authentic Experiences (34 min)

This is the backbone of my school year.  Because newcomer curriculum is about basic English, you can teach it through thematic units.

As an added bonus, I teach a lot of this content through Kahoot.  My goal was to show you the DDCR routine. It was a foundational routine I did all year long when I was able to see my students daily or only able to see my students every other day. Here is a blogpost I wrote about it in 2018.

Engaging English Learners from a Distance with Kahoot (60min)

I can’t tell you how MUCH I used Kahoot in my classroom.  I used it

  • to introduce vocabulary
  • to build background
  • to honor culture
  • to get to know students with Selfie Kahoots
  • to raise rigor by having students create Kahoots
  • and so much more.

Check out my ALL THINGS KAHOOT page to see more.  And be sure to watch this webinar I just did for Kahoot that shows you how to apply all of this in a remote learning environment.

This 5 min video is handy for your students if they have a chromebook only:

And if they only have a cellphone, watch the webinar for ideas on how to engage them with asynchronous opportunities and even some non-tech Kahoot opportunities.

Engaging Language Learners with Choice Projects During Distance Learning #MADPD (17 min)

That #MADPD webinar is only 17 minutes but it is PACKED with high impact ideas for your remote learning classroom.  I cover some foundations of motivating English Learners

  • Autonomy
  • Competence
  • Relatedness
  • Relevancy

You’ll see that I reference the work of Noa Daniel and Larry Ferlazzo throughout this webinar.  They have never failed me! Here is the link to the slide deck from this MADpd webinar. It is linked with resources I show in the webinar.

Success for SLIFE – A Literacy Focus (65 min)

This latest webinar was for TransACT.  They asked me to cover Success for SLIFE and I was honored to give this talk with a focus on how we can support literacy development for SLIFE in remote learning.  To view this webinar, you’ll just need to sign in to the TransACT website (it is free to do so).

This padlet includes links to the slide deck and many other resources I mention in the webinar.  It has links to many that I could not get to!

Not Your Grandma’s Book Club (48 min)

This webinar for ERGO the ESL/ELD Resource Group of Ontario was VERY well received. I was honored to give it with Dr. Katie Toppel and Tan Huynh.

This webinar is important because we are explicitly showing you how to offer PD to educators in a distance learning space.  The three of us have been doing synchronous and asynchronous book studies for a few years.  I’ve learned a ton from the two of them and I’m honored to share how I use it with my clients and their staff. Slides are at

Supporting ELs with Interruptions in Education (60min)

I’ve done a few other webinars that may be of interest.  This one for Saddleback was the first one I did when we all went to remote learning. You’ll see some of what I covered in the other webinars as this one is a general overview of how to support SLIFE and why they should be able to succeed.  Check out other Saddleback webinars. they have a great series going on to support teachers of ELs.

Serving English Learners in a Distance Learning Environment (2 parts, 2 hours)

This webinar was specifically for NAESPA and it’s membership but anyone is welcome to view the 2 hour event.  NAESPA is an organization made up of State ESEA Program Administrators, and their staff from each of the states and territories, charged with managing their state federal education program.  The webinar was in 2 parts.  Part I covered the legal requirements related to providing services to ELs, in Title I, Title III, and Civil Rights that may be challenging to implement in a distance learning environment.  I was in Part II, a facilitated panel discussion. Each panelist received one question for response related to best practices for supporting bilingual/multilingual/dual language education and educators in a distance learning environment.  I was honored to represent NAELPA (the National Assn of English Learner Program Administrators)

Extra note: In the podcast I mention Esmeralda Alday from San Antonio ISD and their secondary dual language program.   I also talk about NewsInLevels.  Those are not in the webinars but worth checking out!


Lasts but not least, I’m back at work and offering this for-a-fee opportunity. You can join me for this 5 hour online Boosting Achievement workshop for June 12th. Think 5 hours is too long??  Think again!  I have a full day of interactive, online and offline activities.  You’ll leave with tools for how to support SLIFE (Students with Interrupted or Limited Education) but you know me…the techniques should boost learning for ALL your students.
AND... you’ll experience techniques that work for teaching in a face-to-face or remote learning classrooms.

This opportunity has a fee of $125 and I’m limiting this day to just 30 participants.  We only scheduled it and it is already filling up! So please register if this is of interest to you.

I’m planning a day that should help you feel more prepared if you teach online or a blend of on and offline.  We need to have tools for any circumstance.  So let’s spend a day considering how to help these learners… in a way that will help ALL learners.   You can sign up on Event Bright or by printing & faxing the form with your P.O.

If you are unable to join us on June 12, the information in this post and around my blog is quite a lot of support but also, please stay connected on Facebook or Twitter.  Consider checking out the many videos on my Video page or read through the Boosting Achievement Book Study posts.  They are extra content for the book!

THANK YOU for all your interest in the resources and for how you support your students.

They need you and I’m grateful you’re there for them.

Stay strong and healthy,


BAP074 Stress Management with YOEMI and #BELIEVE_Cafe

You didn’t miss this incredibly important show on managing the stress we are all feeling.  You can listen right here or on your favorite podcast app.
Listen to “BAP074 Managing Stress with YOMEI and BELIEVE Cafe” on Spreaker.

In this show, Dorina Sackman Ebua, AKA, Ms. Dorito, joined me again to take calls LIVE on VoicEdRadio. We have a great conversation with several listeners and we mention Dorina’s BELIEVE_Cafe series on Youtube several times.  I can’t recommend it enough.  We are so fortunate that Dorna is helping us now for THIRTY LESSONS on YouTube!  You can start her series aany time and many of our callers are grateful for how she is helping us to think constructively and behave wisely.  But this doesn’t happen overnight. Her series began to make a difference in my outlook immediately but I really started to benefit as I spent each week day morning working through the exercises in her playlist. Dorina is also giving free webinars like this one.  Reach out to her to find out about others. 

We were so grateful to hear from Jody Nolf, Michelle Van Balkom and Dawn Harris. Each called in and brought great insight for us to consider.  Each question, comment or connection helped steer the conversation towards what educators are really facing right now.

In this show, Aprile Williams of YOMEI (Yoga for Mindful Emotional Intelligence) was able to join us.  She is also doing her doctoral work on Transformative Emotional Intelligence.

This was a powerful hour for me. Like many of you, I’ve been experiencing ups and downs as think about the future and how things might look moving forward.  Although I’ve been in a funk lately, #BELIEVE_Cafe has been saving me.  As Dorina eloquently puts it on the show, stress is inevitable, how you handle it is optional. She and Aprile give us such great advice on how to handle the emotions we might be feeling.

April points out that we don’t need to feel badly about our emotions and the stress we feel.  She leads us in a 16 second breathing exercise that has been helping me ever since. She and Dorina are experts in the area of growing your emotional intelligence and I’m so glad that they both have a focus on supporting educators.

You can check out April’s courses right here.

And she is also on Facebook leading some of her exercises.

For folks checking in to this blog, Aprile is offering a 15% off discount for her classes.  Please enter this code at check out if you take a YOMEI class: BoostingAchievement

Thank you again to everyone who is interacting with us during our LIVE shows.   I’m getting so much from them and I hope you are too.

Thank you again to Dorina and Aprile and thank YOU for all your passion.

Please be safe, move forward bravely and stay healthy.



PS: Below are the latest webinars I am doing or have done recently.  They are both available in replay if you miss them. I’ll be sending out a post with more later this week.

May 19 @ 11am CT:

May 15 @ 12pm CT:


Teaching Science to ELs Authors Dr. Stephen Fleenor & Tina Beene

Dr. Stephen Fleenor and Tina Beene are on the show and we are so fortunate to get to learn from them in this episode.

You can listen to the show right here.
Listen to “BAP073 Fleenor and Beene EL Experts for Science & Social Studies Teaching” on Spreaker.

Stephen and Tina are my colleagues (and friends) and I’m thrilled that they have written an amazing book, Teaching Science to English Learners.  They each have their content area specializations. Stephen is our science expert and Tina is our go-to consultant for all things Social Studies.  All three of us are Seidlitz Education consultants so we have a strong focus on supporting English Learners and marginalized populations.  We were all trained in Seidlitz 7 Steps to a Language Rich Interactive Classroom (this is where QSSSA was born).  The research-based sheltered instruction principles of the 7 Steps are foundational to our work as a company and for us as individuals.

I had so many takeaways from this show!  Stephen and Tina helped me reflect on how important it is to keep a focus on a language rich classroom whether we are face to face or in a remote learning environment.  As Stephen put it, even in the virtual world, we need to offer students ways to have structured interactions with each other.  He actually just released a webinar on Fostering Interaction in an Online Classroom and you can watch it right here. In that webinar he is modeling QSSSA and other techniques you can use in the virtual world. He also recently published this 11 minute video on facilitating QSSSA in zoom breakout rooms.  I have watched it several times already!

As you listen to the show, you’ll understand why Tina and Stephen make such a great writing team.  I love having Tina back because she always helps me think deeply about how learning is impacted by how students contextualize concepts into their own world view.  With everything going on right now, I highly recommend all teachers watch this webinar she just released on offering Compelling Social Studies Content for Distance Learning.   And you can find her Teaching Social Studies to ELLs book right here.

Stephen and Tina co-wrote an amazing resource, Teaching Science to English Learners that is creating a buzz in the field because, just as Tina’s first book in this series, it focuses on low-prep, high yield strategies.  Is it any wonder that their books are among our best sellers?

I’m so happy to share more free content from these two! Don’t miss this article Stephen wrote for the Seidlitz blog:

Could Teaching English Learners Be One of the Secrets to Great Educational Leadership? by Dr. Stephen Fleenor

Or this one that Tina wrote about how to survive October… a time that typicially comes with many deadlines, stress and illness.  Her practical advice applies so much right now!

 October Is the Scariest Month of a Teacher’s Year.  by Tina Beene

I am so happy to have a few more Carol & Tina shows for you.  I also feel so fortunate that Tina partnered with me to deliver this VirtuEL presentation on Effective Questioning in Social Studies.  Check it out for a deep dive in QSSSA in Social Studies:

This is a link to the first time she was on this show.  I listen to this one often – it was foundational to units of study that propelled the learning in my newcomer class:

One more big thanks to these EduHeroes in the field!  I’m so proud to work with them.

Here is a workshop they are doing on November2nd  if you want to go ahead and register and mark your calendar for this:

As promised, here are links to some recent videos I’ve done for newcomer teachers:

Supporting SLIFE in Distance Learning was a webinar for Saddleback.  (general ideas of why they should be able to learn quickly and some strategies modeled.)

My 17 min MADPD video on Compelling Projects

My own Seidlitz webinar on how I would set up my newcomer/SLIFE class with authentic experiences.

My Kahoot session on Engaging ELs with Kahoot.

Hope those help add things to your toolbelt.

Thank you for stopping by this blog!

Stay strong and healthy,



BAP072 The Second BELIEVE_Cafe LIVE with Dorina

Huge numbers of teachers are struggling with mental health to different degrees.  This podcast addressed mental health of teachers and the stigma of mental health issues in the profession.  Dorina Ebuwa joined me for another call in show.

*Disclaimer: No one on this show is licensed to offer advice on mental health issues.  This show’s focus is on how we are all coping with the stresses of the current pandemic and how we are growing our own emotional intelligence.

We take calls that have us discussing lack of engagement from students and how to help ELs when you can’t be with them.

You can listen the show in two parts right here:

Part I

Listen to “BAP072 2nd BELIEVE Café LIVE with Dorina” on Spreaker.

Part II
Listen to “BAP072 Part II 2nd BELIEVE_Cafe LIVE (the rest of it)” on Spreaker.

In this episode, Dorina mentions:

Wendy Turner, M. Ed.


Dr. Brene Brown

Both are incredible folks to follow!

Big thanks to the folks who called in.  This week we had: Shaley Santiago, Michelle Van BalkomJody Nolf & Dr. Irina McGrathcall in with questions and insight.  We appreciate them and everyone who is listening.

If you are looking to UP your own social emotional intelligence, I can’t recommend Dorina’s #BELIEVE_Cafe series enough!  Take just a FEW minutes in the morning to grow how you respond to what is going on right now.  You’ll thank me.  Here is her playlist so you can get caught up 

Here is more on what Dorina can do for you and your district:

We hope you are enjoying these LIVE shows!

Here are other places you can find me:

Free Kahoot for ELs webinar on May 6th!  Register here:

Free Seidlitz Education Webinar on SLIFE.  This one is May 11th. Register here:

The above opportunities are free and this site has a TON of free resources for you.  But here comes the plug for online training or coaching in case you have a need for that.

I’d Love to Come and Work in Your District!

The Seidlitz Education team is really on a roll with our online trainings.  We are providing full day, half day and multi day sessions where we are modeling practical techniques for serving ELs that work in a face to face or online classroom. You can reach me at  Here is some recent feedback:

Thank you to our clients who are able to continue working with us. We are honored to support them!  And thank you to YOU for your desire to self-direct your learning on behalf of your students.  We have plenty here on this site for you!  Reach out if you need something specific.

I’d love to hear from you!



BAP071 #Believe_Cafe & Boosting Achievement LIVE March 28

Did you know that we are doing LIVE call-in shows on VoicEd Radio? Yep!  During this out of the ordinary time, we bring you out of the ordinary radio. I’m teaming up with Dorina Ebuwa, aka Miss Dorito because she is THE person we need to help us with our own Transformative Emotional Intelligence. This might be EXACTLY what you need right now.

You can listen to the show where ever you get your podcasts or right here:
Listen to “BAP071 1st Believe Cafe LIVE with Dorina” on Spreaker.

What is Transformative Emotional Intelligence? Listen to this episode so you can get some insight from Dorina and also hear how it is making such a difference for me and others in our PLN.  Among other things, Dorina challenges us to consider that many educators are experiencing Compassion Fatigue & Vicarious Trauma right now.

Incremental is monumental – @Dorina_Believe

In the show we answer some questions about how to best support teachers right now from our perspective. We also draw on the expertise of our guests!

Just do a quick search on #Believe_Cafe to see some of the positive impact this work is having. Please check out Dorina’s Belive_Cafe show weekday mornings! Here is the playlist to get all caught up.

Our next call in show will be April 18 at 1:00pm ET.  Be sure to tune in to at that time to hear us LIVE.

Jennifer Gonzalez, Irina McGrath and Carly Spina are all mentioned on this show.

Many thanks to these folks who called in to add to the conversation:

Traci Broward

Shilpa Palawat

Michelle Shory

Tina Bergman

What else is going on right now?  Glad you asked!  Here is my 8 min rundown of what I’m tuned in to this week:

Thank you,Dorina and thanks to everyone stopping by this show or this blog.

Stay Healthy.  We love you!


BAP070 Brad Shreffler on Tech4ELs

Need digital support?  Me too.  I can’t help you with your specific Zoom needs (this might help with that) but I CAN offer you some great support for how we may want to be thinking about tech right now.    In this episode, we hear from Brad Shreffler who is a Digital Instruction Coach at a large public middle school in Central Florida. Listen to the show in your own podcast app, on Voiced Radio or right here:
Listen to “BAP070 Brad Schreffler on Tech for ELs 2” on Spreaker.

Brad Shreffler’s job usually includes assisting teachers with the implementation of instructional technology in their courses as a part of the Digital One-To-One initiative.  Like most of us, the COVID19 pandemic has brought new challenges to Brad’s role, but he seems to be handling them with grace.  We actually scheduled this conversation long ago but ironically, we ended up speaking at the beginning of our lockdown.  Brad’s voice is precisely what I need in this time of uncertainty.

Many of us are experiencing anxiety over the tech-heavy new reality of our jobs.  But reflecting and speaking to Brad brings me comfort. It always has! He is one of my favorite people in the world and was always someone who gave me hope.  I follow Brad because technology has been a big part of the success of the students I served.

English learners and students with limited education can participate at grade level, immediately, when we scaffold instruction. Tech helps us do just that.

What a great voice Brad is for us right now.  Consider the fact that he launched a one-to-one initiative at the largest high school in the United States (4,000 students)…and then took an assignment to do the same at a middle school where he is now.Great idea This makes me want to know more about what is happening at Brad’s school.

Tech for ELs – Boosts Achievement for ALL

In the show, Brad explains that his students, who also function as tech support for the campus, are building valuable skills that serve as on-the-job training which is valuable experience whether you pursue a career in tech or not. His class/tech-support team is such a great model for others who are now being launched into a more tech-heavy reality.

One of my favorite parts of this episode is when Brad explains that he actively seeks out EL students for his class.  His school has a heavy EL population so, much like in the real world, having a team with a diverse linguistic background is a bonus.

“I actively seek out ELLs… Even if they don’t have a ton of English proficiency.  Now I am able to encourage this student to feel more confident. – @BradShreffler

I’m so inspired by how Brad explains that emergent bilinguals on his team will still need to work with him to understand how to provide the technology support to their “clients” (students in the school).  This offers authentic opportunities to build language while immersed in meaningful learning opportunities.  It is a win-win-win for the ELs, for Brad and for the student body.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!

“He still needs to come to me and explain in English ‘this is thee problem…how do I fix it?’ so I am interacting with him in English but he is still getting to tap into his strength of having a foreign language available. – @BradShreffler.

Brad and I also discuss some of the silver linings that exist for language learners because of our current situation.  Neither of us would with this pandemic on the world.  But we are both trying to focus on the things we can control and the things that will result in positive outcomes for students.

Our conversation goes on to point out the difficulties teachers are facing as we all ramp up our tech skills.  The silver lining there is that we are all becoming more tech savvy with each passing day.  The parallels for our ELs are direct! They also become more proficient each day, even if they are going through difficult circumstances, even if the tasks are cognitively demanding. What an empathy project this is!

Brad acknowledges the unbelievably scary situation of the world right now.  He makes sure to voice that he is not downplaying that or taking it lightly.  But I appreciate his point of view when he asks us to consider the flip side:

“This feels like the most promising time in education.”-@BradShreffler

“Education doesn’t change very fast…because it is such a big machine…it’s like steering the Titanic.  Now all of the sudden, we have the ability to steer the titanic like an F-18… We are in this place to blaze a new path.” @BradShreffler

“Teachers being more confident with technology can only help our ELL students.”@BradShreffler

Brad and I both marvel over the job of a teacher and how under-appreciated that may have once been.  But he points out that everyone he knows is commenting on how hard it is to teach their children and how much they appreciate educators right now.  I find that one of the most important silver linings of all – a light shining on the profession.  More discussion around the important work  teachers do and what they need to be able to serve their students.

I am so grateful for Brad Shreffler for coming on the show.  I would highly recommend you subscribe to his Planning Period Podcast so you can get regular doses of his mindset like I do.  On his show (which has about 120 episodes) Brad interviews education stakeholders from around the globe.  He describes the show as:  a place where he and his guests discuss the biggest issues facing education and what we can do to address them. Brad and his guests look ahead at future issues while addressing the realities of today. This show is for anyone who finds themselves getting into deep conversations in the breakroom during their planning period or anyone who wishes they could.

I was honored to be on the Planning Period Podcast back in 2018 so if you want more Brad & Carol conversation, you can listen to that show right here. #EdBreakroom

So, YES!  Follow Brad Shreffler.  He will better your life.  I know he betters mine and he has for some time now.

Thank you for stopping by this blog/podcast.  I hope you are well and I hope you can feel the vibes I am trying to send to you.  They are vibes of empowerment.

Look forward.

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PS: During our conversation I mention the #Believe_Cafe & Miss Dorito for help with our own social and emotional intelligence.  Go check it out! That happens every weekday! See you there!


BAP069 We Can Do This.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, this episode may help. You can listen to it right here or in your favorite podcast app:

Listen to “BAP069 We Can Do This” on Spreaker.

There are so many challenges right now. We are being called upon to step up as educators, as parents and as human beings.  It seems like too much to ask, I know.  But I would offer you that you are so much stronger than you know.  You many not realize how strong you are.  But it is times like these that we find out.

Ideas that come up a few times:

  1. Flood yourself with things that help you feel productive (with family, work & yourself)
  2. Be informed but don’t spend all your time on the negative aspects of the news.
  3. Focus on what you CAN control.
  4. Look at the long game.  Realize that there will be some positive outcomes.  Some we can already see. Some we can’t even imagine.
  5. Appreciate the perspective of our refugee and immigrant students who have gone through difficult times and have earned perspective, patience, grit and more. *We are building some of that right now.
  6. You’re growing new skills with tech.  Like it or not, you’re growing.

Gathering Virtually

The great news is that we are all SO MUCH stronger together.  Many of us are feeling isolated right now, but we can take steps to mitigate that feeling.  Your community is still out there.  We are so fortunate to have ways to connect and I would encourage you to plug in to groups of like minded, positive people.  At the very least, please balance what you see in the news, with positive messages and things that make you feel productive

Links to a few things I mention in this show

Duncan YMCA Exercise Channel – free workout videos should be published week of March 23, 2020

The Free Boosting Achievement Book Study with supplemental materials – great stuff at this link for what we are dealing with right now.

Webinar with Laura Gardner – March 27, 2020 @ 10:30am.  Supporting Immigrants and Refugees Families During Remote Learning.

FOLLOW LAURA GARDNER @lauragardner79 RIGHT NOW if you can’t wait until Friday. She is sharing a lot of resources like this. 

Leading ELLs Facebook Group and Pam Broussard – My top tip for finding resources or support right now if you teach newcomers. You can search the group,  ask a question or add some advice for others.  SO much is being shared for teachers of newcomers. Pam teaches new arrival students and founded the group.

Talking Points – recommended by teachers who don’t speak the language of their students or only have a phone number.

Snapchat Friendmoji

Diane Stahr Fenner’s company, Support Ed just gave a great webinar on supporting ELs with online learning.  You can access her past webinars here:

I mentioned these two new ESL-focused podcasts that have just joined the VoicEd Radio family.  I’m excited because I love both of these shows and I’ve been fortunate to be a guest on both of them as well.  Check them out!

Thank you for stopping by this podcast post.

I know this is really difficult.  And that it is mentally exhausting.  But I also know that we will get through it so much better if we keep our eyes on the future, do what we can and look for the hope.  The hope is there. If you keep yourself in a productive mindset, focus on what you CAN control, and realize that you are able to step up when you need to, you’ll have more strength and perseverance.  You can do hard things.  You are an educator. YOU are the hope.

Stay safe.


BAP068 Jordan Mayer, Phonics and Finding The Right Starting Point for ELs

I hope this podcast and blog post finds you well.  Jordan Mayer recorded this episode with me in February, prior to the current state we are in with the Coronavirus.    Instead of holding off on publishing this show, I found it a very healthy thing to do for my mindset.  I always feel centered when I am working on something productive.  I offer you that idea in case you are feeling isolated or anxious.  Blogging, journaling or reflecting in other ways might help you as it helps me. Here are the show notes:

Jordan Mayer is a former 1st grade teacher and now teaches high school in British Columbia.  He is a fantastic PLN member who shares great stuff.  You can follow him on Twitter here and you can also subscribe to his blog.

You can listen to our conversation wherever you get your podcasts or right here.

Listen to “BAP068 Jordan Mayer and The Right Starting Point for ELs” on Spreaker.

I mentioned to Jordan that I had recently read a blog post about supporting each other as teachers.  That blog post has a powerful message about support over judgement.  I recommend you check it out!

In that post he describes his years as a new 1st grade teacher.  This primary grade experience gives him a great perspective for foundations of literacy.  Jordan came on the show as a result of this blog post he wrote in February.  Jordan noticed a reading issue in one of his English Learners.  He and his team spent time working with the girl and because of Jordan’s background, they identified that the girl was unable to sound out words.

It is important to know that this student could read and could speak in English fairly well.  So this disconnect prompted Jordan to investigate further.  In the show, he discusses resources like the nonsense word test  that he shared in this post about the issue.

In our discussion, we unpack a lot of things about how we each feel about phonics instruction.  We both feel that there is a need for explicit phonics instruction but we have different approaches to how we deliver that instruction.  What we agree on is that you need to get to know your kids and make sure you are not wasting time doing lessons on sounds or blends that your students may already have or may be gaining quickly.

We mention this show by Larry Ferlazzo. In it, Larry and his guests Casey Schultz, Mandy Ellis, Dr. Carolyn Brown, Dr. Jerry Zimmerman, Kelly Wickham Hurst, and the late Dr. Kay MacPhee, who contributed a response prior to her death, discuss the role of phonics in reading instruction.

I encourage you to check out the post by Larry and the ones by Jordan.

People like Jordan, Larry and his guests are helping us with more ideas of how we might meet the needs of our unique students each year.  I’m grateful to them and I am grateful to you.

Thank you for stopping by this blog,



Many folks are disappointed in light of the recent cancellations of EL conferences.  Tan Huynh and I want to remind you that you have three years of EL Conference greatness available on YouTube.  Please join us for a reboot webinar on Tuesday March 17 at 6:30pm CT.

We are creating new content around the existing conferences for the next 3 weeks.  And this is all  leading up to the 2020 conference announcements.  Feel free to check out and share all the sessions. You can find them here.

PSS: The 1.5 hour Success for SLIFE webinar is now available in replay.  You do need to sign in to the NAELPA website to watch it, but that is a free registration.

BAP067 Webinar on SLIFE, Resources from NAELPA and NABE

The Success for SLIFE webinar is almost here! This podcast offers more information on that as well as the resources I used at NABE2020 and a message for teachers who are feeling overwhelmed or underprepared for the ELs they are receiving.

You can listen to the show in your favorite podcast app or right here

Listen to “BAP067 Resources from NAELPA and NABE” on Spreaker.

Register for the Free Success for SLIFE webinar right here.  It is brought to you by NAELPA,  the National Association of English Learner Program Administrators.  If you are not a member, you can still attend but we’d love to have you join us!   The association is a non-profit with a mission of supporting EL program administrators.  It is one of the most powerful ways we can support teachers and ELs… support their leaders!

An Educators’s Personal Playlist

If you’re a regular listener of the show, you have likely heard of Noa Daniel. She was my guest last week and that is a show NOT to be missed!  I got lots of great feedback on that show but we only scratched the surface on what we can learn from Noa.  In fact, I failed to share the P3 I did with Noa on her show.  If you enjoyed our conversation, you might want to check out this episode of her great podcast. where she asked me to explain MY personal playlist.  I was honored to be her guest.  Her show, which now has over 100 guests and their P3’s, will pull at your heart strings and can inspire many ideas of how to do this with your students, your colleagues, your family… Gotta love Noa!

In this show I also promise you the two padlets I used in my NABE2020 sessions last week so here they are.  We didn’t get to all of this, but they are resources I wanted the participants to have.

“Bringing History to Life Through Life Histories”

The first one is for the session I did with the great Tina Beene.  She is our Social Studies expert at Seidlitz Education.  We start by opening a space for students to share their stories to each other and even to the faculty (IF they want to share with anyone).  I started following Larry Ferlazzo’s example (his resources including video are in the padlet) of having students offer PD with me and we never looked back.  It is a game changer for everyone involved.

“SLIFE at Grade Level”

The second session I delivered was on supporting SLIFE in content area classes.  Here are the resources I wanted those folks to have and I’m glad you have them too!


Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode of this podcast when it comes out soon!  I am excited to have a show together with Jordan Mayer of Surrey Schools where he gives us insight into how we might discover what is happening with students who are not gaining literacy.  Lots of phonics talk in that one!

Thanks to folks connected with me at NABE and NAELPA.  You’re all amazing and YOU are amazing for stopping by this blog.



PS: I’m excited to be at several conferences this year.  Check them out here:

BAP066 Noa’s BOBs! You too can Build Outside the Blocks

Think you don’t have enough time for meaningful projects? Restricted by curriculum blocks or grading timelines?  Then you need to know about Noa Daniel and her innovative approach to instruction. She showed me how  to build outside the blocks and it changed everything!

You can listen to this episode right here or in your favorite podcast app.

Noa is an educator and an education consultant.  Her Building Outside the Blocks (BOB) approach had a huge impact on my practice and I will forever implement the things I learned from her.  In fact, the majority of my students would tell me that her “BOBs” were the most powerful parts of the school year for them.

I first heard Noa on Derek Rhodenizer’s Beyond the Staffroom show a few years ago.  I immediately began implementing BOB projects and using the approach Noa was describing. The results were amazing. On the show, Noa explains how the students spend hours of their own time working on them… because they WANT to.  I am here to attest to this.

You may be skeptical, we understand, but I would challenge you to take a look at the BOBs and try them for yourself.  Noa has done them with content classes and I used them with ESL. The concept can work with any standards.  Check out Noa’s website where she shares about 20 of these projects:

Here is a video of a newcomer, Natalia, presenting her “Personal Playlist” project.  This video gives just a few highlights but her entire presentation takes only 5 minutes.  All of the presentations take only 5 minutes.  But again, hours of work went into them.

“ELs come with so many rich experiences.  When you invite them to share those, the challenge of the language itself is minimized because they are seen as so much more than language learners.” – Noa Daniel

With her permission, I have adapted two of the projects to include sentence frames for English Learners.  Here are planning pages for the What’s in a Name and the Personal Playlist project:


Want even more explanation on BOBs?  Check out this #MADPD video where Noa explains it in detail:

Noa does so many things!  We talk the OnEdMentors show that Noa hosts.  It began as a mentor show but it has grown to so much more. Here is an ELL episode where Noa interviewed Valentina Gonzalez, Brad Womak, Sandeep and Virginia Lowe about welcoming EL Learners into your classroom.

I hope you have a chance to try some of Noa’s projects and learn about the other great things she is doing in the field.  We didn’t even get to touch on her work on the Mentoree project where she is helping connect mentors and mentees in the education field.

One more big thanks to Noa for being my guest and for all she is adding to the field!