BAP052 Aging Out & What We Do Every Day

Here are some answers to FAQ’s on working with SLIFE!  

Listen to “BAP052 – Aging Out & What We Do Every Day” on Spreaker.

You can read the short responses below or listen to this show with more explanation right here.  Actually, as of the publication of this post, the podcast is available in all podcast apps.  Hope you will subscribe!

THANK YOU Metro Nashville Public Schools and Beaufort County School District for offering the Boosting Achievement Book Study to your teachers.  Megan Trcka in Nashville, Alisa Rhodes and Bethanne Barner in South Carolina supported some amazing teachers who were collaborating on their own time to find more learning about working with students who have interrupted or minimal education.

If you’d like to see one of these video chats, you are welcome to watch the Q&A and the positive outcomes shared by McMurray Middle School.

Here are a few of the questions I didn’t answer in my last few video chats:

  1. In the last section of Boosting Achievement, I noticed the emphasis placed on independent reading time in the classroom.  I also noticed the suggestion to slowly build up to 60 minutes. I understand how beneficial this is, but do you have any ideas or suggestions to show that this is beneficial enough to take away from other possibly worthy activities in order to allow for this extended amount of time? 
    • My Answer: This all depends on how much time you have and what your role is for the child.  So if you are the reading teacher, and you have 60 minutes with students, I would absolutely build stamina for sustained silent reading (SSR) of up to 60 minutes.  For example, when I was teaching middle school, I was the SLIFE teacher and I had 4 hours with the students every day.  Reading for 60 minutes was not something I would do every class period, but we did have SSR every day to settle down and from time to time we went longer periods of time.  On occasion, we did read for 45-60 minutes.  More recently, in high school, I did not have the luxury of that much class time.  We STILL had SSR when we first came into class and we worked up to at least 20 minutes. I also counseled students to realize how important it was to read for 60 minutes a day (for several reasons) and I made sure they had resources to do that at home. They can read with newsinlevels.com, they can read what we wrote together, they can read in their native language, they need to be reading, reading, reading.  As the year goes on we encourage more and more English reading during SSR and we show students how many English sight words they gain and other benefits of reading for longer periods of time.
    • To the part of your question about other worthy activities, Shared Reading, Shared Writing and Oral Language Practice (Language Experience Approach is an example of how you can do all three) are those worthy activities that I feel have to happen in every class.  I feel these MUST happen with students so we can’t spend all of our time in free voluntary reading.  But we partner with these older learners to realize they must do the SSR on their own to help close their gaps.
  2. If you only have 30 minutes twice a week, what is the one that you absolutely must do with those students?
    • As mentioned above, I advocate for Shared Reading, Shared Writing and Oral Language Practice every time I meet with students.  You can do it in less than 30 minutes, your shared writing pieces just happen over more than one class.  See LEA episode to see how to do it and just break it up over your different meeting times.
    • Even if you only have 30 minutes twice a week, I would have students settle down with a choice book.  You might only read for the first 5 minutes but it gives you so much benefit.  Students can share why they liked the book, you can connect to grade level standards like genre, authors craft, and it gives you a chance to remind your students of why they need to be reading ANYTHING for several minutes a day.

  1. How do you deal with an 18-year old that enters and has to take the end of course exam, has 6th-grade education, will age out before he can complete school? What do you focus on?  AND
  2. How do you overcome the difficulty meeting grade level expectations for growth and proficiency with your lowest level and SIFE students?
    • I’m addressing question 3 & 4 together.  If I’m the Newcomer English Language Development teacher, see above.  I’m doing the same things I do for all children.  I make sure we empower kids with the awareness of how quickly their language and literacy can come.  It is CRITICAL that we don’t feel that the child is expected to do this all on their own.  *WE* need to change and offer more comprehensible input and use more sheltered strategies.  But we do make sure the student knows how to advance their language and literacy when they are not with us.
    • Please make sure the student understands that the standardized assessments are not the finish line.  Also, make sure they realize that when they age out.. that isn’t the finish line either.  Find out what their long term goals are and help them see how, with community partners, we can help them get to those goals.  Our building is one step closer to their goals.
    • For content teachers:  PLEASE teach them as much of your content as possible.  Don’t feel that they need to gain proficiency in English or literacy before they can comprehend your content and interact with it.  YOU are the only one that will teach that child biology or social studies or math.  They need to learn as much of your content as possible so they can continue to move forward, even if they fail your class and age out.  Please make sure you or someone is collaborating with that child to realize that they can continue to gain math skills and eventually master the content.  Their language and literacy will also come along if they dont’ give up.  We all need to look at the long game and help that child move forward toward a better life.
  3. Do you ever have bad days in your classroom too? It always seems so nice!
    • Bitmoji ImageMANY bad days.  It’s real life over here.  But I’m grateful for more nice days than bad days.  If you watch that Language Experience Approach video you’ll see a big fail.  A child falls asleep in front of me! And I have had plenty of days where I brought my bad mood to the class or things were not on track.  We take those in stride and just keep trying to improve.

Bitmoji ImageBut having a social contract made ALL the difference in the world for our classroom climate. Here is a post on that.  Thanks for that question.  🙂

THANK YOU so much for reading and or listening!  This show and notes are an important place for me to reflect. You’re helping my journey of learning and for that I am grateful.

HUGS,

Carol

 

WHERE CAN WE MEET UP??

Summer 2019

I’m the keynote speaker for #MABEMI19 coming up in May. 

Featured Speaker at the Sanibel Leadership Conference in Florida on June 20th

FALL of 2019 – Stay tuned for dates & links:

Coming to Colorado as a featured speaker for COTESOL

I’ll be in Missouri for the MELL Conference in October

I’ll be the keynote speaker for BCTESOL in British Colombia in the fall.

 

 

Why You Should Present at #MADPD

You’ve never presented before? That is perfect! This is your chance to do something brave.  If you present all the time, you should be there as well.  We will have a great day of sharing with and learning from a global network of educators.

Emily Francis, Derek Rhodenizer and Peter Cameron join me this week on the podcast to answer all you want to know about the event. You can listen to that show right here:

I feel strongly that we should ALL be presenting at this conference!  If you are apprehensive, just take the leap! This is our chance to practice what we are preaching to our students or the teachers that we support.  We ask them to take risks every day.  Let’s put ourselves out there too.  Let’s take a risk and share something that Makes a Difference in education.

Truth be told, it’s not even very much of a risk.  YouTube Live is the platform and it is just a matter of watching a short “How To” video if you don’t know how to launch a Live broadcast.  And the founders have you covered!  They have short videos for us!

So in this podcast, Emily helps me interview Derek and Peter, who are the founders of #MADPD.  The three of those folks are excellent members of any PLN, by the way,  so be sure to follow them.

Here is the link so you can go ahead and submit that proposal!   Basically, #MADPD is an all day, online education conference that is happening May 6th.  It is the 2nd annual conference and should be bigger and better than ever.  The first #MADPD had over 60 presenters from around the world and those videos are still being played on demand and will continue to be out there for people to use.   Isn’t it amazing that we can be sharing with the world??

I appreciate Emily Francis helping me interview the guys  because she is a great teacher to represent the ESL community.  If you have listened to my show, you know that I mention Emily all the time. She has her own immigration story that will inspire you and your students.  Emily has some great questions and then gives us her take on why teachers of ELs should be presenting at this innovative conference.  One of my favorite reasons she mentions is that we all need to be advocating for our English learners.  If you have an idea that will help other teachers that work with English learners, you are advocating for those students and for the teachers that teach them.

The founders impress upon us that they are looking for teachers who are new to presenting.  This is the type of opportunity that will offer value to all of us.  We all have something that is making a difference.  You may think that something you are doing is known by everyone, but that just isn’t the case.

Derek makes some great points about why this is especially cool for presenters.  One example is that everything is YouTube based on our own channels so presenters retain the rights to the videos.

I love this effort because it is purely to help each other become better educators.  We all have a wonderful opportunity to learn so much from this event.  I know I’ll be trying to get better at a YouTube live chat this time around and that is just one benefit.  There will be so many presentations and I’m thrilled to have access to them all.

I hope you have a chance to listen to the show. Thanks to Peter, Derek and Emily for helping us break this down for teachers of ELs.

One final note!

We don’t just have a moral imperative to share. We have a moral imperative to GET GOOD at sharing! – Dave Burgess on the Ed Podcast 

I am thinking that Dave is on to something here.  So hurry and get your proposals in.  You are guaranteed to get it accepted.

See you on May 6th!

Carol

PS: Would you like more support?  I’d love to come work with you and your staff! Simply reach out to me or Kathy Belanger:  kathy@johnseidlitz.com

In the near future I will be presenting at the NABE conference,  as well as the ISTE conference and I’m a proud spotlight speaker at the Abydos writing conference. 
I’m attending SXSW as well so please reach out if you’ll be at any of these!

You can also join me for two upcoming workshops in Texas.  The information for those is below.  We’d love to see you!

 

 

Translanguaging Before a Study Trip

You’d like to use theories of translanguaging in your classroom but it seems like too much work?   One click on a web page and many of your students have a native-language resource.

In Google Chrome it was just a right-click to bring up this dialog box.  (More on Chrome Translating) Pick a language and the translation may not be perfect (often is not) but it is a great support.  I have some international students and volunteers working with SIFE (under-schooled) students.  Offering the help of this resources is often very effective for helping build background.

google-translate-webpage-arabic2                    google-translate-webpage-arabic

 

So yes!  We are taking a trip to a plantation!  If I give all of my students a bit of background on the site, the English tour and English class discussions will be so much more comprehensible for everyone.  (Native English students will benefit from this, of course.)  I want to have the students work in groups to discuss the major events that happened at this location so I will provide sentence frames for that.  But to make sure they understand the events, I’ve cut & pasted some of the events from the website to this WORD document.  I’d like them to do a quick illustration with an English sentence for each event.  I’ve highlighted 10 events in all, so we will likely jigsaw this activity or do it on posters for a gallery walk:

hogg-planation

What I used to worry about:   Recent immigrants lack the background knowledge of our country when trying to learn about U.S. History.  Something I try to keep in mind now is that they have an abundance of background knowledge in other areas!  This adds to the depth of everyone’s learning.

History is a wonderful opportunity to look at over-arching concepts that can be applied and aligned to local history, world history and even current events.

Several of my newcomers had intimate knowledge of what it is like to be in a time of war.  Their perspective is incredibly powerful for our learning about things like push/pull factors, establishment of governments, conflict, etc.

We are all fortunate to have history all around us.  What places in your area can be visited to deepen the classroom conversation and learning across content areas?

At this point in the year (December) we have very few beginners for listening comprehension that started the year with us.  Everyone can understand basic English with support of visuals, gestures and other supports.  But we have new arrivals all the time.  I used to be perplexed at how to help my newest newcomers connect with what the class is doing.

I’m grateful research and findings in the area of Translanguaging.  There is now evidence that using the native language is  a powerful and effective way of deepening learning and helping ELs acquire both content and language learning in their second language. More by CUNY-NYSIEB, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York here:  http://www.nysieb.ws.gc.cuny.edu/files/2012/06/FINAL-Translanguaging-Guide-With-Cover-1.pdf

Consider taking a trip to a historic site and look for a place that offers historical events that tie to historic events they will need to learn in other content areas.  (Bonus!  Archeology is a fantastic tie to science, technology and math – be sure to look for any connections or areas of interest your students show you.)

Happy language learning!

 

Carol

 

 

 

 

 

Bring on the Volunteers!

“We have people in the community who want to help but are not sure that they are qualified or what it would look like.”  That sentence from our PTA president blew me away.  I was so busy with my classes that I hadn’t thought about this.  My lack of volunteer support was not from a lack of desire!

So I made this quick, unpolished video to help our community see that they can have a tremendous impact on our newest students.  It is not a PD for ELL teachers.  It is meant to be a user-friendly introduction how a lay-person can help me when they work with our kiddos after school or any time they are helping them without an explicit assignment.

Please offer feedback.  And use and share!

Off to grade papers…