Reviewing Objectives, Oral Language Practice and a Social Contract

Students from Joseph Maurer’s Math class and Ginny Looney explaining how choral reading supports her ESL students.  She also talks about the Social Contract (from Capturing Kids Hearts- Flippin Group):

Be The Change

Most of the videos below are 4 minutes or less.  Except this one!  This is our “yearbook” for the new arrival class at Spring Forest in the 2015-2016 school year.  Those kiddos had a rocky start but they ended up such impressive scholars! We are blessed to have them in our community.

Kamal Proves that You Can Gain Enough Literacy to Pass the Algebra State Exam

Language Experience Approach and QSSSA

Here is a post on Language Experience Approach and also QSSSA.  The video shows a non-example and a better version.

Build Language and Literacy with Guest Speakers

Check out this post on a 4 step process to maximizing the effects of a guest speaker.  So much learning should happen before the guest arrives. Boost literacy, language, critical thinking and growth mindset.  So the day of the visit will be just the icing on the cake and could look like this:

A Glimpse of NELD 2016-17

The following video catches a few moments of my 2016-2017 class a  Stratford high school.  We have the privilege of teaching our newest community members. Some are refugees, some are SIFE, some are re-located because we are in an oil & gas corridor of Houston. Many different backgrounds…but one family!

Your Walls as a Co-Teacher

is a Blogpost you can find here. It is worth a read to see some of the ways we used our walls this year (even though I don’t have my own classroom).

Newcomer Goes from Beginner to Advanced High in Reading on TELPAS in 6 months.

Uri was extremely focused after he saw this video of Gerson Bermudez.  Gerson is a student at one of our high schools that we found inspiring because of how quickly he learned English.  So now Uri has passed THREE of his End of Course exams for graduation and accelerated his English reading abilities to near native. He explains how he did that in the following 5 minute video.  I feel like it is a testament to how critical it is for teachers to allow native language support in a targeted way.  Our younger emergent bilinguals can’t be expected to have this discipline.  But he is showing us the importance of previewing in native language… Viva Dual Language!

In the following two videos, Uri explains some of what helped accelerate his learning as a non-English speaker in a comprehensive high school:

Voice and Choice!  Don’t take my word for it, let this student tell you why they work so hard on a project where there is choice:

Creating a Compelling Desire for Input and Output with a Local Historic Site Visit

The following video was taken in the 2nd semester.  Many students now have advanced listening skills and at least intermediate speaking skills so they are comfortable interacting in the real world. We even had a student arrive this week and he was also engaged and building background for an eventual End of Course exam on US History that is required by our state:

Using Kahoot to Review Classroom Norms.

The video below offers an example of using Kahoot with language learners – to produce English.  This is ESL but I would suggest that you consider this type of review for any class.  You have their undivided attention when you play Kahoot!  In this scenario, we were reviewing norms the students had created last semester for the new arrivals.  *Note that I forgot to do the choral read/reading in unison once…

Need Volunteers?

Me too!  I was blown away when our PTA president pointed out that many want to help but are not sure if they are qualified.  This is what we will show them now!

Global Connections!

This 3 min video shows how ONE “Selfie Kahoot” brought together two classrooms and introduced us to a phenomenal teacher who was once SIFE and an ELL herself.  Thank you Ms. Francis!

How do we motivate students to find out what is possible for them?  How do we build grit?  We can start by showing them learners who are overcoming similar challenges.

He was only 7 months in US schools but Gerson decided to accelerate his own language learning at school and on his own time. Thank you for sharing, Gerson and thank you ESL and ELA teachers of Spring Woods High School:

We caught up with Gerson a couple of years later.  That video is being edited but here is a quick 2 min clip with some great insight from a student who is now 2 years and 5 months in the US:

Nabil learns to read! With daily choral reading and a high-interest piece of text (a letter from the teacher), Nabil finds his entry point into literacy:

Update on Nabil’s reading and end of year essay contest.  (4 min) This was a shared writing activity that boosted literacy for SIFE students:

Using Thematic Units to build oral language skills.  (3 min) Thank you Dr. Babaloa from Rice University for agreeing to visit our classroom.  We spent a lot of time preparing!

Ms. Stokes from Spring Forest Middle School explains value of environmental print for her entire 8th grade class. (2 min)  These were created by SIFE students.  (If ESL or SIFE students create them prior to the lesson, they are a pre-view/pre-teaching opportunity.)

We were JUST beginning to learn to read (in any language) but we really wanted to code like the other students in our school. (4 min) Hamsa shows that with scaffolding, he is able to read in the target language and utilizes math and language skills:

How we began to prepare for our visit to The Durham House Restaurant (read about our visit here: