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The Connected Classroom

Information On and From EducationPlus' LearningLab

Category Archives: English Language Learners

blog post by Laurie Milburn PhD,
Special Education Improvement Consultant

blog post bySummer vacation is a time for teachers to recharge and refocus as they prepare for another group of students. Summer can also be a time for teachers to re-tool their literacy pedagogy for working with the “not-so-common-learners” and students struggling to make reading progress commensurate with their peers. In July, St. Louis will host the International Literacy Association 2015 Annual Conference. This conference will bring together more than 6,000 literacy educators and experts from around the world to explore ideas, best practices and resources for literacy education and advocacy. In addition, the conference will feature more than 300 sessions on key topics affecting literacy educators today, including content literacy, children’s literature, classroom engagement, innovation, international literacy instruction and professional development. This is a great opportunity to gain practical, research-based professional development from literacy luminaries. The MELL and Special Education Consultants hope to see you at ILA 2015!

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Blog post by Marlow Barton, MELL Instructional Specialist

St. Louis provides many opportunities to explore the different cultures of our students this summer!

blog post byOn a recent visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden, I noticed large, colorful and interesting lanterns being placed all over the garden for the upcoming Chinese Lantern Festival. I began to reflect upon the Chinese speaking ELL children I had in my classes when I taught English to children in various districts around St. Louis and how much I enjoyed having them as students. I loved learning about their families and cultural backgrounds.

As I reflected, I started to wonder what the Chinese population is in St. Louis as I have noticed many activities this summer about Chinese culture. According to the Chinese Culture and Education Foundation, “various unofficial estimates show the figure from 15,000 to 20,000, among which a predominant majority reside in suburban communities and constitutes one percent of the total suburban population of St. Louis.”

In addition to the Chinese Lantern Festival, the Magic House is sponsoring Children’s China: Celebrating Culture, Character and Confucious. Can’t get enough of Chinese culture? Check out the Dragon Boat Races at Creve Coeur Lake!

International Institute | Wayne Crosslin

photo courtesy of the International Institute, Wayne Crosslin

If you are teaching summer school, or tutoring this summer, make sure to check out a cultural artifacts kit from the Office of International Studies at UMSL (cislibrary@umsl.edu). UMSL has kits from many countries, including one from China.

Want to experience other cultures? Try the Festival of Nations from the International Institute of Saint Louis or the Japanese Art Exhibit at the Saint Louis Art Museum called Creatures Great and Small.

All of this got me thinking it would be fun to try to experience something from each of the countries where my students and their families originated. So don’t sit around inside all summer- take a trip around the world right here in our own city!

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blog post byStarting this summer, we will be sharing blog posts from staff who working as part of the LearningLab as well as the St. Louis Regional Professional Development Center. (Want to know more? Visit the “About” section at the top of the blog!) Look for information on upcoming programs, resources they’d like to share and much more!

Up first, Marlow Barton and Julie Sperry write about an upcoming symposium – click on the links for further details:

Happy almost summer! We are looking forward to seeing you in June as we focus on diversity together. We are excited about the many learning opportunities that will be waiting for you during the St. Louis Summer Symposium: Focus on Diversity.  On the first day, is Jo Gusman presenting “State Standards and The Diverse Learner” and day two is Beyond Core Expectations: A School-Wide Framework for Serving the Not-So-Common-Learner with Dr. Maria Dove and Dr. Andrea Honigsfeld. On the third day, we have Theresa Roberts from California State University presenting on literacy for pre-K-2 diverse learners as well as many breakout sessions on topics such as SPED & ELL, DRDP, WIDA standards, family engagement, legal responsibilities and culturally and linguistically responsive instruction. Can’t wait to see you there!

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CLIMBS STL

CLIMBS participants consult their copies of “Teaching English Language Learners: A Differentiated Approach” during today’s session

The Content Language Integration as a Means of Bridging Success program–  also known as CLIMBS–  is designed to assist teams of K-12 educators in meeting the needs of their English Language Learner students, to build capacity and increase collaboration among educators at the local level. CLIMBS provides an introduction to the use of research-based approaches to scaffolding instruction in classrooms that include ELLs.

Over the course of a full semester–  in five full-day, face-to-face meetings–  teams of educators learn to implement the WIDA ELD Standards in ways that support ELLs’ development of academic language and help ensure their access to intellectually challenging grade-level content. They do this by:

• Exploring cultural practices and the processes of acculturation
• Developing foundational understanding of second language acquisition processes
• Practicing strategies to differentiate instruction according to students’ English language development levels
• Exploring formative assessment as a strategy to expand language learning for students
• Integrating WIDA ELD Standards, Features of Academic Language, and Performance Definitions for planning and instruction
• Collaborating with other one another to support ELL success

CLIMBS was originally developed by the Center for Applied Linguistics on behalf of the WIDA Consortium. Pairs of educators become CLIMBS Licensed Facilitators through the CLIMBS Facilitator Institute. Then, CLIMBS Licensed Facilitators offer the CLIMBS program in a district or local educational context, for teams of ESL/bilingual and general education teachers. EducationPlus’ Marlow Barton is co-facilitating today’s session in the Rockwood School District.

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ell faber

original blog post about Creating Success for ELL Students

Dr. Sharon Faber’s September 30th session on Creating Success for ELL Students is full- however- she’s agreed to facilitate another one on November 7th! At that event, she will also provide specific and practical techniques that can be used by teachers in all subject areas to assist ELL students with their comprehension and vocabulary skills. For more details on this full-day session in November at the Brentwood Conference Center, visit our registration page.

Here’s more about the training: as the student population becomes increasingly linguistically diverse, educators are faced with the challenge of providing academically rigorous instruction to ELLs. This requires teachers to adopt new strategies that challenge learners to think at higher levels. How do we modify our teaching strategies in the classroom to make sure that these appropriate opportunities happen for ELL students? While many teachers were never trained to teach reading, writing, or ELL students, they get ELL students who are struggling readers or even non-readers in their classes.

Dr. Faber received her bachelor of science degree from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, her master’s in educational leadership from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Virginia.

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MELL The Missouri Migrant Education and English Language Learning (MELL) program is offering three informal networking and discussion sessions in a “café style” atmosphere; take this time to catch up with peers in other districts, and to learn from each other. Each of the three sessions taking place at Cooperating School Districts will be focused on a particular topic, yet there will also be time to discuss current issues in the field. Feel free to share your ideas, lessons, and discussion points. This is time for you to de-stress, relax, and exchange ideas with other ELL professionals in the St. Louis metro area.

Facilitators:
Marlow Barton, ELL Instructional Specialist, MELL
Debra Cole, ELL Instructional Specialist, MELL

Dates:
September 10, 2013
January 21, 2014
April 1, 2014

Time:  4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

ELL Professionals including ELL Teachers, ELL Instructional Aides, and Classroom Teachers with ELLs are welcome to attend these free sessions. Light snacks will be provided; please register by September 3rd.

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flickr creative commonsAre you a teacher who is looking for ways to challenge, motivate and engage every learner in your math program? In these interactive and fun math games workshops, participants will learn how to use games as a teaching strategy and why this strategy works. Come prepared to play and learn all kinds of game strategies and teaching tips that appeal to all learning styles and will complement any math program. Student samples, reproducible game boards, journal masters and, home connection ideas will be provided. Get your math program rolling with this great workshop opportunity!

Participant Learning Outcomes:
• Games & strategies for teaching numeration, place value, operations, patterning, data management, problem solving and more.
• Ideas for adapting games across the grade levels to reach all learners in your classroom.
• Classroom & resource management ideas to make implementing games-based learning easy.
• Ideas for math backpacks, cross-graded groups, centers, resource room, English Language Learners.
• How to extend math games into journals & assessment.

There are three dates for different grade levels for this professional development (see below). The games use cards, a variety of dice, as well as dominoes as manipulatives and integrate strategies for teaching and reinforcing problem solving skills. The registration deadline for all three dates is May 1, 2013. Each workshop runs 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Cooperating School Districts and costs $85 for CSD members and $100 for non-members.

DATE: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 | The handout and game ideas will focus on the following areas of the Common Core State Standards for primary students: numeration and number sense, basic operations, fact families and fluency, place value, patterning, data management and more.

DATE: Thursday, May 16, 2013 | The handout and game ideas will focus on the following areas of the Common Core State Standards for elementary students: numeration and number sense, basic operations, fact families and fluency, place value, patterning, data management and more.

DATE: Friday, May 17, 2013 | The handout and game ideas will focus on the following areas of the Common Core State Standards for middle school and junior high students: all operations and order of operations, problem solving, pre-algebra and algebra, rounding, graphing, patterning, statistics, data management and more.

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