ELL Workshop

Wow! It is amazing what a bout of a family-wide stomach flu can do to a person! The week was a rough one but ended with lots of positive aspects in addition to a healthy wife, two healthy kids and one healthy dog (yep, we all got something). Onwards we go!

Friday and Saturday found me at a school-wide professional development workshop  presented by Jon Nordmeyer. The topic centered on meeting the needs of English Language Learners (ELL) and Jon engaged us through a nice mixture of practice and theory.

What am I taking back to my class?

  • Be Deliberate is written large across my materials package. It is becoming increasingly apparent to me the need that I, as the teacher, help students filter through what is important. Deliberate also refers to the word choices I make in class, the pacing of class and the time spent previewing, engaging with and summarizing ideas.
  • Visible Content Goals – Continue posting these on the class web page and review with students at the beginning of class. Return to the goals at the end of class. Where are we?
  • Visible Language Goals – Continue posting language goals and discussing these with students. I have a ways to go on this one. Students are writing each day in both math and science classes but I need to pull bits and pieces together into a coherent flow.
  • Am I in the front too long? Oh, I hope not. I like to believe that students have a substantial amount of talk time and processing time in each class but I want to pay more attention do this. ELLs need to work with new vocabulary and practice verbalizing ideas. After a quarter, I think my classroom environment is a safe place for students to talk but are voices equally heard? (question topic for student Q1 review survey…)
  • Varied engagement points – Jon did a great job reminding me of the multiple strategies to get students talking and moving. I need to regularly work these into lessons to expose students to conversations and explaining ideas in different ways.

The conference provided a good opportunity for me to think about my practice. Jon’s energy and enthusiasm surrounding best practices for students rejuvenated my teaching spirit after a rough week. I’m looking forward to being more deliberate with my students as I try to help them learn math/science in English.

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