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Beth is passionate about language learning and especially about enhancing the achievement of English Language Learners.
Finding the focal point for language and content instruction requires teachers to conduct ongoing experiments and closely observe how students are using language. When students struggle to explain a concept, teachers have to discern if they actually understand the concept but need language support, or if they still need support with the concept itself.
“For all the correcting we do, directions we give, and rubrics we create about what good work looks like, students are often unclear about what they are aiming for until they actually see and analyze strong models.” Ron Berger, Leaders of their own Learning
In this webinar, I share some of the issues English Language Learners face with the “Language of Math”.
Last week I participated in a marimba camp with David Alderdice and Arlyn Deva of Embodying Rhythm. What I learned during the week of afternoon marimba lessons was much broader than the melody and chord lines to each of the three songs we worked on; I learned the importance of listening, following the pulse, and playing within the musical framework or grid,
Sometimes when I walk into a classroom, students have such a sense of focus and purpose, that they don’t even look up or notice me. I recently had the opportunity to observe a second grade science class that epitomized that kind of classroom. Located in a small, rural school district in a Title One school with over 80% English Language Learners, this room buzzed with excitement and interest. Students were working at round tables asking each other questions, sharing information, or writing and reading independently. At first, I didn’t even notice the teacher in the room. When I found her, she was kneeling next to a student discussing his research and asking probing questions about his next steps.
This brief video clip addresses the 'writing to read' strategy. Participants use a labeled picture with sentence frames to orally generate sentences before doing a quick write about the content picture. Then, they compare their academic text to the scientific text noticing the differences between their writing and the academic writing.
When I returned to the U.S. in 2013 after teaching ESL for three years at the Bavarian International School in Germany, I began to hear the term close reading in every school I consulted with. I noticed many new books with close reading in the title; I heard teachers tell students, “Let’s do a close reading of this text”; and I saw sessions about close reading at every conference I attended. I felt completely out of the loop and wondered what I’d missed while I was out of the country. So I began to read about close reading, talk to my colleagues about the process, analyze the Common Core State Standards, and attend workshops on the topic.
Beth organizes this webinar around WIDA’s features of academic language: word/phrase level, sentence level, and discourse level. Watch the webinar to find out what academic language is and how to teach it.