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Podcast: ELL Basics

Posted by on Jun 13, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Podcast: ELL Basics

In this podcast for MyEdExpert, Suzy Pepper Rollins interviews me about some basic ELL issues including questions about the stages of language acquisition, the difference between social and academic language, and ways that teachers can support ELLs at different stages in their classrooms. You can download this podcast onto your Smartphone and listen while you drive to work! Enjoy!

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Working With Words off the Wall

Posted by on May 28, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Working With Words off the Wall

The following three strategies help students acquire new vocabulary through interactions and making connections.

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Speed Dating: An Interactive Strategy

Posted by on Mar 4, 2018 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Speed Dating: An Interactive Strategy

“Speed dating” works well as an interactive test review strategy and is simple to set up. Use test review questions for your prompts, place students’ desks in two concentric circles or U-shapes facing each other. Then…

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Constraints and Creativity

Posted by on Nov 6, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Constraints and Creativity

Finding the right balance between freedom and constraints is a challenge for all teachers. Deciding how much to model, what project elements to require, and what to leave open to student choice can be daunting for teachers. In my personal experience, some limitations really do lead to more freedom. Constraints can actually spur creativity.

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Seven Scenarios to Transform ESL teachers to ESL leaders

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Seven Scenarios to Transform ESL teachers to ESL leaders

In the past few years, I have had the opportunity to provide professional development for many English as a Second Language (ESL)1 teachers. These specialists are now expected to take on more and more roles and be skilled in areas well beyond the classroom. As one principal told me when he began hiring for an…

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August Syndrome

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

August Syndrome

I woke up this morning thinking, “It’s August 1 already!?!” My husband has affectionately labeled this time of year for me as ‘August Syndrome’ to describe the conflicting emotions I inevitably experience each year.

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Finding the focal point in language and content

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in Uncategorized | 6 comments

Finding the focal point in language and content

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.

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That’s exemplary!

Posted by on Dec 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

That’s exemplary!

“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

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Learning the Language of Music

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Learning the Language of Music

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,

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Snapshot of Engagement with Language and Content

Posted by on Apr 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Snapshot of Engagement with Language and Content

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.

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