by Altagracia H. Delgado, Executive Director of Multilingual Services in Aldine ISDContinue reading “The Collective Responsibility of Equity for Multilingual Learners”
I stumbled into my first English-Russian interpreting job in 1997. In my last year at the Linguistic University of Nizhny Novgorod, someone asked if I wanted to interpret for a British specialist for a day.
The British specialist, Nancy, was a vet from the UK, and we spent the entire day vaccinating cows at the nearby cattle farm. I was translating while Russian specialists were following Nancy’s (my — oh horror!) directions.Continue reading “Active vs. Passive Vocabulary: What Is It?”
If we’ve learned anything this past year and a half, it’s to be prepared for anything. Being flexible and adaptable in our approach to instruction has taken on new meaning. The circumstances we’ve lived through will leave us all changed.
Our recent experiences have taught us about fragility and strength in education. Many schools rapidly closed their doors and moved into remote instruction when the pandemic hit. Educators were stunned. No one could have predicted that the situation would last as long as it did (or has). At the same time, as a nation of educators, we learned how strong we are together. Teachers readily shared resources and knowledge. They helped one another make the pivot from traditional classrooms to virtual learning and then to hybrid and back again.
Could this happen again? It could, and if it does, we’ll be better prepared next time. Here are some things to keep at the forefront as the new school year begins.Continue reading “New School Year, New Multilinguals, New Instruction: After More Than a Year in a Pandemic”
by John Seidlitz
July 21, 2021, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. CT
Featuring Ari Honarvar, Dr. Jose Luis Zelaya, and Emily Francis (with one of her students)
Free registration; donations to KIND encouragedContinue reading “Join Seidlitz Education in Amplifying the Voices of Unaccompanied Minors”
We are definity a family of biophiles! And no, I did not just make up that word. Admittedly, however, I only recently discovered this term that perfectly describes my husband, Carlos, my sons, Kai (5) and Karsten (1), and me. Dr. Edward Wilson, a biologist, naturalist, and author, coined the term “biophilia” in his book by the same name, characterizing what he observed as humanity’s “innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes, and to be drawn toward nature, to feel an affinity for it, a love, a craving.” Do we humans have an innate connection to nature? Lots of researchers think so. I have also become increasingly interested in the work of Ricahrd Louv, who writes extensively about what he refers to as nature-deficit disorder: the combined negative effects to our health and well-being from limited exposure to nature and the outdoors. I have read most of his work and highly recommend his books to teachers, parents and caregivers, especially The Last Child in the Woods, Vitamin N, and The Nature Principle.Continue reading “Compelling Input and Authentic Output Through Nature”
When you look at a piece of art or a photograph, what happens in your mind? Images like these often tell a story. There’s a message, the main idea, and the details. How do we decipher one from the other? What do we infer? How do we interpret imagery? The truth is, our own personal lived experiences and background knowledge come together as we meet an image, forming an idea and creating an interpretation. It’s at this intersection that we synthesize.Continue reading “Visual Literacy with English Learners”
by Natalia Heckman
“My English learners need help. I have about 100 students across grades six through eight who need immediate language support. Did you know they read at the second-grade level? What are your suggestions? How can we better prepare them for the state exams? What can we set up for these kiddos? Can we get some pull-outs started? Should they work with ESL aides during advisory? Can you help my ESL aide pull together some materials?”
If you’ve ever supported English learners as an ESL teacher, an ESL instructional coach, or an ESL program specialist, you know that well-meaning principals want the best for English Learners on their campuses. Hearing the urgency in the principal’s voice, you convey your readiness to help. At the same time, you know quite well that the needs of those 100 students range as widely as their backgrounds and personalities, and there is no program that would be a panacea for all.Continue reading “Considerations for English Language Development Programs”
A mentor text is a model piece of literature used to demonstrate effective writing. Much like Swiss Army knives, mentor texts can accomplish many things, such as developing students’ vocabulary to help them become strong writers, strengthening their reading, and advancing their language proficiency.Continue reading “Using Mentor Texts to Develop Vocabulary, Reading, Writing, and Language”
by Nancy Motley
Doesn’t everyone want to be successful? I know I do! I spend the majority of my time trying to be better…a better parent, a better friend, a better colleague, and certainly a better teacher. In fact, I can honestly say that I have never met anyone who likes to fail. I have, however, encountered many students who, because of their previous school experiences, begin to expect failure. I see it in a defeated look, in the “eye roll” of my most apathetic student, and now in the sea of black boxes where my online students’ faces should be. These students do not like being called on in either a face-to-face (F2F) or virtual class because they don’t know the answer or maybe because they lack confidence. Either way, they expect that they will be wrong. Compounding their uneasiness is the knowledge that all of their peers will be watching them as they fail.
What if instead, every student (especially our most struggling and disengaged) experienced an alternate reaction to being called upon? What if they automatically expected success instead of failure? Can you imagine the transformative effect this could have on our students?Continue reading “The Importance of Public Success for Both “Roomies” and “Zoomies””
by John Seidlitz
Last month, Texas got a taste of “real winter,” and we were woefully unprepared. My family was one of the more than 4 million households that lost power and water for days on end. Like many, we woke up to a dark and chilly house on Monday morning, February 15. At first we weren’t too concerned, since we’d been told the blackouts would be “rolling” and likely to last for just 45 minutes or so. But it quickly became apparent that something had gone terribly wrong.Continue reading “4 Reflections on Winter Storm Uri”