There is something deep inside each person that makes them want to be wanted, invited, and chosen. I saw it on my daughter’s face as she lit up when her new teacher leaned down and whispered in her ear: “I wanted you too…” This was an easy thing to communicate to a nine-year-old. They spoke the same language and were from the same culture, and my daughter has a healthy attachment to me, her mother (so far at least—fingers crossed). She is accustomed to an adult woman leaning down to whisper in her ear, and to her, it means a healthy intimacy. But what if this was not the case? What if my daughter and her new teacher did not speak the same language? What if there was a cultural disconnect between the teacher and the student’s greetings and use of personal space? What if the student had experienced trauma from their mother figure, and a whisper in the ear was reminiscent of abuse instead of healthy intimacy? How do we welcome diverse students on the first day of school in a way that will help them to receive the message that they are wanted, chosen, and accepted?Continue reading “Welcome Diverse Students on the First Day of School”
Author: Seidlitz Education
Don’t Just Call Them What You Will: Names
by Valentina Gonzalez
“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”Dale Carnegie
Many people take great pride in their names and in naming their children.
Today, I take a lot of pride in my name, but it wasn’t always that way. In fact, for a long time, I wished my name was something more…American. When I started school in America, the teacher wrote out our full names on desk plates. There was mine, “Valentina Najdanovic.” It was long and barely fit on the desk. It was hard to read, much less spell. When the teacher pointed to my last name with squinty eyes and her mouth in an uncomfortable gappy stretch and asked me, “How do you say that?” I was embarrassed. And at that age, I saw my name as an inconvenience. It was clunky. And it didn’t fit in. And that made me feel that I didn’t fit in.Continue reading “Don’t Just Call Them What You Will: Names”
Coaching All Content Areas with a Language Focus
After six years of teaching math and science in bilingual classrooms. I was invited to take on the role of instructional math coach in my district (San Marcos).
As I was on my coaching journey, I received a lot of support from my coworkers and had the privilege of being trained by education leader and coaching expert Jim Knight. With Jim, I learned that as soon as we as teachers stop learning, the students stop learning as well. In San Marcos, we used Jim’s coaching model to facilitate better conversations among educators. During these conversations, I got to know and connect with my teachers better and constantly reflect on instruction with teachers as we worked through coaching cycles.Continue reading “Coaching All Content Areas with a Language Focus”
Improving Outcomes for Emergent Bilingual Students: Scaffolding Up
by Valentina Gonzalez
Imagine you have been prescribed medication with a daily dosage to help control your blood pressure. Let’s say 50 mL in the morning and 50 at night. However, you decide the pills are too large and uncomfortable to swallow. You reduce the dosage by half daily and mix it with water. The first day you feel great, no change noticed. Second day, same. But over time, something happens. Suddenly there is a difference—a decline—in your health. Why?
Grade-level curriculum is like a prescribed dosage for all students, including monolingual and emergent bilingual students alike. Over time, emergent bilingual students who regularly receive diluted instruction are at risk of not meeting the requirements to exit ESL programs and, as a result, becoming classified as long-term English learners. Oversimplification of instruction leaves out critical academic vocabulary and important elements of content that may be necessary for subsequent learning, classes, or grade levels.Continue reading “Improving Outcomes for Emergent Bilingual Students: Scaffolding Up”
Planning for Purpose: What Can ALL Students Do?
By Sally Barnes
It’s that time of year again! We get to sit by the pool, read the books we’ve collected over the past few months, spend time with friends and family, and maybe get a few minutes to reflect on our year and think about what’s to come. The last couple of years have been an adventure and have really forced me to revisit my initiative as a teacher, particularly asking what can my students do, and what are they doing?Continue reading “Planning for Purpose: What Can ALL Students Do?”
Two Simple Tweaks to Turbocharge Your QSSSA
Having students participate in small-group academic conversations is one of the simplest and most effective strategies in the modern classroom. Not only does it build students’ academic language, critical thinking, and socio-emotional skills, it also establishes a sense of community and creates a student-centered environment in which everyone’s voices are heard.Continue reading “Two Simple Tweaks to Turbocharge Your QSSSA”
This Summer, Time Spent Doing Nothing Is Time Well Spent
by Tina Beene
I come to you having failed miserably at what seems on its face to be a very simple task: to sit still, without any distractions, for five whole minutes. The first minute was fine, during the second I started a to-do list for when the time ended, and by four I gave myself permission to stop sitting as long as I started writing instead.
(Before mocking my weakness, it might be interesting to attempt this yourself, without music or a mindfulness app to keep you company. I’ll wait.)Continue reading “This Summer, Time Spent Doing Nothing Is Time Well Spent”
5 Tips for School Leaders: Helping Multilingual Learners Excel
by Valentina Gonzalez
The success of multilingual learners (MLs) depends on all stakeholders that touch their educational journeys, including the specialists, instructional coaches, counselors, assistant principals, principals, and central office administrators. Teachers alone are not solely responsible for students’ success. As is often said, “We are stronger together.”
On the other hand, many of the leaders mentioned have every intention of supporting MLs but are pulled in all directions and don’t know where to begin. Some are experiencing their first few ML families. Here you will find five tips to begin providing support for MLs in ways that seem simple yet will make positive and powerful impacts.Continue reading “5 Tips for School Leaders: Helping Multilingual Learners Excel”
Effective Anchor Charts that Support Multilingual Learners
by Valentina Gonzalez
Effective anchor charts can leave a lasting imprint of a lesson, helping multilingual learners while they work independently. Multilingual learners can refer to anchor charts and use them as scaffolds toward independence.Continue reading “Effective Anchor Charts that Support Multilingual Learners”
Un rotundo no al sistema unitalla para la enseñanza de la literacidad con bilingües emergentes
escrito por Dra. Mónica Lara