Part of my job is to provide training and coaching to our mainstream teachers as they develop lesson plans that include ELLs.
In this post I want to focus on the Iast one. I encourage our mainstream teachers to spend some time in my sheltered classes. I want them to, at the very least, observe the students learning in a safe/comfortable environment. At best, I want our mainstream teachers to interact with a lesson in a personal way with our ELL’s.
The benefits of a teacher seeing a normally quiet, socially reclusive, or awkward student in a “safe” environment are many, but here are 3:
1.) Such an experience immediately changes the teacher’s understanding of a student’s language proficiency level.
2.) Watching me interact with the full confidence of the student’s academic ability increases the mainstream teacher’s awareness of scholastic capabilities.
3.) Finally, observing conversations in which I don’t understand a student linguistically (or they don’t understand me) allows another teacher to pick up comprehension techniques and maneuvers as I work with a student to achieve clear communication.
Teachers observing other teachers is a cheap and easy way to accomplish professional development/training. Mainstream teachers observing a sheltered class may note:
Seeing an ELL in action within a safe environment can build confidence in the teacher as get to know the student and see techniques useful for ELLs. It also allows the student to achieve a new comfort level with another teacher.
Combine a hands-on activity with online research! Great for use in the Religion, Social Studies, Human Geography classroom and more.
This printable gives students the task of researching the "Basics" of the 5 Major World Religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism. They can work independently, in small groups, or together as a class.
Also a great activity for substitute work when you're away from your class.
Prepositional phrases are always a challenge for English Language Learners. Posting them on the walls gives them a quick reference point.
Here's how I started by boards this year. I like to set up a back ground that I can use throughout the year.
Usually the information on my walls and boards is supplementary and not kept current for the material we cover in a single unit -I would have to change them out too often! That being said, I do think it is super, super important to change the information on your boards several times throughout the year. This shows the students that you are interested in their education, your mindful of your surroundings and you care what your room looks like.
(This is another spot in the room...the kids refer to the map of the USA all the time.)