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Week 1 Ethics and Etiquette Forum Competence and Morals

by Amy Reese - Sunday, 5 January 2014, 4:46 PM

One point of inspiration that I find to be of value to me is: Professional educators seek to ensure that every student receives the highest quality of service and that every professional maintains a high level of competence from entry through ongoing professional development. As educators, we should never tire of learning and need to instill that in our students. I love going back to school and learning new skills which is why instead of just going back for only 6 continuing education credits, I decided to receive a certification in ESL. It is a skill, which I hope to use to better my community and help ESL adults become successful in society and be able to give back to the community. A guideline that should never even be explicitly stated is: The professional educator may not sexually harass or engage in sexual relationships with students. It is sad that we live in a society where teachers need to be told not to act sexually inappropriate with students. Becoming involved in this way as a teacher crosses a moral line that should never be entertained.

Improving Learning Forum

by Amy Reese - Monday, 6 January 2014, 9:06 PM

Explicitly teach English language vocabulary and structures. Building a strong vocabulary base is vital to ELLs and putting words into themes helps develop relationships among groups of words. One activity to do weekly to improve vocabulary requires pictures, which is so vital when communicating with ELLs. This activity I would do weekly to help with learning themes of words. I prepare sets of picture cards or objects to represent a theme. For example: Beach: sea, sand, shells, towel, sunglasses

Airport: plane, runway, terminal, ticket, security I then disperse my sets of pictures about the class and give a short time limit at each clue for students to guess the theme these clues all belong to. Students write down the answer. I sometimes have students work individually or in pairs. Every few minutes I have students move to a different theme. Students with the right answers can write it up on the board. I also go through each clue and have the students say the picture clues out loud as we go over each theme. This is a great activity to do weekly for fun and is a great way to teach useful vocabulary that students will use when writing about certain themes in their writing. I can then use these theme vocabulary lists to help with journal prompts.

Week 2

Nursery Rhymes Forum

by Amy Reese - Saturday, 11 January 2014, 11:50 PM

I opened all three poems and using my prior knowledge on how words rhyme, I think I can actually find the rhyming words in all three poems by looking at the endings of all the word and finding similarities in endings. But if someone told me to "just sound it out", I would become frustrated and almost on the verge of tears. I would not know how to even begin sounding out some of the symbols that I see in poem one. Giving ELL's the "tools" needed to learn our English language will help them become successful. It is almost like teaching a young child the alphabet and the sounds of every letter and symbol so that words can be pronounced and definition can be learned. Good instruction and teaching English in the correct steps will help them become accomplished in another language.

Strategies Forum
by Amy Reese - Sunday, 12 January 2014, 9:41 PM

Using flower/flour, sea/sea, blue/blew, and pail/pale I have found homophones to be tricky, even for English speakers. I feel this lesson would be for students who are intermediate English language learners. I would start by writing sentences on the board using each pair of homophones in sentences. For example:

The student gave me a _________________ with pink petals. I used _____________in my cookie recipe. I would then show 2 picture cards with a picture of a flower and a bag of flour. I would then have students determine which picture would fit with each sentence and write the words on the board. I would repeat with the other three pairs of homophones. Upon completion, I would ask the students if they could determine what makes these words special. I will then explain that homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. I also would have the students put these words in a running word journal with the meaning, a sentence, and a picture of each pair of homophones. Once more homophones are learned, I will have the students play a homophone matching game to match the homophone pairs in small groups. Week 3

Mapper Tool
by Amy Reese - Sunday, 19 January 2014, 1:23 PM

This is a great tool to get an idea of where people who speak several languages reside in the world. I like the fact that you can zoom in and see the concentrations of where each language is spoken more closely. Although I know that there is a large population of Spanish speakers in our country, I was surprised when I observed how few speak little to no English. I can see how this is becoming a problem for schools and how more teachers would benefit to learn and be equipped to help non-native speakers learn English. I live in Northeast PA where you would rarely find anyone who could speak Spanish 25 years ago, especially in an area of mostly Italian and Polish nationalities. I have lived here for 18 years of my adult life and have seen first hand the increase of Spanish speaking families since I have moved into the area. I did not realize how many Spanish-speaking people there are in our area. One of our elementary buildings has over 100 ESL students and continues to rise. There is an entire kindergarten class that is labeled as Level 1. This information can be useful to school districts and other organizations that deal with non-native speakers to reveal how important it is to educate our teachers and businesses in concentrated areas, how to teach English as a second language. I

had an opportunity to teach English to some adults a few years ago. I was amazed at how eager they were to learn and to better themselves in our country. One man was a professional engineer and could not get a job until he could write English. I want to use this information to help offer English classes to adults and children through organizations in my area once I complete my certification.

The Silent Period

by Amy Reese - Sunday, 19 January 2014, 4:09 PM

The most misunderstood and ignored stage of second language acquisition is The Silent Period. It is the first stage of learning a language when students are not talking yet when they first start learning a language. This period of language acquisition can last between 2 to 6 months, and it depends upon the exposure to the foreign language. This can also be a period that can be difficult to determine how long it will last because of personal and individual factors that can come into play. This is also a stage where the ELL, after some exposure to the language, can comprehend more than he or she can create. In personal experiences, while learning a foreign language, the understanding of the language came more quickly than what was generated. Linguists assign this time when someone begins to assimilate the language by becoming as exposed as possible to the language. The student understands a fair amount of what is being taught, but cannot construct ideas in the foreign language. This seems to be the most challenging time for teachers and students alike. There can be a great deal of frustration and awkwardness that comes along with this stage, but the key is to give the ELLs more time and for teachers to be patient. When students are given a rich, outgoing environment consistently, the students will begin to produce what they have been learning. Not only will students will be able to learn in this type of educational setting, teachers can relax and enjoy teaching ELLs. Finally, with ESL education still making its way into school districts; teachers, administrators, and supervisors need to be informed of these language acquisition periods. The Silent Period is one that is misunderstood and not familiar to many in education. It is the job of ESL educators to inform colleagues by investigating this period and explain the valuable research that is available. Knowledge is power and can solve many misunderstandings about how ELLs learn.

Week 4 Scenario 2
by Amy Reese - Sunday, 26 January 2014, 5:42 PM

Scenario 2- Colita and Marianna Starting out in a new job certainly is not easy! The first thing I would do is finding out if I can get a key to the room I will be using for my students. I will also make an appoint to converse with Mrs. Share and Mrs. Care and ask them about the girls strengths and weaknesses in their English skills. I would also touch base with Mrs. Mack and obtain the files of the girls. I will start the girls with some basic identification of objects and simple questions since they have only been here a month in the United States. I will bring a healthy snack for the girls. I will use my Ungame for kids to try and break the ice and get to know the girls. I will take the girls around the school and help them identify different areas of the school like: Office, bathroom, cafeteria, classroom, etc. Since the girls have only been in school for about a month, I would share with some simple pictures identifying symbols, objects, and people that pertain to the school, classroom, and other activities and have Colita help Marianna when possible with naming the pictures in Portuguese then saying the words in English. I can give Colita some more advanced work and have her answer simple questions about the objects on the pictures.

by Amy Reese - Wednesday, 29 January 2014, 1:46 PM

I am currently observing in Hazleton, PA, which has a very large ESL population. The building I have been assigned to is an inner city school setting with 1199 students and 275 are ELLs. My teacher is in kindergarten, was pulled from her ESL position, and was placed in a kindergarten class with 18 students, 8 who are ELLs. Three ELLs are level 1 and 5 are level 2 on the WIDA scale. The classroom has 15 Spanish-speaking students, 2 African American students, and 1 Caucasian student. This building is only one of 5 K-8 buildings in the district. The 8 ELLs in this class are immersed in with the class and are pulled out once a day for ESL instruction. Since the teacher has ESL experience, she is easily able to

use many strategies to teach letters, numbers, and words. Some of the she uses include singing the alphabet and the individual sounds, lots of visuals and pictures, motions, simple questions and commands. Another strategy that the teacher uses which I found to be very helpful to the ELLs in her class is segmenting words. She also has the students in groups at tables with at least one good English speaker in each group and is bilingual. This child is helpful when an ELL has some difficulty understanding directions. Besides observing, I have sat in on a webinar on the curriculum that the ESL teachers use when pulling out students. It is called Reach by National Geographic. Here is a link: Our school district just started using it this year and so far the ESL teachers like it! I also had an opportunity to hopefully observe some parent-teacher conferences from the class I observed. Only one parent showed the morning I was there out of 6 scheduled conferences. The school principal told me that this happens quite often that ELL parents do not show up for meetings. It can be very frustrating. Next week the WIDA testing begins and I plan on observing some testing as well. Week 5

Alternate ACCESS and ACCESS Comparison

by Amy Reese - Tuesday, 4 February 2014, 12:59 PM

The ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS tests have some similarities and differences when I viewed each test. I did notice that each incorporated visuals, teacher-read sections, and speaking parts. The tests also covered all four assessment areas speaking, reading, writing, and listening. The difference I had seen to be the most significant was the amount of teacher direction and cues in the Alternative ACCESS test compared to the ACCESS test. It also seems as though the student is guided along more and the teacher models the task for the student to perform. Students are also given more than one opportunity to get the correct answer. For example, in the Alternate ACCESS Sample Reading test, a student could possibly be given 3 cues (A, B, C) to come to a correct answer. When you combine an ELL who has cognitive or mental disabilities and trying to learn another language on top of the disability, I can see why more guidance by the teacher is necessary.

Week 5

MPI Characteristics and Example

by Amy Reese - Monday, 3 February 2014, 9:47 PM

There are 3 main characteristics of an MPI: Language function describes how students use language to demonstrate their proficiency. Content Stem/example topic specifies context of language instruction: resulting from state standards Support sensory, graphic, or interactive resources found in instruction and assessment that assist students construct meaning from language and content Grade 8 - Language Arts Level 4 Example: Find (Language function) patterns related to literary characters, themes, and plots (Content stem) using graphic organizers with a partner (support). Week 6

Succeed Forum
by Amy Reese - Sunday, 9 February 2014, 12:04 AM

After all the wealth of knowledge I have received over the last six week and the classes and testing that I have observed, I have come to the conclusion that the best way to help ELLs succeed is summed up in one word- patience. It can be frustrating when you see no progress with ELLs in the classroom and in ACCESS testing. The teachers were not as patient as they could be with the students, but learning cannot be forced with ELLs. A little patience and understanding go a long way. I did observe a little kindergarten girl, who has been in the US for only a few months, being tested with the ACCESS test. She sat through the entire test and had not said one word. You could tell that she was scared and nervous. The tester was patient with this girl and it is amazing how much body language a child could understand. I found out that the back story of this girl was since she started coming to school, she would cry every day to point where she physically got sick. Luckily, that has stopped but continues to be silent. AS an ESL teacher, it is good to know the "Silent Period" and that it can be a lengthy time period for a child as well as his/her CALP. Also, continuing to learn about strategies that work for ELLs in the content areas will help me become a more efficient teacher and also help students be successful in their academic career.