This month Susan Harris talks about preparing for the end of the year.
Feel free to tell your story in the comments below.
– Sue Ann Towle, Pearson
Almost at the End of the Year
We’re almost there at the end of the year and Sofia is still racing along. She is learning English and more. The biggest surprise for me this year was not just how much Sofia and the other students progressed in reading, writing, listening, and speaking English -- it was how much they had progressed in math!
It makes sense since English has become embedded in all the content of the new standards, and learning math has become more text based. The better you become with your English language skills the easier it is to learn and improve your math skills. It’s an important lesson to remember. We need to deliver the best English language instruction possible, or else we’re making it that much harder for students to progress in their other skills.
I remember being concerned that Sofia and her classmates could not understand the TELL test. The directions were mostly spoken out loud. When I watched the first few times, I was delighted how involved they were and how quickly they could talk about something they watched. My lesson was that the more interesting, interactive, and engaging you make content, the more they wanted to watch and learn. It never felt to them like an assessment and within fifteen minutes it was easy to tell exactly where Sofia and the rest of the students were with regard to the levels of English proficiency.
Note to myself: Start preparing the listening and vocabulary words and reading workbooks for the students based on their levels of skills on the progress monitoring and group comparison reports. Help them get to their third grade class close -- or even slightly ahead -- of where they are now, hopefully with the help of their parents like I know Sofia will be doing.