Colleagues -- My hope is that you find this little blog a useful reminder of our work together, as it will continue to inform us all; it will help us to have some touchstone of the shared experience as a point of reference. Please help clarify and add insights, responses, nuanced clarifications, etc. as you see fit.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

10. ELA Group: CCSS and English Language Learners & Students with Disabilities

Shifts in instructional focus: in the past it has been too often on language learning instead of content. Now, with CCSS their learning should be hand in hand, and this places big challenges and opportunities for teachers. First,  language proficiency is highly correlated to their second language acquisition and proficiency. Second, there is no monolithic ELL; incredible diversity with regard to the language, reading, literacy skills, etc. We can ask: what opportunities in the listening and dspeaking strands can be especially powerful? In examining standards, ask: what would be inherently stressful or difficult for ELL's? Since literacy rich environs are crucial, and cooperative learning and peer interaction essential, what can teachers do differently? What about ELL designed opportunity for discourse? Explicit instruction, ongoing formative assessment? These are critical supports that they need. And, how will we solicit supports from our colleagues? Some ideas: podcasting, photostory, vocabulary, building, read aloud, adult collaboration and support. Similarly, the vast differences among students with IEPs is akin to the ELL population. We can make standards based instruction coherent and continuous for all. There has been much push for UDL (universal design for learning); more universal access to content will benefit all of us. Assistive tech is more and more available. IDEA Partnership, a collaborative, is available.

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