First, the BEST news. We have a Director of ELL Curriculum! Please join me in welcoming Ryan Rumpf to our team. With all the new changes coming, it is imperative that we have as much representation as possible at DESE. Don’t be shy about sharing your questions and/or concerns with him.
The Fall ESL Institute is going to be a good one. We will be looking at the different ways we can serve kids. Jana Sawyer will be talking about Carthage’s Dual Language Program, Daphne Hensley will show us how Monett uses data to determine what works best for students, Debra Cole will talk about Co-teaching and Allison Tilley from Nixa would like to set up an incentive program/contest for writing. We will meeting in downtown Springfield on August 24th. If your district has difficulty paying, I do have some scholarships available - just let me know.
Interpreting ACCESS 2.0 Score Reports for Instruction is taking place on September 15th. If you have worked with score reports for a while, this will be mostly old news for you. If you are relatively new to ACCESS, this will help you USE those ACCESS reports to drive instruction and evaluate your program.
On October 24th we will be talking about Newcomers in Your Schools, with a focus on middle school and secondary students who are just beginning their journey to fluency. This will be similar to the session held last year.
I am planning to hold a session for educators new to ESL on October 4th and have reserved December 12th for our Winter Institute. If you would like to present in December, please let me know. If I don’t hear from you, you will hear from me.
The 2016 Federal Programs Conference has taken the place of the MELL Conference this year. It will be held September 25-27 at Tan Tar A. There are lots of good sessions that integrate ESL and several presenters from our area. Jamie Casap, a Global Education Evangelist at Google, will be the post-conference speaker. His topic is Innovative Ways to Reach the Unreachable. As a former ESL student, he is committed to using Google to level the playing field for all students.
MIDTESOL is holding their next several conferences in Kansas City. This year they are at the Kansas City Marriott on September 1-October 1. Featured Speakers are Stephen Krashen, Deborah Short, Sonia Nazario and Roger Rosenthal.
I have really missed sharing resources with all of you. Vocabulary.com lets teachers create virtual classrooms and assign vocabulary lists to learn. ReadTheory.org also lets you create a virtual classroom and allows students to take comprehension quizzes and then gives you data to improve abilities. My simpleshow helps students easily create explainer videos for free.
Here is an article from Colorin Colorado about how to use Achievethecore.org with ELs. Here is a short article called Sink or Swim that is thought provoking and good to share with people not interested in reading a long, dense discussion of ESL in the US.
The TESOL Blog has a good discussion about why you should be joining #ELLCHAT on Twitter. They are on Monday nights at 8:00 ct. The next one is 8/15. The topic is designing classrooms that support ELL learning.
Socratic is a new free app that uses artificial intelligence to help students who are stuck and need more information. They call themselves a tutor in your pocket. Looks promising.
This one is exciting. It is called lessonpick and is currently in beta. It is a lesson sharing website designed specifically for EL teachers. Let’s help this one become successful.
Here are some resources that I have shared before, but you may have forgotten. The English Language Toolkit from OELA was published last year. It is the most current federal document(s) that we have about ELs. NCELA published a Newcomer Toolkit in June 2016. It is a very good resource if you have newcomers (or as I’ve been seeing - NA (Newly Arrived)). The W-APT is being replaced with an on-line screener for 1-12. It should be available in October. Here is everything you need to know about screening new students. DESE has an ELL listserv. Please sign up. The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition is now up and running and once more is full of great information. Seriously, sign up for their e-newsletter, it is amazing. My two go-to resource web pages are Colorin Colorado and Larry Ferlazzo. Here is the link for DESE/MELL. Don’t forget, my google drive is full of all kinds of articles, materials and strategies. Access it at http://goo.gl/AFmzPD . We are on Facebook as MELL 2016. We have a closed page called Missouri ELL Teacher Support – we let everyone in.
If you know of anyone who would be interested, please feel free to share these resources. If there is someone who would like to be added to my e-mail list, please let me know. If you think you received this by mistake, e-mail me. If you would like for me to come visit, INVITE ME. Feel free to drop me an email. I’m here to help.
It’s going to be a great year….