They are organizing what looks like a great free online learning opportunity for teachers of English Language Learners from October 5th through October 9th. You can see the entire schedule here and also register at the same place.
The timing might be challenging for teachers in parts of the United States (the sessions start at 12:00 PM in the UK, which means 4:00 AM here on the Pacific Coast). But, no matter – the conference will also be recorded and viewable at any time (I assume you have to register to both view it live and to watch the recordings).
I’m certainly hoping to participate in some live portions, and will view some of the recordings for sure…
Mary projected a photo from our U.S. History book of Christopher Columbus that she had used in the typical PWIM process and then drew “quadrants” where students worked in pairs to expand the image to what they might imagine would be there if the picture was bigger. Student then applied the usual PWIM process to those new additions by identifying words and writing sentences about them.
Here’s the image (in retrospect, it probably would have been better to tape white paper on the text surrounding the picture so that students drawings were more clear. But, as Mary said, it was, nevertheless, “crazy and fun.”
Apparently, today is “Character Day” – this post is a reprint of one I published on the first event two years ago:
I believe (though may be wrong) that the film-maker behind the eight-minute video I’ve embedded below, came up with the idea of “Character Day” and unveiled her film today. It’s called “The Science Of Character” and seems like a nice enough video — I could see presenting it as an introduction to a Social Emotional Learning lesson (see The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources). The film’s home site offers a number of related teaching resources.
Nevertheless, I think it is possible to teach character in effective and appropriate ways. In fact, I’ve published two multi-part series on the topic at my Education Week Teacher column — last year and this year.
One particularly intriguing pick for teachers of English Language Learners, though, is Anne Basting. She’s the founder of TimeSlips, which is designed to assist the elderly but which clearly has an application to the ELL classroom.
I’ve tried to apply the idea of looking for assets instead of deficits throughout my community organizing and teaching careers, and have written a lot about it in my books and in articles. One key strategy to make this work is by eliciting stories.
Of course, this strategy is not limited to community organizing or to the classroom.
Science Daily has just published a fascinating report on the use of this kind of strategy by medical students with dementia patients. Their purpose was to building on the creative assets of patients through having them tell stories based on thought-provoking photographs.
Their strategy, called TimeSlips, seems in many ways similar to TPR Storytelling in second-language classes (at least to my untrained — in both TimeSlips and in TPRS — eye).
I’ve embedded two videos of TimeSlips in action at the end of this post. However, before I end with them I want to point out that I’m blogging about it for more reasons than just the fact it has an interesting connection to teaching a second language (though the fact that dementia is beginning to make itself known in my family also makes it particularly interesting to me).
The TimeSlips website is also perfect for English Language Learners. It has many great images and encourages people to write their own stories about them. In fact, they also provide multiple scaffolded prompts for each image.
I’m adding the post, and their site, to various “The Best…” lists, including:
I mainly use it in my English Language Learner history classes, but it’s adaptable to just about any course.
I have students write what they think are the most important concepts or facts they learned about in a chapter and why they think they are important; two phrases and why they think they are important; a sentence and why they think it is important; and draw an image. Then, of course, they share their poster with the class in various ways.